Guests who turned out last Thursday night, at Chaud Restaurant, Queen’s Park West, Port of Spain, know that instead of pairing the perfect bottle of wine with the perfect menu there are other options to explore when it comes to meal pairings.
And tequila is high on the list of options.
Chef Khalid Mohammed, along with Patron representatives, was at hand to educate guests on the relatively new concept of pairing food with tequila.
The event was part of a series of dining events to put the spotlight on tequila and food pairings and bring together top chefs and mixologists.
Host of the Patron tequila food pairing event, consultant and events coordinator, Lisa Johnstone, showed guests the many wonderful and intriguing ways in which the Patron brand tequila can be enjoyed with meals. Her concoctions of cocktails were not only unique but also pleasing to the palate and proved to be a hit with many of her guests.
Chef Mohammed served a seven-course meal using all of Patron’s various styles paired with cocktails created by mixologist Devon De Leon.
Tequilas featured included Patrón Silver (unaged), Patrón Reposado (aged a year), Patrón XO Café and Patrón Citrónge.
Louis Fernandez, area manager for Patron Spirits Company, said tequila is a very mixable drink. While his aim is to prove this to consumers, he knows that the tequila has had a bad reputation in the past. He said that while it is known as a “shots” drink and also for the negative effects of those shots, tequila is not popularly known for its sophisticated cocktails. “Everybody has had a bad experience with tequila; but Patron have revolutionised the way of drinking tequila, our aim is to prove to consumers that tequila is a mixable drink,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez noted that while pairing tequila with food is relatively new to this region, it is quite popular in other parts of the world.
He said that the Patron brand has seen success since it was introduced to this country four years ago. “Trinidad is well known for the main product which is Patron coffee, but our aim is to give people the experience of tequila patron,” Fernandez said.
A cocktail favourite of the evening was the Vampira, made with Patron Silver, clamato, tabasco and a splash of grapefruit soda. This drink is much like a bloody Caesar—but very rich in texture and taste and gives a tingly feeling at the back of the throat.
It was an exceptional pair with Chef Mohammed’s play on a Spanish soup made with caldo de pescado made with shrimp, mussels and octopus with spicy Patron silver tomato nage and chipotle rouille.
Another highlight of the evening was the seared diver scallop and bay scallop fritters served with melted leeks, sweet corn milk which was paired with petalo Rosado, a cocktail made with the Patron brand Ultimat Vodka, promegranate and prosecco. This drink is unique and quite “wine-like” and also paired beautifully with the meal.
The mixologist created a great tasting classic sangria made with fresh fruit, rose, Patron citronge and Patron reposado. This fruity drink was served with confit of pork belly, served with pumpkin puree, applewood bacon, brussels sprouts and Patron anejo mostarda.
A rose lemonade created with Patron reposado, mint and lemon kicked off the evening. It is interesting to note that this drink actually tastes like a refreshing lemonade. It was paired with hors d’oeuvres which was an interesting amuse buche—Quesadilla, made with chorizo, cheese, corn, black beans and avocado.
Dinner seemed like an never-ending food fair. Guests also enjoyed salmon with crudo, orange, chilli spiced popcorn, black olive soil with Patron Reposado Gazpacho, this was paired with Citron Chill.
There was also slow-roasted seabass with risotto nero, ratatouille, red pepper jus paired with Patron Sunset.
Just before dessert there was cocoa nib crusted veal tenderloin with soft polenta, spinach, mushroom, patron XO café demi-glace paired with Ladies Night “made with Patron XO Café, amaretto and vanilla vodka. For desert there was chocolate tart, Patron XO Café ice cream, expresso Anglaise and a night cap consisting of Patron Café Xo Cocoa and warm coffee.