A dream come true for me as I actually had the honors to meet Chef Martin Yan recently in an exclusive 6-course gastronomic reception of Chinese Food Wine Pairing with Chef Martin Yan hosted by Jacob’s Creek and Pernod Ricard!! An ardent fan way back when I was in my teens, I would watch his famous television cooking show called Yan Can Cook to inspire my interest in cooking; therefore, it was truly an honor to be able to see him in person and savor his dishes!!
As the world begins to evolved, the way we dine also evolved. New gastronomic concepts are introduced and gourmands are beginning to enjoy the journey of new gastronomic adventures. For this event, the theme is to pair Jacob’s Creek Australian wine with Chinese cuisine!
This year, Jacob’s Creek entered into a partnership with the accomplished chef in a first-ever Chinese food and wine pairing programme – True Passion with Martin Yan – that premiered on Asian Food Channel in July. In his latest cook show, Chef Yan entices audiences with an array of delectable Chinese and Asian cuisine and pairs them with his favorite Jacob’s Creek Wines. The collaboration seeks to expound Jacob’s Creek brand essence: True Character.
I arrived fairly on time and was treated to a round of Jacob’s Creek aperitifs and some canapés before the event. The event was hosted at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur at their grand ballroom and was attended by a sea of guests and media.
My first sip of Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Moscato Rosè NV was heavenly! The pale pink color was so feminine and the palate was refreshing with hints of berries. The sparkling sensation makes me feel bubbly and light. I drank quite a bit of this that night for the bubbling sensation. No wonder this Moscato won several medals in 2009 wine shows… definitely worth a taste of this again!
I also savored another white Jacob’s Creek Moscato 2010. Although this one was also refreshing on the palate with a delicious peach and citrus aroma, somehow I preferred the Moscato Rose NV. This Moscato had a very pale golden and vibrant straw color to match its delicate palate.
We proceeded inside and discovered a vibrant and impressive table setting with hues of red, gold and crystals to exude grandeur of the event.
Chef Martin Yan made his appearance after an opening speech and proceeded to mesmerized all the guests’ attention with his fatherly and bubbly personality. I loved how he kicked off the event by asking us to give the person next to us a kiss!! J
One coupled caught his attention and the rest was history as he basically made the guy recited a promise in front of everyone to always cook a wonderful dinner for his wife… so sweet!
Chef Martin exuded a personality like no other… the man made funny and sarcastic jokes throughout his presence and had everyone laughing in stitches! Although his character and accent has not really changed much throughout the years, I still enjoyed his personality tremendously.
While Chef Martin proceeded to perform his cooking demonstration, we enjoyed our first course of an array of 4 appetizers of Chilled Scallop and Jellyfish with Marinated Cherry Tomato paired with Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling. The scallop was quite sweet while sacs of pomelo added the refreshing taste. The jellyfish in the pastry cup and marinated cherry tomato faired decent.
Made from grapes grown in Barossa, the JC Steingarten Riesling had a vibrant pale color. With a bouquet of intense citrus aroma and a backdrop of musk nuances, the wine was quite luscious on my palate with great length to its character.
Second course showcased Oven Baked Sea Treasure Broth Served in a Coconut with Puff Pastry Crust. A dish prepared by Mandarin Oriental’s Chef Ricky Thein, this dish certainly lived up to its coined name!
A clear and soothing broth infused with seafood flavors, heighted with a whole abalone, dried scallop, fish maw and other delicacies was perfumed with the aroma of the coconut. A great soup fusion with western puff pastry!!
The soup was paired with Jacob’s Creek Reeves Point Chardonnay, a multi-award winning white wine from South Australia region. Another light straw yellow white, the flavor displaed fresh citrus melon flavors married with a nutty oak aroma and toasty palate.
Cantonese Style Steamed Cod Fish was a favorite among our table that night. Perfectly steamed till just cooked, the cod fish was succulent and very flavorful from the supreme soy sauce. The lightness of the fish went beautifully with the Chardonnay!
I adored how the man makes funny statements like a bell pepper is sufficient to feed a whole village and proceeded to show us his skill in slicing up the bell peppers into four thin slices to be minced up!! J
At this point Chef Martin completed his demonstration of our fourth course of Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns. The simple dish truly shined with its interplay of textures and flavors. Crispy and juicy prawns were coated in a spicy and sweet chili sauce was so easy to enjoy. The sweetness of this dish was paired up with the earlier Riesling.
Our last main course was a masterpiece of Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 Chili Sauce with Jasmine Fried Rice! The lamb cutlets was so tender and scrumptious with only a hint of spice but was redolent of a light sweetness.
The meat course was partnered with Jacob’s Creek Centenary Hill Shiraz, an intense ruby red wine with a full bodied flavor. The rich wine tasted of dark berries with subtle notes of chocolate and a slight hint of peppery note. Aged in oak, the wine had a nice balance and a sweet berry finish.
Desserts are the punctuation points to a perfect meal and we completed ours with Sweet Temptations of Chocolate and Mango and Lychee Jelly with Raspberry Coulis! The bar of chocolate mousse was quite unique with its combination of mango flavors and I happily devoured this with great satisfaction.
Chef Martin Yan ended his appearance with a toast to his guest and an ode to Chef Ricky and his team for the 6-course meal!
Although wine pairing may seem complicated, Chef Yan quoted “The basic rule is to enjoy food and wine depending on your personal preferences, and to remember that there are no absolute rules to pairing!”
What a fabulous night with Chef Martin Yan! J
*Don’t forget to check out his True Passion with Martin Yan airing at AFC for more of his recipes to be enjoyed with Jacob’s Creek wines.
For more information about Jacob’s Creek wines, please visit www.jacobscreek.com