Luana, sommelier at Le Mousso
How did they meet? By chance, like everyone else.
The first two sentences of James The Fatalist And His Master by Denis Diderot.
I wanted to meet Luana Aubert, sommelier at the restaurant Le Mousso. It's that I'm still moved to see the Sotembo Gaiden Karakuchi Junmai, this artisanal sake (really artisanal, it's not an advertising lie) brewed with humility by the passionate toji NOMIZU Masuo, served with the pairing in a restaurant where everything is prepared and presented with art by an equally passionate team.
We are not in front of an ordinary sake drunk in a Japanese restaurant.
To see the Sotembo, shaped by the toji NOMIZU in the depths of his rural Japan without the ambition to export it, not even to sell it in Tokyo, drunk at the table of the highly creative cuisine of Antonin Mousseau-Rivard at the he intersection of Ontario and Atateken streets, yes, it moves me!
How does Luana became a sommelier?
— For that, I have no big story to tell, no plan; it's really by chance.
A friend suggests that she study wine even though she doesn't even drink, or very little. She discovers a way to satisfy her curiosity about the world, its geographies and, above all, its cultures.
— The rule is to drink less but better, and to broaden your horizons.
To explain her hiring at Mousso, humbly again, she says it was chance, then affinities of energy between her and the team.
While dishes for future menus are created in the kitchen, starting from their description and their ingredients, she is already thinking about flavors, aromas, textures and begins her search.
But in the kitchen-atelier, because the artistic process, the dishes may evolved and the result differs from the intention. Luana adjusts her choice.
— To design the pairing, I first rely on my scientific, organized and disciplined side, then I let my ideas mature, I give my inspiration a gestation period. Then, because it's creative cuisine, I have to stay open, ready to adjust my proposal.
With its post-pandemic formula, Le Mousso offers a single ten-course menu, with the pairing. All guests are served at the same time. Chef Antonin Mousseau-Rivard presents the dishes to everyone, and Luana, the pairing.
This winter, served after the Urchin-hazelnut, the Sotembo Gaiden Karakuchi Junmai accompanied the Tuna-raspberry.
—People are sometimes amazed to see sake in the pairing, but we have a curious clientele. It happens that some people, who have only drunk bad sake, are convinced that they don't like it; by tasting Sotembo, they are pleasantly surprised.
The bold idea of putting sake in the pairing came from the chef, but it was Luana who chose the Sotembo Gaiden Karakuchi Junmai.
—The pairing should always highlight the food. People come here for the food; wine is an accompaniment, it should not steal the show, nor even veil or mask the flavor of a dish.
I listen to it and think of Toji NOMIZU Masuo brewing dry, light and humble pure-rice sakes.
Thank you, Luna.