Interview with Todd Bemis of Atwater on Gore Creek

Chef Todd Bemis

Executive Chef Todd Bemis
Atwater on Gore Creek,
Located in Vail Cascade Resort & Spa,
1300 Westhaven Drive Vail, Colorado 81657

Brief Bio: Born in Edmond, Oklahoma and having spent his childhood in North Texas, Todd grew a passion for cooking at an early age. His first experience with food was working in an ice cream store cooking hamburgers and hotdogs at the age of 16. Todd’s formal culinary training was with American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship at the Anatole Hotel near Downtown Dallas. Todd’s apprenticeship involved formal training within the 12 different outlets at the Anatole, including time spent in the pastry kitchen and with the garde-manger. At the end of his apprenticeship, Todd cooked for several different chefs as business required. He started working at the Bristol Hotel Company’s flagship hotel in 1987 as a Sous Chef. During his 16 year tenure at Bristol Hotels, Todd held the following positions: Sous Chef, Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Director, Director of Convention Services, Rooms Director, and General Manager. As GM, Todd was responsible for renovating and repositioning five properties, all with heavy food and beverage operations in Jackson MS, Atlanta GA and Omaha NE. Todd completed the American Hotel Motel Association’s Certified Hotel Administration program in 1996. He was awarded as “Hometown Hero” by the Jackson MS Chamber of Commerce and inducted into the Chamber’s Leadership Jackson program. Todd moved back to Texas in 2000 and started working as District Manager and Corporate Executive Chef for Alonti Café and Catering managing eight stores. In 2005, Todd moved to Hot Springs, Virginia to join The Homestead culinary team where he worked as the Banquet Chef and Executive Sous Chef. In 2011, Todd moved to Vail, Colorado to head up the culinary team as the Executive Chef at Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, a Destination Hotels & Resorts’ property.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you?: Beer is available and more appealing to a greater number of our guests. Our average diner would not ever consider purchasing one of the world’s best wines, but definitely would consider purchasing one of the world’s best beers. I can visualize a Rolls Royce or Ferrari owner drinking a great beer at the same bar or in the same restaurant as the person who repairs or maintains that vehicle. The specifics of pairing go much further though. Beer brewers provide a greater variety and latitude than wines in general making the pairing of food and beer more dynamic and interesting.

What got you started on pairing food & beer? When I became involved in the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywines Festival, an annual event hosted at Vail Cascade Resort.

Who are the chefs you admire?: The regular everyday chef. The guys on TV are great, but the ones I admire are the culinarians that are in the trenches and operating successful establishments on a day to day basis.

What are some of your favorite pairings?: Three Philosophers and our Chocolate Mousse Cake Dessert. Brek Brewery’s Summer Cab Ride with PEI Mussels

Favorite style / beer to pair with?: Ambers and IPA’s

Favorite all time beer?: Too many to decide.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining?: I believe that we are on the edge of a real explosion. The micro / craft brewing industry is coming to the forefront of the restaurant industry. There have always been specialty restaurants that maintain a significant stock of varieties from around the world but now, main stream restaurants are starting to carry more varieties. I believe that it is going to become commonplace for good restaurants to carry a variety of craft beers.
As Vail’s first restaurant to explore the fine art of uniting craft beer with creative cuisine, Atwater on Gore Creek extends the brewing tradition to an interactive menu of savory food, dessert and beer pairings. Small plate offerings and entrées are revamped seasonally, showcasing artisan ingredients, impromptu duos and the diversity of flavors craft brewers bring to the table.

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own?: The original Sunny Bryans Barbecue in Dallas TX

It’s great to see a resort that “get’s it”, why have a world class wine and scotch menu to pair with your meals and drop the ball when it comes to beer? We highly recommend eating at this dining destination or stop out for the Big Beers, Belgians & Barleywine festival. Look into getting tickets to next years festival which starts on Jan 10, 2013. Click here for more information.

Interview with Nick Rutherford of The Porter

Nick Rutherford & Molly Gunn

Nick Rutherford
Executive Chef/Owner
The Porter Beer Bar
1156 Euclid Ave NE,
Atlanta GA 30307

Brief Bio: Nick earned his culinary degree at the Art Institute of Seattle and worked at the Ritz Carlton in NYC, from there he was recruited to work at Seeger’s in Atlanta. Nick was a sous chef at Seegers for 3 years, then opened the Chocolate Bar with friend Aaron Russell before opening The Porter Beer Bar with his wife, Molly Gunn in fall 2008.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? Because beer is amazing value for the quality you get for your money. In most restaurants a $6 glass of wine is vinegar, but a $6 beer is world class. At The Porter we serve food you could find in a fine dining restaurant, but at “beer prices” to make The Porter affordable to everyone. So pairing becomes simple and affordable with beer.

What got you started on pairing food & beer? I always drank beer, even when out at a fancy restaurant, I started even bring my own beer to restaurants because so many lacked good options, that’s when I got into pairing because I had to start thinking about what I was going to eat before I even got to the restaurant in order to pick the beer I was going to bring.
Who are the chefs you admire? David Chang, Guenter Seeger, Daniel Boulud, Wylie Dufraine

What are some of your favorite pairings? I love a great fruity sour with foie gras, or an IPA with a steak, my wife Molly adores a dark porter with dessert, especially if it’s chocolate.

Favorite style / beer to pair with? In general I feel you can pair pale ales and IPAs with almost any kind of food, so when in doubt choose hops.

Favorite all time beer? That’s an impossible question, but Pliney The Elder, Cantillon Lou Pepe, and Cigar City White Oak are all in the top 10.

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? We always prepare our mussels with a pale ale, but we also use beer in our beer batter for our fish n’ chips. It can be anything as long as it’s not too bitter, then the batter tastes burnt when it’s fried up.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? Molly and I visited Eleven Madison Park last winter and were astounded by the fantastic beer list. They had tons of cool vintage bottles and many rare and exciting things you expect only in a beer bar and not in a white tablecloth restaurant. We hope this is the future of beer and food, that craft beer is everywhere and not just in beer bastions.

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own?  We eat a lot of delicious asian food on Buford highway, for the money you can’t beat Chef Lui’s. We spend $17 for two of us and are totally stuffed with dumplings and leek pie.

Onion Gravy Recipe-
This is awesome on meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or anything else you want gravy on.
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups Ommegang Abbey
1 cup canned beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook onion in oil and butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until onion is softened and browned, about 15 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in beer, broth, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper and simmer, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until gravy is slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and additional Worcestershire sauce if desired.


GBDGF City Spotlight – Atlanta

Beer fans have long felt the annoyance of enjoying a fine meal with a subpar beer menu. We are scouring the country to find you the restaurants and gastro pubs that understand beer has its rightful place on the dinner table. So the next time you are out and don’t want to have to compromise between fine dining and a great beer, take a look at this list to find the places that get it.

Atlanta has several great spots that we recommend checking out.

Atlanta Metro Area

Double Zero-An Italian restaurant with multiple concepts under one roof offers Sandy Springs a real old world European dining experience with an incredible Italian Wine list, Spirit selection and craft beers including Duvel Single Draft and Brewery Ommegang Hennepin. Click here for more info.

Two Urban Licks – Enjoy Duvel with some wood-fired meats and fishin a very modern, chic location in Midtown Atlanta. With live blues played Tuesday through Saturday it has been voted as one of the best places to take an out-of-towner, so if you are just visiting, Two Urban Licks is a great spot to check out. Click here for more info.

Ormsby’s –This hidden gem in West Midtownboasts great food and great beer. With 20 beers on tap and 30+ bottles ranging from Belgian imports such as Duvel, Liefmans, & Maredsous as well as craft brews from Ommegang, Sierra Nevada, Rogue and offerings from local favorites, Sweetwater and Terrapin. Click here for more info.

Tap – 
AtlantaMagazine cited Tap as Atlanta’s best gastro pub. Chef Adrian Villarreal has brought his backgrounds in Mexican and French cuisine to Atlanta and offers some amazing and eclectic dishes paired with a wide range of beers from Duvel, Liefmans, Brasserie d’Achouffe, Weihenstephaner, and Unibroue as well as an array of seasonals very month. Click here for more info.

Hill Street Tavern – A new “Grant Park” Tavern serving exceptional food, and a long list of fine brews (Duvel, Ommegang, Stella Artois & many others) and fine drinks to a diverse local clientèle. Specializing in Southern classics with creative daily specials. Click here for more info.

The Bookhouse – This “Poncey Highlands” favorite starts off with some blue cheese chips as you soak up the “Twin Peaks” vibe as this great gastro pubs hits all the bases as you can find beers from Duvel, Brasserie d’Achouffe, Ommegang and many others. Click here for more info.

The Big Ketch – This is the place to go for fresh seafoodin Buckhead. Try some Coast oysters w/ Ceviche mignonette from the shell bar and other great offerings to pair with Ommegang Rare Vos, Sweetwater 420 and Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA. Click here for more info.

Goin’ Coastal
– Located in the Virginia Highlands, this seafood restaurant that specializes in sustainable seafood. Try the Rock Shrimp Tacos and Po Boys paired with offerings from Duvel, Ommegang and Allagash.Click here for more info.

The Porter – Located in little 5 points The Porter is one of the best beer bars in the country but its food is not to missed. Start off with some Belgian frites or their signature Hush Puppies and go for the Georgia Wild Shrimp n’ Grits all conceived from in house owner Nick. With so many great beers on offer check out their website to salivate over their beer list and menu. Click here for more info.

Leon’s– This Decatur favorite pits wine against beer every Monday as it serves us a wine vs. beer flight. Take the flight and decide for yourself, which pairs better while enjoying beers from Brasserie d’ Achouffe, The Bruery, Left Hand, Sierra Nevada and Liefmans. Click here for more info.

The Brickstore Pub- A Decatur staple founded themselves in 1997 with the idea that Great beer deserves great food and have not compromised themselves since. Amazingly tasty and fresh food paired with a hefty selection of American craft (downstairs) and Belgian imports (upstairs) make the Brickstore a must stop. Click here for more info.

The Marlay House– Located in Decatur, The Marlay House is a traditional Irish pub that has brought some Irish classics from their hometown of Rathfarnham and has paired this great Irish fare with great beer selection between their 20 draft lines and bottles. Also be on the lookout for the Mobile Marlay van on your quest for finding great street food. Click here for more info.

The Iberian Pig–Located in Decatur, The Iberian Pig specializes in Spanish cuisine with an amazingly tasty selection of cured meats, cheeses, tapas dishes, salads, cocas. The Iberian Pig also has an unparalleled spirit selection, wine list as well as craft & super premium beer menu. Click here for more info.

The Salt Factory–Located in Roswell showcases modern pub comfort cuisine that has arranged its menu to compliment the beers that they serve from the breweries of Duvel, Ommegang, Sierra Nevada, Victory among others. Click here for more info.

Johnnie MacCracken’s–Located in Marietta is a new mom and pop style pub that we suggest you check out. Specializing in Irish fare there is plenty of delectable comfort food to sample with a wide selection of craft beer. Don’t miss the patio outback. Click here for more info.

Did we miss something? Respond to let us know what your favorite spot to eat in Atlanta is, and what city we should showcase next.

DBGB French Country Dinner Series-Whole Hog

299 Bowery
New York, NY 10003

(212) 933-5300

Be sure to check out one of our favorite restaurants in NYC on Wednesday December 14th, as DBGB is roasting a whole hog for its French country dinner series for $79 (including food, beer, tax and gratuity)

DBGB Kithen and Bar’s is Chef Daniel Boulud’s new lowdown downtown place where the French brasserie meets the American tavern.

Daniel Boulud

DBGB Kitchen and Bar’s French country dinners continue with their famous whole hog feast. Rev your engines with a selection of charcuterie, just a warmer-upper for Chef Olivier Quignon’s whole Pennsylvania Green Village Farms slow roasted suckling pig. It’s stuffed with pork, bacon and fine herbs and is served family style with endive and ham gratin, beer braised sauerkraut, fingerling potatoes and brussels sprouts. Top the whole thing off with our fabulous flaming vanilla – pistachio baked Alaska. Now that’s what we call putting lipstick on a pig !

This amazing dinner will be paired with fine Belgian ales from Brewery Ommegang out of Cooperstown, NY and Brasserie d’Achouffe of Belgium.

Ticket should go quick for this great event and they can be purchase on ticket leap.
Click here for tickets

Otto Enoteca Pizzeria Presents Its Inaugural Beer and Food Pairing Class

Otto Enoteca
1 5th Avenue
New York, NY

This Monday, November 21st, from 6-8pm Otto Enoteca Pizzeria is presenting its Inaugural Beer and Food Pairing Class, featuring ales from Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY), and selections of cured meats and cheeses from Executive Chef Dan Drohan. Hosted by Brewery and Great Beer Deserves Great Food representatives AJ Eckstein and Ken Erdogan.

Chef Bio
: At the age of 14, Dan Drohan was hired as a dishwasher in an Italian restaurant in Sag Harbor, NY. Not too long after, he was promoted to cook. After finishing high school, Dan attended the Culinary Institute of America and after graduation, headed to Colorado where, for two years, he snowboarded by day and cooked at a resort by night. In the fall of 1999, Dan returned to the east coast and worked as a sous chef in restaurants in both Westchester and Shelter Island. In January 2004, Zach Allen, then the Executive Chef at OTTO, hired Dan to be his sous chef. Under Zach, Dan learned all the ins and outs of OTTO’s renowned artisanal cured meats program. Dan took over as Executive Chef in the fall of 2005 and continues to produce all of OTTO’s cured meats in-house. In 2007, under Dan’s tutelage, OTTO became the first restaurant in New York City to have a Cured Meats HACCP plan approved by the New York City Health Department.

Seating is limited, and is $50 per person. For reservations, please call the restaurant 212-995-9559, or contact