PEARLFISHER FEATUREEdible Luxury | 0 Comments
FROM INDULGENT TO ULTIMATE: EDIBLE LUXURY
Luxury is by definition excessive. We don't need it, we purely desire it. But our desires change with our culture and our values. In the past luxury was about one ideal, in the future it will be about many ideals.
Today luxury is no longer measured or restricted. It is part of our culture and we have become accustomed to the pleasure it brings to our lives. This growing demand for luxury has also caused it to become commoditized, blurring the boundaries that previously distinguished it. In response, luxury brands are looking to once again push the boundaries of what can be imagined, achieved and afforded, creating new limits for unimaginable extravagance and new desires for empyreal experiences.
Today, the ultimate luxury is about achieving something seemingly unobtainable. It's about a heightening of statement and status.
So how are food and drink brands expressing this shift from indulgent to ultimate? Here are 5 brands that are embracing this shift and extending our conventional concepts of luxury:
Glenlivet’s 70 Year Old Whiskey
This premium spirit is considered the world’s oldest whiskey and was distilled on February 3rd, 1940. With a citrusy nose, creamy palate, and smooth chocolate finish, the Glenlivet 70 is undeniably luxurious. Aged in a first fill sherry butt and bottled in it’s own decanter, this limited edition splurge, (only 100 bottles have been released) has a price tag upwards of $20,000.
Chef Jérôme Chaucesse’s Couture Yule Log
Pastry Chef Jérôme Chaucesse worked with Hôtel de Crillon in 2010 to create a premium Yule log for guests during the holiday season. Chef Jérôme Chaucesse combined the flavors of tangerine, crème de marrons, and vanilla panacotta for an innovative interpretation on a classic tradition. Each pastry was unique but all were inspired by the hotel’s love of fashion and its construction drew inspirations from couture creations and custom tailoring. The “hand stitched” pastry was made available to guests by special request for $150.
It doesn’t get much more luxurious than gold. And why just wear it when you can eat it too! Though it’s not tasty per se, gold is an inert metal and won’t react while in your body. As such, chefs and entertainers worldwide have begun using small quantities of gold leaf in food and drink, elevating a great dining experience to one of the utmost luxury. Understandably, this makes for an expensive meal. Edible gold leaf and flakes sell for $15,000 a pound.
Pierre Herme’s Macarons
Pierre Herme is a Parisian pastry chef renowned for his otherworldly macarons. Though the flavors change from month to month they consistently tap into luxury cues and turn them on their head. Chef Herme draws inspiration from classical concepts of luxury, just as rose or jasmine scents, and then elevates the flavors by crossing them with the unexpected. His best selling foie gras macaron blends foie with rosehip and fig. The foie’s main competition is a confection titled Ispahan, which combines rose with raspberry and lychee, as well as an olive oil and vanilla macaron with a depth that is entirely unexpected. These tiny indulgences are quite expensive, selling at about $55 per small box.
Chocolate for Peace
Most of us would consider chocolate indulgent but Katrina Markoff, the founder of Vosges Chocolates, takes chocolate one step further. Classically trailed at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Markoff has studied under some of the worlds most respected chefs and both her culinary inspiration and experience has been incredibly multicultural. Her experience working with other cultures and cuisines has inspired her to take the luxury of chocolate to another level: Markoff strives to bring peace to the world through her chocolates. Her goal is to use chocolate as a medium to explore cultural diversity and different points of view in order to bring the international community together. For about $2.50 a truffle, Markoff provides you with more than just a sugar fix, but also a dose of cultural awareness.