Pair your food with cognac like a true connoisseur

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jun 2, 2021

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Let’s talk about food and beverage pairings. I know we are used to wine pairings, but let’s do something different today. Let’s try some cognac, shall we?

Cognac is, of course, a grape-based brandy from the Cognac region in south-western France.

The brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels.

Last week, I received an invitation to a Bisquit & Dubouché cognac and food-pairing dinner at Dukkah restaurant. At the event, we were introduced to the new sleek look and feel of Bisquit & Dubouché, bringing cognac lovers together for an intimate taste adventure.

The new look is an ode to Bisquit & Dubouché founder, pioneer, and innovator Alexandre Bisquit and his son-in-law, a creative and bohemian world traveller, Adrien Dubouché.

The new-look wasn’t the only surprise that awaited us at the event; we were also treated to a bespoke menu, with each dish designed to highlight the sophisticated taste in each bottle. Each starter was created to complement the floral and fruity flavours of the radiant gold V.S., Bisquit & Dubouché’s youngest offering, slowly matured in French oak barrels for three years.

Plated were the delectable flavours of sugar baby, feta, brinjal, and mint; a prawn avocado “ritz”; a Jerk Barbadian chicken, featuring pineapple, chorizo and chilli; or fresh salt and pepper calamari, served with Asian slaw, ginger and lemongrass. Each dish was perfectly paired with the soft, fresh flavour of the V.S. (Very Special).

Who can’t resist the mouth-watering taste of a prawn avocado “ritz”? And when paired with cognac, it goes down really well. The dish also enhances the taste and flavour of the cognac. I loved it.

The starters were followed by the V.S.O.P. (Very Superior Old Pale) with its warm amber colour, a testament to the four years spent slowly maturing in French oak barrels.

Five plates were put forward to bring out the delicate notes of honeysuckle, citrus and mango found in the cognac: a seared escalope of salmon served with baby potatoes, cucumber, dill and mustard; the glazed belly of pork teriyaki on stir-fried noodles, with honey soy and coriander; char-grilled fillet of beef, with caramelized button onions and merlot jus; truffled wild mushroom risotto, served with baby spinach and parmesan, and the house special, Dukkah chicken.

Things really get interesting with the main courses because that’s where the fat comes into play. Cognac cuts the fat and complements such dishes very well.

And last, the rich, full-bodied and stunningly smooth X.O. (Extra Old) was the perfect accompaniment to four mouth-watering desserts. On offer was a Kentucky chocolate fondant with bourbon anglaise; lemon posset, biscotti, and pomegranate; English Bakewell tart served with vanilla ice; warm twice-baked mild sheep’s milk soufflé accompanied by relish.

The delicate and creamy flavours complemented the aromatic notes of plum, mocha, cedarwood and liquorice found in the deep, coppery amber cognac.

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