Anyone in the design industry will no doubt appreciate the groundbreaking techniques used in the picture above.
I was in pub the other month and someone asked me who my favourite celebrity chef was. That kind of question is socially legitimate today but would have indicated insanity 10 years ago. In a similar way, ten years ago chefs would not have conceived of inviting the local brewer along to a food festival to talk about beer and food matching. I am very fortunate to have two fantastic “celebrity” chefs cooking sublime food within walking distance of my brewhouse (and a few others within a taxi ride). I am also very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to perforate their eardrums about beer and food.
The two celebrity chefs to whom I have just referred are the above-pictured Nathan Outlaw and Rick Stein. I am doing a beer and food evening with Rick in Falmouth on 25th September and with Nathan down the road in Rock on 5th October. My approach to events like this is to let the flavours do the talking and show enthusiasm while letting diners discover the beauty of beer and food for themselves. We all know that well-matched beers enhance the dining experience as well if not better than wine. Some people are closed-minded and will never accept anything other than wine and food. If you spend your time verbally bludgeoning this lot into accepting the concept, you risk alienating those willing to embrace it.
I do think the beer world should try to get away from the “try something new and different” beer and food approach and just talk about compatible flavours. As soon as you emphasise beer and food being unusual partners you enter into a short term gimmick.
Also for every step forward beer takes with a well thought out beer and gastronomy event, it takes 10 back when someone recommends serving a pint of commodity pilsner or session bitter with food in a misguided attempt to sell more beer.