Ommegang HopChef Competition – Philadelphia Recap

HopChef Philadelphia consisted of  six of Philadelphia’s most talented chefs competing in  preparing and pairing dishes with Ommegang beers. During the sold out event, each chef prepared two dishes that showcased their imaginative beer and food pairing skills which were then voted on by a panel of judges and event attendees.

The winner was George Sabatino of Stateside for his Smoked Beef Cheek Lettuce Wrap with Ommegang Abbey Dubbel BBQ sauce, watermelon rind pickle and beer boiled peanuts and his dessert Three Philosophers with Head to Tail Cherries.

The outstanding line-up of competing chefs included:  Joe Cicala of Le VirtùJon Cichon of LaCroix at Rittenhouse HotelJason Cichonski of ElaNicholas Elmi of Rittenhouse Tavern;  George Sabatino of Stateside;  and Scott Schroeder of South Philadelphia Tap Room and American Sardine Bar.

The chefs were judged based on five pairing principles:  Simple Pairing, a direct interaction between food and beer;  Incorporation, utilizing beer in the cooking process;  Mimicking, matching the flavor profile of a dish with the flavor profile of a beer;  Story Telling, tracing the history of the dish and the beer;  and Experimental, making beer the star of the dish.

HopChef is part of the Ommegang program known as Great Beer Deserves Great Food®, a national initiative dedicated to the idea that fine beer deserves its rightful place at the table with fine foods.  The event was the final in a series of chef’s cook-offs across the U.S., culminating in a Grand HopChef cook-off at Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival on August 4, 2012, where Chef Sabatino will be representing Philadelphia.

HopChefs from left to right:  Nicholas Elmi of Rittenhouse Tavern, Joe Cicala of Le VirtùGeorge Sabatino of StatesideScott Schroeder of South Philadelphia Tap Room and American Sardine Bar (who won the People’s Choice review) Jon Cichon of LaCroix at Rittenhouse Hotel and Jason Cichonski of Ela.

Ommegang HopChef Competition – Albany Recap

The winner of Brewery Ommegang and Saveur Magazine’s first-ever ‘HopChef Albany’ beer and food pairing competition is Executive Chef Jaime Ortiz of Mazzone Hospitality in Scotia, NY. His inventive “Rare of the Dog” captivated the crowd and judges alike and earned him the title. “Rare of the Dog” featured faux egg shooters of custard and spices, in a shooter of Rare Vos Amber Ale, with a honey thyme bacon chaser. The event took place this past Friday, June 8th at the 11 North Pearl Events Center in Albany with more than 200 attendees on hand. Ortiz will now be invited to square away with Washington DC HopChef Jeff Eng and the winner of upcoming HopChef Philadelphia at Ommegang’s annual Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival August 4th. A portion of the event proceeds benefits Taste of the Nation’s Share our Strength initiative, dedicated to ending childhood hunger.

Eight chefs took part in the competition along with Chef Ortiz, including; Brian Bowden of Creo, Elliot Cunniff of Colonie Golf & Country Club, Marcus Guiliano of Aroma Thyme Bistro, AJ Jayapal of The Mallozzi Family, Rachel Mabb of Bitches Kitchen Catering, Ric Orlando of New World Home Cooking & New World Bistro Bar and Paul Ozimek of Taste.

“Beer complements every kind of food; it’s a palate cleanser like champagne,’ said the champion, Chef Ortiz, ‘and as an ingredient it’s vibrant and versatile.”  The second extraordinary dish from Ortiz was Hennepin Saison Ale paired with rustic braised veal cheeks and a Hennepin wheat berry risotto. “I have always steered away from wine pairing events, I am certainly glad I did not pass on coming to HopChef. Beer events are inherently more fun and approachable.” said Ortiz.

“Great beer offers hundreds of flavors, aromas, colors, bodies, and levels of carbonation, making it delightful to pair with a huge range of foods – from the elegant to the everyday,’ said Brewery Ommegang President Simon Thorpe, in attendance to congratulate the winner. ‘And Ommegang beers are crafted with food pairing right at the forefront. We hold dearly to the belief that great beer truly does deserve great food.’

The HopChef Competition invites area chefs to imaginatively prepare and pair dishes with fine Ommegang ales. Co-sponsored by culinary bible Saveur it is a critical component of Ommegang’s Great Beer Deserves Great Food® initiative, a national program dedicated to the idea that great beer deserves its rightful place at the table with fine foods. The previous competition was in Washington DC on April 28th; next up is Philadelphia on July 10th.

The Chefs were tasked with making two dishes using one of five distinct pairing techniques: simple pairing, the direct interaction of taking a bite of food then sip of beer; incorporation, the beer used in the cooking process; mimicking, the flavor profile of the beer with the flavors in their dish; storytelling, beer like food has a great story behind it, not how it was made but why; or experimental, finding a way to make the beer the star of the dish, often the result of the other pairings.

Chef Cunniff, who served a lemongrass and ginger-braised Kurobuta pork belly, with Abbey Ale cider braising jus, parsnip puree, pineapple hoisin glaze, pickled cabbage, and tobacco onion stated, “HopChef is hugely raising awareness for fine beer and food.” Another crowd favorite was Chef Gulliano’s fig-macerated Three Philosophers ice cream, goji berry & chocolate crisp, Three Philosophers & palm sugar syrup, paired with Three Philosophers.

Ommegang will be hosting the third HopChef Competition, with innovative Philadelphia chefs imaginatively preparing and pairing dishes with fine Ommegang ales. Each chef creates two dishes to showcase their skills to bring Great Beer Deserves Great Food®  to exuberant life. The competition takes place at the World Café Live in Philadelphia on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 at 7:00 – 10:00 pm. Purchase tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/252555. Ommegang HopChef competitions donate a portion of the proceeds to Share our Strength, a charity dedicated to the proposition that no child will go hungry. Visit www.strength.com for more information.

Saveur Magazine covers both the art of cooking and the culture of food. Visit www.saveur.com.

Ommegang HopChef Competition Philadelphia

NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS PASSED. 

Ommegang HopChef Competition
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012.
7:00 – 10:00 pm
World Cafe Live (upstairs)
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 

Purchase tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/252555

Join us for our third Ommegang HopChef Competition, with innovative Philadelphia chefs imaginatively preparing and pairing dishes with fine Ommegang ales. Each chef creates two dishes showcasing their skills in bringing Great Beer and Great Food to exuberant life.

Our first two HopChef events were in Washington, D.C. and Albany, NY and we had an amazing time and there have been some incredible pairings so far and you can read about it by clicking here. Ommegang is excited to bring the HopChef event to one of our favorite beer cities and are excited to see what the Chef’s come up with for pairings.

COMPETING CHEFS INCLUDE

Joe Cicala – Le Virtu – @Joe_Cicala Facebook
Scott Schroeder – South Philly Taproom @foodsyoucaneat @SPTaproom  Facebook
George Sabatino – Stateside -@gwsabatino @statesidephilly Facebook
Jason Cichonski- Ela – @JasonCichonski – @ElaPhilly Facebook
Nick Elmi – Rittenhouse Tavern @nicholaselmi @Ritt_Tavern_PHL Facebook
Jon Cichon – Lacroix Restaurant Facebook

Who will win the bragging rights? And the chance to compete for the HopChef crown at our yearly Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival at the brewery? Join us and see. And taste. And drink.

Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/252555

Ommegang HopChef Competition – NY Capitol Region

NOTE: THIS EVENT HAS PASSED. 

Ommegang HopChef Competition
Friday, June 8, 2012. 5:30 – 8:30 pm
11 North Pearl St. Albany, NY 12207
www.brownpapertickets.com/event/248514

Join us for our second Ommegang HopChef Competition, with innovative Capital Region chefs imaginatively preparing and pairing dishes with fine Ommegang ales. Each chef creates two dishes showcasing their skills in bringing Great Beer and Great Food to exuberant life.

11 North Pearl Event Centre

Our first HopChef event was on April 28th in Washington, D.C. and we had an amazing time and there was some incredible pairings that you can read about it by clicking here. Ommegang is excited to bring the HopChef event to our backyard and are excited to see what the Chef’s come up with for pairings.

Click here for a bio of each Chef and the dishes they will be prepairing.

COMPETING CHEFS INCLUDE

Brian Bowden of Creo
Elliot Cunniff of Colonie Golf & Country Club
Marcus Guiliano of Aroma Thyme Bistro
AJ Jayapal of The Mallozzi Family
Rachel Mabb of Bitches Kitchen Catering
Ric Orlando of New World Home Cooking & New World Bistro Bar
Jaime Ortiz of Mazzone Hospitality
Paul Ozimek of Taste

Who will win the bragging rights? And the chance to compete for the HopChef crown at our yearly Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival at the brewery? Join us and see. And taste. And drink.

Tickets are $55 and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/248514

Those who purchase tickets by 11:59pm, May 23rd are automatically entered into a chance to win two seats at the judges table.

If you need a place to stay Hampton Inn & Suites Albany Downtown have honored the group code.
___________________________________________________
Group Code : HOP
Room Rate: $99/night
Reserve by June 5th
Physical Address: 25 Chapel Street, Albany NY
Room type available:Standard Double Queen or Standard King
Reservations:  518/432-7000 or email: mbieber@vistahost.net         ____________________________________________________

The chef dishes will be created and judged using Chef Teddy Folkman’s 5 beer pairing techniques:

  1. Simple pairing – This is the direct interaction between food and beer from taking a bite of the food and a sip of the beer.
  2. Incorporation – This is the utilization of beer in the cooking process. Incorporation can be a challenging task and requires some trial and error to see where the dish benefits from the addition of the beer.
  3. Mimicking – One of the most difficult pairings, mimic pairings are the act of matching the flavor profile of a dish with the flavor profile of a beer. It is difficult because not only do you have to understand the flavor profiles of the individual ingredients of the dish, but also the beer such as the type of hops, malt and yeast being used.
  4. Story Telling – Beer, like food, has a great history behind it. Not just how it was made, but why.
  5. Experimental – This type of pairing is the most fun by far. It is finding a way to make the beer the main star of a dish. The experimental aspect of the pairing is more of an end result of trying one of the above.

Ommegang HopChef Competition – D.C. Recap

Our first-ever Ommegang HopChef Competition at the Atlas in Washington D.C. was an amazing time and the dishes and pairings were delicious. Thank you to all the Chefs for the amazing food and volunteers for making our first HopChef event a memorable one. Elizabeth Parker‘s keen eye captured some amazing shots of the event.

Our emcee of the evening, Lauren DeSantis of Capital Cooking kept everyone informed and updated as she interviewed each Chef and gained an insight onto their pairings.

Chef Jeff End being interviewed by Lauren DeSantis

Congratulations to the 1st winner of the HopChef Competition series, Jeff Eng of Tower Oaks Lodge. We will see Jeff again at Belgium Comes to Cooperstown this summer as he competes for the HopChef crown.

Suft and Turf: Uni and beer braised oxtail roe – paired with Hennepin

Chef Jeff Eng winning pairings included:
1. Suft and Turf: Uni and beer braised oxtail roe – paired with Hennepin
2. Chocolate hazelnut crunch bar, coke and pop rocks – paired with Three Philosophers

Chocolate hazelnut crunch bar, coke and pop rocks – paired with Three Philosophers

Chef Mark Marrocco of Magnolias at the Mill Restaurant pairings included:
1. Surf N Turf Slider: 24 hour roast waygu strip loin, new england lobster salad, house made Hennepin aioli, pickled baby carrots & pearl onions – paired with Hennepin.
2. Pheasant & foie gras raviolo, cherry puree, Three Philosophers consomme – paired with Three Philosophers

Surf N Turf Slider: 24 hour roast waygu strip loin, new england lobster salad, house made Hennepin aioli, pickled baby carrots & pearl onions – paired with Hennepin.

Pheasant & foie gras raviolo, cherry puree, Three Philosophers consomme – paired with Three Philosophers

Chef Will Artley of Pizzeria Orso pairings included:
1. Lavender and White Creme Brulee – paired with Witte
2. Braised pork belly with Three Philosophers and cherry demi – paired with Three Philosophers

Lavender and White Creme Brulee – paired with Witte

Braised pork belly with Three Philosophers and cherry demi – paired with Three Philosophers

Chef Mike Bonk of Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar pairings included:
1. Smoked lamb leg, chicory and foie gras mole, agrodolce onions – paired with Three Philosophers
2. Hamachi crudo, strawberry harissa, candied orange peel, micro cilantro – paired with Witte

Hamachi crudo, strawberry harissa, candied orange peel, micro cilantro – paired with Witte

Chef Mike Bonk putting on the finishing touches

Chef Jamie Leeds of Hank’s Oyster Bar pairings included:
1. Bacon BBQ’d Oysters – paired with Three Philosophers
2. Scallop Ceviche – paired with Witte

Bacon BBQ’d Oysters – paired with Three Philosophers

Chef Jamie Leeds with her team

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana pairings included:
1. Witte arincini – paired with Witte
2. Smoked potato gnocchi with “Sicilian-Style” pork ragu – paired with Rare Vos

Smoked potato gnocchi with “Sicilian-Style” pork ragu – paired with Rare Vos

Chef Nicholas Stefanelli of Bibiana with his team

Chef Bradley Walker of Boundary Road pairings included:
1. Ensalada de Camarisco – paired with Witte
2. Smoked pork leg with ramp spatzle, turnips and dandelion greens – paired with Three Philosophers

Smoked pork leg with ramp spatzle, turnips and dandelion greens – paired with Three Philosophers

Chef Bradley Walker testing out his pairing

Again a special thanks to all the chefs, sous chefs, judges, Lauren DeSantis, The Atlas, SAVEUR Magazine, Teddy Folkman, Julia Christian and all the volunteers. Thanks for making our first HopChef event a successful one.
Stay tuned for an announcement of our next installment of the HopChef series as it travels to the Capital Region in NY and Philadelphia.