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5 8 | t h e c l e v e r r o o t Gusteau Culinary Workshop's Head Chef Gábor Horváth is the only chef in Hungary to have honed his craft at the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon. Mád Furmint is imported by Vinum Tokaj International LLC and distributed exclusively in North America by Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits. Guests at the Grill House can enjoy lunch prepared on a grill situated at the center of their table, where lamb, veal and tri-tip steak are cooked over hazelnut shells, along with quartered gem lettuces, thinly sliced peppers and eggplant. These tomatoes are perfectly roasted for a variety of dishes. Fine Dining with Furmint Following an afternoon vineyard tour, we return to the Aszú House, this time for a fine dining experience, a fit- ting close on my last evening in Mád. I gaze down at my plate; it cradles a poached egg crowned with glistening salmon caviar which rests atop a thin layer of egg royale drizzled with fresh herb pesto. Finely chopped pistachios and pumpkin seeds, black cumin, fiery orange nasturtium and marigold petals complete the dish. Paired with a bottle of Szent Tamás 2013 Nyulászó, a single-vineyard blend of Furmint and Hárslevelu˝ , the cadence of the dish and the wine balance one another perfectly. Hárslevelu˝ , with its lusher, more fruit-driven core, lends flesh to Furmint's bones and adds yet another dimension to the richness of the dish. The colorful procession continued with vivid ingredi- ents woven into the fabric of one dish and then another, as intricate as a Persian rug. Flower petals and pistachios re-emerge in the main course—a rainbow trout sourced from the nearby Bodrog River served with petit summer squash and a confit of potato. The pairing, says Gábor Horváth, "is built on freshness." The trout's delicate flavor and ethereal fattiness are grounded by a sauce enriched with fish stock. The Szent Tamás 2012 Furmint proves to be an excellent match: It's a multifaceted white with smoky, bordering-on-flinty minerality and fleshy layers of pear and quince. The interplay of minerality and the brininess of the sauce is magical. Horváth, the only chef in Hungary to have honed his craft at the Institut Paul Bocuse in Lyon, escapes the hustle of the kitchen for a few minutes to visit with me following the main course. "I'm not sure whether we have an ars poetica or not; we want to show what we are truly capable of, especially in this hidden part of the country." In his impeccably starched white chef's jacket, Horváth speaks in quiet tones with measured precision. He ap- pears unruffled, unhurried despite the demands of dinner service. "The vintages change and the seasons change, and every year you invent something new. The challenge is that we use only the raw products we can source local- ly. The structure of the white wines defines the borders of what we work with." "For example," he continues, "if you look at the des- sert, we try to be brave and pair the wine with fresh currants." A gutsy gastronomic pairing indeed, the crimson berries have the sort of amped-up tartness that I would shy away from in experimental cooking within the confines of my own kitchen. And yet here, in this far-flung place, they work. Marvelously. Served alongside a rosemary sour cherry sorbet and quenelles of creamy goat cheese, they add lift, forming a single hanging note that hovers above all the flavors in the dish and pairing,

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