BMW Hennessy Appreciation Lunch at Silks
Silks was the perfect destination for the fashionable and stylish BMW Hennessy Appreciation Lunch. The World Loves Melbourne was privileged to enjoy this lunch where appreciation was expressed by BMW to some of its customers. Renaud the Global Ambassador for Hennessy was on hand to give us insights into Hennessy and the cognac making process. Located on level one of Crown the views of the Yarra and boulevard at Silks are stunning.
Hennessy XO was the order of the day on arrival at Silks...
Silks excelled with these Spring rolls and Duck with rice.
BMW are a leading luxury car brand that needs no introduction. The General Sales Manager at BMW Melbourne Adam Davenport welcomed us and expressed his desire for us all to have a good time, also generously offering loan of a BMW for a test drive. (Keen to respond!)
Next course was Tea-smoked Wagyu beef of the highest grade.
Renaud told us it was the 250 year anniversary of Hennessy, a great accomplishment. Renaud spoke about tasting Cognac every single day in Cognac itself in France. Some 30-40 samples are tasted for quality by the Tasting Committee. A unique cognac has been release for the 250 year celebration, of which we were able to sample! This cognac was smooth yet displayed an element of "burn" at the back of the palate.
Stir-fried king prawns and scallops crusted with salted egg yolk was a triumph. Paired with Hennessy served neat.
Renaud shared more insights on Hennessy, including the fact that since about 1802 their family had been making cognac for Hennessy. These cognacs are typically aged 12 years to 30 years, and are cognacs of distinction. There is a great debate as to whether to enjoy cognac neat or "on the rocks". So we sampled both. The World Loves Melbourne is partial to "on the rocks" and the slight dissipation of water adds a subtle sweetness.
Renaud de Gironde is the nephew of Yann Fillioux, the firm's present Cellar Master, himself the seventh representative of the Fillioux family. With this prestigious heritage, from quite a young age Renaud expressed the desire to become a wine taster. However, he chose to begin by studying economics in Bordeaux, following on with a business school in Rheims.
After a traineeship in New York for Dom Pérignon and a further six months in Chile, he joined Hennessy's Eaux-de-Vie Department in 2002. He trained in all the activities of the department before leaving for Australia where he spent 18 months obtaining a Master's degree in Wine Business at the University of Adelaide. Since his return to Cognac, Renaud takes part in the daily tasting committee. "I am extremely lucky to have joined the Cellar Master's team of professionals who have between fifteen and thirty-five years' experience! Besides assessing the potential of the eaux-de-vie, these committees are a setting for the verbal transmission, from generation to generation, of the Hennessy culture and the firm's long-established links with the region's winegrowers. In addition, each member of the committee has a specific function: pure oenology, wine production, barrel management, supplier relations… all of which have an influence, in the end, on the quality of the cognac. The notion of teamwork really takes on its full meaning here."
A professional activity based on the senses of taste and smell has implications on one's private life. As a taster, one learns to select the best products and pay attention to the quality of food and wine. This requirement becomes a way of life, incorporating the necessity for moderation.
Main course of Pan-fried Patagonian tooth fish, Stir-fried rice with XO sauce, crab meat and bean shoot was a superb dish. The tooth fish was wonderfully crispy on the outside and rich and tender within.
The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed the company at our table, including the Hennessy local ambassador (right).
Dessert was wonderfully refreshing with this Lemongrass jelly with lime sorbet, and Almond cookies with lotus paste.
Dessert was served with more Hennessy (the new Cognac for the 250 year celebration served neat), which matched perfectly with the food.
Silks boasts stunning sweeping views of the Yarra and boulevard...
This was a class event and we were highly impressed with Silks at Crown. Thanks to BMW Melbourne, Hennessy and Kevin Daly from Porter Novelli agency.