From cheese to champagne, France is famous the world over for its food and drink – but now a French food writer is ensuring Scotland’s finest food and drink receives the recognition it deserves during the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.
French-born journalist Martine Nouet has been writing about food and drink for more than 25 years.
And while the nation of her birth is famed for its fine wine and champagne, Martine has developed a passion for whisky, so much so that she has become known as the Queen of the Still.
On her first visit to Scotland two decades ago, she visited Tamdhu Distillery on Speyside and became so fascinated by the distillation process, the aromas and the culture and heritage behind making malt that she fell in love with the ‘water of life’.
She now lives in Scotland, on the island of Islay, and her love of drams and her talent for cookery has seen her become widely regarded as a specialist in matching food and whisky.
Martine has an international reputation in the world of food and drink and is looking forward to sharing her skills with audiences during the upcoming Festival.
She is leading three demonstrations showing just how well whisky can be used as both an accompaniment and an ingredient to both sweet and savoury recipes.
Her from glass to plate Cooking with Malt Whisky Demonstrations take place at the Oakwood Cookery School, Elgin, on Friday, May 1. Each lasts for an hour and a half, starting at 10am, 1pm and 3pm. Each session costs £20 and tickets are available now on the Festival website.
Martine believes that whisky goes so well with food because of its very special flavours and characteristics.
She says: “Whisky has such a wide and complex array of aromas and tastes, as much, if not more, than wine and when paired with food, the two bring out new flavours.
“I’m giving three cooking demonstrations as I’d like to show people easy to reproduce recipes and show that whisky at the table is a great sensory experience. The people attending will of course taste the dishes: a seafood starter, mushroom risotto for the main and a quince jelly, pear and ricotta dessert.
“The festival helps visitors learn or develop an interest in whisky and the aim of my cookery sessions will be to harmoniously mix entertainment with education.”
Martine is also hosting a vintage dinner on Saturday, May 2 with Ronnie Cox from Glenrothes in Rothes House, as well as being part of the Victorian Picnic in the gardens of Glen Grant distillery on Sunday, May 3.
Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival runs from Thursday, April 30-Monday, May 4 2015. Check out www.spiritofspeyside.com for up-to-date news and follow the Festival at www.facebook.com/WhiskyFestival or www.twitter.com/spirit_speyside.