You can’t call yourself a craft beer connoisseur unless you have a few artfully crafted Beer Dinners under your belt. This ‘Brewed Food‘ concept is attempting to “De-Throne Food & Wine” as craft beer’s newest thang, and it’s sweeping the nation as creative chefs and brewers continue to push the envelope in the food-and-brews movement. At the forefront of this movement is a chef and Certified Cicerone from Denver, who is taking his pop-up concept across the country in order to educate and titillate participants of this new idea of Craft.
Brewed Food is the latest concept of Chef Jensen Cummings, who is taking his collaborative beer dinners out of Colorado and bringing them to Austin, Texas on April 5, then on to Portland, followed by Los Angeles and San Diego in May and to New York in June. Dinners feature beer from New Belgium, in addition to pairings from a different local brewery at each location.
What: A collaborative six course paired Brewing Dinner, not your average beer dinner, featuring a brewing ingredient or fermentation technique in every dish
Who: Chef Cummings (Brewed Food), esteemed local chef(s), along with ingredients and pairings from a local craft brewery and additional pairings by New Belguim Brewing
Where: Austin, Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego and New York
When: Austin (April 5), Portland (April 19), for other dates check website
How: $60 plus fees, gratuity and tax
So what is Brewed Food? Chef Cummings describes the concept as not just an event, but a movement that ties together both the craft beer world with the slow food world, all using ingredients and processes brewers use when making beer. Created in 2014, Brewed Food menus are adventurous, containing a plethora of experimental cuisine components that are sure to wow even the most well-traveled food critic, yet complex dishes are presented in an approachable and enjoyable way, creating an unforgettable evening of indulgences that complement the finest craft beer and cuisine the region has to offer.
On April 5 in Austin, Texas, Chef Cummings will be collaborating with Chefs Shih-Yu Hwang of Odd Duck and Charles Zhuo from Barley Swine to present a six-course Brewed Food Dinner, with each dish featuring a brewing ingredient from breweries New Belgium and brewer Jeffrey Stuffings of Jester King along with beers from these breweries paired with each course. It’s a beer lovers paradise, where you can expect freshly made brews inspired by the chefs’ menu, as well as seasonal and locally sourced ingredients – and it’s very entertaining.
Chef Cummings will next make an appearance in Portland on April 19 and to California in May and New York in June. Here’s what Odd Duck’s Chef Shih-Yu had to say about the upcoming Austin dinner, and his thoughts on what beer and food pairings mean to him.
“I love to eat and love to drink even more,” the Chef states on the Brewed Food blog. When asked about the upcoming dinner, the chef replied “Jester King created a beer called Amicis Mortis based on a dish that was on the Odd Duck menu. I think that is really inventive and it would be nice to create a dish inspired by one of their beers. The fermentation process is being used a lot in kitchens and it would be interesting to use brewing cultures/techniques in that process and see what unique characteristics that would bring into the food.” (Chef Shih-Yu Hwang, Odd Duck)
For more on Brewed Food and the Brewed Food movement, check out Chef Cummings’ blog, on which he writes the following:
“These days, turn on your television and you are mere seconds of channel surfing away from finding a cooking show or celebrity chef up to something. We have a fish bowl view, albeit a distorted reality, of the culinary world. For better or worse (mostly better I think) this new found inundation of food culture has turned many into semi-pro cooks, food critics and chef groupies.
“I felt it was time to explore where our next wave of culinary leaders would come from. Who within our culinary community would inspire the next food movements? Surprisingly, it was not in the kitchen that I discovered the unsung “Chefs” of our industry, rather it was in the brewhouse with the Brewers!
“Like the chefs of old, brewers spent countless hours in the ‘back of house’ rarely surfacing long enough to engage with their audience. Once I was able to pry them away from their kettles, it took mere seconds to sense truly kindred spirits in our passions, our unrelenting dedication and our eccentric artist meets mad scientist approach.” (Chef Jensen Cummings, Brewed Food).