Martell cognac sensory menu pairings


Martell Cognac,the worlds oldest Cognac house launched into South Africa in the form of an extraordinary lounge, bar and dining experience that opened its doors on the 16th October and ran to the 21st November on the ground of floor of the Sandton Eye, Johannesburg.

– Design a sensory dining experience for guests with prestigious Martell Cognac.
– Create a 3D tasting experience that will showcase the┬áMartell Cognac’s unique flavour profiles.
– Design all menus that rotated bi-weekly for lunch and dinner reservations of up to 50 people at a time. As well as a canape menu for the launch.
– Pair the various expressions of Martell Cognac to 3-4 course menus.
– Work closely with Vicky Crease (Joburg’s legendary celebrity caterer) who executed food and preparation on site.
– To be present to execute all experiential elements personally, on key dates.

Points of interest

Interesting menus
My focus was to enhance the Martell Cognac expressions and make them accessible to a virgin palate in a luxurious and interesting way. I fused French cuisine with South African elements and foraged wild herbs and fruit found in the fynbos floral kingdom in the Western Cape such as wild rosemary and wild numnums. I integrated them into the dishes for some local flavour.

Edible room mists that are sprayed above the guest as they enjoy their food.
Here, I targeted the flavour nuances of the various expressions that paired at the same time to the specific course and menu of the lunch or dinner. For example, vanilla, lemon, pear – I use only 100% natural aromas that are balanced to create ‘edible fragrances’.

Moss bowls with flavoured smoke
I used bespoke designed gold and wooden bowls filled with golden grates covered in moss for the design element. Dry ice is an excellent carrier of fragrance and I placed the dry ice beneath the moss and then poured the fragrances (mixed personally by me) which then created a perfumed fog that covered the table at the correct time.

Natural dusts
I created bespoke dusts made from wild herbs and flavours in the specified course to compliment some of the dishes eg: beetroot dust, wild rosemary, orange and herb dust.
They were shaken onto the dish with a golden sieve, just as plates were placed in front of the guest. It was eye-catching and ‘finished off’ the plate with an engaging flourish. I could speak to each guest at this point to create a very personal experience.

Glass terrariums with roasted nuts
These were used to bring forward the hazelnut profile in the liquid, the nuts are freshly roasted and carried to the table with the course they are paired with to create a wafting sensory smell of hazelnuts in the room as the guests enjoyed their food.

Thank you:
The professional team at Pernod Ricard
Vicky Crease, Lynn and the Vicky Crease Catering team

The team at Moon Walk Communications
The team at Publicis Machine
The team at A Popular Bunch
Danielle Clifton