HENNESSY X.O APPRECIATION GROWS 2013 – The Art of Canapes with Chef Lee Anne Wong

Recently I met the hand-picked chef for the latest Hennessy X.O Appreciation Grows dinner and I came away impressed. I’m pretty certain Chef Lee Anne Wong’s menu for this Hennessy X.O Appreciation Grows dinner will wow many.

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Her behind-the-camera experiences from all her previous TV shows and her participation in countless contests and events are apparent. The moment she steps up to the kitchen stove and opened her mouth, she had the crowd’s hanging on her every word.

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We were at ease and found her session really fun even though her cooking demonstration went on for a good 1 and a half hours. Her voice rang loud and clear and there were cheeky puns and light moments as she bustled about over her stoves.

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Mr. Foo Ken Vin, Senior Marketing manager for Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia was roped in to help Chef Lee Anne for some stir-frying action as well and did a pretty good job! His canape was the first to be featured that day; the “Scallops in lime, water chestnut and corn“.
Chef Lee Anne Wong, like all other seasoned chefs, believes in working with the freshest produce possible and in using local ingredients whenever possible too. She has in fact scoured the local market days before the demo for inspirations for her canapes today and being the experienced chef she is, she has even worked out some intriguing recipes as well as for the upcoming Hennessy X.O Appreciation Grows dinner!

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As expected of a TV/Celebrity chef, Chef Lee Anne Wong was very engaging with her audience during her demo; encouraging participation and feedback as she whipped up canapes after canapes. We picked up simple but clever tips, advice and kitchen tricks over the educational and fun 1.5 hours.

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But the most exciting “titbit” from Chef Lee Anne Wong was when she mentioned that we can look forward to dishes that are incorporated with cognac in her menu for the Hennessy X.O Appreciation Grows dinner this April. Now that’s certainly something to look forward to; as the 4 previous chefs that I have had the privilege to dine at only paired their dishes with the different categories of Hennessy but none with actual cognac infused in the dish.

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The Scallops in lime, water chestnut and corn was all sweet, crunchy and tangy simultaneously, providing a good start to the trio of canapes that day. Local corn, water chestnuts and big Hokkaido scallops were the main ingredients while some kaffir lime leaves and pinenuts imparted additional fragrance and nuttiness.

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Here’s Julie Woon, our host for the morning, Chef Lee Anne and Mr Foo doing the taste-test for the first canape. This was savoured with Hennessy X.O, on the rocks.

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Next up is Seared Beef Tenderloin with Cognac Onion Creme Fraiche. 

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We had another volunteer from the media group who is a pretty seasoned cook himself, evident from the way he handled the produce during his session.

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The tenderloin, done medium rare was good on its own, but the cognac onion creme fraiche was marvelous. It helped that Chef Lee Anne Wong stirred a good amount of Hennessy into the caramelized onions, flambeed it and then pureed.

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The juicy tenderloin rounds sits on top the pureed creme fraiche spread over toasted brioche. Scallions and mangoes provided the final finish on each canape. It’s no surprise if I tell you this is my favourite canape for the day right? Medium rare beef and brioche. You should know me by now. 😀

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One of the perks of being the volunteer is that you get to sample your own canapes. Luckily it wasn’t me, because I would have wiped out the whole portion!

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The last canape was Curried Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup with Goat Cheese Beignet, best savoured with Hennessy X.O, neat. This pairing worked fabulously as the curried flavours and heat from the spices matched with the warmth and spice of the cognac.

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Needless to say, Chef Lee Anne poured a good dose of Hennessy into the pureed sweet potatoes and pumpkin mix.

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The result? Creamy, sweet, savoury, spicy and alcoholic soup!

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Lastly, to sum it all up – the first canape: “Scallops in lime, Water Chestnut and Corn” paired with Hennessy X.O, on the rocks.

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The 2nd canape – Seared Beef Tenderloin with Cognac Onion Creme Fraiche, paired with Hennessy X.O and water.

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And the finale, Curried Pumpkin & Sweet Potato Soup with Goat Cheese Beignet, best savoured with Hennessy X.O, neat.

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Thanks for the tasty canapes Chef Lee Anne Wong! I look forward to your Hennessy infused menu next month! 🙂

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VIDEO: HENNESSY X.O APPRECIATION GROWS 2013 – The Art of Canapes with Chef Lee Anne Wong.