My adventure with Moët & Chandon started right where it all began, long before I was even born, back in 1743. In Épernay, a picturesque city in the Champagne region.
After visiting the vineyards and the endless kilometers of humid, dark, underground cellars, after tasting each historic bottle, playing with every bubble, and meeting the brand’s very own people and ethos, that first day, I was invited to an extremely private, formal dinner at the Maison’s House.
The only thing I knew was that it would take place in the extravagant room, where Napoleon Bonaparte would be served his epic dinners, each time he would visit the House to order his favorite bottles.
That night I met Marco Fadiga. A gentleman of elegant ways and the most wicked sense of humor. Who had prepared a special menu just for the members of the #MoetSociety. And who would light the whole room, each time he came in to present every following dish.
Two years ago, Moët & Chandon proudly introduced its talented new executive chef: Marco Fadiga. He had previously won the intense competition Moët & Chandon Wants You!, the Maison’s global quest to find its esteemed new executive chef. More than a new hire, Fadiga has ever since acted as a global ambassador for the Maison’s legendary hospitality and spirit of excellence: Moët & Chandon’s ultimate culinary match.
Marco Fadiga is an Italian chef whose expertise spans more than 20 years, with experience at one- and two-Michelin starred restaurants across Europe, including La Torre de’ Galluzzi in Bologna, and Michel Rostang and Ledoyen in Paris. He was chef-owner of Marco Fadiga Bistrot in Bologna from 2003 to 2014, and most recently of Noir restaurant, also in Bologna.
“This has been an incredible, breathtaking experience, and an honor to compete before such a prestigious Maison,” said Fadiga, the night we met. “I bring my Italian creativity, mixed with my great love of French culture in my cooking. And I always honor and respect Moët & Chandon’s heritage while accompanying it towards the future. I am like a tailor. Perfecting each dish around a glass of champagne, until it’s nothing less than a perfect match.”
And so, after dinner, and right after the sun had finally set, he escorted me to the Maison’s notoriously known balcony. Where, among bubbles and laughter I got to know the man with the sparkling eyes and the talent to pair the unimaginable in a perfect orchestration. And the man with the talent to torture you, by not letting you stop laughing.
What perfume do you wear?
Gentleman de Givenchy.
Your favorite color?
Green, the color of hope.
Name the one piece of clothing, or accessory you simply could not imagine life without.
Surely my Rolex, a gift from my wife for my 40s and one blue Ralph Lauren silk scarf.
Which fabric describes you best?
Tomatoes & coriander.
The one ingredient you’d prefer to never use.
The fish bones, I hate fish stock.
Miro and all the French Impressionists.
Name the man you have looked up to, while growing up. Who inspired you to be the man you have become?
Oh my God, tough question! My father…
What is the first thing you would teach your son, in things style?
Honesty, straightness, respect.
Name the most stylish man (dead or alive).
A chef you look up to.
Me. I have to.
Describe yourself using three words.
Funny, serious, modern.
What is the ultimate luxury for you.
What inspires you the most for each new dish or menu?
The Moët & Chandon Grand Vintages’ aromas associated to the colors of the nature.
Describe cooking in three words.
Exciting, exciting, exciting.
If you were a dish, what would it be?
Spaghetti with pesto, simple & sensual.
The most important lesson you were taught within a kitchen.
To never be completely satisfied with your work.
When did you know that this is what you wanted to do?
Oohhh, at 6…!
How important are the ingredients used? What really constitutes luxury, when it comes to food?
Simplicity is the real luxury and the ingredients are, obviously, the most important parts of the recipe. They have to be the absolute best of their kind, and fresh.
Who is the client that you would ideally serve?
A person who, even if they don’t like the recipe, respects it.
Where do you imagine yourself to be ideally in –say- ten years from now?
Where I am now is the most beautiful place I can imagine to be in 10 years…
Imagine you were to host a private dinner party, just for just some happy few, at Moët & Chandonin Epernay. Serving, of course Moët & Chandon champagnes. Who would you ideally invite, serve and dine with? (They can be dead or alive, imaginary list)
- Oscar Wilde, Gianni Agnelli, Stendhal, Pharrell Williams.
- Nectar Impérial, Grand Vintage Collection 2002, Grand Vintage Collection 1990 served with roasted foie gras & mango, colombo of langoustines, black truffles lamb with turnips mousseline.
ON MOËT & CHANDON
Was it a challenge to pair champagne (vintage or not) with each new dish, with each new menu?
It’s an amazing, but at the same time, big challenge. The most interesting and difficult part is being able to transpose the feelings and emotions felt during the tasting session in the recipes.
Describe the perfect pairing of each bottle you love, with each dish you adore. In short: the perfect menu for this summer.
- Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial: mango, wasabi and basil sushi
- Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2009: scampi, caviar, blackberries and mint carpaccio
- Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2002: roasted scallops with lime frozen espuma
- Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial: coconut ice cream
What does Moët & Chandonstand for?
Personally, every morning I thank God for being a family member and a part of the world’s most loved champagne brand, one fragment of the people behind each bottle and its long history. We share the same ethics, the same aesthetics, the same love for all culinary adventures. The same idea of what luxury is and should be today.