The pairing between wine and food has, for a long time, been regarded as a science, yet at the same time an equally beguiling and almost sacred affair. There are charts and books preaching the Dos and Don’ts, and sommeliers are trained to point out that your Kobe sirloin should be paired with a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, or your lobster with a lean Chablis.
Like wine, whisky is now also catching up to be just as appropriate for the fine dining table — a leap from when the malted beverage was deemed too precious to be had with food. It was only a matter of time, however, before the equally complex world of whisky garners the same amount of traction as wine, and so who better to delve into the delicate world of pairing whiskies with food occasions than Diageo Reserve’s Global Gastronomer, Mark Moriarty.
Surprisingly, the road to a standout meal with whisky is well-paved and extremely accessible. As a San Pellegrino World Young Chef of the Year and Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 for Innovation in the arts sector, the young Irish chef is well-versed in flavours and the art of dining. His credentials also extend to hosting pop-up dinners all over the world, each a sell-out event that sees him tailoring menus for world-renowned guest lists.
Moriarty translates his knowledge as a chef to Diageo’s extensive portfolio, deciphering the varying Scotch flavours that range from light to full-bodied and with a touch of sweetness and citrus, to more complex and bold numbers that come with strong peaty notes. Just as you would with wine, the principle of food and whisky pairing should see the flavours complementing each other to help elevate the overall experience, instead of dominating or overwhelming each other.
Here, Moriarty highlights the Johnnie Walker Blue Label and how you can take your dining experience to new heights with it.