James Martin: Scotch Emissary
by Douglas Blyde - Thursday September 16, 2010 2:19 am
BBC Saturday Kitchen presenter and prominent petrol-head, James Martin will be at classic car festival, Goodwood Revival this weekend as ambassador for Speyside single malt, The Singleton of Dufftown.
Described as a dram for beginners on account of its greeting flavours of mandarin oil, vanilla and butterscotch, The Singleton comes from a distillery which was once an oatmeal mill. Its source, Jock’s Well, deep in the Conval hills is considered so exceptional that attempts have been made to hijack it.
I asked Martin about his role.
How did you become a Scotch Ambassador?
The sponsors [Diageo Reserve Brands] approached me. Being a car enthusiast, I come to Goodwood every year, and am pleased to be able to connect it with what I do.
How has your interest in whisky developed?
My tastes have gradually got better. I started with ‘Taboo’ [vodka, white wine, fruit juices] and lemonade at 16, then moved to beer at 18. I remember cider and black at college!
How do you like your Scotch?
With one ice cube.
How does The Singleton feel in the mouth?
Nice and smooth, which is why I like it. I don’t like harsh flavours.
What would your signature whisky dish be?
I like the idea of using whisky in the kitchen. It goes well with many flavours. You can marinate fish in it, like salmon. However the dish that took me to television was my white chocolate, whisky and croissant butter pudding. Lots of whiskies have vanilla flavours, and white chocolate and whisky is a great combination.
Off topic, but what’s the secret to winning the omelette challenge on Saturday Kitchen?
To be as quick as possible, whisk up the eggs with your hands...
Goodwood Revival celebrates cars and motorcycles that would have competed during the circuit’s original period, 1948 to 1966. Tickets from £35.
On Sunday, Martin takes a civilian on a lap of the circuit. To win the opportunity to play passenger, head here.
Expressions of The Singleton of Dufftown cost from £29.95 for the 12 year-old to £35.75 for the 15. See The Whisky Exchange.