Published on November 13th, 2015 | by Tatei Montejo0
Martell Cognac’s France 300 Celebration Dinner
When I got invited to “an intimate dinner to celebrate Martell’s 300th anniversary dinner” all I had to ponder over was what to wear, attendance was a must. I’d be lying if I said I was a cognac expert but I was very keen to learn and more importantly, I was very excited to meet three heavyweights from the worlds of illustration, food and drink — that’s Malika Favre, Michelin-star chef Pascal Aussignac, and Hawksmoor Spitalfields’ mixologist Clotilde Lataille.
As part of the ‘tricentenaire’, Martell Cognac and L’Officiel Paris led a worldwide search to find the 300 most influential French talents across gastronomy, art, fashion, mixology and entertainment and show how French lifestyle has infiltrated UK culture. The Martell House was founded in 1715, at the height of French Art de Vivre; a period of time in which gastronomy and craftsmanship were embraced and enjoyed with style. The movement was epitomised by Louis XIV who gathered France’s most talented artists, craftsmen and culturally exciting figures at the court of Versailles. Now, the Martell France 300 Project pays tribute to this heritage with its list of influencers, 37 of which, including Malika, Pascal and Clotilde, are based in the UK.
The evening kicked off in style with two gorgeous concoctions created by Clotilde, I chose a Martell V.S Cognac with Red Ruby Tea, berries, lemon and champagne, served in a teacup and adorned with a flower and it tasted much sweeter and to my taste than I thought cognac could taste.
We were then seated and I was delighted to realise I was just opposite Malika. She was even more wonderful and fascinating than I expected — a brave and bold artist with a distinct and classy style and a vivacious personality. I loved learning about her career and how living in London has influenced her, but she definitely still has that chic French quality to her.
Then came the meal, and it was delicious to say the least. I love eating but I wouldn’t call myself a foodie so I don’t often get this excited over a dinner — as much as I was looking forward to trying Club Gascon’s finest dishes, Michelin star cuisine brings to mind very elaborate plates and strange flavours, so I wasn’t expecting to enjoy every bite. I really couldn’t have been more wrong.
As a true Spaniard, I love tapas, so it was great to learn that Club Gascon is the only French restaurant in the world to design its menu as tapas. It meant that I could try six courses, all very tasty and unique. I loved the dedication that went into every detail, resulting in a truly beautiful dinner to the eye as well as the palette, but also how Pascal shies away from ‘concepts’ and instead focuses on rustic but innovative food from the French Gascon Region.
I don’t eat red meat, which I thought would definitely be an issue at a French restaurant, but the vegetarian selection was exceptional. Some personal highlights were the Baby Autumn pumpkin, truffle and horn of plenty tartine; the Amber tulip with aromatic quinoa and pine smoked shallots (a first and I hope it a last as it was a true delicatessen), and the Roquefort macaron with pickled hazelnuts and Martell.
With Martell Cognac hosting the evening, the drinks menu was bound to be excellent and it truly was, every serve complemented the dishes to perfection and enhanced the different tastes. As well as the fantastic champagne and wines we drank, I particularly enjoyed the Martell X.O., apricot, passion fruit, Rose vermouth and lemon myrtle tea serve that accompanied the main, called “An Extra Ordinary Martell Elixir Cocktail”. Martell’s brand ambassador Matthias Lataille gave us some very interesting background on the brand and the drinks and led a cognac tasting as ‘digestif’.
Being able to take away one of the stunning prints created by Malika Favre, was the cherry on top of a wonderful evening.
If you too want to embrace the glamourous French Art de Vivre, Clotilde Lataille’s Can-Can 300 cocktail is now on the menu at Club Gascon until 31 December 2015, or you can also try your hand at it at home following this recipe:
Ingredients: 40ml Martell cordon bleu, 10ml Byrrh, 10ml IPA syrup
Method: Stir ingredients down into a rocks glass with one big ice cube and garnish with dry pineappleShare This Post