Whisking with whisky

Written by Dilip Bobb | Updated: Jul 6 2014, 20:55pm hrs
Most chefs with a bit of flair will use wine to flavour their dishes, some go as far as cognac or a dash of rum. But no one has ever thought of cooking with whisky. Which makes you wonder why, especially in the case of single malts where the flavour profile is so pronounced. One reason could be that single malts, or scotch whisky in general, contain some volatile oils, so cooking temperatures and the amount of whisky added to the dish have to be carefully considered and supervised. Yet it could be a happy marriage, considering that single malts range from smoky to peaty and salty. Single-malt producers are always on the lookout for something new to give their brands an edge in terms of profile and innovation, and so are chefs, and heres the result: a recipe book that selects a range of cuisines and celebrated chefs to produce dishes made with Glenlivet, currently the best-selling single malt in the Indian market. The recipes range from Spanish to Scandinavian, French and Lebanese, Thai and Italian, and include finger foods and main courses.

Some chefs have used whisky in the cooking process, others have created dishes that can be paired with one of the Glenlivet range12-year-old, 15, 18, 21 and 25-year-old. Whatever cuisine your taste buds prefer, these are classic dishes, from the French (seared duck breast with poivrade, truffle roasted chicken, marinated quail stuffed with foie gras), Italian (chicken pie with Glenlivet reduction and the Glenlivet and olive oil chocolate cake with bitter orange marmalade), Lebanese (baba ghanoush, lamb shish kebab), Scandinavian (roast chicken with herb butter and liver pate with cranberries and grilled lamb loin with greens and wild blueberries, both glazed with Glenlivet 15-year-old), Spanish (porcini carpaccio, sea bass with curry vindaloo), to the American (crab and Glenlivet remik, hot dogs with onion sauce, Philadelphia cheesecake). There are also English and Thai recipes.

This is a book made in India and for India, judging by the chefs who have contributed to it. French chef Christophe Gillino is with The Leela in New Delhi, Italian Allessandro Stefoni helms Vetro at The Oberoi, Mumbai, Lebanese chef Majed Keewan is from Spectra at The Leela in Gurgaon, Gresham Fernandes conjures up Scandinavian dishes at Smoke House Deli and Mocha in New Delhi, Sergi Arola from Spain has his eponymous restaurant at Mumbais JW Marriott, Manu Mohindra is a food consultant and Ravitej Nath is head chef at the acclaimed Amaranta at The Oberoi, Gurgaon, who specialises in English cuisine. For foodies who also love their single malts, this is a marriage worth investing in.