Well, it was an educational afternoon to say the least. For starters, I found out how to take the feeder bus from Bangsar to the the LRT, and a wise decision THAT turned out to be because the traffic going into town on a Friday afternoon, was diabolic, to say the least.
The next nugget of wisdom I gleaned, was the shocking realisation that all my life I've been pronouncing the name Moët & Chandon wrongly. Oft mistaken as MO-YEA...afterall, isn't it french, and aren't all French Ts silent, at the end of the word, like Cliquot, Buffet, Fillet, Chalet ... But as it turns out, the "ë" before the T has two duttis, which means the T is pronounced, so it's actually Mo-wet. And as someone pointed out, Hermes is Air Mess. Not owning any of the bags, I wouldn't know how to say the word, obviously, but in the case of Moët, well, I do drink the stuff often enough to at least have to know how it's pronounced. Well, there's a whole list of commonly mispronounced words HERE, so I am obviously in good company.
Next on life's lessons, the word GOURMING, which is the unholy spawn of gourmet and tasting. Created specailly for this culinary workshop, its purpose was to
* revive the art of elegant snacking (as opposed to inelegant snacking of peanuts and beer?? I'm not sure what that means exactly)
* let the participants understand how different types of food and cuisine can pair well with Moet & Chandon champagne.
Presenting the culinary part of the workshop, was Chef Nicholas Isnard, who hails from the South of France, (isn't there something about the "South of France" that just yells refinement and culture), and was head chef of Auberge Du Vieux Puits when he was only 25. He moved on to Le Chateau de Curzay, during which time he created his firstg revisited onion soup, and the Vichyssoise oyster. In 2008, he bought the Auberge de la Charme a Prenois, near Dijon, and within a year, got their Michelin star.
With such a sterling resume, we were truly privileged to be able to sample some of his offerings.
To instruct on the champagne part of the workshop, the dashing Arnaud Mirey, who is no stranger to us, having been at quite a few Hennessy Appreciation Grows events. He is the Regional Brand Ambassador of Moet Hennessy Asia Pacific, since 2008.
We were left to create our own concoctions using scallop as the main ingredient. We (by we I mean Fay and I) tried scallops with some grapefruit zest, some lemon juice, all very safe and commonsensical pairings, that went quite well.
Umei of CC Food Travel always manages to get into all the glamour shots.
A little bit on the additional aromatics we were given to play with. For bitterness, we had aragula, and grapefruit zest, Sweetness, Coconut Milk and Figs (I Loved the figs, they went well with the chicken, and scallops), for saltiness, anchovy and sea salt, for sourness, Lemon juice and cucumber, and button mushrooms, vinegar, etc ...listed under "less desirable" were mustard, cut chilli and artichoke. I'm not sure why, but I thought the lemon and chilli made a fairly nice dressing for the scallops.