The first dinner courses were also eye openers for me. I was always a little picky since I was a kid. I’ve never liked dark meat or eating fat, skin or meat on the bone. That said, I’ve never been a big fan of duck, as it is usually dark and pretty fatty. The duck confit was delicious with the meat in thin strips on top of comte cheese and mizuna greens. So, two foods in a row that I usually wouldn’t eat, but really enjoyed, and they went well with the beers paired with them. The next dinner course was exciting for me because I had never had sturgeon before. I was surprised by this meaty fish. Chef Andy really impressed me with this well thought out dish and pairing. The sturgeon was served on a bed of Beluga lentils that resembled caviar and a curry cream sauce. It was paired with Boundary’s IPA and I liked how he paired an English curry (with Indian influence) with an English beer style (again with an Indian connection). So it impressed me on two levels. Not only was it well thought out and clever, but it also tasted great. That would have been the high note for me if it wasn’t for the next course, which I think was most people’s favorite. The malted beef tenderloin was a chocolate malt encrusted fillet with rogue bleu cheese on top. Underneath this beautiful tender meat was a bed of roasted acorn squash and a wort infused demi. We had to find an extra plate and split it up between us at my table because we loved this so much. It was paired with Imperial Oatmeal Stout which might sound like a big heavy beer but it worked on several levels with this dish. Imperial oatmeal stout goes well with creamy bleu cheeses and it also went well with the chocolate malt encrusted around the tenderloin. Dessert was a caramelized fig tart paired with Old Bounder Barley wine, which was a nice way to finish up the night. Well done Chef Andy!
Brewmaster’s Dinner at Semiahmoo
This last week I had the great fortune to have some great food with our beer. On Thursday I went to a brewer’s night at the Trainwreck pub in Burlington which has great burgers with hand-cut fries and their own jalapeño ketchup. We ordered some jalapeño popper appetizers, not those frozen fried guys, but fresh hand-made, wrapped in bacon. It’s weird because jalapeños are usually not that spicy but we were all feeling the heat from these ones. It might have been more intense by all the Boundary Bay IPA I was drinking because hoppy beers can make spicy food taste hotter.
Friday I attended the third of three brew master dinners at Semiahmoo Resort. Each course was paired with and/or cooked with Boundary Bay beer by their talented head chef Andy Dixon. There were three appetizers all paired with ESB. They were all great but I think my favorite was the profiteroles filled with beer braised short ribs, chantrelle mushrooms and roasted shallots. I gotta say though, that I don’t eat oysters and I had two of these poached with cheddar-beer fondue and gratined with Berkshire bacon. The bacon is what really sold me.
Beer pairs well with food just as well as wine, and many times it pairs better. A great resource if you are interested in pairing beer and cheese is a chart made by the Brewer’s Association: http://www.craftbeer.com/pages/beer-and-food/pairing-tips/pairing-chart
Cheers and Bon Appetit!