If true artistry is forged in the fires of passion, then Lennox Hastie is the modern maestro. Hidden behind an unassuming door, the master painstakingly adorns his fleshy canvas with a palette of charred smoke and blackened ash, but this masterpiece isn’t just a feast for the eyes. When guests finally step inside the hallowed walls of Hastie’s iconic Firedoor restaurant, they’ll be treated to a sensory experience unlike any other. Sight, smell, taste and sound clash in perfect harmony.
Master of the Elements
Old-world by nature, Hastie’s approach to cooking has garnered global attention, after shooting to fame in the breakout Netflix series Chef’s Table. Renowned for his unusual technique that solely utilises fire without the use of electricity or gas, the Sydney chef has emerged as a pioneer in the culinary space, and you need only look at his schedule for proof. Reservations at Hastie’s destination restaurant Firedoor are booked out months in advance, with foodies desperate to snag a seat at all costs.
But as much as Hastie’s dishes and technique demand acclaim, it’s his connection to craftsmanship that is breaking boundaries. He’s making meals the way they should be made, treating the ingredients with love and nurturing the flavours being the food. Truly, there’s something to be said for a maker willing to embrace the traditional hand-crafted way of doing things in their pursuit of perfection. Just ask Speyside single malt Scotch whisky icon, The Balvenie.
The Balvenie Connection
For more than 125 years, the Dufftown distillery has been handcrafting whisky with care. One the last distilleries in Scotland to still grow its own barley, malt in its own traditional floor maltings and boast an in-house team of coopers, The Balvenie embodies the same ethos of craftsmanship that billows out of Hastie’s restaurant. Now, for the first time, the two pioneers are joining forces.
“To be a Maker, pouring your heart into your craft so that you can master it, is innate to me,” Hastie said. “I have spent years learning the art of cooking with fire, becoming completely consumed by it, trying things again and again, sometimes failing, but persevering each time in an attempt to be as close as possible to perfection.”
The Balvenie has announced a one-off culinary experience at Firedoor, led by Hastie that will honour the heart of craftsmanship. The intimate evening will feature a specially curated five-course menu paired with The Balvenie’s iconic collection of single malts and two never-before-tasted cask samples from The Balvenie Distillery in Scotland.
From an aged barrel of pork and forgotten rum mustard matched with The Balvenie’s 14-Year-Old Caribbean Cask, to oyster mushrooms in sherry caramel perfectly paired with an exclusive tasting of a 12-Year-Old European Oak Cask sample, the unforgettable evening is a celebration of passion.
Held at Firedoor on Monday 21 November, The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky x Lennox Hastie Dinner guarantees a seat at the table of Sydney’s most sought-after restaurant. With the shared values of passion, heart, and dedication in the pursuit of perfection on full display, the event marks a synergy of ideas, and not for the first time.
The Makers Series
The event marks the second iteration of The Balvenie’s Maker’s Series, a project that champions modern creatives who dedicate their lives to excelling in their craft. Just last year, the iconic Scotch label unveiled an innovative campaign that saw five creatives craft unique products based on the Scotch whisky legend’s most famous drops.
From Atelier Stefani’s handcrafted leather boots to T-Guitars Thinline Deluxe, the Makers Collection was designed to embody the very elements that make The Balvenie so special. Now, Lennox has taken the role of The Balvenie Maker for 2022.
“This is the first time I have chosen to collaborate with a brand in this way; what sets The Balvenie apart for me is the heart and the passion that goes into each bottle,” Hastie said. “Our shared values of dedication, commitment, and obsession in achieving ultimate craftsmanship are what enticed me to create something as special and unique as The Balvenie x Lennox Hastie Experience at Firedoor. After two years in the making, I look forward to bringing it to life for our guests on the 21st of November, celebrating the heart that has gone into this carefully crafted menu, paired with some iconic and never before tasted Balvenie single malts.”
The Balvenie x Lennox Hastie Experience
On paper, The Balvenie x Lennox Hastie Experience is an enticing premise. A partnership forged over two years, the project celebrates the synergies between creating exceptional whisky and mastering the art of cooking with fire in one all-encompassing display of craftsmanship. According to The Balvenie cultural collaborations lead, Ross Blainey, it only proves that making something great takes skill, but it requires heart to make something extraordinary.
“Since our very first meeting, it was clear that Lennox embodies everything it is to be a true born Maker,” Blainey said. “As we talked about how he got under the skin of cooking with fire, you could see the striking passion for what he does, and I felt there were so many similarities between what these two worlds stand for. The Balvenie believes that craftsmanship takes skill, but ultimate craftsmanship requires heart and it’s this core belief that led us to collaborating on such a special project.”
The dinner will take place at Firedoor on Monday 21 November with tickets available for $475. Within this, guests can expect a five-course menu curated to be perfectly paired with a selection of The Balvenie Single Malt Whisky, a bottle of The Balvenie 12-Year-Old DoubleWood signed by Lennox Hastie, and all beverages on the night. To enter the ballot for your chance to purchase a ticket, visit The Balvenie website.
Speyside’s top whisky embellished with the expansive flavours of Australia’s most in-demand chef? Sounds like a winner to us.