Whisky Magazine Issue 42
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Our new food and whisky series will look at restaurants and chefs who cook with whisky or serve it as an accompaniment to food. This issue, Christine Manfield (above) and East@West, London
When Glenfiddich approached top Australian chef Christine Manfield in Sydney some years back and asked her to match some of her recipes with its whisky, she was split between two very conflicting emotions.
“At first I instinctively thought of turning them down flat because I just didn't work with brown spirits,” she says with a mischievous grin. “But another part of me can't resist a challenge and I was intrigued by the idea.”
Thankfully for food and whisky lovers everywhere, curiosity won out and she agreed to see what she could come up with.
She hasn't looked back since, and so successful were her food and whisky pairings that they have become an integral part of her creations ever since.
The association between whisky and food is one component of a success story that has seen her rise to the status of internationally acclaimed restaurateur and the brains behind East@West, which opened last year in Soho, London.
Christine learnt her trade in Sydney, one of the most stimulating and dynamic restaurant scenes in the world, and after working in some of the best venues, she opened the Paramount Restaurant there in 1993 with partner Margie Harris.
It was there that she built her international reputation and perfected her style of modern Asian dishes. For her the Asian association is a natural one.
“Australia is an Asian country,” she says.
“Asia is on our doorstep and we have access to the best products there. It's easy for us to reach. And Australia has big...