Hennessy X.O. Appreciation Grows is one of those dinner events which I look forward to every year. The amount of care and attention to detail that is devoted to the event is impressive. This year, we sailed into Danga Bay, Johor Bahru for a night of fine cuisine, camaraderie and exquisite cognac.
We had the privilege to experience the ultimate Hennessy experience through an evening of fine cognac paired against the culinary brilliance of Chef Viet Pham. Pham is the award-winning chef and co-owner of Forage Restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah. Originally born in Malaysia and then relocated to the US at just 5 months old, Pham grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from California Culinary Academy in 2002. Pham interned at Michelin-starred Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco, CA under Food & Wine Best New Chef 2002, Laurent Gras. He has also appeared on the television reality program, Food Network Star, and Iron Chef America.
With so many convincing and growing list of accolades under his belt, Chef Viet Pham is a humble man and we were truly impressed with his creations.
I like how Danga Bay Convention Centre is tastefully converted into a sail ship with a private cabin space like dining area, in accordance to Hennessy X.O Appreciation Grows’s theme of ‘The Spirit of Conquest’. We sailed to different countries with difference views around us as the 360 degrees projected images change.
Shortly after registration, we were then invited to join Mr. Chong Wai Keng, Moët Hennessy Spirits Brand Ambassador for an intimate technical tasting of Hennessy X.O.
We put on our head phones as Wai Keng took us through a journey to deepened our understanding as well as appreciation for the world’s most famous cognac.
The dinner was an unique experience as we sailed through France while indulging on Eiffel Extravagance – scallop, onion, extra burnt cream before we departed to the Orient for Shitakae Mousse, Poached Duck Egg Yolk with Toasted and Sprouted Grains. Our journey continued through the West (Seabass with Savoy Cabbage) and Italy (Chicken Parmesan with Mushroom Ragu) before disembarking in Japan via a mouth full of refresheng flavours from the umeboshi sorbet. Each course is accompanied by enthralling performances from different talents across the region.
We hear often enough about wine and food pairings, but pairing food with cognac is another level all together. Its boldness and complexity reveals the flavours of the ingredients carefully hand crafted by Chef Viet Pham. With great cognac and fine tasting food, the Hennessy Appreciation Grows is an extravagant experience of total indulgence.