MOUTHWATERING: Chef Ash Heeger preparing honey cured beef to be served with a chilled and fruity Moët & Chandon Rosé. Supplied picture.

Champagne house Moët & Chandon recently hosted a intimate and unusual Moët Rosé and red meat pairing experience. Yes, you read correctly. Red meat paired with champagne is a pairing you wouldn’t expect to go together, however, it makes for a beautiful meal.

The rosé champagne comes in a vibrant salmon pink colour and its tasting notes include zesty blackberry, pungent notes of fresh berries and has a fruity nose. Paired with a succulent piece of beef and savoury dishes, the combination is explosively full of flavour.

At the lunch, hosted by global Moët & Chandon Global brand ambassador, Pierre-Louis Araud at the Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence, chef Ash Heeger took us on a unique culinary journey to remember.

*4 questions with chef Ash Heeger

1. What an exciting time for you, just ahead of launching your new venture! How are you finding inspiration on your travels and please give us a hint as to what we can look forward to without giving too much away? I’m looking at refining our offering to guests. We will still focus heavily on cooking over a fire, but stepping away from the meaty menu that we’ve become known for. You’ll find a lot more seafood and vegetables in the upcoming project.

2. You have learnt from the best in business. With all that professional training under your belt, you certainly have a highly developed palate. How do you break the mould and challenge yourself to continue to explore new flavour sensations for your patrons? I can’t say I’ve ever been “in the mould”. I’ve always found it quite easy to enjoy lesser known foods and more challenging flavours. The hard part is encouraging guests to try new things. That’s the big challenge.

3. Speaking of new flavour combinations, one of your specialities is the fine art of preparing red meat to perfection. Can you give us some unique pairing ideas with red meat? Traditionally in South Africa, Rose Champagne is often paired with sweet treats. However, there’s a new school of thought that says that Rose Champagne also pairs beautifully with red meat. A really interesting combination is how well Moet Rose pairs with meat dishes, especially beef and venison.

4. We can’t wait to experience a new chapter in the life of prodigy chef Ash Heeger in this phase of reinvention, what is your motto and your mantra for success? My motto is, and always has been - cook from the heart and the rest will follow!

REFINED: Moët & Chandon Rosé comes in a vibrant pink colour with tasting notes of zesty blackberry and pungent notes of fresh berries. Supplied picture. 

Chef Ash's Honey cured beef recipe 

Serves 4


*500g free- range & dry- aged beef sirloin

*3g smoked paprika

*5g cumin

* U5g coriander seeds

*100g coarse salt

*100g treacle sugar

*100g raw honey

* 25ml olive oil

- Trim any fat or connective tissue away from the beef sirloin and set aside, uncovered in the fridge until the cure is made.

- In a small, nonstick saucepan, roast the spices individual until fragrant. Give them a small bash in a pestle and mortar or roll a rolling pin over

to lightly crush.

- Add the spices to a medium bowl along with salt, sugar and honey. Mix well to combine.

- Add the trimmed beef to the cure and set aside in the fridge for 2 hours. After 2 hours, flip the beef and repeat.

- After the second round of curing, remove the beef from the cure and rinse under cold water to get rid of any excess.

- Pat dry and set aside in the fridge until needed.

- Heat a large heavy based saucepan with olive oil until smoking hot. Sear off each side of the beef straight from the fridge. And immediately set

back in the fridge once it has seared to prevent any further cooking.

- Once cooled, slice as thinly as possible and serve.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with mixed herb salad and a mustard dressing.

VERSATILE: Chef Ash says Moët Rosé pairs with meat dishes, especially with beef and venison. Supplied picture. 

* Connect with Chef Ash for updates on her upcoming venture on Instagram grand_master_ash.