Of course, you will always find great culinary selections on the menus at Four Seasons Hualalai. Chef Nick outdid himself, however, when he created an incredible “Truffle Bar” presentation for his sweet pairing with 1 2 3 Organic Tequila (Uno Dos Tres). The Gourmet Review’s original challenge was to pair fabulous food with 123 Organic Tequila (Uno Dos Tres). First, we did the savory pairings and now it was time to taste Chef Nick’s chocolate truffle pairings.
Chef Nick and Food and Beverage Director, Sebastian Hinsch, decided that the black lava rock would be a perfect backdrop to spotlight the Chocolate Truffle Bar selection. It was a race to get photographs finished before the sun went down. There was lots of laughter as waves began crashing around us, everyone intent on getting the perfect photo.
The “Truffle Bar” was more along the lines of a culinary artistic presentation, constructed piece by piece with the roar of the ocean crashing behind us. Everyone was slipping a bit on the rocks. My husband and I didn’t navigate perfectly and we both ended up slipping into a pool of water!
For the sweet pairing, Chef Nick created a “Truffle Bar” concept. He infused white chocolate, original Hawaiian chocolate and dark chocolate to pair with the 1 2 3 Organic Tequila (Uno Dos Tres) shots. Infusing chocolate truffles with a variety of fresh and local ingredients was the inspiration. For Hawaii, this meant coconut, macadamia nuts and even a hint of Hawaiian chills grown in the hotel’s herb garden.
Chef Nick paired Blanco (Uno) tequila with white chocolate, fresh coconut, fresh fennel seed, and a hint of fresh lime for the first truffle tasting. Close your eyes and your taste sensations are definitely Hawaiian. The 96 point Blanco (Uno) tequila is not aged and boasts an intense aroma of fresh agave, which matched truffles and tequila perfectly for the first sweet pairing.
Chef’ Nick’s next pairing with Reposado (Dos) tequila was Hawaiian chocolate infused with fresh lavender and rolled in Macadamian nuts. How good does that sound? The Reposado (Dos) tequila is aged for six months and has a woodsy aroma of ripe citrus and a hint of sweet wood tannins, making this a perfect pairing for this 96 point tequila.
Of course, all the ingredients were locally grown. Chef Nick’s brilliant marketing focus was to demonstrate farm fresh ingredients that could be combined with chocolate truffles anywhere in the country, with each area able to spotlight local flavors infused into fabulous chocolates.
The Anejo (Tres) tequila pairing combined dark chocolate and Hawaiian chilis, which gave just the perfect kick to the chocolate. The Anejo (Tres) tequila is aged for one year. It is softer, with a complex oak aroma that hints of dried herbs and flavors of spicy, roasted agave for yet another 96 point tequila.
This is what I love about great chefs. They are inspired to reach beyond our comfort level and create an absolutely over the top taste sensation. Chilis and chocolates? This combination was a first for me and it worked! After we shot our photos and tasted the three pairings, we took the beautiful “Truffle Bar”presentation to the Beach Tree bar. Everyone loved the chocolates AND the tequila.
Thanks, Chef Nick, for an over the top afternoon. Your “Truffle Bar “concept for pairings with 1 2 3 Organic Tequila “knocked it out of the ballpark.”
- The Gourmet Review