A few months ago The Courvoisier Collective (#cvcollective) launched a campaign provoking at-home chefs and food bloggers to create unique recipes with any of the 4 expressions of Courvoisier (VS, VSOP, Exclusif, XO) within the categories of Soup, Salad, Hors D’Oeuvres and/or Entree. The marketing intention was clearly to draw attention away from the predictable flambé dessert type dishes and broaden cooks’ horizons when cooking with cognac. Mission accomplished, Courvoisier Collective. Congrats. After attending last night’s Courvoisier Collective: Culinary Masterpieces Event, which featured the finalists serving their creations for each category, the VS and VSOP expressions have worked their way into my frontal lobe when considering sauces to smother lobster, duck, rabbit, pork or even beef with.
What a spread it was last night. The hubby and I dominated the food chain, tasting each and every sampling we could. Think of every mammal that can be slaughtered and cooked to delicious perfection and we likely ate it in the span of an hour. Red Miso Beef Ribs, Duck Breast with Duxelle Ravioli, Lobster Corn Chowder, Glazed Chops with Forest Mushroom Quinoa, Lobster in a Spiked White Chocolate Sauce (one of my personal faves), Roast Saddle of Rabbit with Golden Beets, Almond Vanilla Puree, Blackberry Jus and Goat’s Cheese Bubbles… and more.
The real winning recipe for me was my new favourite mixed cocktail, a Courvoisier Punch. See, I’m not really a fruity, sweet cocktail kind of gal. I like my Guinness freshly poured and my whisky on the rocks and for that I love this cocktail of Courvoisier V.S.O.P over ice with apple juice and the juice of 1 lime, it’s freaking spectacular.
With the outstanding food, constant peddling of exquisite cognacs, sophisticated downtown club setting, groovy beats, and inspired conversation with some of Toronto’s most acclaimed Chefs, I would say last night was well worth the babysitter fees and strapping on the Spanx for me, and an even greater success for the marketing team that hosted it all. I certainly walked away feeling creative and encouraged to work with (and drink!) each of the Courvoisier expressions more often. My only complaint for the evening was the lighting. Hosted in Toronto’s Maison Mercer, I understand you want to keep with the traditional seductive nightclub vibe but if the intention is to get attendees to tweet and Instagram about the brand, help us take a decent photo with our smart phones. Perhaps a well lit corridor in the corner next time?
Let’s talk a bit more about Cognac…
Named after the town in France it originates from, cognac is a variety of brandy. Similar to the wine making process, brandy is made from pressed grapes. For brandy from this region of France to be considered a Cognac it must meet certain legal requirements and be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels. Courvoisier is just one brand of Cognac, Hennessy, Martell, Rémy Martin are also very popular.
Although there seems to be no historical evidence to support it, the Couvoisier folks claim that their Cognac was the bevy of choice for Napoleon Bonaparte during the French Revolution in the late 1700’s. Fiction or fact, it makes for a great story that the sophisticated older gents love to sip and share over a round of golf. The hip hop crowd has also loved to “Pass the Courvoisier” for the past decade, since Busta Rhymes made it cool. For the rest of us, it’s the best choice for a romantic winter eve by the fireplace. Also makes the BEST “Hot Toddy” with a little hot water, local honey and freshly sliced lemon. Next time you’re throat starts to tingle or feels a bit raw, I highly recommend one.
Interested in exploring some of the Courvoisier Cognacs on your own? Check out each of the recipe entries from the CVCollective campaign posted to www.courvoisiercollective.com, including my Bacon Apple Cognac Egg Rolls with Spiked Raspberry Coulis. Enjoy! xo
Don’t get me wrong, I love Busta Bust but this video just makes my head hurt. What?? Where did Jamie Foxx come from?? Ya, I just don’t get it.Add to favorites