Thursday, March 17, 2016

Jameson Pairing Dinner at Council Oak, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa

Happy St. Patricks Day! What has always been one of my favorite holidays to celebrate (redhead perks!) is now a little more meaninful. 6 months ago, my husband Gabe and I were given the very fortunate opportunity to visit Ireland.
photo: Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
Last Thursday, Seminole Hard Rock hosted a Jameson Whiskey Dinner at Council Oak. We've been to a few of the currated dinners at Council Oak so we knew the food would be excellent. However, I was a little apprehensive about drinking whiskey neat - I will come back to that statement after we talk starters.
We started the night off with three hors d'oeuvres - Scotch Egg, Pork Cheek Rillettes and Poached Pear w/ Prosciutto. Of the three, the Scotch Egg was my favorite. The cocktail was Jameson's take on a Whiskey Sour. My husband downed it while I babied mine, worried that this would be the only thing I could drink.

First Course: 
photo: Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
Braised Wagyu Short Rib Ravioli, Beef Consommé, Enoki Mushroom, Yellow Pea Shoots. Served with RedBreast 12-Year-Old Irish Whiskey – Neat. Before I talk about the delicious ravioli's, let's talk about drinking Irish Whiskey neat. You guys, I have to say how pleasantly shocked I was!! I am not a heavy alcohol person and tend to stick to wine and easy drinking vodka cocktails. The thought of drinking neat whiskey had me shaking in my heels. However, I can honestly say I enjoyed sipping on this whiskey! The ravioli's were my favorite course of the night. They had an unfair advantage with the wagyu short rib mixture with beef Consommé. If you sat me down with a bowl of this, I would be a very very very happy girl.

Course 2:
Mount Cook Salmon, Turnip Confit, Whiskey Glaze, Chanterelle Mushroom and Pumpernickel Crumbs. Served with Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey – Neat. This was our first time trying Mount Cook Salmon, a very rare and delicious freshwater fish from New Zealand. This Salmon is from a pure environment and they do not use growth hormones, vaccines, pesticides or antibiotics. When Chef Mike was telling us about the fish, he mentioned it ate like a filet mignon, and that it did. I loved this dish and the pumpernickel crumb brought on a whole new level of texture! The Green Spot Single Pot Irish Whiskey paired nicely with the dish.

Course 3
Pork Belly and Seared Scallops served over Cauliflower Puree, Watermelon Radish and Bordelaise Sauce paired with Midleton Very Rare Irish Whiskey – Neat. We were not expecting Pork Belly on this dish so we were very happy to learn it was part of the meal. Pork Belly is one of our favorite cuts of meat and it paired excellent with the scallops, which were cut thin - much to my liking. I'm not a fan of scallops texture and this helped with that immensely.
photo: Seminole Hard Rock Tampa
Course 4:
Flourless Chocolate Torte, Cognac Coulis, Orange Crumble, Raspberry Gelato paired with Jameson Caskmates – Irish Coffee. I'm typically not a chocolate person but this dessert was incredible. I loved every part of it. Plus it was served with Irish Coffee, you can't go wrong there!
The entire night was delicious and a ton of fun. Each guest took home a bottle of Jameson Black Barrel Whiskey and a Jameson shirt (which I am wearing right now in honor of St. Patricks Day).

The next curated dinner at Council Oak will take place in May. I will bring more details as they are revealed!

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