Whisky Magazine Issue 64
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Whisky dinners are becoming more sophisticated and they are enjoying more popularity than ever before. Dominic Roskrow speaks to the doyenne of food and whisky pairing, Martine Nouet
Are whisky dinners falling out of fashion? Have people grown tired of trying to match whiskies to accompany food, lost interest in adding quality malt to the food itself, and had enough – quite literally – of having a range of whiskies alongside five or six course dinners?
Not if you ask Martine Nouet. She should know, she's all but written the cook book when it comes to the subject and has been championing whisky with and in food for years now.
According to her, many people are only just starting to fully appreciate such matchings.
“I see the people who come to my whisky dinners and the interest is there more than ever,” she says. “Whenever I do dinners there is a lot of interest. On Islay the Ardbeg dinner sells out as soon as tickets go on sale. They have become very important.
“And it is not just the whisky enthusiasts that have realised the pleasure of matching food with whisky and of using whisky as an ingredient in cooking. The distillers see it too.
When I first approached them they couldn't believe that I wanted to put their precious whisky into hot food and they didn't like the idea at all.
“But now they not only understand it but encourage it. Look at the work Diageo is doing and the coverage they give it on the website.” But Martine, who edits the French edition of Whisky Magazine, is quick to point out that not everybody wants five whiskies during a meal.
She hosts some dinners in this way for special events such as the Spirit of Speyside o...