Interview with Chef Dan Rothman of Whole Foods Market

Dan Rothman
Whole Foods Market (Northeast Region)
Metro Chef

Chef Dan Rothman

Brief Bio: With twenty eight years of experience with a focus on seasonal American cuisine. My first job after graduating Johnson and Wales was Tavern on the Green; from there I have cooked in New Orleans, Palm Beach before returning home to New Jersey to open the critically acclaimed Stage Left in New Brunswick. Most recently I had opened a Brewpub near the Delaware Water Gap in PA, where I coined the phrase”Season-Ale” cuisine. My love of pairing food and beers came to the fore front hear with a beer centric upscale pub menu. After a couple of years at the Brewpub I returned to Whole Foods Market to my current position, where I do recipe development and culinary training. I also have the opportunity to help with new venues and presently I am working on the Tap Room in our Columbus Circle location. I also recently founded our local chapter of Slow Food Pocono Mountains where I serve as Chairman.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? The synergy between food and beer make both better. Ever since the first beer Dinner I hosted in the early nineties I have been a mission to show people that beer not only pairs as well with food as wine but actually in most cases pairs better.

What got you started on pairing food & beer? In the late eighties a friend of mine was the chef of The Old Bay a New Orleans style restaurant with a great beer bar. While helping him with some recipes we began exploring the happy marriage of beer & food.

Who are the chefs you admire? I have great respect for all chefs that draw inspiration from their region and cook with the seasons. There are far too many to list.

What are some of your favorite pairings? Some of my favorite pairings over the years have been a Chestnut Bisque with Pumpkin Saison, Oatmeal Crusted Oysters served with Oatmeal Stout and a Malt Crusted Rack of Lamb with Barley Mushroom Risotto served with a Double Pale Ale .

Favorite style / beer to pair with? Belgium Sours probably top the list but I don’t know that I have one particular favorite style.

Favorite all time beer? Corsendonk Brown Ale

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? Rare Vos Braised Lamb Shanks with Crispy Gnocchi.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? We are at an exciting time where chefs and dinners are embracing how well food and beer play together. While the movement is strong now, I feel it is just the beginning. The local trend continues to blow up and I hope to see more chefs brainstorm with their local Brewmasters to work on flavor profiles in their beers. Things like lemongrass in wheat beers or toasted black peppercorns in porters.

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own? The French Laundry, Thomas Keller and his crew continue to raise the bar and inspire me and many other chefs.

Rare VOS Braised Lamb Shanks with Root Vegetable Ragout and Crispy Gnocchi
4.00 ea Lamb Shank
1.00 T garlic, granulated
1.00 T Onion, granulated
1.00 T Coriander, ground
0.25 t cumin, ground
0.25 t cinnamon
0.25 t cayenne
1.00 T salt
0.50 T black pepper

Root Vegetable Ragu
1.00 qt Celery root
1.00 qt carrot
0.50 qt parsnip
0.50 pt red onion
1.00 T rosemary
1.00 oz garlic
0.50 t ginger
1.00 ea orange zest
2.00 ea bay leaf
2.00 oz olive oil
2.00 oz tomato paste
16.00 oz Ommegang Rare Vos
2.00 oz fresh orange juice
48.00 oz beef stock

Combine ingredients from granulated garlic to black pepper, coat lamb shanks,
Allow to sit 1 hour
Sear in 425° oven for 30 minutes, discard any grease
Then top with ragout as prepared below

While shanks are roasting sauté root veg, with onion & garlic on high heat to brown then add tomato paste stir well and roast paste in pan until dark.
Add rosemary, ginger, orange zest bay leaf deglaze with Rare Vos and O.J.
Add stock, cover shanks bring to a boil
Cover tightly and bake in a 300 degree oven for 2 hours and 40 minutes or until lamb is fork tender and almost falling off the bone

For the Gnocchi heat 1″ of olive oil to 370 degrees or just before it smokes, drop gnocchi in oil and stir for I minute, ,remove with slotted spoon season with a bit of salt and put over ragout just before serving.

Tour de France Belgian Beer & Sausage Fest

For a European alliance that would make even Austria Hungary, hit the Tour de France Belgian Beer & Sausage Fest from October 12-21st. The 9 French restos that consist of the Tour de France group are pairing juicy sausages with some great Belgian beers. To kick everything off there is a party on October 11th at 404 located @33rd & 10th where each restaurant will bring a sausage and beer pairing that they will be showcasing at their restaurants for the entire fest. The pairings have been arranged by Gianni Cavicchi, Tour de France’s beer sommelier.

You can purchase tickets for the October 11th launch party here.

The meat of the matter covers everything from brats & French boudin blanc, to Moroccan merguez & PEI mussels served w/ chorizo, with each of the 9 cased meats prepped & explained by Chef Andy D’Amico from Nice Matin, Cafe d’Alsace & more.

The launch party will feature these pairings, which you will also be able to order throughout the festival.

Nice Matin:
Sausage de Morteau with Frisee & Roquefort
Maredsous Brune,

Boudin Blanc with Green Apple Puree, Mustard Oil & Celery Salad
Duvel Single,
Breendonk-Puurs, Belgium.
A new lighter version of Belgiums favorite ale. Notes of pilsner malt, white pepper and lemon peel

Tajine of Lamb Sausage, Merguez & Quince, Steamed Semolina
Paired with-
Ommegang Hennepin Saison,
Cooperstown, New York
A refreshing style originally brewed for the farmers on the Wallonia country side in Belgium. Notes of lemon grass, gingersnap and floral hop aromas

Petit Chausson aux Porc Rillons et Pommes
Paired with-
Ommegang Three Philosophers Quadruple, Cooperstown, New York
Blended in a response to home brewers dream, Three Philosophers is a blend of cherry Lambic and a Quad.
Notes- Kirsch, cocoa, figs and sherry.
Shrimp & Scallop Sausage with Lentils & Saffron Sauce
Paired with-
Ommegang Witte Belgian White, Cooperstown, New York

Le Monde:
Pheasant sausage with celery root puree & blackberry sauce
Paired with-
Ommegang “BPA” Belgian Pale Ale, Cooperstown, New York
Brewed with Belgian tradition and dry hopped with American Cascade, BPA is Brewery Ommegang’s newest year round ale.

Duck Confit Sausage Cassoulet
Brasserie d’Achouffe Mc Chouffe Scotch Ale, Achouffe, Belgium.
Adventurous and experimental Brasserie d’Achouffe perfects the Scottish style. Notes of Chocolate, doughy dark malts, raisins and coffee

French Roast:
Vension Sausage with Spaetzle & Port Wine Sauce
Paired with-
Ommegang “Abbey Ale” Dubble, Cooperstown, New York
Inspired by the centuries-old brewing practices of the Belgian Trappist monks. This dubble has notes of figs, clove, toffee, caramel and licorice

Savory & Sweet:
404 Tenth Avenue @ 33rd Street
Chocolate Salami
Paired with-
Liefmans “Cuvée Brut” Lambic, Oudenaarde, Belgium

Great Beer Deserves Great Food and this festival and launch party is one that should not be missed. Be sure to visit for a complete list of all the menus for the festival.

Interview with Chef Jim Takacs of Waterfront Ale House

Jim Takacs
Waterfront Ale House 155 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Brief Bio Chef at the Waterfront for 13 years, previously owned a restaurant in Cobble Hill Brooklyn for 9 years.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? The importance of beer as an accompaniment to food has grown considerably in the past 20 years. It is up to chefs to explore the unique and flavorful beers being produced by microbreweries, matching them up with the cuisines they reflect. I am a big fan of Caribbean and Asian food. These are places where wine is not the main choice for dining. Bold and spicy flavors are perfect for beer.

What got you started on pairing food & beer? My first trip to the west coast in the late 80’s got me hooked. San Fransisco and Northern California had the whole food revolution in full swing and beer was no longer a chilled bud.

Who are the chefs you admire? Chris DeBarr of Green Goddess and Susan Spicer of Bayona in New Orleans. Saul Bolton in Brooklyn, Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune, Fergus Henderson, St John, London, Rick Bayless in Chicago, Barbara Tropp, whose China Moon was so ahead of its time, and whoever is cooking at Anchor and Hope in Waterloo London.

What are some of your favorite pairings? Stouts or porters with braised briskets or lamb shanks. I like to use some of the sweeter beers to infuse flavors in slowly braised pork as well. Cup of Kyndness is quite suitable with its smokiness and floral hints.

Favorite style / beer to pair with? IPAs work well with much of the barbecue dishes i do.

Favorite all time beer? Guinness

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? Magic Hat #9 is featured in my Vegetarian Chili, wonderful contrast to the spiciness…and really, it is a tasty chili.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? It can only continue to evolve. The beer list will soon be as important as the wine in many enlightened establishments.

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own? Jose Enrique in San Juan, no sign, chalkboard menu and amazing.

Mushroom Ragu for game meats
2 cups portobellos, sliced
2 cups shiitakes, sliced
2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup medium diced onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon each of fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
1 pint of Hennepin Saison Ale
1/4 cup demi glaze

Sauté the onions and garlic till lightly colored. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté till most of their juices have been cooked out. Add the tomatoes and herbs, continue to cook over a moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the ale and let simmer till slightly reduced. Finish with demi glaze.

Interview with Chad Kelley of The Meddlesome Moth

Chef Chad Kelley

Chad Kelley
Executive Chef of The Meddlesome Moth
1621 Oak Lawn, Dallas, TX 75207

Brief Bio Originally from Southern California, I attend Culinary School at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco and then started heading east. Made a pit stop in Flagstaff, AZ where I worked at a local brew pub- Beaver Street Brewery. Eventually I made it to Indianapolis where I began with The Oceanaire. I was with them for 6 years in every roll the kitchen had to offer, eventually landing in Dallas as the Executive Chef for the Galleria location. The Moth was a new and cool concept starting that was all about craft beer. It was very different from what I was doing at The Oceanaire, so, naturally I made the transition. I wanted the new challenge of doing something completely different in Dallas and really push some of the limits of what Dallasites would eat. Here at The Meddlesome Moth its all about sharing a wide variety of exotic foods while sipping on some of the best craft beers on the market.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? Its all about showing people that you can pair great beers with great food the same way as with wine. You can have that awesome experience and be blown away at how the beer and food interact with each other. How flavors you didn’t taste before start coming out – it’s all about keeping people excited.

What got you started on pairing food & beer? The Meddlesome Moth was my real first intro into beer and food. I spent about a year drinking every beer I could get my hands on in the great state of Texas. With each tasting I would break it down into the basics. Aromas… Hops… Malts… Mouth feel… How does it start, what kind of back bone does it have and how does it finish. It can be much more challenging to get the perfect pairing with beer. Craft Beers are definitely more food friendly and more forgiving if you don’t have the perfect pairing but when you hit it right on the sweet spot it’s a whole new experience and that’s what I strive for.

Who are the chefs you admire? Eric Ripert for his amazing skills with seafood. Feran Adria for his insane approach to “cooking”, Gordon Ramsey for saying everything I want to say but would get fired for, Dan Barber for his true Farm to Table restaurant and Paul Kahn for simple yet really cool food.

What are some of your favorite pairings?
(1)La Trappe Quad with Saint Andre Triple Cream adorned with a Black Plum – Currant Chutney.
(2)Houblon Chouffe with Crispy Orange Peel Beef and Jasmine Rice. Sounds odd but it’s a great pairing.
(3)Avery Salvation with Pan Seared Scallops with Parsnip Puree and Pickled Golden Raisins.

Favorite style / beer to pair with? Any beer with a Belgian Yeast in it is great for pairing. The sweet clove spice and banana notes create a lot of versatility for a chef. One example was the Rare VOS that I paired with a Caribbean Style Jerk Chicken and accented it with a Banana “Ketchup”. Flavors of Jamaican Allspice, Coriander, Golden Raisins and Dark Rum blend perfectly with this brew.

Favorite all time beer? Dogfish Head Squall

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? Ommegang Witte paired with an Arugula Salad topped with Shaved Fennel, Finnochiona and Granny Smith Apples.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? This is just the beginning. People are really just starting to see the full potential of the craft beer movement.

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own? Hudson House in Redondo Beach, CA – They are doing the same thing with craft beer and food as we are here in Dallas. The team also just opened up a new place I have yet to visit called The Tripel.

A simple Summer Salad using Fresh Baby Arugula or Wild Rocket.
Toss with a touch of Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Fresh Lemon Juice, Salt and Black Pepper.
Place into a bowl and then top with Raw Fennel that has been shaved as thinly as possible, Green Apples cut in just the same way and a light Italian fennel sausage called Finnochiona.

Interview with Jonathan Van Sleet of MexiQ

Chef Jonathan Van Sleet

Jonathan Van Sleet
Executive Chef of MexiQ
3711 30th Ave, Astoria NY, 11103

Brief Bio Born and raised upstate NY, I’ve been cooking in restaurants since age 18. I came to NYC for employment opportunities and quickly landed a job in a new concept restaurant, MexiQ. Combining two of my favorite cuisines, Mexican and BBQ, with 48 draft lines of only craft beer.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? Beer goes great with food. Not everyone realizes this and I would like to educate people about great beer and great food. Traditionally wine has been the dominate beverage choice to pair with food. I feel beer offers a wider range of flavor profiles and can hold up better to spicy foods. I don’t always like to drink wine, but I always like to drink beer.

What got you started on pairing food & beer? I’ve always liked a good beer with food, but when I landed this job at MexiQ, it was part of the concept all along. That’s when I started creating beer dinners; four course dinners paired with one brewery’s beers. This gives me an opportunity to show the different flavor profiles one brewery can offer. As I drink a beer I ask myself “what would I like to eat right now?” That is usually the beginning to a new dish.

Who are the chefs you admire? Julieta Ballesteros, Rick Bayless, Brian Molino

What are some of your favorite pairings? Smoked Seabass Flautas / Ommegang BPA; Churros with Blueberry Honey Sauce / Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’; Honey Lavender Cheesecake / Brooklyn Blast (Brewmaster Reserve)

Favorite style / beer to pair with? That’s like asking who your favorite child is.

Favorite all time beer? Ommegang Tripel Perfection

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? St. Louis Pork Ribs – hickory smoked and braised with beer and banana leaves; Cowboy Beans – Pinto beans cooked with bacon, chorizo, beef, jalapenos, onions and garlic, simmered in beer; Baja Fish Tacos – Beer battered and fried grouper served in a warm corn tortilla with guacamole and a side of grilled pineapple salsa; Beer Battered Onion Rings

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? Beer, especially craft beers, are becoming more mainstream these days. The pairing with food is becoming more popular as well. As people are educated and exposed to great beers, the pairing with food is inevitable. At MexiQ we have 48 craft beers on draught and we offer tastings, flights, pints and growlers. Our goal is to turn people on to new beers and we offer suggested pairings for each menu item. I find that customers are very appreciative when a bartender or server guides them to a new beer that they enjoy.

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own? Ole – Boston


3# lean beef, cubed
1½# pork sholder, cubed
½# pork belly, cubed
1½oz kosher salt
½oz sugar
¼c Coleman’s dry mustard
1T fresh ground coriander
1T garlic powder
1pt beer, preferable a brown lager with medium hops

1. Grind beef and pork through small die into a bowl set in ice. Chill mixture immediately after grinding.
2. In a small mixing bowl combine all dry spices. Spread over meat and mix with hands until roughly distributed.
3. Transfer to mixer bowl and mix on medium speed with paddle attachment. Slowly pour beer in while mixer is running. Let mixer run for about 1-2 minutes until the sausage appears sticky.
4. Saute a small portion of the sausage and taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary. Thoroughly chill the sausage before you continue.
5. Stuff the sausage into hog casings. Twist into 6 inch links. Refrigerate or freeze until ready to cook.
6. Roast sausage to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F (65 degrees C). For added flavor, lightly smoke before roasting.