Restaurants

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.”

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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.

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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.

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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

Instructions:

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:

ColtandGray.com // Facebook.com/ColtAndGray

Brewery Ommegang Presents: HopChef Boston

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NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS PASSED. HopChef Boston June 26

Brewery Ommegang and Saveur Magazine are bringing their beer and food pairing showdown HopChef to Beantown — at The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts  on June 26 at 7pm.

The drool-worthy line-up of Boston-area chefs, including Andy Husbands of Tremont 647Michael Lombardi Jr. of The Salty PigJosh Smith of Franklin CafeJosh Harrison of Publick House and Brian Young of Citizen Public House will each create one dish showcasing their imaginative beer and food pairing skills. The dishes, all paired with Ommegang ales, will be served sustainably on beautiful VerTerra dinnerware to a panel of judges, and to all attendees, to taste and score. As it all goes down, great beer will partner with great food to help out a great cause: a portion of proceeds from HopChef Boston will benefit the Boston Center for the Arts.

In the weeks leading up to HopChef, follow the action on Twitter with #HopChef as chefs taste Ommegang beers and create their competition dishes – all with a some inevitable smack-talk.

HopChef Boston tickets are $60 before June 25 / $75 at the door.   Admission include tasting dishes with open bar, with a portion of proceeds going to support the Boston Center for the Arts.

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You’re Invited: 5-Course Beer Pairing Dinner at Peekskill, NY’s Birdsall House

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Join us this Thursday to taste some of Brewery Ommegang’s rare finds – all paired with some of New York State’s freshest dishes, in the heart of Westchester County.

WHO:
The fine chefs of Birdsall House and special guest Mike McManus, Ommegang Innovation Manager

WHAT:
The coziest five-course beer pairing dinner in Westchester county

WHEN:
Thursday, April 11 at 7pm

WHERE:
Birdsall House in Peekskill, NY [map] 970 Main Street, Peekskill, NY 10566-2904 (914) 930-1880

WHY:
Because Great Beer Deserves Great Food.

Need another reason? See delectable menu below…

MENU

Pickled early spring vegetables, “hot spring” poached egg, tobiko caviar
Paired with Game of Thrones, Iron Throne Blonde Ale- 6.5% – Medium body, malty with hints of honey and citrus, boosts a peppery, dry finish

Poached salmon, asparagus and mushroom salad, preserved lemon
Paired with Hennepin Farmhouse Saison Brewery Ommegang Hennepin Saison -7.7% – Full bodied with champagne like effervescence, spicy with notes of orange peel, ginger and coriander and a hoppy, dry finish.

Duck confit fritters with Ommegang tillset cheese, spicy herb rémoulade
Barrier Relief Belgian India Pale Ale 5.9% ABV- Ommegang’s collaboration beer with Barrier Brewing, malty with grassy, herbal hop notes, a hint of citrus and a dry hoppy finish.

Braised beef carbonnade with parsnip spaetzle and red cabbage kimchi
Gnommegang Belgian Strong Pale Ale-9.5% -Collaboration between two famed farmstead breweries: Brewery Ommegang and Brasserie D’Achouffe, this ale boasts a creamy body, subtle notes of clove, fruit and caramel with a smooth warming finish.

Beer-soaked dark chocolate cake with brandied cherries
Three Philosophers Quadrupel Ale-9.7% ABV- Complex flavors of caramel, chocolate, and toffee blended with a cherry ale that offers a tart balance.

Tickets are $55 and can be purchased online: www.birdsallhouse.net/events

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.

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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.

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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 olivesnewyork.com 

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 jennifer@musselbar.com. Follow Mussel Bar & Grille on Facebook for more info.  

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