For the first time, Maison Ruinart organizes a brunch every weekend until October 31st, taking place in the garden, close to the Chardonnay vineyard which is the emblem of the House. From the art of table dressing to the linen towels embroidered with the motto of the first accounting book of the House in 1729, Ruinart invites you with elegance and refinement.
Olivier Livoir, Hospitality Manager for Maison Ruinart, unveils some secrets.
Olivier Levoir, what is the origin of this project of brunch ?
The idea came up during the sanitary crisis, a couple of weeks ago. My team and I were working from home while my job is based on hospitality and welcoming people. We thought a lot about it, trying to imagine what could be life « after ». When you manage Ruinart’s hospitality department of such a great House of champagne, we wondered what could we do without foreign tourists. They represent the majority of our customers. French tourists could not travel much too, as at the beginning of the crisis, we could not travel more than 100 km around. Therefore, we had the idea to create a new activity aimed to a local public. When you live in Reims, Epernay or 50 km around, most of the time, you already had the chance to visit the cellars of Champagne. So we wondered how we could get our customers interested again in a House of Champagne that they could already know. This is how the idea of a brunch came up.
Have you already organized such a brunch?
It’s the very first time that creates a brunch at Ruinart. This is a very friendly moment to be shared, and this is the heart our job. This is even the DNA of our product: champagne.
What is special about this Ruinart brunch?
We exclusively work with local products. In example for delicatessen or cheeses, they are sourced in Champagne or Champardennais. There are lot of cheese producers as there are many animal rearing in the department of Ardennes, more than in the department of Marne which is more focused on vine. With our Chef Valérie Radou, we worked a lot on the product selection and producers that we visited individually. This is exactly what we wanted to promote with our brunch, in being able to narrate the story behind the product. Alike with Market Gardeners, it’s purely local, with fruits and vegetables carefully selected by Patrice Richard from Maison Ladam, one of France’s best Market Gardener and located in Reims. We will also find meat-pie with from local producers, salads with fennel and orange, recalling the aromas of our cuvées, pink lentils from Champagne, cheeses such as Chaource, Tomme des Ardennes, and fruit-based desserts such as a rhubarb pie and cherry clafoutis. We also sourced apricots from the department of Drôme but with 100% french product only! Regarding seafood, we decided to exclude them from our selection, apart from Salmon, as we have a salmon farmer nearby Epernay.
Is the art of table dressing important for Ruinart too?
First of all, we already had created our own tableware and cutlery. We also wished to use for our brunch the same tableware as for gastronomic meal. We wanted a story for our table. In example, our knives tell a story. We met someday the stared Chef Arnaud Donckele from the Cheval Blanc restaurant in Saint Tropez. He introduced us to their cutler Thierry Henriot from the company Neptunia, who is indeed originary from the Champagne region. So we started to think about the creation of a unique knive which could only be from Maison Ruinart. We wanted to recycle the old desks of the House, these special tables we used to stir champagne bottles. After 30 years, they were deteriorated due to the humidity of the cellars. We recycle them and use them as knife handles and knife holders.
How would you describe the Ruinart Brunch?
This is a brunch of generosity and sharing.