Maison Gautier Cognac Takes the Stage at Colette Grand Cafe

The sun blasted through massive maples as I peddled along Toronto’s backstreets in search of the city’s hip Thompson Hotel. Tucked behind trendy King Street West, the Thompson plays home to one of Toronto’s most raved about French restaurants. Colette Grand Cafe sits hidden behind the hotel’s lobby lounge so after a quick skip behind the bar I found myself transported into a romantic Parisian dining room, complete with black and white checkered floors and a wall of fine wine.

I spent the evening swishing petite glasses of Cognac in Colette’s private dining room alongside Toronto food and beverage industry insiders and the night’s guest of honour, Isabelle Couprie the Cellar Master for Maison Gautier.

According to Guinness World Records, Maison Gautier is the world’s oldest Cognac, dating back to 1762. Located in Aigre France, the business was strategically located at a crossroad of three provinces on the Royal Road to Spain.

One day in 1644 at the inn in Aigre, Charles Gautier, descendant of a forest owner family based in Tronçais, met Jacquette Brochet, a daughter of a winegrower. A love story was born, and from their fusion between wine-making and quality oak heritage, a new passion was realized, the one of creating fine Cognac. Later in 1755 the Gautier family obtained a Royal Warrant to produce Cognac together with a founding charter signed by Louis XV. Maison Gautier was born, and the cellars were installed in the towns former watermill.

During our fine French feast we had the opportunity to sip seven expressions of Maison Gautier Cognac. The most premium offering sells for approximately $2000. Eden, which is only available through private order, is an exquisite blend of different vintages of Fins Bois, Petite and Grande Champagne eaux-de-vie. The coveted bottle is presented in a beautiful individually numbered decanter with an elegant etching of Adam and Eve, displayed in a Burman teak case.

Highlights from Maison Gautier’s Cognac soaked French feast at Colette Grand Cafe include addictive paprika dusted Cheese Twists, pumpernickel and endive adorned Smoke Salmon plate, red cabbage and pomegranate muddled Falafel & Hummus, Duck a l’Orange paired with beluga lentils, classic Striploin & Frites with bordelaise jus and an epic platter of sweet cakes.

Maison Gautier muddled cocktail

Cheese Twists | paprika, grana padano, gruyere

Smoked Salmon | endive, salmon roe, fava, pumpernickel, preserved lemons

Falafel & Hummus | red cabbage, pomegranate vinaigrette

Striploin & Frites | red wine butter, bordelaise jus

Duck a l’Orange | duck leg confit, beluga lentils, turnips, carrots, pea tendrills

A selection of decadent cakes

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