SF Chefs Preview Series Lamb and Beer Pairings Celebrate Summer Grilling
Getting bigger and better every year, SF Chefs, the major gourmet event in San Franciso, started weeks ahead of its traditional first weekend of August with the SF Chefs Preview Series.
Cooking demos presented by the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) were hosted by Liam Mayclem of Eye on the Bay (CBS 5) and Foodie Chap (KCBS) at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Lamb and beer pairings were executed by the Food Network Chef Tom Pizzica and the San Francisco Brewers Gulld Beer Consultant Rich Higgins.
Using the best 100-day-old lamb from the Rocky Mountain Wooly Weeders , presented by the company owner, Don Watson, Chef Pizzica prepared charred cumin-spiced leg of lamb with rhubarb puree and baby arugula.
“My favorite part of the lamb has to the leg,” explained the chef during his demonstration. “It has the most flavor.” He also said that “when done right, char is an excellent flavor profile for cooking gamey meats,” and proved his every word with the finished product – a tender slice of meat with charred edges, topped with brightly colored tangy rhubarb and bitter herb.
Higgins, with years of brewmaster experience under his belt, selected the beer to be paired with lamb dishes based on the chef’s descriptions, and did it exceptionally well.
The second course of the demo, gilled lamb chops with a honey-thyme glaze and buttermilk dipping sauce, was paired with Brown Bear Ale, characteristic of American-style chocolate malts devoid of bitterness, and produced by the Thirsty Bear Certified Organic Brewing Company in San Francisco.
Higgins served this ale at his own wedding, and now I know why. Chef Pizzica’s succulent salty-sweet charred lamb chops, dipped into buttermilk and sour cream sauce, bursting with flavors of garlic, pepper, lemon zest, and oregano, couldn’t have been married to a better drink. I’m afraid I won’t be able to pair my lamb chops with pinot or syrah any more… I don’t even know if I would be able to eat any other but the Napa Valley Lamb from Wooly Weeders.
More information and tickets to the SF Chefs events, classes, and parties, online.