Amongst life’s most fascinating experiences is matching whisky flavours with food aromas, which either enhances one taste or contrasts with the other. This art is a balancing act that tries to show off hidden nuances of both, the whisky & the food. The challenge lies in making sure one doesn’t overwhelm the other.
We brought together Chefs from some of the most loved hotel chains in India to talk about their favorite food & whisky pairing.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore’s Executive Chef, Anupam Banerjee presents his favourite pairing – a smooth and elegant Laphroaig 25years with his Roast Venison, Cauliflower, Nantes Carrot, Shimeji Mushrooms which he finishes with a well-rounded whisky sauce. The warm peat, smoke top notes, with sweet undertones of the Laphroaig complement the gamey flavor of the meat. The zesty oak lends an overall fulsome feel to the match and the sweetness of the Nantes carrots plays well on the sweet angle of the whisky. The cauliflower, being versatile in complementing flavours, tends to nudge open the latent nutty notes.
The reduced whisky sauce that Chef Anupam adds in the end, most certainly serve to elevate the dish into a stylized orchestra of flavours firmly bound together like the perfect bouquet.
‘Carefully crafted dishes with the most premium ingredients sourced specially for our discerning guests and paired with the most exclusive spirits have continued to remain in the spotlight at our stellar dining events. This dish has been no exception and has been extremely well received as our suggested pairing’ , noted Chef Anupam.
Roast Venison, Cauliflower, Nantes Carrot, Shimeji Mushrooms also happens to be one of Chef Anupam’s signatures and he will be presenting this at The Ritz-Carlton, Tianjin from July 22nd to 24th where he has been invited to conduct a special pop-up festival for the gourmands of Tianjin.
The Oberoi, Gurgaon’s Executive Sous Chef, Tejas Sovani at Amaranta, pairs his favourite dish with a whisky from an all-new menu inspired by the unique characteristics of Emperor Akbar’s nine courtiers.
Chef Tejas’s play-ted menu aptly christened the ‘Akbar’s Navratanas’ has a creative contemporary interpretation and is not a take on classical Mughlai cuisine.
The dish for the selected pairing has been chosen from this ‘Navratanas menu’
The Courtier: Mulla Do Piyaza has been mentioned in some scriptures to be a fragment of people’s imagination. A very clever and wise courtier, he is said to be arch rivals with Birbal.
The illusion on the plate is Chef Tejas’s tribute to this silent, yet effective courtier.
The Dish is called The Illusion which is ‘Torched Marrow, Smoked Aubergine, Lamb Loin and Railway Curry’ paired with the The Glenlivet 21 years
Pairing: The sweet smokiness of the marrow has a lively freshness that announces itself to the long and delicious notes of honey, vanilla, pressed apples and a little cinnamon imparted by The Glenlivet 21 years. The robust flavours of the railway curry are beautifully punctuated with the firm sherry notes of The Glenlivet 21 years. The unique star anise and marzipan hints, punctuates the texture of the lamb with a gentle spice on the palate, on the finish.
Amaranta is a culinary experience, where stories are told via food that is rooted in the familiar. The recipes involve using techniques like dehydration, sous-vide and fermentation by Chef Tejas, while ensuring the flavours are easily recognisable