Martell Pure Gourmet Signature Event with Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille

 Pernod Ricard UNVEILS THE MARTELL TRUNK AT GRANDIOSE DINNER AFFAIR CONTINUING MARTELL’S PURE GOURMET SIGNATURE TRADITION

Celebrated artifact heralds the arrival of true luxury and pays homage to Martell’s heritage and legacy amidst the latest Pure Gourmet culinary master-class 

I tried to look composed as I almost fell into the elaborately decorated room filled with distinguished guests and models gracefully walking through the crowd adorned in jewels befit for a queen.

Photo courtesy of Pernod Ricard Malaysia

I was an hour and a half late, thanks to traffic getting to the old Subang Airport. I also drove past it because I only saw the signs for Skypark Terminal One and Two, not Three. That’s because Skypark Terminal Three is not for the public, and houses some of the most prestigious private jets.

The setup was gorgeous, decadent, and by sheer chance, my dress happened to fit in with the official Martell colours. Lucky me!

With Eric from ISC Innovators, the man responsible for my invitation

“Pernod Ricard Malaysia proudly unveiled the celebrated Martell Trunk at the highly-anticipated 2012 edition of the Martell Pure Gourmet Signature gastronomy event.  Commissioned by Martell Chairman and CEO Lionel Breton, Martell collaborated with French luxury designer Pinel and Pinel to create a masterpiece of pure opulence which symbolises the very finest traditions and qualities of Martell, all the way from the Chateau de Chanteloup in Cognac, France.”

The room was abuzz with chatty guests who were eager to witness the unveiling of the Martell Trunk, and no doubt more eager to tuck into the culinary creations of a well known French Food Maestro (‘Maestress’ in this case?) Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille. Light and creative canapés were served.

“It was truly a night of grandeur as guests were treated to an exclusive viewing of the Martell Trunk, carefully wheeled-out from a private jet for its Malaysian debut and taking pride of place as the centre of attention, before they delighted in the mesmerising culinary creations of Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille and the charms of singer Dasha Logan on a very enchanting evening.”

Every single guest had the chance to have their picture taken with both the exclusive private jet, and the luxurious Martell Trunk, elusive to the common man but infamous amongst Cognac aficionados.  That trunk would look great filled with shoes… I can almost imagine some rich SOB spending the (rumoured) 7 figures to buy it. 

Once he’s empties the contents in glamorous private parties with his cigar-smoking friends, he turns around to his wife (or mistress) and says, “J’taime mademoiselle, this is for you. For the shoes I ‘ave bought you.”

Okay, joking aside, it was a very impressive work of functional art that houses some of the world’s finest cognacs, so of course we (me and friends I met that evening) could not resist taking pictures with.

The Martell Trunk

“Like the art of crafting cognac, Frédéric Pinel has designed a creation that would enable connoisseurs and lovers of Martell cognac to rediscover the pleasures of tasting that result from almost three hundred years of carefully cultivated expertise. The result was the Martell Trunk, crafted by the experts at the Pinel & Pinel workshops with matchless skill and precision. It captures the essence of the Martell House, its universe and its history. Everything is designed to turn each tasting into an exceptional experience, a unique parenthesis, a journey of the senses in the vineyards of Charente and the cool cellars, amid the flavours and aromas of a cognac. From the original blends in the montres to the Martell Collection, this astonishing trunk reveals a world of enchantment, inviting aficionados to share in the magical story of Martell.”

 

ABOUT CHEF NATHALIE ARBEFEUILLE

“Nathalie Arbefeuille is a self taught Chef but through the years, she has had many opportunities to hone her skills through master classes with internationally well-known industry professionals. Most significant for Nathalie has been the training she received in Valence, France, with the Michelin awarded 3-starred French chef Anne-Sophie Pic. It was with Anne-Sophie that Nathalie learnt organisation skills and rules of the Art and derived great inspiration and enthusiasm to develop her own recipes and style.

Her restaurant, Nathalie’s Gourmet Studio. is where she combines a Cooking Studio where she conducts Cooking Classes for non-professionals food lovers and a Restaurant where she serves breakfast, lunch, hi-tea from Tuesdays to Saturdays and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. Nathalie has also become one of the most popular caterers among the gourmet dinners in Kuala Lumpur.”

DINNER IS SERVED…

Scallop Tartar with Caviar from Aquitaine, Seashell Jelly, Blue Lobster Broth

Paired with

Martell Chanteloup Perspective

 

Chef Nathalie’s food involves a lot of technique, and is so refined to the point you’re almost scared to demolish the masterpiece that sits in front of you. I’ve been to her restaurant in Publika once for lunch, and the food served here retained the immaculate presentation of the food in her restaurant.

 

We were presented with a seafood concoction of some of the finest important ingredients. I can’t even begin to comprehend the stresses of cooking in a makeshift kitchen and at such a large function.

 

The jelly looked firm but broke apart with the slightest touch of my spoon, yet retained its slippery texture. I was disappointed with the tepid temperature of the broth as I felt the flavours of the seafood would have been further enhanced had the soup been piping hot. However, overall, this dish boasted the understated flavours of the sea that melted into one and each mouthful was surprisingly different with every sip of Martell Chanteloup Perspective.

Oyster Ravioles, Saffron Sauce, Melted and Crispy Leeks, Pink Peppers

Paired with

Martell Cordon Bleu

 

A very delicate dish both in terms of lightness of the foamy saffron sauce, and the subtle balance of flavours, and the contrasting textures of gooey vs crispy leek.

 It paired nicely with the Martell Cordon Bleu, which was smooth and spicy and brought out the flavor of the saffron and the oyster.

 

Duck Breast Tournedos Rossini Way, Coated with Porcini Dust, Porcinis and Spring Vegetables, Asian Flavors Short Jus

Paired with

Martell XO

 

XO is one of my favourite cognacs. Smooth, rich, and deep in flavor. The cognac was the highlight of this dish. Although I love Porcini mushrooms and the woody scents  and Chef Nathalie’s take on the classic French dish of meat topped with foie gras, the duck breast was a little dry, the two springs of ‘spring vegetables’ overcooked while the Jus with Asian Flavours just a little lacklustre.

Shame as the idea sounded delicious but in my opinion, fell short in execution.

Black Truffled Brie, Walnut Bread and Mesclun

Paired with

Martell XO

Ahhh… my three favourite things all in one serving. Truffles.. smelly cheese… Martell XO…

Indulgence at its best! The cheese was ridiculously oozy, the truffle flavor pungent but not overpowering, and the XO the perfect treacle to wash it down. Sinful.

 We were also spoilt with Chef Nathalie’s famous signature macarons. Apparently, she sells around 12,000 pieces every month!

 

Chocolate Tart New Age, Orange Flavours

Paired with

Martell Creation Grand Extra

 I have to confess, I hardly touched this as I was stuffed to the brim with food and plied to the max with all kinds of Martell. It was a comical likeness of Chef Nathalie, so cute from all angles I almost didn’t want to destroy it!

I do remember it being very decadent and rich, and it reminded me of a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, but far more refined.

Fellow diners at the table polished off every last crumb and practically licked the chocolate off the plate. 

A very unique evening, and experience that will certainly remain with me forever. Now, if only I could have hopped on that plane and flown back to France with the Martell Trunk!

Thank you Pernod Ricard Malaysia for the very grand evening. The closest I’ll ever get to a private jet, I can assure you!

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world’s co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of €7,643 million in 2010/2011. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Sprit (2008). Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: ABSOLUT Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob’s Creek, Brancott Estate (formerly Montana), Campo Viejo and Graffigna wines. Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of nearly 18,000 people and is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption in order to prevent alcohol misuse and abuse.

For further information, kindly visit www.martell.com.

 

 

 

 


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