Ohmegod, It's Ommegang On H Street
On Monday, Chef Teddy Folkman of Granville Moore's could be seen on the second floor of H Street bar and restaurant, Smith Commons, chatting with beer lovers. As Ommegang Brewery's Culinary Ambassador, Chef Teddy has flown all over the United States showing how well the New York beer goes with a variety of food. Earlier this week, he mingled with beer drinkers and epicures and gave them a taste of his talent as a prelude to the Ommegang Beer Dinner happening next Monday at Smith Commons. Brewery Ommegang specializes in Belgian-style ales and is based in Cooperstown, New York.
A full confession: I am no beer connoisseur, though I do enjoy my beer and prefer it most times over wine. Though I squinch my face at the taste of terribly hoppy beers, I can appreciate what hops can do to your palate. But I will take a Belgian wheat beer any day! So when I saw the Ommegang Witte on tap, I had to get a pint of that. It has a beautiful opaque orange color and reminds me of summer patios. Chef Teddy paired the Witte with grapefruit, crab, and avocado salad on tortilla chips. Of the five pairing principles (simple, incorporation, mimicking, story telling, and experimental), this pairing demonstrates the imitation principle. The grapefruit echoed the Witte beer's citrusy flavor profile. During my tasting (read: feasting) session, I ate waaay too many of these crab tortilla m'bobbers, but they were so refreshing just like the Witte beer. The pink and green color also contrasted nicely with the depressing downpour outside.
Next, Chef Teddy matched Ommegang BPA with bread cheese and roasted yellow tomatoes. Bread cheese, which can be found at your local Whole Foods, is a traditionally Finnish hard cheese that is usually heated before serving. Chef Teddy used bread cheese from Carr Valley, Wisconsin, and topped it off with slow-roasted tomatoes. And these are seriously slooooowww roasted tomatoes; the slices sat underneath the oven's power lamp for 13 hours. (The noise you hear is your stomach growling.) The BPA is a hoppy pale ale, and the combination of the beer and cheese is just a simple pairing. The carbonation and the hoppiness of the BPA cleanses your palate of the fat in the cheese. My taste buds were whizzing out to the changes in taste. Fascinating!
The last pairing was the heartiest: Abbey-braised brisket sliders with Swiss cheese and caramelized onions on a baguette slice, and Ommegang Abbey ale. This combination demonstrates the principle of incorporation in which the beer is used during the cooking process. As the name obviously states, the brisket is braised in the ale, infusing the beef with a light spice taste. I'm a big fan of pairing beer with food because it seems so much more accessible to me. Considering DC is the home to a growing number of craft breweries, I'm proud that many young food lovers are learning more about drinking beer. It's not an expensive hobby (cheaper than being a wino), and it's almost a requirement to drink beer with company!
The Brewery Ommegang Beer Dinner will take place on Monday, April 30 at 7pm. It will feature a five-course dinner paired with Ommegang beers. A limited number of tickets is available for this culinary adventure in Smith Common's main dining room. Get your chance to have an intimate discussion with Chef Teddy about all things related to American craft brews. If you can't make it to the Beer Dinner, the next event at Smith Commons is a Kentucky Derby celebration on May 5.
Short URL: http://bit.ly/Jzi39K