[Rum & Haute Cuisine #2] Trois Rivières X Amaury Bouhours and Clémentine Bouchon

Rum is not condemned to be consumed only as an aperitif or digestif. It can also be an excellent accompaniment to a meal. Benjamin Rousseaux proves this with every issue, but he is no longer alone in his art of pairing food and rum. Numerous restaurateurs have taken the plunge, and the discipline is even making its way into the kitchens of luxury hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Over the last few months, Rumporter (which already benefits from the splendid recipes of Benjamin Rousseaux, chef of the Artist restaurant in Castres, and a pioneer in the field) has had the chance to try out several of these rum-based menus, concocted by renowned and/or Michelin-starred chefs. Tested and approved!

Le Meurice

Trois Rivières X Amaury Bouhours and Clémentine Bouchon

Last October, Trois Rivières pulled out all the stops by enlisting the services of Amaury Bouhours and Clémentine Bouchon, chefs at the two-Michelin-starred Le Meurice Alain Ducasse restaurant (228 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris). The menu revolved around the Triple Millésime, Single Cask 2007, Millésime 1999, 12-year-old and Cuvée de l’Océan vintages. It was an opportunity to compare the cuisine of a palace with the versatile range of the brand from the south of Martinique.

Le menu :

Huître Princesse Kermancy, algues du Croisic, caviar

Trois Rivières Cuvée de l’Océan

Petit pâté chaud de perdreau et foie gras, salade amère, jus façon Périgueux

Trois Rivières Triple Millésime 2005-2010-2015

Homard bleu, chou vert grillé, mandarine mikan

Trois Rivières Millésime 1999

Vieux Comté 36 mois
Mimolette 12 mois

Trois Rivières 12 ans

Dégustation d’une gousse de vanille de Madagascar


Trois Rivières Single Cask 2007

Meet Amaury Bouhours

What types of rum do you enjoy?

I prefer rums with no added sugar or caramel. As far as the Trois Rivières range is concerned, which we had to work on with Clémentine, I was very surprised by the quality of the Cuvée de l’Océan white rum.

We often have a preconception about white rums, which are too often considered to be an unfinished spirit. But there were some lovely fruity, salty notes. Proof that we’re poorly educated, or poorly informed! Sometimes, as in cooking, the simple things are the best, and it all depends on the sourcing and the work that goes into it.

Amaury Bouhours

What are the principles behind pairing rum with gastronomy?

Paring rum with food is a complicated art, because it’s a strong spirit. But it’s also extremely interesting, because the sweetness of the food counterbalances its strength. Once you’ve dipped your lips in the first swig of cool al-, your palate is coated. In the kitchen, rum can be used in a multitude of ways, to flavour, flambé or deglaze. Or you can simply add a drop to a dish, adding freshness and strength. Some aged vintages are closer to cognac (which is used a lot in French cuisine) in terms of flavour, strength, structure and aroma. Rum is a good alternative.

How did you envisage the menu with Trois Rivières?

Before making any plans, Clémentine and Gabriel (our head sommelier) and I did a tasting with Trois Rivières. From there we were able to choose the dishes that would go best with the different cuvées. We look ahead, taking into account maturity, freshness and evolution. Each chef has his own vision, but I like to accompany an alcoholic beverage with something that contrasts with it.

You were surprised by the Cuvée de l’Océan, how did you work it?

The Cuvée de l’Océan is salty, so it goes well with raw fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Fresh, light dishes that are perfect for summer. It can also be used as a frosted marinade or granita. Here, the alcohol adds structure.

What about aged rums?

These are rums with a woody, matured, evolving character. They go very well with meats cooked on the barbecue or over a wood fire. Particularly meat with a bit of blood, such as pigeon or duck.

Trois Rivières gamme

Does rum go well with cheese?

Cheese often has slightly sweeter, milder notes. It goes well with port, for example. So rum, which also has this impression of sweetness, goes well. But you need cheeses with a certain structure and power, not ones that are too delicate.

And the desserts?

We opted for a vanilla dessert. It has a very pronounced fatty structure and a strength that goes well with rum. But rum also goes well with chocolate or caramel. As a general rule, it’s important not to overwhelm any of the products. On the contrary, they should enhance each other.

Does rum have a place on palace tables?

We’re open to anything, and delighted to be asked by Trois Rivières to compose this menu around rum. It’s not something we’re used to doing, but it’s just great for a chef to get off the beaten track. At the moment I’m working a lot with rum, particularly in pastry-making. And it makes me want to do the same for savoury dishes. It’s a spirit that’s regaining its place on the big tables and deserves to be showcased more in the kitchen.

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