MOET Hennessy Diageo’s latest food cognac pairing session under its Hennessy X.O. Appreciation Grows Gastronomy series was a show of masterclass with superb food matched with the Hennessy X.O. Original.
The luncheon was held at Cesar’s Ritz Carlton Kuala Lumpur with the dishes cooked by special guest chef David Fransoret from France, the Hennessy Maison Chateau de Bagnolet private chef.
The Hennessy X.O. Appreciation Grows event is conceptualised with a vision to inspire deep appreciation for the role played by time, quality and heritage in the creation of the cognac.
Fransoret’s style is inspired by the culinary savoir-faire of traditional French cuisine and from traditions and cultures of his regular sojjourns around the world.
The luncheon was a six-course meal that can be described as dishes with refined quality. For the first course, we were served the Blue Lobster Soup with Spheres of Crispy Vegetables.
The soup was flavoursome and fragrant, imbued with such natural sweetness from the fresh lobster meat while the Hennessy, poured on the rocks, heightened the experience altogether.
The second dish was the Terrine of Duck Foie Gras with Dried Fruit Chutney. served with the Hennessy XO neat, had the richness that brought out the fruity and spicy notes of the cognac.
Served like a pate to spread over a slice of bread, the foie gras was lovely to the last bite with its smooth and creamy texture, while the fruit chutney was sweet.
Next was the Fried Monkfish Medallion with Caraway, Tomato and Chilli Puree, Lemongrass Sauce, with the accompaniment of Hennessy XO that was mixed with ice and water.
The fish looked crisp on the outside but sink your teeth in it and you will find the flesh so tender!
The serving of this dish was to reflect the spicy, pepper and citrus notes of the cognac.
Following dish was the choice of main course of either the Roasted Lamb with Spices, Pan-Fried Shiitake Mushrooms and Garlic, or the Fillets Turbot Topped with Potato Scales on a Bed of Leeks and Truffles with Hennessy XO Cognac sauce.
The lamb course was tender and delicious, and everyone on the table agreed how well it went with the Hennessy.
The red meat essentially brought the woody notes as well as the old leather and oak spice of the cognac that was served neat.
In the fish dish, the cognac was added to the yellow sauce to lend the dish a balanced taste.
For dessert, we had the Celeriac Ice-Cream and Truffles Hennessy XO with Pineapple Tempura, Spicy Sauce and Green Apple Sorbet.
When asked if the Hennessy name is often deemed an old brand by the public, Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia managing director Frederic Noyere said this was not the case.
“The brand has been around for 250 years and we are successful because we have remained contemporary.
“The beauty about Hennessy is that since the very early days, it has already been exported to the world. The first Hennessy shipment to Malaysia was in 1867 while the first XO shipment here was in 1874,” said Noyere of the cognac’s history.
“Very quickly enough, Hennessy was found to be beautiful for Chinese food and even other food in general, especially those with lots of flavours. So through our Appreciation Grows series, we hope to bring Hennessy with different chefs and cuisines,” he said.
Fransoret, who has been working 11 years in the Chateau, said he has travelled for the last two years to various Asian countries and discovered new products and flavours along the way.
“I always look for balance, and in this case, the right balance between the dish and the cognac.
“For instance, Hennessy has this peppery, vanilla and citrusy notes so I will look out for flavours that can be associated with those flavours,” he said.
This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.