Purveying exceptional caviar is but one of the many facets that have made Kaviari the industry leader it is today. In addition to carefully selected products that are matured with precision according to age-old traditions, the company’s expertise is met with first-rate customer service and a sustainability-forward business approach.
Wild sturgeons were once in abundance, but today, this is no longer the case. In an aim to preserve the species, Kaviari became pioneers in working hand in hand with breeders to produce top-quality caviar. Relying on its history and expertise, the brand ventures the globe to select the finest, sustainably sourced grains to offer farmed caviar worthy of the wild caviar of the past.
Kaviari works exclusively with farms that breed endemic species according to three important criteria: the quality of water, the well-being of sturgeons and the sturgeons’ food being GMO- and antibiotic-free. Traceability is key to the business, too, with the Kaviari laboratory adhering to HACCP standards for perfect control of food safety and hygiene. Microbiological analyses are performed on each batch of caviar, and the house also benefits from CITES animal health certificates and import and export permits, guaranteeing strict control of the traceability of all caviar boxes.
The grains are matured in-house by Kaviari’s caviar master Bruno Higos, who has been with the company for 30 years. Like a cellar master, he constantly follows the product’s evolution and refinement in a cold room, observing, smelling and tasting each batch until the caviar reaches full maturity. Once ready, the caviar bears its unmistakable subtle aromas, sometimes iodised, woody, buttery or nutty, depending on the variety.
FOUR sits down with Kaviar’s General Manager, Karin Nebot, to learn more about the brand…
Can you give us a brief overview of Kaviari?
Kaviari was founded in Paris 40 years ago by my father at the time of the wild caviar. Today, Kaviari is run by Raphael Bouchez, with whom I am working.
What was the philosophy behind the brand when it began, and is it still the same today?
When it began, the philosophy of my father was to find the best caviar from Iran. Today, the philosophy has not changed. Our main objective with Raphael is to find the best caviar from all over the world. We work with the best farmers who respect the well-being of the sturgeons and the environment. Throughout the process, the brand’s core principles remain to provide a selection of excellent products with good service.
Even though our philosophy of finding the best caviar has not changed, we have since realised that we need to act respectfully to protect the endangered sturgeons and safeguard the planet’s diminishing resources. We thus incorporate sustainable development into our business.
How did you get into this business, and what is your favourite part?
I got into the family business more than ten years ago after working in the jewellery industry. The most rewarding part of the job is that I get to work closely with passionate people! It is very motivating.
What are some of the difficulties you face in this industry?
The difficulties are very complex. The main one is, of course, to get the best products with close relations. After that, the second difficulty is to always find new ideas to please our customers with. I am very attached to the beauty of the brand, and I want to make it desirable to all through the communications we create.
Can you give details on the products you produce and sell?
We do not produce the caviar ourselves, but instead, we select and mature the best products. Our caviar is produced on different farms, and after we receive it from our farmers, our caviar master Bruno supervises its maturation in our maturation room. We have a small selection of caviars based on the various sturgeons raised today, including Baerii, Transmontanus, Osciètre, Kristal and Beluga.
What are some of the key elements that set your caviar apart?
The critical components are the selection of the caviar and the maturation of the caviar. We spend a lot of time with the farmers and work closely with them to select the best caviars. Then comes the careful maturation, which will give the caviar its unique taste. This specialised process has been our know-how for more than 40 years!
You work with some of the industry’s best chefs – tell us more about you who work with?
We work with many Michelin-starred chefs. In France, they are 2- and 3-Michelin-starred chefs, including Alain Ducasse and Yannick Alléno. In Asia, Guillaume Galliot, Julien Royer and Sebastien Lepinoy use our products. We have no partnerships, but we can say that the chefs belong to the Kaviari family, and we have a very good relationship with them.
Why do you think chefs have chosen to use your products?
The chefs choose our caviar because they are confident in the selection we make. After we pick our products, the chefs all come to select their caviar in our laboratory with Bruno. They are treated to a special caviar selection customised for them, complete with good service. We are available 24/7 for our customers!
What’s your favourite way to consume the different caviar and products you sell?
My favourite way is to eat the caviar simply with only a potato. And good champagne. Simply is the best way to enjoy our caviar. For some inspiration on how best to consume our caviar, see some recipes here.
What’s next for Kaviari?
We are launching a new project, Caviar En Salle. We are aiming to create additional products for our Kaviari Delicatessen and continue our Le Ptit Pressé offering. We also want to develop more tools to explain caviar through a book or journal.
Images: Kaviari Paris (images 1-3); Hand-dived scallops, lettuce cream and Kristal caviar by chef Jocelyn Herland at 3-Michelin-starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester; Tuna tartare with wasabi, capers and Kristal caviar by chef Eka Mochamad at Atmosphere Dubai.