I had the pleasure of hosting a little beer pairing dinner for media this week for the National Beer Wholesalers Association at the fabulous Craft restaurant in Century City. Yes, its the very same Craft owned by Top Chef judge and nice Italian boy Tom Colicchio. Now that I've successfully name-dropped in typical L.A. fashion, I'll say that the real star of the night was nice Italian boy and fellow St. Louisan, Chef de Cuisine Matthew Accarrino!
He rocked it - experimenting with beer in his cooking with a Chimay Cinq Cent Guinea Hen Consomme with a Hop Foam that looked like a little beer (I paired this with a simple Sierra Nevada Pale Ale). He killed a Kampachi Sashimi with Hitachino White Ale Gelee and Crispy Hen of the Woods Mushrooms (paired with Unibroue Blanche de Chambly.) He marinated Pekin Duck in Deschutes Black Butte Porter for FOUR days before stuffing them into perfect handmade Pyramid Pasta pockets with spiced Pine Nuts!
Think Chef was done yet? Think again! The fourth course was delicious Roasted Suzuki (a Japanese Seabass) served on a bed of Mussels braised in Saison DuPont with Japanese Leeks & transparently sliced Dry Cured Chorizo. This was followed by our first course from genius Pastry Chef Catherine Schimenti: a Mothias Goat Cheese (hand-picked by cheesemonger and guest - one half of Hot Knives, writer Alex Brown.) The cheese, served with a delicately rolled Quince Crepe, Lambic Gastrique and baby Frisee paired perfectly with Cantillon Iris Gueuze. An INSANE pairing. (More about Gueuze and Goat Cheese to follow!)
If you're like me, then it'll come as no surprise to you that Chef Schimenti - a nice Italian girl? - then kicked some a-s-s with beer desserts! First she made a beer cake with Young's Double Chocolate Stout, which was topped with Salted Corn Nuts & a sorbet made from my favorite Kolsch, the Reissdorf Kolsch. It was paired with an Ice Cream Beer Float made with North Coast Russian Imperial Stout. So effing good.
Oh, and then we had Chocolate Truffles made from Samuel Smith Nut Brown Ale......Oh, and then we had Pate de Fruit (pronounced like pah de fwee) that the chef called "Jello Shots" made from Lindeman's Peach Lambic.
The reason why I'm giving you an entire play by play is so that you can start getting ideas too! So you can start thinking outside the box as far as beer is concerned. So it can make a grassroots leap onto your fine dining menus!
Thank you so much Chef Accarrino, Chef Schimenti, Tobie Cancino, the NBWA, Nancy Piho, Patricia Bannen & Alex Brown for making this such a great night! Et Bon Appetit a mes soeurs en biere!
Written by The Beer Chick, October 22, 2008
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