Something magical happens when good beer and food are thoughtfully paired together – the flavors meld, dance and harmonize. This is the idea behind the Hop Chef competition held by Brewery Ommegang. On April 23, 2013, six outstanding chefs from Philadelphia’s culinary community: Yun Fuentes (JG Domestic), Lucio Palazzo (La Calaca Feliz); Nick Macri (Southwark), Pat Szoke (The Industry), Eli Kulp (Fork); and Mike Deganis (Alla Spina) will go head to head, each presenting a dish to show off their flair for food and beer pairing. Each chef will have 15 minutes to explain and defend the concept behind their dish.
A panel of judges and attendees will taste their creations paired with an Ommegang beer, and the winner will be chosen based on the direct interaction between the food and the beer, how beer is utilized in the cooking process, how well the flavor profile of a dish matches with the flavor profile of a beer, how history is traced through the dish and the beer, and the extent to which beer is the star of the dish. Last year’s Philly winner, George Sabatino, formerly of Stateside, went all the way to win the national Hop Chef competition, against the winners from cities across the US! Who knows how far this year’s Philadelphia winner can go?
The 2nd Annual Hop Chef, sponsored by Saveur Magazine, will be held at Union Transfer on Tuesday, April 23rd at 7PM. Tickets are $53.30, and a portion of the proceeds will go to support Mural Arts Program and Groundswell. Click here to purchase tickets.
For a little preview of the action, in the weeks leading up to Hop Chef, you can follow the competing chefs on Twitter (#HopChef) as they sample beers from Ommegang experiment with pairings and perfect their competition dishes.