Monday, February 16, 2015

A Shot and a Slice: A Lechon Pairing with Glenfiddich

An iconic single malt Scotch whisky and a Filipino culinary classic representing the best of two cultures in one memorable evening...

In celebration of 125 years of pioneering whisky making, Glenfiddich shared its range of premium aged single malts, from the world's favorite Glenfiddich 12 Year Old to the rare and refined Glenfiddich 21 Year Old, in a unique and memorable Lechon Degustacion Dinner at The Commissary.

The epic Lechon Pairing with Glenfiddich, dubbed as The Great Filipino-Scottish Feast, was held at The Commissary within the elegant Whitespace complex located along Chino Roces Avenue Extension in Makati. 

Inside The Commissary, a single long table laid out with exquisite china and silverware served as the setting for a classic dinner. After a few shots of Glenfiddich 12 Year Old, the feast was about to begin...

More than just a casual dinner pairing, the Lechon Degustacion with Glenfiddich is a grand fusion of cultures combining the world's best for an experience like no other. Established in 1886, this Speyside single malt references its origins with its brand name, Glenfiddich being Gaelic for "Valley of the Deer," with the stag symbol displayed on all labels of Glenfiddich. The brand is known for being the only distillery in Scotland to use a single source of water for the entire whisky-making process, tapping pure water from the Robbie Dhu spring, with fresh, crisp spring water filtered naturally through rocks. The distillery's master craftsmen, under the guidance of the Malt Master, then combine premium malted barley and yeast for the complex and tedious refining process, before the "Water of Life" is allowed to mature in oak casks.

Glenfiddich is the world's most awarded single malt Scotch whisky, with more awards since 2000 than any other single malt Scotch whisky in two of the world's most prestigious competitions, the International Wine & Spirit Competition and the International Spirits Challenge. 125 years later, Glenfiddich proudly continues the pioneering legacy of its founder, William Grant, to produce the "best dram in the valley." The subtle nuances of each premium single malt combined with specific portions of the lechon combine in a blend of flavors that bring out the best in each other, and the familiar becomes new, different, exciting yet timeless and classic. Glenfiddich set out to deliver a unique experience, and that evening, they did.

Glenfiddich collaborated with some of the metro's most innovative and creative culinary names for The Great Filipino-Scottish Feast, including Pepita's Kitchen with its distinctive roast whole suckling pig stuffed with rich and indulgent truffle rice...

...and Cibo di M, with its playfully inventive take on Filipino cuisine, highlighted by their lechon roasted with a bottle of Glenfiddich 12 year Old adding sweet, smoky, and subtle butterscotch notes to the delicate flavors of the tender and juicy roast pork.

The lechon is then carved, with specific parts set aside for the pairing, and shots of Glenfiddich prepared for the guests. The collaborative union of two cultural icons, the pride of Scottish distillers and the world's most awarded single-malt Scotch whisky, finally meets the centerpiece roast of Philippine fiesta cuisine.

William Grant & Sons' Southeast Asia Brand Ambassador and long-time veteran of the whisky industry, Matthew Fergusson-Stewart, shares the evening's special concept: "We see this as an opportunity to showcase Glenfiddich as a drink that can lend itself amazingly well across a range of dishes worldwide."

And with Glenfiddich single malt Scotch whisky, you can expect a unique and totally new experience. The pairing began with Cibo di M's roast lechon fat and lean meat paired with Glenfiddich 12, and the subtle sweetness and richness of the juicy roast pork is perfectly balanced by the mild pear and oak notes of the single malt.

The smooth single-malt cuts through the fat allowing you to taste the pure flavors of the pork. And this is once again experienced with the Glenfiddich 15 paired with chewy roast lechon skin, capped by a whisper of smoky yet sweet honey and raisin notes of the premium single malt. 

The fork-tender pork ribs is then paired with the Glenfiddich 18, with the clean, sweet notes of the pork blending well with the bold baked apple and cinnamon hints of the single malt. Each flavorful sip cleans the palate, allowing you to taste the richness of the pork with another bite. 

And finally, the gastronomic union culminates with Pepita's Lechon stuffed with rich and nutty truffle rice paired with the rare Glenfiddich 21 Gran Reserva's subtle yet vibrant contrasting notes of smoky toffee sweetness, vanilla, and a medley of floral and spice notes. The pairing is simply perfect, almost sublime.

The subtle sweetness and delicate flavors of the roast pork are perfectly complemented by the smoky, sweet notes of Glenfiddich, with each portion of the lechon balanced by the range of Glenfiddich's award-winning single malts. The premium single malt just brings out the pure and natural flavors of the pork, and you can taste the subtle nuances of lechon, allowing you to rediscover this Filipino classic like never before. The richness of the roast pork and a layer of bold smoky notes linger in your mouth, and the fusion of cultural icons leaves a lasting impression. The rich play of flavors, textures, and notes of this one-of-a-kind degustacion underscores the depth and versatility of Glenfiddich single malt whisky, opening up a whole new and engaging experience that's relevant and meaningful.  "Glenfiddich has always been on the shelves of your favorite bars or local stores but this year we are committed to strengthen our ties with the Filipino market through meaningful events such as this that celebrate both our cultures' passion," added Matthew Fergusson-Stewart.

After the pairing, Cibo di M weaved its own culinary repertoire of innovative dishes to continue the thread of the evening's rich flavors with its playful version of Chicharon topped with Laguna Cream Cheese, crispy adobo flakes and salmon roe along with another round of Glenfiddich.

The second course, a refreshing Negros Txistorra-Queso de Bola Flan, Txistorra Crisp Field Greens, Watercress, Palm Heart, and Edible Flowers with Guava Jelly Balsamico Vinaigrette, showcased fresh local ingredients with clean, bold flavors.

An elegantly presented Pan-Seared Pampano "Pinais sa Tampipi" Tagaytay Fennel & Davao Pomelo Confit with Calamansi Carabao Butter, featured the delicate flavors of fresh fish with the tart notes of pomelo for contrasting yet balanced flavors.

For the main course, Cibo di M served its Tenderloin Medallion with Mais & Sigarilyas Guisado and Heirloom Brown & Red Rice Sinangag, with the robust flavors of the tender beef complemented by the fresh and sweet notes of corn and winged beans.

Dinner is capped by a trio of desserts, with Argellanitas Torta Silay Dulce de Leche, Cebu Mango & Jackfruit Compote, Sampaguita Perfume; San Miguel Bulacan Pastillas with  Batangas Chocolate Lava; and a cup of Organic Kanlaon Coffee. Pair that decadent Pastillas Chocolate Lava with a shot of Glenfiddich 21...perfect.

A perfect pairing, for a perfect evening with Glenfiddich, Cibo di M and Pepita's Kitchen. Matthew Ferguson-Stewart shared his guiding principle: "If you try to sell bottles of great whisky you'll sell a few, but if you sell the experience of enjoying great whisky, you'll sell a lot more." Experiencing Glenfiddich that night, paired with some of the metro's best lechon masters remains a class in itself. And with that, I raised a glass of Glenfiddich for one of the more memorable dining experiences yet.

William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1886. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distils some of the world's leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the  world's favorite single malt Glenfiddich, The Balvenie range of handcrafted single malts and the world's third largest blended Scotch Grant's as well as other iconic spirits brands such as hendrick's Gin, Sailor Jerry, Milagro Tequila and, most recently, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey.

Whitespace is located at 2314 Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City, Metro Manila or call845-4917 for inquiries.

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