Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

The new Moon Room at Château L’Hospitalet

A multisensory restaurant from the master of biodynamics, Gérard Bertrand

To discover and understand the cosmos of Gérard Bertrand and Château L’Hospitalet, you should bring enough time. Significantly more than the 30 hours I recently spent on the property. But it was a very special occasion that brought me to Languedoc. An invitation that should not be refused under any circumstances: The unofficial opening of the Moon Room, a new multi-sensory and highly exclusive restaurant concept, nestled in the beautiful Château, surrounded by vineyards – views of the Mediterranean included.

Now in its third generation, Gérard Bertrand runs the family-owned company. Over time, one château has become 18 houses and many more vineyards. What they all have in common is consistent biodynamic cultivation. Bertrand has been committed to the teachings of Rudolf Steiner since 2002 and implements them in all acquisitions within a very short time.

This biodynamic approach implies daily work in the vineyards without chemical agents and respecting life and biodiversity, so that microorganisms can develop in the soil and the balance of the plants is maintained. The vine receives the preparations prepared by the vintner in the form of plant infusions and decoctions, which, after being dynamized and diluted into infinitesimal quantities, are applied in the rhythm of the starry calendar.

Sometimes this process can take some time. In the case of the great Clos d’Ora, it took a full 17 years after acquisition and conversion to bottle the first wine. A real affair of the heart. And one of my very special favorites.

Another great affair of the heart for Gérard Bertrand is also the new Moon Room, for whose first performance I traveled. As a guest, you first enter the dining room of Restaurant L’Art de Vivre, which on this spring day is bathed in bright, warm sunlight and offers a sensational view of vineyards stretching for miles, rolling hills and the sea. The contrast is all the harsher: the Moon Room is completely darkened, no windows, black walls. Only the installation of the planetary sky provides light.

In the center of the room, a round table seats up to 12 guests, and the room is always booked in groups (four people or more). The prices vary accordingly depending on the number of participants between 350 – 390€ per person, including the served wines, which are an essential part of the concept. Far from the classic wine accompaniment, the wines are fixed for each quarter in the Moon Room, much more it is the dishes and components that change according to season and market situation.

In the context of the room, the round table is symbolic of the earth and thus represents the center of the solar system surrounding us. During the menu, guests gradually discover how each planet in the solar system affects all living things. This is one of the basic principles of biodynamics.

Rudolf Steiner has described the influence of the stars on the life cycle and the constant transformation of living beings. He was inspired by Goethe, the father of plant metamorphosis.

The holistic sensory experience in the Moon Room consists of the combination of flavors, colors and textures of food and wine, but also music and light, going through a whole cycle of metamorphosis. Whereby music is a big word here. To start, a clear broth is served to neutralize the palate. The same effect on the mind and senses is supposed to be achieved here by a tonal frequency of 528Hz. Quasi a reset, before the actual start.

The actual menu then kicks off with a dish themed on the moon: Oyster No.1 from Mas Soula cooked in leek coat, potato foam, toast broth, dill oil, fleur de caviar. This is a first answer to my central question: With all this theoretical superstructure, what’s coming to the plate? Fortunately, reassurance and confidence set in right after the first fork. Because this is directly a pretty great dish, the great oyster of exceptional quality. The broth is characterized by extremely strong smoky flavors and creates a very good combination of components.

The Cigalus blanc 2019 from Aude Hauterive goes very well with this, served from the magnum bottle like almost all the wines in the menu. The accompanying music is tuned a little lower and now sounds in the frequency of the moon at a low 210 Hz.

For the next course, we turn to Mercury, whose planet now glows green above the table (and why I’m using a press photo of the course here). A flute plays delicate interpretations of Kitarō’s works, and in the glass a Crémant de Limoux from 2015, which is not officially available in stores. Glazed lettuce heart, cream soup with watercress, pearl barley koji and celeyran turnip are the protagonists of the course.

We now turn to Venus, and a 2020 Clos du Temple, just named the best rosé wine in the world by the Global Rosé Masters of Drinks. With a bottle price in the trade of over 200€, a reassuring distinction. But in fact a very complex, deep rosé, based on the four red grape varieties Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre and the white grape variety Viognier.

Chef Laurent Chabert serves an Ike Jime sea bass from Port la Nouvelle, beet cooked in salt, pistachio couscous and Osietra caviar from Sturia.

Another fish course follows with back fillet of Mediterranean sea bream. This course then brings intense flavors of the Mediterranean to the plate. Jellied lemon peel and zest and salsify very elegantly balance the fish marinated in red corn miso. Again, the wine fits perfectly and enhances the dish and especially its ethereal citrus notes. The 2021 Villa Soleilla is the premium Orange Wine of the house. Here, only a third of the quantity is fermented in the amphora and later combined with the classic vinified quantities as a Cuvee.

Fittingly, the sun now shines over us thematically – and also the musical combination with Mesopotamian sounds makes sense and fun: Jarl Flamar & Olkan.

Sommelier Pierre-Alexis Mengual skillfully navigates guests through the menu’s complex themes and wines, explaining the connections.

A filet of Aubrac beef, dry-aged for 28 days (of course: according to a lunar cycle) with pak choi, ginger and chili is then the first meat course of the menu. The combination of beef and caviar is a classic. Gérard Bertrand, who is sitting with us at the round table at noon, reports a lasting impression of this very combination, prepared at the time by Alain Ducasse in London’s Dorchester. But even here in the south of France, this luxuriously salty-yoddish as well as delicately nutty addition to beef is fabulous thanks to luscious big dumplings. In the glass, an Aigle Royal Pinot Noir from 2018.

A deep look through the precious Murano glass in which the 2007 Corbieres-Boutenac La Forge is served – in the background Chef Gérard Bertrand and journalist Alexandra Kilian.

Then under the sign of Saturn is the lamb “El Xai” with einkorn risotto, harissa, brous cream and herbs. Perfectly cooked and again of impressive quality and again a very appropriate match to the wine, which powerfully supports the oriental aromatics.

The menu closes with another great wine, the 1977 Legend Vintage Rivesaltes and a soufflé with Valrhona Guanaja, pear heart with whiskey and an ice cream with grilled Madagascar vanilla and some petit fours.

Winemaker Gérard Bertrand
Chef Laurent Chabert

After a good three hours, the curtain falls on the Moon Room at Château l’Hospitalet Wine Resort in Narbonne. It’s an exciting approach and another bow by Gérard Bertrand and his team to the processes and rhythms of nature. At the same time a perfect stage to share these ideas with guests and impart knowledge. The reduction of the external impressions and the focus on dishes and wines is consistent and does without complex installations and multimedia show effects such as e.g. the “wine”. at the Ultraviolet in Shanghai. The connection with nature is also at the center here.

The deepest way to immerse yourself in this world is to spend a few nights in one of the beautiful rooms at the Château. Especially inviting are the 11 rooms in Villa Soleilla, a separate luxury wing off the main area with its own pool and direct access to the spa. In front of the balconies stretch the vineyards of the estate, rolling hills, in the distance the view reaches the Mediterranean Sea. In the summer months, the restaurant L’Hospitalet Beach opens directly on the beach – a perfect contrast to the Moon Room.

Château l’Hospitalet

Route de Narbonne Plage
11100 Narbonne

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