When I first moved to London is was a cold and miserable day in early December. I wore all of my clothes my first night spent in this grand city and the next morning, teeth still chattering from the night before, I sat in a local cafe clutching at a cup of tea like my life depended on it. The waitress at the time, I think, saw the desperation in my eyes and declared that on my first summer night in this city I would fall in love and never leave. It’s not an entirely random turn of events that led me to think of, and share, that moment in time. Last night this wise young woman’s words came back to me as I sat on the rooftop of The Bussey Building, with Grey Goose, on a perfect summer’s night for a dinner I’ll never forget. There truly is no place on earth like London on a perfect summer’s night, and this city works hard to make sure that such glorious weather is celebrated in the most magnificent way.
For us, on a marvellous Monday night in the sun, that meant dinner and a movie. Only this isn’t your average dinner and a movie scenario. This is dinner and a movie Grey Goose style. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that this premium vodka brand, that started its life as an innovator in the world of spirits, should go on to create events that support the brand’s unique vision of luxury and enjoyment of life. In fact, I think they actually outdid themselves this evening, with their creation of one of the most perfect summer nights I have had yet in London.
As much as one would like to think Grey Goose ordered up the weather to match the event, we all know it’s just coincidental that we would be blessed with the perfect cloud-free blue sky and warmth of the sun as we sipped Grey Goose Le Fizz cocktails on arrival. But, nothing about this evening felt coincidental, so excuse me while I do actually admit that I reckon Grey Goose made some special deal with the universe to pull off this dreamlike setting in the sky.
We found ourselves on the rooftop of the Bussey Building for another cinematic experience, only this time with a slant towards culinary pairing with creative Grey Goose cocktails in homage to the film Amelie. Half a dozen tables had replaced the cinema seating that decorated the roof just the week before. Crisp white tablecloths, vases overflowing with vibrant shades of blue flowers and embroidered Grey Goose blankets all awaited us as we made our way to our seats for what was destined to be an evening to remember.
Two things should be noted up front, before we go into detailing each course. I am starting to see there is a pattern with the Grey Goose team and it goes a little something like this – the best of the best. Just like the Vodka itself, Grey Goose only pairs itself with masters of their craft. Afterall, Francois Thibault, Cellar Master and inventor of the Grey Goose recipe, didn’t invent the world’s second best tasting vodka. He went for the win, the best of the best, the vodka people ask for by name when ordering martinis and requesting particular cocktails. Grey Goose is the world’s best tasting vodka because of it’s innovation in creation, its vision for the brand and its unwavering dedication to quality. All of these things are found in every one of their events I attend as well, and it gives me goosebumps (no pun intended) thinking about the forward thinking of this particular group of people and what they might dream up next.
For this particular evening, the dream was centred around a film that has often been described as “dreamlike,” –Amelie. Alongside the movie, a talented chef, working with a world renowned bartender, created a culinary vision that would make this an evening none of us in attendance would soon forget.
So, without further ado, let’s talk menu.
Keep in mind that each and every course is meant to reflect a moment or feeling from the film, Amelie. For those of you that have seen it, you’ll spot the connection immediately. For those of you that haven’t, I don’t want to ruin anything, so watch the film and come back to read and you’ll really start to understand the masterful thinking behind this menu planning.
Some pictures and course by course we go….
Lucien’s Pearl of The Artichoke
Caviar, Bellini, Sour Cream, Chive
Grey Goose Vodka, Martini Ambrato, Cynar
This course comes with some comedy as all of us, around the table, thought our first course was hidden within the giant artichoke. We peeled through the layers thinking all would soon be revealed and only realised our ridiculousness as we spotted another table simply lifting their artichokes from the table top. Doh!
The cocktail was the perfect start to a sophisticated evening and was of another world of martini deliciousness.
Dominique Bretodeau’s Beloved Chicken Oyster
Crispy Chicken Oyster, pommes anna, cauliflower foam, pickled young alliums, chive oil
Dominque Bretodeau’s Cocktail du Vin
Grey Goose Le Citron, White Grape Juice, Martini Extra Dry, Benedictine, Caper Brine
Leave it to a talented chef to take something as simple as a chicken dish and turn it into the most moist and delicious plate full of wonderment and delight.
This cocktail was lighter, more citrus based and the perfect middle player for the evening (ps. If you have never tried the Grey Goose Le Citron you are missing out on one of life’s great pleasures!).
Amelie Poulin’s Famous Plum Tart
Plum, Vanilla Butter, Frangipane, Shortbread
Grey Goose Expresso Martini
Grey Goose Vodka, Single Origin Espresso, Espresso Liquer, Fleur de Sel
We finished the evening on a sweet note. Is there any other way? The beautiful dessert arrived at the table just as the sun was setting and London was putting on quite the pink light show through the clouds, to match our light and fluffy tart!
And I’ve come to learn that no evening with Grey Goose is complete without the perfect Espresso Martini!
After dessert was presented, more blankets were distributed along with earphones for watching Amelie. We sat on the roof, bundled up, drinking our Grey Goose Espresso Martini cocktails, watching the movie on the big screen as moonlight beamed down upon us. Truly, I could not have wished up a more magical evening.
Grey Goose, I cannot thank you enough for constantly creating events that leave me speechless!
Fashion Foie Gras worked in collaboration with Grey Goose Vodka.