Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CT Column 28/07/2010 : Great culinary experience

LAST week there were two events that celebrated how beer can have a place at the table. On Tuesday night I was involved in The Emerson’s Degustation Dinner at Logan Brown.
The event showcased just how well fine food and craft beer can work together. Logan Brown Head Chef Shaun Clouston, and brewer Richard Emerson worked together to match six of Shaun’s courses to six of Richard’s beers.
We happily eat and drunk our way through Oysters and Pilsner, Sauté Paua sweet braised Pork and Old 95, Maltose Roasted Duck Game Sausage and 1812, Porter Braised Lamb Shoulder Rack and London Porter, Black Pepper & Walnut Meringues Gorgonzola Cream and Taieri George, and Blackboy Peach Cobbler Salted Caramel Ice Cream and JP 2009.
The very first match, Marlborough Tio Point Oysters served in the ½ shell with Sherry Mignonette served with Emerson’s Pilsner proved to be one of the most amazing culinary experiences I have ever had.
This match was incredibly simple and yet so effective that Richard said he dreamed of it later that night.
The oysters were almost as fresh as if we were eating them on the wharf. The fruity passion fruit and citrus notes in the pilsner found a perfect zesty harmony with the fresh briny character of the oysters.
The other match that really stood out for me was the Sauté Paua with sweet braised Pork and Old 95, all the more amazing considering I don’t like pork!
The rich malt character of the Old 95 worked with the oily richness of the pork while the spicy Chinese sautéed paua found harmony with the bright orangey hop character of the beer.
The next day I continued the culinary theme. Richard, Geoff Griggs and I ran a Beer and Food matching master class for members of the Wellington hospitality trade at Crazyhorse in Willis Street.
We presented six courses each matched with one of Richard’s beers, and a wine that would typically be recommended as a good match.
The event sparked a lot of debate and got those in attendance thinking about how beer works with food in different ways to wine.
Many of those in attendance were not beer drinkers which made it all the more surprising and for me satisfying, that the final vote proved a landslide to beer as the better match to the food on offer. Cheers


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