Black Dog Scotch has been holding its exclusive events as ‘Easy Evenings’ for few years now which entails gourmet nights or comedy acts. So while I received the invite for a Gourmet evening at Westin Gurgaon hosted by Master Blender Richard Paterson and winner of Master Chef Italia Spyros, to mark the 130th anniversary of Black Dog Scotch whisky, I wasn’t expecting much given my previous average eat outs at Westin.
However, I was happy to be proved wrong. The event that was attended by many celebs was planned immaculately with an eye for detail, and the execution matched. Not reading much in the delay in kicking off the main event, which is normal for any event in India, I was happily sipping my drinks while chatting with my friends Sumit Goyal (Editor Food & Nightlife magazine) and Ashish Kapoor (CEO, Yo! China group). Live music in the background, and few appetizers kept giving us the company.
The main event began with Master Blender Richard Paterson telling us how to enjoy the drinks and Master Chef Italia Spyros (using his Italian-English interpreter) informing us what to expect in the five course set meal. The server at our table, Amit, took time to explain each dish in detail and charmed all the lady guests on our table through his lovely smile.
Richard Paterson, is a third generation master blender and has over 43 years of experience in the whisky industry with a $ 2.6 million insured nose that knows the perfect whisky.
First course was a simple yet a teaser summer vegetable salad with passion fruit. Bites of chick pea, greens, and breads were warming up for the next course that was Tagliolini. A beautiful tomato pesto and dried spinach greens took the flavors of tagliolini to a next level and it was paired beautifully with the 12 year old Black Dog Reserve.
If you have read my previous posts you would know that I am not a great fan of Risotto. However this was complete al-dente, and prawns were fresh. I promised to stop after every bite given my apprehension that I should rather save my appetite for something that I love, but the dish soon got over. So either it was made too well or I was too hungry, any which way the dish won. Along with Risotto was the 18 year old Black Dog Reserve, and given its spicy taste it perfectly complemented the normal bland flavors of Risotto.
What came next was a delight – Amazing New Zealand Lamb chops. Perfectly cooked medium rare and served with creamed potatoes, crispy beats topped with vegetable sauce, this undoubtedly was my best lamb chops ever. They were so good that I requested another plate of my neighbor who had to leave early. Paired with 21 year old Black Dog quintessence, the dish was the star of the evening.
For the dessert we were served English soup which is a traditional Italian dessert and was made especially with Black Dog Reserve. This was the first time I tasted this, and it was reminiscent of Choco Pie which is much loved both by my kids and me, except that it was more gooey and packed far more punch.
As I said earlier, I have had average experience at Westin and I am sure the gourmet experience credit will have to go the Master Chef Italia winner – Spyros. Only thing a miss at the entire evening were the hors d’oeuvres which had a soggy baguette and perhaps made by the hotel itself.
Given a chance I will love to go back to many more of such fun-filled events.
(Disclosure: This post was written after receiving an invite from Black Dog Whiskey to attend their event)