THE recent Martell Pure Gourmet signature dinner can be summed up with one word, fine.
The guests enjoyed some of the better things in life from an inspiring setting to the star of the event, Martell’s cognacs.
“It is not something we just started. For a few years now, we have worked closely with salon masters and other chefs to come up with recipes and menus to pair with our cognacs,” said Martell Pure Gourmet ambassador Christophe Pienkowski, who is also a chef at Martell’s Chateau de Chanteloup in France.
He added that some 100 years ago, cognac was paired with Cantonese food and was found to make a good match.
“Generally, Asian food goes well with cognacs as the cuisine is rich in spices so both complement each other nicely,” Pienkowski said, adding that the Malaysian market was among the biggest in the world for Martell cognac consumption.
The event, which was held recently at the Bufori Motor Car Company (M) Sdn Bhd’s factory in Kepong, Selangor, is the fourth dinner in Martell’s Pure Gourmet series that brought together the combined talents of celebrity chef Emmanuel Stroobant and Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur’s executive chef Antoine Rodriguez.
The dinner started with a light amuse bouche, a single bite appetiser, of ratte potato espuma (foam) enhanced with truffle oil. This was followed by another ratte potato espuma complemented by ikura, or salmon roe.
Next was a starter of bay scallop mousse rolled in toasted almonds accompanied by crunchy radishes and crystallised plum, with a touch of lobster oil.
Pienkowski noted that pairing seafood with Cordon Bleu, a tart cognac with fruity and spicy notes of cinnamon, orange, crystallised plums and toasted almonds, was a classic.
Guests then feasted on chicken ballotine with foie gras and a little fig chutney and walnut crumble paired with a Martell X.O that was both smooth and strong.
Martell Creation Grand Extra with an intense aroma and notes of dark chocolate, orange peel and even hints of curry, was then served with the main course of quail with orange peel endive and a dash of juniper berry chocolate sauce.
Following the same style for the night, Stroobant and Rodriguez reflected Martell’s Chanteloup Perspective with a dessert of caramelised Sarawak pineapple with candied lemon zest and ginger bread ice cream, the latter to match the spicy notes of the cognac.
Guests, mainly clients of Bufori, the manufacturer of hand-built classic style cars, then got to enjoy a nice cup of special brew coffee or herbal tea after which they took a tour of the car factory.
“This event is all about passion for quality and craftmanship, characteristics Bufori represents. Martell has that same focus too,” Pienkowski said.