Food and whisky pairing for The Macallan drinkers. Supplied

We started the week on a high note. The Big Easy Durban partnered with The Macallan Whisky to bring us a night of elegant simplicity and dining excellence. 

The Macallan Brand ambassador, Tamara Mkhize offered us the opportunity to discover the exquisite The Macallan range, the most precious single malt in the world. The Big Easy Head Chef, Noel Kanyemba took us through a sensory five-course journey of distinctive tastes and aromas. 

Together with my colleague Clinton Moodley, here is what we thought about the food and whisky pairing. 

Smoked Salmon Croquettes. Picture: Clinton Moodley.

Lutho 

For starters of smoked salmon croquettes with spring onion, baby radish salad, and dill emulsion, we paired it with The Macallan 12 years old double cask. This whisky is rich, savoury, and spicy giving out a perfect taste balance to any seafood dish. 

For the main, I had Parmesan gnocchi with roasted red cabbage, garlic baby potato, snaps peas, and caperberry sauce paired with The Macallan 15 years old triple cask. The pairing with the “parmesan gnocchi” works with this whisky. The citrus notes in the whisky cut through the richness of the creamy gnocchi. 

For dessert, we had passion fruit and elderflower tart with lemon syllabub, passion fruit sorbet, sable biscuit, and passion fruit curd paired with The Macallan 12 years old triple cask. 

I am not a dessert fan but a whisky dessert is one that cannot be turned down. Fruit and whisky seem to be a match made in flavour heaven. The hints of dried fruit in the whisky complemented the dessert. This whisky seems to have been aged with the dessert in mind. 

Parmesan Gnocchi. Picture: Clinton Moodley

Clinton 

Whisky is an acquired taste, and you're probably not going to like it on your first drink. 

I thought to be a pescatarian (I eat vegetables and seafood) means there aren't many options for me. 

But, I found that the seafood options fair well with the whisky. 

For starters, the chef served us a smoked salmon croquettes with spring onion, baby veg and radish salad and dill emulsion. The meal was paired with The Macallan 12-years-old double cask. Both flavours merged effortlessly and I quite like the fruity citrus taste on my palette. 

The parmesan gnocchi with fresh sage leaves melted in my mouth as soon as I took a bite of the vegetarian dish. The dish paired with the Macallan 15-years-old triple cask was rich. 

Both paired well, and the creaminess of the gnocchi complemented the strong whisky taste. 

Passion Fruit and Elderflower Tart. Picture: Clinton Moodley

Dessert, my favourite, was passion fruit and elderflower tart with lemon syllabub, passion fruit sorbet, sable biscuit and passion fruit curd. Yum! Paired with Macallan 12-years-old triple cask, the diner is meant to enjoy flavours of lemon citrus, vanilla, and light toasted oak and nutmeg.I skipped this whisky pairing as I wanted to savour every taste of the dessert.