Features 1 minute 31 August 2022

The Expertise of Taste

Together with Nespresso, chef Kim Dae-chun of 1-MICHELIN star 7th Door scales the world of gastronomy in search of the essence of taste.

One of the most fundamental tasks for a chef is to understand the essence of taste and by that, the essence of ingredients, food and technique. Chef Kim Dae-chun of 7th Door, a MICHELIN One Star restaurant in Seoul, has spent thousands of hours to develop his knowledge in this area. His conclusion? It boils down to balance.

At the collaboration dinner by 7th Door, Nespresso and MICHELIN Guide Seoul, which will be held from August 31st to September 2nd, Chef Kim Dae-chun will present his soulful dishes without losing the balance between coffee and food. When you try to treat coffee as an ingredient and taste, rather than beverage, it is crucial to keep the balance. “It has to be perfectly harmonious without being overdone,” he shares. A true balance of taste exists when all the elements can take responsibility on their own.

Grilled lobster salad with cappuccino sauce

Salad with charcoal-grilled lobster was served with cappuccino sauce made by infusing Nespresso Professional Origins India coffee in soy milk for a day. The deep woody flavor of cappuccino sauce foam made with Nespresso Professional Origins India, which is grown in the shade of exotic trees and has a spicy note, is balanced against the subtle sweetness of lobster through the lightness of its texture.

Tteokbokki with oxtail broth, truffle and espresso

Most Koreans have a memory of ttoekbokki. Since it is one of the staple foods in Korea, many chefs try to imbue it with their creativity. Through his experiments, Chef Kim has discovered that coffee brings a new dimension to tteokbokki. He prepared a sauce by adding gochujang and espresso to thick oxtail broth, with fried rice cakes to give it an extraordinary texture. Truffle injects an exotic flavor to the whole creation.

Nespresso Professional Origins Brazil’s sweetness of honey and nutty grain flavor harmonizes well with tteokbokki’s sweet and spicy sauce. “7th Door’s tteokbokki will bring an unfamiliar nostalgia to your table,” says chef Kim.

Grand Marnier-infused orange and Tahitian vanilla ice with coffee tuiles

Coffee cannot be missed from the last chapter of 7th Door’s gourmet presentation. “I decided to pair Nespresso Professional Origins Guatemala with orange. The coffee’s complexity and vibrant aroma of volcanic soil enhances the aroma of orange and vanilla gorgeously,” he expounds.

This coffee, in particular, has the flavor of well-dried malt, and to highlight it, he made tuile with the coffee powder in the capsule. Grand Marnier-marinated orange and Tahitian vanilla ice cream stuffed inside of the cylinder-shaped tuile adds rich flavor and aroma.

The taste of fermentation and aging that 7th Door is aiming for can be felt in every part of the menu prepared by chef Kim for this event, such as in the three-year aged cutlassfish sauce, jangajji (pickles with soy sauce) and gochujang. But he chose to go one step further. The meeting of coffee and fermentation is not only done in food, but also in a drink. He made a cocktail by adding fermented ginger and citrus to Nespresso Professional Origins Guatemala espresso and sparkling water.

The name of 7th Door expresses the philosophy of chef Kim. Beyond the five basic tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, he wants to complete the beauty of ‘seven tastes’ by adding the touch and taste of fermentation and aging. When all of these seven flavors are in balance, 7th Door's cuisine is finally completed.


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