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Ghillie Basan hosts food & whisky pairing demonstration at Le Cordon Bleu London


On 23rd January Le Cordon Bleu London were joined by alumna Ghillie Basan to talk about her experiences living remotely in the Scottish Highlands, her travels around the world and to give a demonstration on pairing food with whisky.

Ghillie is an adventurer at heart and finds herself most at home in a wild, panoramic landscape. She knew a conventional job would not quench her thirst for adventure, so she moved to Scotland with her husband after finding a run-down building in the Highlands that was perfect for their needs.

The demonstration started with a dram of The Glenlivet’s Captain’s Reserve whisky for each of the guests. The whisky is matured in cognac barrels, adding further richness and depth of flavour. Whisky in hand, the guests watched a short video Ghillie developed with Wilderness Scotland as part of a series called Women in the Wild.

After this Ghillie discussed how she entered the culinary industry with cookbooks, but that she is most at home when preparing foraged, caught or hunted food over open flame in the wilderness. Ghillie discussed how when at home they forage their food, build their own shelters and even create their own spoons and cutlery from wood - even resorting to cooking eggs and other ingredients on a shovel, utilising its tough material to replicate a large pan, which is also useful to keep yourself away from the flames thanks to its lengthy handle.

Ghillie partnered with Pernod Ricard create food pairings for their global campaign promoting The Glenlivet’s Captain’s Reserve. To enhance the texture and mouthfeel (the creaminess) of the whisky she went for Turkish and Middle Eastern flavours, such as harissa and rose petals, which come through beautifully following the initial whisky’s taste.

For the demonstration, Ghillie paired the whisky with three Middle Eastern inspired canapes; apricots with a harissa, chilli and rose petal yoghurt stuffing, salmon with a tartare topping and berries spiked with star anise.

After the demonstration, guests were free to ask questions and Ghillie had brought along a variety of her books, including her newest, Spirit & Spice.

To read the rest of the review and see other upcoming events like this, please visit the culinary conferences and demonstrations page.


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