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We continue to develop our wine list and cheese selections and the full cheeseboard is now available at lunchtime. JANUARY 2013 Welcome to our new Tassili newsletter. Each quarter we will produce a newsletter outlining what has and will be happening in Tassili, showcasing some of our suppliers, reviewing new wines, food recipes and outlining our forthcoming events. What a year 2012 has been for us – first of all we kept our coveted Michelin star and saw our executive head chef, Richard Allen winning two great UK industry awards: the Craft Guild of Chefs Restaurant Chef of the Year and then, in October, the Hotel Catey’s Hotel Chef of the Year (less than 250 covers). In August, Tassili was included in the Good Food Guide, rated 4 for its cooking for the first time and was also voted the fourth-best restaurant in Chef Magazine’s Olympic edition. As is Richard’s humble style, he has not let the fame go to his head. Conversely he acknowledges that his personal success is due to the great support of Grand Jersey’s management and the Tassili team. Instead of sitting on our laurels, we intend to increase the quality of the food and service. Both Richard and myself believe strongly that Tassili is very much ‘One Team’ and as such, strive for constant improvements wherever possible together. This year we have opened with a newly refurbished restaurant, giving more colour to the white façade and bringing additional nuances to our famed artwork. We have changed our leather dining chairs for new fabric ones with higher backs and cushioning. We also plan to change our menu covers soon, bringing a more contemporary feel to the presentation, in-keeping with our food and service. In February we will introduce an additional three course menu, produced entirely from local ingredients called “49.19° North - 2.10° West” from the longitude and latitude of Jersey.

Sebastian Nila, our Maitre D’ and sommelier is moving on to pursue other opportunities, and we are very pleased to welcome Cosmin Popa to the team. Cosmin comes from Romania and has worked in the Champagne Lounge for a year. He has a passion for wines and service that is enthusiastic and genuine. Kinga Sztabler and Raluca Dimitru, our “cheese queens” are sourcing individual British cheeses to enhance our trolley. Our monthly wine dinners continue to grow in popularity and we will host another twelve this year, each based upon a wine or food theme: January will be our South African dinner and we have sourced six individual wines that have never been seen in Jersey previously. Thursday 31st January: South Africa South African wine has a history dating back to 1659, but for much of the twentieth century its wine industry received little attention from the worldwide stage. Thursday 28th February: Surf and Turf The mixture of meat with fish dishes originated from the steakhouses of North America. We develop this relationship further by offering an array of Richard Allen’s cuisine paired with six unique wines from around the world. Thursday 28thMarch: The Austrian Wine Revolution Many consumers still remember Austrian wines for the ‘antifreeze’ scandal in the 1980’s. Since the 1990’s quality production has been transformed by a revolution of committed winemakers. Wednesday 17th April: Sicily We are delighted to welcome back Michael Palij MW from Winetraders UK who is an Italian wine specialist from Oxford. Michael will introduce Salvo Foti, a legendary winemaker from Sicily and responsible for some of the greatest wines made there. Salvo will introduce six wines from his winemaking consortium “I Vigneri”.



As an addition to our monthly wine dinners, we will also offer wine master classes. These courses will take place every three months and go through the basics of wine understanding; winemaking, grape varietals, ‘terroir’, wine tasting, reading from the label and food and wine pairings.

Richard Allen, Executive head chef, Tassili I would like to offer one of my all-time favorite recipes that will warm your cockles on these cold evenings, and set tongues wagging about good times long forgotten. It’s the humble bread dough, lifted into the stratosphere with the aid of a little chorizo, rosemary and black olive. Serve these little beauties with a simple pumpkin soup and you have a meal fit for the gods. So, without further ado, I will leave you to dust off your scales, slap on your apron and make use of that bag of bread flour that’s been lurking around the back of the cupboard since you moved in. So, bon appetite and please do let me know where it takes you…..Happy Cooking!

To understand wine is to benefit from a lifetime of study and appreciation, of a constant, inquisitive attitude towards ‘what is possible’ and ‘why does a wine taste the way it does’? To understand a wine, one must first understand how, and from where it is made. As is our style in Tassili, we will focus on the more ‘original’ wine styles and grape varietals, offering in-depth knowledge to the principles of our wine program. Starting at 4pm, we will start in the classroom and talk about the history of winemaking, the regions, wine styles, grape varieties and taste some wines. After a break at 6pm, we will adjourn for an aperitif. A four course menu will be served in Tassili at 7pm with a more ‘practical’ demonstration of what we have learnt. Our first session will focus on the wines of Italy, and will take place on Saturday 9th March. I will present some of my favourite wines from the peninsula. Additional courses will be as follows: Saturday June 15th will be Burgundy and we will welcome Sebastian Thomas from Howard Ripley Wines in London. Saturday 14th September will focus on Austria and we will welcome Mark Savage MW from Savage Selection Wines.

Recipe: 1 kilo bread flour 1 oz butter (room temperature) 1 oz yeast ¾ oz salt Olive oil 100 gms olives (black, best quality) 100 gms dolce chorizo (chopped) 10 gms rosemary (washed and chopped) ¾ pint water (luke warm) Pinch of sugar Method: Combine the sugar, water and yeast and set aside. In a bowl, mix the chorizo, rosemary and olives until well combined. Add the flour and mix with your fingertips until evenly distributed through the flour. Slowly add the water and yeast mixture little by little, when all the mix is added transfer to a clean kitchen surface and knead until silky and smooth, place in a floured bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to double in size, when risen, back the dough by kneading again a few times. Separate the dough into 40 gm balls and place on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Prove again until double in size and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for 25 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove to a wire rack and eat when required. (These also freeze).


Dunell’s Premier Wines In 1899, Edmund Dunell opened his bakery and confectionary in the village of Beaumont, on the corner next to the Forester’s public house. His youngest brother, Clifford joined him in the business. Guy Dunell, Edmunds nephew, joined them in 1935 straight from school. By this time, the grocery side of the business had become more important than the baking and Guy concentrated on the former, buying direct from manufacturers. During the occupation, they continued to bake bread with flour supplied by the States of Jersey. Edmund died in 1943, leaving the business to his nephews, Guy and Victor. When Victor came back from England to join Guy in the family business, Guy decided to concentrate on groceries and the bakery was taken over by his brother-in-law, Bert Pinel, who built a new bakery across the road. Guy and Victor now traded as Dunell’s of Beaumont, family grocers and wine merchants. Over the next few years Guy began importing wines and spirits direct from mainland Europe to retail in their shop. In 1963 they obtained a wholesale license to enable them to sell to other shops. Two years later, Victor bought the grocery shop opposite, known as ‘Godfrays Stores’ and moved their wholesale business into their new premises, where they also began bottling wine imported in cask. Winston Pinel, Guys nephew, joined the business in 1968. The following year they built a new wine store and enabled the wine business to expand rapidly. In 1975 the company bought a disused farm at St Peter to move the bottling plant and create more space at Beaumont. However, over the next two decades their main customers, the small shops gradually closed and their emphasis became selling wine direct to the public. Neil Pinel, Winston’s son, joined the business in 1988 and, once he had gained enough experience, was appointed manager. He made many new contacts within the world-wide wine industry and changed the premises from being a warehouse into a customer friendly retail shop, offering a range of two thousand wines and five hundred spirits, wine accessories and glassware.

Liz Mitchell joined the team in 1997 and great success opening new markets for company. Winston Pinel retired in 1999 Neil was appointed Managing Director Liz General Manager.

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Since then, Dunell’s have been through many more changes and facelifts as can now be regarded as Jersey’s leading independent wine retailer, offering many more products and services that set them apart from their competition. In 2011 Dunell’s opened their second wine shop ‘La Cave’ in St Helier offering over five hundred wines and spirits, a 16 bottle “by the glass” sampling system and wine preservation system. The Beaumont store introduced two similar state of the art machines in March 2011.

When I joined Grand Jersey and the Tassili team in March 2010, one of the first things I did was speak with all of Jersey’s main wine merchants to introduce myself and let them know of my intentions of the Tassili wine program. Many of the larger, established wine merchants were reluctant to embrace the inevitable changes and investment that would be required to assist me with my vision, but Neil, Jane and Liz at Dunell’s were the only company to embrace us, both with professionalism and enthusiasm. I am convinced that Dunell’s wine merchant is Jersey’s finest retail wine merchant. I now use Dunell’s for ninety-nine per cent of the wines at Grand Jersey and Tassili. They are generous in offering samples for charity events and go out of their way to import and source many of the wines we show on our wine lists. It is without doubt that Tassili would not be as successful without the continued support of all the Dunell’s team.

FEATURED WINE Sauvignon Block ‘Block Eight’ 2011, Bellbird Spring, Waipara, New Zealand In 2002 the Porter family returned to New Zealand after many years overseas. They decided to make home at Bellbird Spring in the beautiful Waipara Valley, an area peppered with vineyards, olive groves, nut farms and fields of lavender. The original vineyard, Home Block, was planted in 2002. Sited on a terrace above the Waipara River where the soil is alluvial bench. This poor, free-draining soil means vine vigour is naturally restrained, yields are low, and the plant maintains an innate balance between vegetation and fruit. One hectare of this site is dedicated to the ‘vin de terroir’ – Home Block White. A multi varietal blend of Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Muscat Ottonell, this European style of wine offers a vibrant challenge to the single varietal approach taken by most New Zealand wineries. Block Eight was purchased in 2004. This clay slope to the north of the river is composed of stoney, sandy Domett clay. Warmer than the Home Block, ripeness comes a little earlier to this site. The difference in geography leaves its trace in the wines, with Block Eight producing weightier wines than the aromatic fruit of the Home Block terrace site. Whether whole bunch pressing white varieties or hand plunging the reds, winemaking at Bellbird Spring is typified by hand harvesting. They employ an artisan style with a focus on natural fermentation and ageing in old oak barriques. Small lots are crafted from individual vineyards allowing the identity of the site and vintage to express itself. As a family, they believe in working together, with each other as well as the land itself. Tom and Sheila live on site and produce the extra virgin olive oil on the Home Block olive grove. Daughter Alex, runs the office whilst son Guy, a winemaking graduate of Adelaide University, manages the vineyard and makes the wine. Guy’s wines have received critical acclaim from the New Zealand wine press since their inception, and are now realised as amongst the country’s leading producers.

I was first introduced to Bellbird Spring by Michael Palij MW who sent me some samples for our New Zealand wine dinner last November. When we tasted them together, we couldn’t believe the quality. Across the full range, they blew all the other wines out of the tasting, including some very expensive examples from leading estates. I love their complexity and balance, showing the quality of the varietal, the winemaking and, more importantly, the terroir. This is what Waipara wines should really be like! The Block Eight Sauvignon Blanc 2011 shows a brilliant straw-yellow colour with golden hues and pale on the rim. It has a full but gentle bouquet of ripe tropical fruits and honeysuckle notes, revealing savoury yellow stonefruit and nectarine aromas with some nutty oak. Dry and medium-full bodied, subtle flavours of gooseberries, nectarines and tropical fruits fill the mouth with building richness and lusciousness. The palate is underscored by fresh acidity providing good palate drive and cut, leading to a moderately sustained finish. This is a Sauvignon Blanc with good weight and presence behind the subtly rich, stonefruit flavours. As one taster admitted; “this is the best Sauvignon Blanc I have ever tasted from New Zealand”. I must say that I also agree. Thank you all very much for listening, if anyone would like further information or advice, please feel free to contact me at any time. We all look forward to seeing you in Tassili in the near future. Shaun Corrigan 01534 722 301

Tassili Newsletter Jan-Feb 2013  

Tassili Newsletter