The Grey Goose Taste by Appointment

It was with great anticipation and excitement that I ventured out to the much-hyped Saint Crispin in Collingwood to take part in the Taste by Appointment evening hosted by Grey Goose. The ingenious premise of fine-dining coupled with vodka had already garnered my full enthusiasm, however, even my already galvanised hopes were not prepared for the magic that was about to ensue from this partnership.

Our host for the evening, Andy Wren, ambassador for Grey Goose in Victoria, provided an enlightening and fascinating introduction explaining what would be the main premise of the evening and the main inspiration for our culinary experience: “the 5 Tastes” (Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty and Umami).

Great effort was taken to explain the correlation between our own preferences when it comes to food and drink so that we could make an informed choice of what would be suitable for our own individual palate. After this enlightening talk our taste safari commenced with an entrée called the “Amuse Bouche Tomato Plate”, comprised of tomato served 3 ways: Sweet – homegrown tomato and watermelon salad served with strawberries; Sour – under-ripe green tomato dressed with a lime and tomato consommé vinaigrette; and Bitter – tart of tomato served with a salad of shaved radicchio.

Each dish was masterfully prepared and each distinct flavour hit the palate with an unapologetic panache that awakened and tantalised the taste buds. The entrées were expertly paired with what was to become the first of many exquisite vodka concoctions – Grey Goose Le Fizz; a masterfully crafted cocktail comprised of Grey Goose vodka served with St-Germain elderflower liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice and soda water which expertly complemented and enhanced all 3 taste sensations in a deliciously surprising way.

Following our entrée we were delivered another fascinating oration on what it is about Grey Goose that makes it such a brilliant creation and the pains that go into it on their behalf to make sure that the product that we receive meets their extremely high standards and is the best that it can possibly be.

It was most enlightening to discover how scrupulous Grey Goose are in every detail of the production process. From sourcing only “super bread-making wheat” from Picardy in the north of France to spring water sourced from the Cognac region where the distilling takes place. There is something inherently fascinating and illuminating to hear people speak of their product with the kind of passion and ardor that the team at Grey Goose do, their enthusiasm is somewhat contagious as they go into every minute effort they put into positioning themselves at the top of their field and setting a new benchmark for how we perceive and consume vodka.

With no further ado the main course was presented, it consists of a Wagyu beef fillet and cheek, soy and roasted onion consommé, wakame and mushroom fricassee with Pacific Oyster and sesame seed crunch. Our cocktail to match is the Grey Goose Umami Poulet – Grey Goose vodka with roast chicken, cherry tomato and carrot medley with Naily Prat stirred with a dash of thyme and lemon peel vinegar. This surprising pairing creates a taste sensation that highlights the unexpected versatility and spectacular accomplishments that can be achieved with the right know-how and talents, which the Grey Goose and Saint Crispin team seem to have in abundance.

Finally, for dessert – white and yellow stone fruit, vanilla panna cotta, oat and almond praline and warm peach tea; paired with Grey Goose La Poire – Grey Goose vodka with a crisp smooth taste and the freshness of an Anjou pear. This outstanding coupling deftly brings to a close our journey through the palate.

The menu was prepared with the kind of shrewd culinary acumen that can only come about through a unique understanding and aptitude for what it is that makes our taste buds come alive and experience each of the five tastes with the expertise that they deserve.

The enthusiasm that was imparted by the joint efforts of Saint Crispin and Grey Goose in our Taste by Appointment was infectious in its fervor and the seemingly tailor made experience gave us the flexibility to enjoy our dinner through the lens of our own taste preference. The entire evening was thoroughly engrossing and it was a true privilege to gain a glimpse into the world of Grey Goose and to broaden our own horizons on what is possible when two forces of such prowess combine to create something truly brilliant.

Photography by Jessica Legitimus exclusively for THE F. 

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