Friday, September 23, 2011

Unveiling of Hennessy KAWS at Blackbird

Hennessy KAWS models with Blackbird Chief Mixologist Lynn House (second, left). (Photo: Hennessy)

I'll admit it. I had no idea who graffiti artist KAWS was before I was invited to the spirited dinner hosted by Hennessy cognac at Blackbird Wednesday.

Apparently the New York-based star is such a big deal that the famed French spirit decided to collaborate with him on a limited-release Hennessy KAWS "very special cognac." The company produced 420,000 numbered bottles (I took home bottle number 54,930 by the way) with KAWS' signature artwork as its centerpiece.

There's even a message from the artist on the back of the bottle: "Friends work music art. It's important to find the right blend." The official launch unveiling party for the bottle was held in New York (of course) last week, and there are plans to host additional celebrations in Hennessy's top markets.

Chicago's event in Blackbird's sleek upper level private dining room included a four-course dinner created by Chef de Cuisine David Posey and five cocktails by Chief Mixologist Lynn House. And to give guests an idea of what KAWS' artwork is like, models strutted around the room in memorable signature bodypaint.

While House likely had an easy task (Her Plum Smash of Hennessy Black, muddled plums, lime, and fresh mint and mint blossoms from her garden was one of the hits of the night), Posey admitted that working with cognac in his dishes was something he'd never done before.

He was thankfully up to the challenge with a butternut squash soup with roasted ham and Hennessy V.S. whipped cream and a fermented black bean agnolotti with roasted cauliflower, pea vines, wasabi and Hennessy Privilege V.S.O.P. butter.

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