The food you can pair with your cognac. Supplied

Cognac is often sidelined as an after-dinner drink, but in fact it pairs beautifully with a wide variety of dishes. 

This week, I got an invitation to a Hennessy Cognac and food pairing dinner at the Big Easy Durban by Ernie Els.

We savoured the flavours as Trade Marketing Manager for the Moet Hennessy portfolio in South Africa, Nande Mahlangeni grew our appreciation of the quality, and consistency of the Hennessy brand.

What I learnt is that Hennessy's various cognacs have been aged, nurtured and blended by a different number generations of masters.

The Big Easy Head Chef, Noel Kanyemba was also on hand as he guided us through the flavours that he crafted to pair with each selected cognac to create new experiences for our taste buds.

Below are the dishes that were created by Chef Noel Kanyemba. 

Beetroot Cured Salmon. Picture by Lutho Pasiya

Starter 

Beetroot Cured Salmon with smoked trout mousse, caper berries, beetroot foam, and cucumber caviar, paired with a Hennessy Journey cocktail.

Mains

Duck Breast with parsnip puree, smoked cauliflower couscous and citrus jus, paired with a Hennessy VS.

Duck Breast. Picture by Lutho Pasiya

Pork Tenderloin with honey glaze, cider braised red cabbage, glazed grapes charred fennel and pot jus, paired with a Hennessy VSOP.

Pork Tenderloin. Picture by Lutho Pasiya

Dessert

Carrot Cake with carrots crisps, black pepper syrup, pistachio crumbs and cream cheese icing, paired with Hennessy XO.

Carrot Cake. Picture by Lutho Pasiya