THE DINING “EXPERIENCE”
In an era that’s increasingly digitized — where “fast” means furious — dining has become one of those rare events that forces us to slow down for some actual face time. For discussion, debate, dreaming… all while experiencing a world of delicious tastes. Dinner not as a prelude to entertainment, but rather the entertainment itself. In this spirit we are proud to present Gotham Experiences, an exclusive series of dining events starring products and personalities that have much to offer our palates and our minds.
Last month we had the distinct pleasure of hosting Master Distiller Matt Hofmann from Westland Whiskey. This special one-night experience featured a five-course dinner prepared by Chef Alfred Portale, where each dish was matched with a different expression from the award-winning, Seattle-based, whiskey distillery. It was a revelation on how whiskey could pair with haute cuisine.
Hofmann explained, “Whiskey teaches you many things, not the least of which is perspective. And so we’ve worked hard to understand both the business and craft of whiskey.” Years earlier, Hofmann set out on a journey to make whiskey in the tradition of the Scottish, where he apprenticed and learned how the land made the whiskey. Returning home to his native Seattle, he was determined to emulate the Scots. And so Westland Whiskey was born.
“I see a lot of corollaries between the world of whiskey-making and the world of food,” Hofmann continued. “One of the problems with modern agriculture is that most people aren’t connected to their food. They don’t know the nuances that went into raising their vegetables or what was fed to the chicken they’re going to roast for dinner. But when people make it out to a farm and see everything the farmer must do to get those vegetables through a season, they tend to appreciate the food they’re eating more than they would otherwise. So it is with oak.”
As the meal progressed we learned about Westland’s “Native Oak” program, and the efforts they’ve taken to preserve the local Garry Oak tree. Matt and his team have embraced the challenges of the Pacific Northwest climate to create something bold and unique. Terroir is typically a word used for wine — describing the various elements that go into making a wine — but here it was on full display in the form of American Single Malt Whiskey.
The success of this American whiskey dinner inspired us to create a program where we could continue to draw on the relationships we’ve built with farmers, winemakers, purveyors… some three decades in the making. Please join us as we embark on Gotham Experiences, a series of uniquely curated culinary events that offer an exclusive opportunity to engage, educate, and entertain with the Gotham Team as your guide.