Books have always been a very important source of entertainment and information for the both of us since we were able to read, we have started dating through our mutual love for the same authors, and with our passion for cooking, the shelves quickly piled up with numerous cookbooks. During our journey to learn more about whisky, the science, myths and history behind our favorite drink, this has not been any different and we quickly ran out of shelves once more. We have been burying ourselves in the growing amount of whisky books for a while now, and sharing the information we gathered is only the next logical step to make and the recent update of the site has finally made it possible. All we need to do now is pick the next book. And the one after that. And then another…
Picking the first book was easier than we initially thought. It is one of the books that we have had laying around within arms reach of the couch since we have bought it from the writer herself; à table: whisky from glass to plate by Martine Nouet, the perfect crossover between our two affections; food and whisky. We have met Martine on various occasions over the past few years, and every single time it is a joy to meet up with this wonderful woman who spreads her deep rooted knowledge and love for different spirits, food, flavours and textures with such great modesty. Between her busy schedule traveling the globe, hosting events and other writing jobs, Martine managed to get all the recipes for this cookbook down on paper, prepared and tested by friended Chef Eric Obry and splendidly photographed by Paul John. A real labour of love for whisky & food, built up from years of experience, vast amounts of knowledge and devotion.
If we need some inspiration for our next meal, we browse through the beautiful starters, perfectly balanced main courses, surprising cheese combinations or mouthwatering desserts. All paired with a suggested profile and selection of different whiskies, the recipes are sub-categorized using the four seasons – whiskies to match, which is one of Martine’s distinguished characteristics when she is so passionately talking about her pairings. She inspires you to open your eyes and look at different combinations, pushes you to search for unexpected results through experimentation.
Surprising hard core experienced professionals in the food and spirits industry with her pairings, Martine clearly explains the reasoning behind the seasons, moods, senses, flavours and the recognition of the elements she is known for using to bring dishes together. She explains that a knowledge of ingredients and their aromas is key and that through trial and error you can learn to build up layers in the dish and create a sensory experience. Step by step you are guided through the recipes to find the perfect balance and harmony with the used ingredients, not only finding flavours that complement each other, but, even more importantly, adding them to the dish and still recognize them, or be completely blown away by the new gustatory and olfactory experience they have created. The sixty recipes in this book are constructed in such a way that you don’t have to have a chef degree, a whole kitchen staff, expensive ingredients and fancy equipment to pull these dishes off. Just some creativity, experimenting, thinking outside of the box and having a little fun in the kitchen should do it. And of course this book in its manageable size.
Also quite handy are some pointers she gives us of do’s & don’ts regarding certain ingredients and techniques to use as a quick reference guide. The recipes are well composed, accompanied with clear photographs, sensory & seasonal information and possible pairings to make with different kind of whiskies. A perfect gift for under the Christmas tree for a whisky lover who also enjoys cooking, or as an early Christmas gift to yourself to give you some more encouragement for that sensory Christmas dinner that will wow your guests for sure!
About Martine Nouet
If you think of whisky, food and writings, then Martine’s name instantly comes to mind as the centre of knowledge to go to. This is not weird because through the years Martine has been writing extensively about food and drinks, first in France and later the world could also benefit of her writings, dinners and tastings. She has written books on single malt whisky and was editor of Whisky Magazine France for six years. Here she got the well deserved and fitting nickname “La Reine de L’Alambic”, meaning “Queen of the Still”.
Born in Normandy, she moved away from France and now resides on the lovely Islay, famous for its many distilleries. Martine was honoured In April 2012 by the Scottish whisky industry for her large contributions by inducting her as a Master of the Quaich. She has become a globally sought after taster and commentator and still keeps creating and experimenting with food and drinks, making it even more a sensory event through adding art, dance and music in the experience.
Info on the book
|Title||à table: whisky from glass to plate|
|Price||£19.99 or €24.99|
|Various distillery visitor centres throughout Scotland|
|The Celtic House (Islay)|
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Copyright notice: Product photos (recipes book) by Paul John and book photo by WhiskySpeller