For a world rich in material things but poor in time, conscious slowness is the new luxury. Of course, the time factor also plays a central role in culinary art: no matter whether it is the long ripening process or the ideal duration of the preparation of a dish. The ingredient of time unites the products of Ron Zacapa and the demands that Kevin Fehling places on his creations. At the Ron Zacapa dinner at The Table, both worlds came together in wonderful symbiosis.
In the past few weeks, I was already able to virtually accompany Kevin Fehling on his trip to Guatemala and also take a first look at his dessert creation, which he developed there during the workshop under the motto The Art of Slow with seven other top chefs in South America.
A few days ago, The Table devoted an entire evening to the theme of rum. Together with his team, Kevin Fehling created a menu that showcased the use of the Guatemalan spirit in different facets and cleverly combined it with one or two classics from his kitchen. And, of course, the chocolate ganache “Maya”, that is, the composition created in South America, also made its appearance.
In addition to the culinary side, however, Zacapa’s rums were fortunately also used in their original, liquid form. Both as cocktails and as part of an extensive vertical tasting, which presented four highlights from the house. Competently mixed and explained by Arnd Henning Heissen, bar manager of the Berlin luxury hotel Ritz Carlton.
For between six and 25 years, the various rums are slowly aged to perfection in old whiskey, sherry and wine casks before being blended into the different blends.
In the menu, inspired by his trip to Guatemala, the factor of time is always reflected – such as the fruit jus, in which the fruit marinated in Zacapa rum for three days.
Four very different premium blends from Ron Zacapa were the focus of the tasting, which was sandwiched between the always great Challans duck and dessert:
Ron Zacapa Centenario 23
Premium rum between six and 23 years, aged in robust American oak, sherry and Pedro Ximenez barrels.
Ron Zacapa Centenario XO
PremiumRum, is aged in French cognac barrels at the end of its maturation and is the most exclusive rum of the Zacapa Range.
Ron Zacapa Reserva Limitada 2015
Exclusive limited blend, partially aged for up to 24 years in the same barrels as 23.
Ron Zacapa Edición Negra
Exclusive, limited blend, aged in oak barrels partly up to 24 years.
My clear favorite was the Centario XO (Amazon Link), whose aromatics show a little less sweetness, but rather complex aromas of winter spices, dark cherry chocolate and notes of vanilla and cinnamon.
It was a great evening at The Table. The menu was deliberately a bit more compact than on the classic days, because after all, of course, it was also necessary to prepare a stage for the rum. Which, by the way, is extraordinarily well done.
It remains to thank Ron Zacapa for the invitation, häberlein & mauerer for the perfect organization and Ailine Liefeld, whose wonderful pictures I was allowed to use to illustrate the evening. Of course to the hosts Kevin Fehling, David Eitel and the whole team of the Table – and to Arnd Henning Heissen for the competent guidance in all rum questions.
In June 2016 there will be a second chance to taste this exceptional dinner at The Tabel. In the run-up there will be the opportunity here to win an exclusive ticket for this evening. You can find out more about this shortly beforehand on Facebook.