A French culinary author with a love of malt whisky living on Islay – the perfect creative combination to produce a work of exquisite good taste embracing fine cuisine – French influenced of course - with some of the most noble of whiskies – and not only from Scotland. Add to the ingredients the tantalizing, almost mouth watering photography of John Paul and the support of the world’s favorite shortbread – Walker’s naturally - and you have one of the jolliest whisky books to appear in recent years. And it’s the only whisky book where you need to get two copies – one to sit elegantly in your whisky bookcase and the other for whoever dominates in your kitchen. The second copy will be well used, inevitably stained and probably pencil annotated and so should stay in the kitchen and never in the library. But apart from its practical uses it is a very relaxing read – not so much the recipes but the bits in between.
I have hosted many a whisky dinner and have invariably stuck to the standard fare of smoked salmon, haggis, roast beef, Stilton and cranachan. Only the latter gets the Martine treatment as she demonstrates just how versatile the dedicated whisky chef can be.
Women have increasingly become involved in all aspects of whisky and the world of whisky is all the better for it. Martine Nouet’s pairing of whisky with food is particularly insightful and is articulated without the haughty flourishes of so many food writers. Her unique role in bringing whisky and food together has rightly earned her the title “The Queen of the Still”. Vive Martine!