Tue | Sep 26, 2017

An Evening with Maurice Hennessy

Published:Thursday | December 17, 2015 | 12:00 AMNashauna Lalah
The Hennessy 250 Collector Blend.
A select group of specially invited guests dining at Strawberry Hill Hotel.
Hennessy Global Ambassador Maurice Hennessy standing has the full attention of his dinner guests as he explains the exquisite notes of the Hennessy 250 blend at a special dinner at the Strawberry Hill hotel in Irish Town last Tuesday.
James Lechler, general manager of Stewarts Industrial, shares a toast with Anup Chandiram, owner of GladFiSeeYuh at the Norman Manley International Airport.
Enjoying the evening’s proceedings are from left: Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence, managing director of J. Wray & Nephew Limited, Line Despax, wife of French Ambassador to Jamaica, Jean-Michel Despax, and Gary Dixon, marketing director of J. Wray & Nephew Limited.
Dessert of warm bread pudding with Hennessy-flavoured ice-cream.
Rosemary rack of lamb (with scalloped potatoes and French beans).
Smoked pork chops (with mushroom and red wine sauce potatoes and seasonal vegetables).
Fillet of lion fish (pan-fried, slightly spiced and drizzled with Jamaican honey and scalloped potatoes).
Chicken breast cordon bleu (stuffed with calaloo and cheese served with ginger rice, sautéed vegetables and tarragon cream sauce.
The J. Wray & Nephew Limited team Members. From left: Gary Dixon, Alison Moss-Solomon, Clement 'Jimmy' Lawrence, Tamika West, and Cecil Smith.
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The convoy arrived at the picturesque Strawberry Hill hotel, high in the St Andrew hills just before sunset, with the city below draped in golden sunlight, setting the mood for what was to be an exquisite evening. It was a select few who were chosen last week Tuesday to break bread and clink glasses with Hennessy's Global Ambassador, Maurice Hennessy, to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the world's most popular cognac that made famous his family name. The now globally recognised brand was started by his great-great-great grandfather, Maurice Hennessy III, back in 1870.

Jamaica was Maurice Hennessy's second stop of many on a worldwide celebration in some of the most important cities of the world. The affable global ambassador met his guests poolside over cocktails, as diplomats, politicians, food and drink aficionados, and the J. Wray & Nephew family indulged in the drink of the night. Whether on the rocks or as part of the many mixes available, the revered cognac was the centrepiece of festivities and the perfect complement to the delectable hors d' oeuvres.

Ideal backdrop

A cloudless, starry sky provided an ideal backdrop for the al fresco dinner on a table skilfully laid out by Melaine Miller.

The meal began with a choice of Jamaican pepper pot or cream of pumpkin soup, followed by salad. The main course was a delicious selection of fillet of lion fish (pan-fried, slightly spiced and drizzled with Jamaican honey and scalloped potatoes); rosemary rack of lamb (with scalloped potatoes and French beans); chicken breast cordon bleu (stuffed with calaloo and cheese and served with ginger rice, sautÈed vegetables and tarragon cream sauce); and smoked pork chops (with mushroom and red wine sauce potatoes and seasonal vegetables).

The meal and the conversation at the table went down as smoothly as the first shot of Hennessy 250 special blend that began the night.

The dessert of warm bread pudding with Hennessy-flavoured ice-cream was decadent perfection. Luckily, there was ample opportunity to work it all off at the exclusive after party held at the Regency Bar and Lounge at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel. Guests partied - Hennesy-style - well into Wednesday morning. It was a first-class celebration for a first-class brand.