Monday, 9 August 2010

Me and My Celebrity Pals

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.

What do you think?


8 comments:

BeerReviewsAndy said...

I love the look of surprise on rick's face, its almost like you just pinched his bum....

not so convinced by nathans pic tho he seems to be missing half of his arm!

the tasting sound like great fun (and a great day to have it... on my birthday)

I like the idea of just letting the compatible flavours do the talking although i often find that which beer i choose depends on my mood, if it doesn't particularly suit the food im eating ill eat the food then drink the beer after ;op

Pork scratchings and session bitter for the win.....hehehe!

ZakAvery said...

I agree with you.

*scans YouTube for video evidence of self doing the contrary*

beerandpubs said...

I think you are just about spot on - if wine and beer were instruments in an orchestra – wine would sit with the violins and violas and produce music of great beauty and merit. But beer with its greater range of colours, tastes and textures would fill most of the other seats.
It really is time for beer to take centre stage. Wine can have its food matchings. Beer does not have to compete with these – your evenings sound great.

Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

I have been involved in doing a bit to try and encourage the hospitality trade to embrace beer and food matching see

http://www.regionalwines.co.nz/beer-content.aspx/beer-and-food-emersons-week

I totally agree about outfits matching mainstream beer of dubious character with food. We have a 'festival' here that matches a very mundane range of different coloured lagers under the Monteiths brand with chefs offering. Its painful as it usually involves the chefs having to dumb down the food to the level of the beers. It does the whole concept no good.

the Toss said...

The Toss is quite partial to a commodity Kingfisher with his curry, alas. Whoever thought of flogging "Indian" lager with your chicken jalfrezi was clearly not misguided, but a marketing genius. I don't think that move put beer and food back ten steps. (I also like a Chalky's Bark with my curry, it depends what's in my fridge)

thyme said...

I think your beer & food matching thoughts are spot on.
I am, however, mildly disturbed that you used your photoshopping skills to aim Nathan's arm towards your personal space ... still, each to his/her own ...

Adrian Tierney-Jones said...

why’s Gordon Ramsay in the middle of the picture?

Stuart Howe said...

Philippa, you know how well my personal space is guarded!

I always use Mr Ramsay as my double for shots like these Adrian. However all the stunts and fight scenes on the forthcoming TV series Howe's Brewery Nightmares are my own work!

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