In a September 27 article in Conde Nast Traveller, author Erin Florio advised readers what to eat and drink in Georgia according to London’s Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli-British chef, restaurant owner and author of several cookbooks.

Florio writes that Ottolenghi’s head sommelier Heidi Nam Knudsen “fell hard for the wine and food of the Caucasus on her first trip four years ago” and brought her boss with her this past April.

“When Heidi Nam Knudsen, head wine buyer and sommelier at London based Ottolenghi Group, sat down to grilled eggplant, pomegranate and walnut paste at the Pheasant’s Tears restaurant on a 2013 business trip to Georgia, the world’s oldest recorded wine producer [country], she was seized with an idea.” Florio then quotes Knudsen “It was so similar to what we do. I texted Yotam that night to say he was coming back with me.”

Four years later, Knudsen and Ottolenghi finally made it to Georgia, and half-a-dozen of Georgian vineyards (natural and biodynamic) were added to the Ottolenghi Group’s wine list. 

Their visit, as the author recounts, “revolved around food - khinkali dumplings for breakfast, quail and pickles in the markets, and evenings spent at Georgia’s famed supra dinner parties where courses of khachpuri (cheese bread), roast chicken and stewed wild greens are punctuated with boisterous toasts of brola wine.” 

“Georgian cuisine is emotional,” Knudsen is quoted, “Vineyards are interspersed with orchards, barns, and vegetable patches; everything is grown together and feels so connected,” she says.

The article then goes on to name the places in Georgia that Knudsen and Ottolenghi visited, among which you’ll find: Vino Underground, Azarpesha and Poliphonia in Tbilisi, Nikoladzeebis Marani, Restaurant Zgapari, and Archil Guniava’s wine cellar in Imereti region and places like Iago’s Wine and Pheasant’s Tears in Kakheti.       

See the full article here: