Halfway April I went to “Van Katoen”, a sewing festival in Ghent. The organisation knew that there would be some men who would get lost. So they arranged a little corner where women could find their lost men. In the corner you could discover the water of life. Water of life, what’s in a name? You maybe know the commercials of a certain kind of water of life. They always talking about some guy called William. He doesn’t like rules, he only likes Scotch.
Indeed, at that corner of that sewing festival in April you could discover and taste different kinds of whisky. The Bonding Dram, an online whisky shop showed different whisky brands. Jeroen of The Bonding Dram told me that he also gave whisky tastings on location. Hot Cuisine de Pierre likes to cook, but doesn’t know a lot about whisky. The Bonding Dram knows a lot about whisky, but doesn’t cook. A perfect match, don’t you think? So a new event, an evening “where nobody will drink milk”, was born.
The idea wasn’t complicated. The Bonding Dram would give a whisky tasting with 8 different whiskies and I would look for matching dishes. My cooking buddy MC, famous of the Flemish stew of “De Ronde”, helped me with finding and cooking the perfect dishes. We invited 9 friends and together with MC, a delicious 4 course meal was made.
The Bonding Dram wanted to create a little battle between whiskies, in Gaelic “Usquebaugh”. So three of the four courses were served with two different whiskies. My guests had to taste and give their opinion about which whisky matched better. It showed us again that the freedom of speech is one of the most precious of the human rights. Everyone had another idea and liked another whisky more than the other. Luckily, there was just one opinion about the food: they all liked it. For the smoking balls and the croq’hazelnut we found our inspiration at the Flemish Foodies, our heroes. Recipes will follow, but first the different whiskies with the different dishes.
Hazelnut pesto, homemade toast and olives
Cream of aspergus, hand-peeled Belgian shrimps and homemade pickled lemon
Oak Cross (Compass Box)
Smoking balls: smoked chicken croquettes with paprika dip sauce
Springbank CV vs Hedonism (Compass Box)
A New Old Fashioned
Fighting Cock 6y (Kentucky Straight Bourbon)
Quail with different textures of carrot, mashed potatoes with buttermilk
Amrut Fusion vs Glenfarclas 15y
Bitter chocolat, strawberry and rhubarb cake, strawberry, rhubarb and Napoleon gel, croq’hazelnut and pistachios crumble
Laphroaig 1998 single cask (Malts of Scotland) vs Old Pulteney 1997 (Gordon&MacPhail)
If the Hedonism and the last two would have a Facebook page, they would have the most likes. My shopping list is almost ready. This is made on Sunday with the leftovers.
Conclusion: We had a great evening, we learned new things about whisky, tried new combinations and experimented with new ingredients. There will follow a second edition, that’s for sure.
For more information about the whisky, have a look at the website of the Bonding Dram: http://www.thebondingdram.eu/ He also sends whisky to other countries, if you would be interested. Keep on reading my blog for the recipes of that great evening.