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MARTELL’S Pure Gourmet gastronomy, where quality and selection of ingredients are key, was unveiled to media members in an exclusive dinner recently.

It was a dining experience with a difference based on its ingredient-led cuisine concept, where the origin of ingredients and source were the highlights for all the six courses.

The Pure Gourmet signature is reflective of Martell’s approach in the creation of its cognacs.

Pernod Ricard Malaysia sales and marketing director Terence Ong said Pure Gourmet was a new creation offering heightened experience of the cognac Martell.

“Pure, quality ingredients are sourced from renowned terroirs around the world for that gastronomic experience, then prepared in the most unpretentious manner possible and paired with our versatile range of Martell cognac,” said Ong.

The dinner venue at The Pod in PJCC was transformed into a fairy-tale-like setting in lovely hues of white and purple as guests took their seats in different rows of nicely-decorated long tables.

Prior to dinner, media members got to meet celebrated chef Emmanuel Stroobant, fondly known to many as Chef in Black.

Also at the kitchen for the meet-and-greet was Martell & Co. resident chef Christophe Pienkowski.

Stroobant gave a simple cooking demonstration of grilling the organic nasu, or eggplant, which he said originated from Japan but was now grown in Genting Highlands.

“It is my first time doing Cognac pairing with food. Because of the Cognac’s oaky flavours, I find the one product that produces similar smoky taste is this nasu, or eggplant,” said Stroobant, adding that compared to brinjals, nasu was less bitter due to its smaller size.

He also said there was nothing wrong marrying tradition with technology, and encouraged open-mindedness when it came to cooking.

“Cognac can be used to replace white wine like when making hollandaise sauce (that goes with salmon). The texture and taste may turn out different but it is okay.”

The first course, called the 5 Senses with Martell Cordon Bleu, was visually pleasing with five dainty offerings based on tastes of salty, acidic, bitter, sweet and umami.

The Compress Watermelon with Ikura was sweetness, salty was Edamame Fritter, Soy Gel and Grate Daikon, the Prawn Ceviche, Green Mango and Lime Dressing lent the acidic note, sour was Kampong Chicken Egg and Penang Laksa, and umami was Momotaro Tomato and Fluer de Soy.

In the second course, we tasted the Organic Nasu paired with Martell XO.

The dish was made of smokey organic nasu caviar with ocean trout confit, lemon grass hollandaise, cili boh coulis and caramalised miso dressing.

Cleansing the palate thereafter was the sorbet made of organic green leaves and laced with iced papaya dressing.

We tucked into the Foie Gras with Martell Cordon Bleu for our fourth course, which was Martell marinated foie gras terrine with ‘fizzy’ grapes, fig jelly and brioche crumbs.

The fifth course of Beef with Martell XO featured smoked organic beef short rib with kabocha seed crusted pumpkin, marble of vegetables and wasabi scented split jus.

The delicate balance of the Cognac was complemented by the organically grown Australian Angus beef that was robust but not overpowering.

For the sixth and final course, we had the Cafe, Pousse-Cafe with Creation Grand Extra.

It was a serving of coffee royale with tobacco infused cream fleurette, vanilla creme brulee and orange macaroon. The versatility of the Cognac was evident even with desserts.

The luxurious dinner was also graced by Martell brand ambassadors from the Chateau de Chanteloup in France as well as Martell & Co. heritage director Jacques Menier.

Martell gourmet is presented annually around the world to a select group.

*This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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