Q&A: Chef Nelson Perkins of Colt & Gray

When it comes to the world of beer-loving chefs, we got a chance to sit down with one of the greats:  Nelson Perkins, our host for a chefs only, industry dinner on June 24th at Colt & Gray in Denver, CO. Check out the mouth-watering menu here. Read on for the low-down on this inventive master de cuisine, but if you long for the cliff notes: he’s classically trained,  a super-serious force in the world of agriculture and his mentors are as motley a crew as the band from the 80’s.  Oh, and he really, really digs his family. Commence the internet-wide “Awwwwwwww.”


Nelson, a native of Colorado, spent 15 years in the securities brokerage business before packing up his young family and moving to New York to attend the French Culinary Institute.  Nelson graduated among the top of his class, earning the Grand Diplome de Cuisine, then spent time following graduation interning, trailing and working at a number of acclaimed New York restaurants including Blue Hill.  Nelson is an appointed member of the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crops Advisory Board.


Nelson credits years of travel, cooking, adventure and time spent on his family’s ranch with forming his gastronomical tastes.  His food philosophy is to use the best available ingredients and treat them gently.

Nelson and his wife Allison opened Colt & Gray (named after their two oldest children – Coulter and Grayson), in August of 2009.  Nelson is forever thankful to Allison for her support in allowing him to chase this dream. 

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you?  Beer simply pairs really well with food.  It holds up to bold flavors but doesn’t mask more subtle flavors.  Beer is incredibly versatile in its ability to pair with food.


What got you started on pairing food & beer?  A beer dinner we were asked to do with a local brewer. The rest is history.

Who are the chefs you admire? Julia Child, Dan Barber, Marco Pierre White, Jacques Pepin, Heston Blumenthal, and Fergus Henderson.

What are some of your favorite pairings?  We like to make pasta and add dry hops to the dough which we then pair with any beer made with little or little or no hops.  It is great to see how the hops from the pasta completely change the beer.

Favorite style / beer to pair with?  Too hard to say, they are so different and bring so many different characteristics to the party.

Favorite all time beer?  Any big hoppy pilsner.

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish?  Pig Skin Pasta with Octopus, Nduja, Fennel, Tomato & Fried Capers with Brewery Ommegang Hennepin

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining?  Beer & cocktails are quickly becoming staples in fine dining establishments because of the diversity they bring.  They will never replace wine but they are certainly taking part of their market share. 

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own?  Way too hard to say just one, but let’s go with L’epi Dupin in Paris for the fun of it!

Chef Nelson doesn't shy away from pork. Can you tell?

Chef Nelson doesn’t shy away from pork. Can you tell? [via]

Indulge us with a recipe?

Sure. Behold:  Porter Braised Pork Shoulder

  • 1 pork shoulder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper (not too much)
  • AP Flour
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 fennel bulbs
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup cognac
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 8oz canned tomatoes
  • 4 bottles of porter
  • 2 quarts Chicken stock
  • Sachet of herbs


Season the shoulders with salt, pepper, cayenne and flour and brown thoroughly.  Remove the shoulder and sweat celery root, onion, fennel and garlic. 

Deglaze with cognac, and balsamic.  Add tomatoes, return pork to the pan and just cover with beer and chicken stock.  Cook at 325 degrees for about 4 hours or until the meat is very tender.  Let cool in cooking liquid for 2 hours. 

Remove pork and strain the liquid discarding the vegetables.  Make the sauce by reducing cooking liquid and season with salt and pepper and mount with a little butter.  Taste the sauce and add some fresh beer if the sauce tastes flat or needs more beer flavor. 

Serve over rice, noodles or potatoes with some roasted vegetables.

Connect with Colt & Gray: //

Watch as HopChef Philly Chefs Feed Mike Jerrick on Good Day Philadelphia


While it’s true that the fierce #HopChef competition is heating up kitchens all over Philly, this clip proves that in the end… all’s love in beer and food.

Watch Chef Lucio Palazzo of La Calaca Feliz (also known as the face behind the Team Lucio tee) and Chef Eli Kulp (also known as the leader of Philly’s finest R&D Ninjas) as they put their smack-talk aside – joining together to feed Mike Jerrick on Good Day Philadelphia.

Watch the clip here: Chef Lucio Palazzo and Chef Eli Kulp Cook with Beer


HopChef Philadelphia is happening next Tuesday, April 23 at 7PM at Union Transfer.  Tickets are $53.50 with a portion of proceeds going to support Mural Arts Program – with efforts supporting Groundswell.

Buy Tickets: Union Transfer



You’re Invited: 5 Courses + 5 Beers with Chef Teddy Folkman

If you’ve been looking for the perfect day to visit Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, your search is over. Cafe Omemgang’s next Great Beer Deserves Great Food dinner will be held on Friday, April 19 at Café Ommegang and will feature a menu by Chef Teddy Folkman, one of the country’s most talented advocates for beer and food pairing. 


The event begins at 7:00 PM with a tasting of Brewery Ommegang and Duvel beers followed by a seated, five-course dinner after which Chef Folkman will meet with guests.  Seats are limited for the Belgian inspired feast. Tickets cost $75 and are available now at the brewery gift shop or by calling 607-280-4090.  

Visit Facebook for more information, and the Belgian inspired menu. 

Todd English’s Olive’s to Host Beer Tasting Dinner in NYC

What happens when Belgian-style ales meets one of the most talked about chefs & restaurants in the country?  A perfect pairing or beer & food to make your mouth water with culinary desire. That’s what.


On Monday, April 8th – Todd English’s Olive’s & Brewery Ommegang will host a 4-course dinner featuring Ommegang ales paired with a 4-course menu at Olive’s in the W Hotel Union Square. Brewery Ommegang brewmaster Phil Leinhart will be on hand to lead dinner-goers through the menu of pairings.


Todd English, owner of Olive’s is not only world renowned chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur, noteworthy four-time James Beard Foundation Award winner and television star but an advocate for notion that Great Beer Deserves Great Food. In 1989 English opened his first restaurant Olive’s in Charlestown, MA, which quickly drew national and international applause for English’s interpretive rustic Mediterranean cuisine. Now, English has established Olive’s in New York City as one of the most prestigious names in the nation.

The evening’s menu will take event goers through 4 courses of fine cuisine, including spicy curried mussels paired with a hoppy Ommegang BPA, Za’atar spiced lam riblets paired with a spicy Ommegang Rare Vos, double cut pork cops paired with a crisp Ommegang Hennepin and finally a cherry, vanilla and chocolate crumble appropriately paired with a kriek based Ommegang Three Philosophers.

The event begins at 7:oo PM with a tasting of Brewery Ommegang beers and a seated, four-course dinner. Tickets can be purchased [$75] at Olive’s or online hereQuestions? Call 212-353-8345 ext. 5911 between 11:00 – 4:00pm. Seating is limited. 

For more information on Todd English and Olive’s visit 

Chef Dean Dupuis Creates Belgian Inspired Menu for Atlantic City Restaurant Week

Atlantic City Restaurant Week is coming up and Mussel Bar & Grille at REVEL Resort is sure to steal the show with a Belgian beer pairing dinner on March 21.

Let’s just say that I became a chef despite the fact that mine was a tuna-casserole kind of family,” says Chef Dean Dupuis, the man whom renowned chef Robert Wiedmaier has entrusted with Mussel Bar & Grille at REVEL, his first venture outside the Washington, DC area, where he is the undisputed king of Belgian cuisine. Chef Dupuis has crafted an expansive menu featuring staples of Belgian cuisine:  mussels, duck, crepes and more, all paired with a fine Belgian or Belgian-style Ale.

5 Courses | 5 Beers | $65 with Chef Dean Dupuis [Photo: Mussel Bar]

First Course: Duvel, Belgium’s iconic golden ale, will accompany a dish named “Devil” to not only play on Duvel’s namesake origin, but to enliven the pallets of dinner-goers with green chile, gruyere cheese and bacon gougeres.

Second Course: “Mussels&Grits” a concoction of Penn Cove Mussels, slow poached 62-degree egg, cloth bound cheddar and Falls Mill grits with spicy harissa oil. Pairing with this delicacy will be paired with Ommegang’s Hennepin Farmhouse ale spiced with ginger, orange peel, coriander and grains of paradise.

Third Course: Crispy chestnut flour dusted chicken livers with truffle jelly, “Schmaltz” toast, roasted grapes and watercress will accompany a Maredsous Triple: a strong (10%) golden ale with a bold yet complex character.

Fourth Course: The entree will feature a duo of magret duck molasses,  beer roasted duck breast, duck sausage lasagna with wood-fired King Oyster Mushrooms and pea tendrils paired with an Ommegang Rare Vos.

Dessert: A warm chocolate crepe served with macadamia “Nutella“, caramelized banana puree and goat’s milk ice cream pairs with an Ommegang Abbey Ale to wrap up this meal on a spirited note.

Tickets are $65 and can be reserved by calling Jen at 609-225-9851 or via e-mail at Follow Mussel Bar & Grille on Facebook for more info.  

mussel menu