Chef Valentine Warner is a renowned chef who gets regularly featured on television for cookery programs. He is also the co-owner of the website healthy-food-nation.com. Valentine informs that although gin and spirits are not usually paired with food, it is possible to pair them and achieve appealing results.
In a Ginposium that was organized by Gin Guild, Valentine got a chance to address the delegates where he told them that pairing gin with food is usually odd in some regions, especially in the UK. However, in some areas such as Turkey where raki is taken during meals, they can be considered normal.
People from the UK normally don’t take meals with spirit. However, research conducted by Diageo spirit producers showed that currently, there exists a possible market of £100 million that could be tapped through pairing cocktails with food. The chief said that most ingredients in the gins compliment many common meals found in many regions.
Inspiration Brought by the Landscape
Most distillers are taking aspiration from the landscape situated in their production units. The same opportunity can be exploited by chefs to their advantage. Some people have already been inspired by their surroundings.
Hepple Gin’s surrounding is credited for inspiring Warmer to make several dishes such as roast lamb with juniper and Douglas fir. Valentine explained that someone saw the sheep on the hills that are near the distillation plant passing through the juniper bushes that are used in gin production. Juniper was discovered to be a good complementary for red meat, but many more opportunities exist where gin and food can perfectly pair.
The spicy gin-like Opihr prepared from oriental spices consequently goes perfectly with Moroccan dishes or curries. Edinburgh Gins’ Seaside gin was heavily inspired by the beach. It is prepared by ingredients that are abundant along the coast. According to Valentine, the beverage is paired with fish dishes and sushi.
Some simple dishes are easy to prepare and are not demanding in terms of ingredients. An example of such simple food is antipasti; however, we should not disregard these foods. Foods like cured meats or cheese such as blue cheese and goats’ curds have an excellent flavor that goes well with gin.
Distillers are now trying gins aged in barrels except the former bourbon like the ex-wine barrels. The taste of the gin will match well with a wider range of foods. The chef stated that he would prepare a gin aged in old wine barrels, and if he was to take a heavy meal like wild boar stew, the gin would go well with this food.
Valentine further stated that dessert is one of the foods which would work well with gin. It could even be used with Hepple gin that has a melon aftertaste, meaning it is a good drink to pair with melon.
Valentine Warner is an excellent chef who is not afraid of discovering new recipes. His advice on how to pair gin with food adds to an already list of appealing combinations that you can try even at home.