“à table, whisky from glass to plate” will be launched at the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival from 27th April to 2nd May. Designed with a wonderful team – John Paul photographer, Eric Obry chef, Laurien Stam graphic designer and Joris Brockotter printer – it is presented as “both a practical guide and an appetising armchair read” by Charles Maclean in his foreword.
I have extensively written in magazines on pairing food and whisky and also demonstrated cooking with whisky recipes. But I had never produced a book. I so often got the ritual question after a whisky dinner: “Where can we buy your book?” I had to reply with embarrassment: “I don’t have a book”, I would always add “not yet but I will”. I know I disappointed many of my “followers” who, for the great many had probably given up waiting for that improbable book.
If they had, I had not. I kept postponing the project because so many other commitments prevented me from chaining myself to my keyboard and tidying up my mind. Yes the book was stored in my mind, it just had to mature like a good whisky.
à table, whisky from glass to plate
160 pages – a 17 x 24 cm book, featuring 60 delicious recipes. They are divided into three sections: appetizers, main courses, and desserts/cheeses.
The introductory chapter is devoted to the principles involved in the pairing of food and whisky, and how best to achieve balance as well as harmony. Above every recipe is a sensory calendar that indicates the season of the year, the respective lightness or richness to the palate as well as the dominant colours of the food and whisky.
I wanted the reader to comprehend in a glance the sensory profile of the dish and of the whisky thanks to the “sensory strip”. It comprises four small vignettes which appeal to the senses. The symmetry between these four small photos and the photo of the dish is incredibly clear. And yet, the photographer did not see the sensory strips before shooting the dishes. This tells me that we were on the right path.
Each recipe is combined with the “whiskies to match” : a short description of the ideal profile and a selection of five whiskies.
I am very grateful to Walkers Shortbread company which supported the publication by helping to fund the photography. Prepared by Eric Obry (Le petit Gourmand in Aberlour), the recipes have been photographed by John Paul. Charles Maclean wrote a touching foreword, confessing that though he was not a great fan of pairing whisky and food, “More accurately, he says, I was not a fan until I experienced Martine’s inspired choices of both! She is, without any doubt, the world expert in this arcane area of gastronomy and now she is sharing a quarter of a century’s diligent research into the subject with the publication of this handsome book.
Now I am waiting for your feedback! Don’t hesitate to write to me.
Price – £19.99 or 24.99 Euros
– Distillery visitor centers (the list will be given later and regularly updated)
– Amazon marketplace (from 5th may)
– On Islay – Available at The Celtic House (also online: www.theceltichouse.co.uk) and in distilleries.
– you can also order it through the website, send me an email.
– for our Dutch friends: it will be available to order in Netherlands. More details soon.
photo credits: John Paul