Don Bauder 6:07 a.m., May 21
Last night, I attended a dinner put on by four local food and brewing industry personalities. It was held at a private residence and featured plenty of delicious dishes and beer that was consumed on the backyard patio. Sounds like a casual Sunday get-together and that’s what it turned out to be. But it was also the basis for a photo shoot for a new cookbook about cooking with beer as an ingredient that’s set to come out later this year.
Scheduled for release during San Diego Beer Week in November, the book is being produced by Chefs Press as their follow-up to 2011’s San Diego’s Top Brewers: Inside America’s Craft Beer Capital, a combination cookbook and look at the history and evolution of the San Diego brewing industry. The current working title for the new book is Brewed Food: Great Beer-Inspired Recipes from America’s Craft Beer Capital (though that figures to change). It will include 70 to 80 recipes contributed by roughly 50 chefs, brewers and other gastonomically-inclined industry insiders.
Last night’s session was held to get shots for a special section of the book that will serve as a how-to for people looking to hold multiple course beer dinner parties at home. The idea was pitched by local chef group, The Trenchermen. Beer and food are their bailiwick and Chefs Press followed them as they procured beer for the dinner, prepared their dishes, plated up, and chowed down. Topics that will be discussed in their part of the book will include techniques for finding flavor bridges between food and beer, setting up an optimal meal progression, selecting proper glassware, and more.
One of the most appealing aspects of the new book is the fact, because the recipes are contributed from an array of culinarians ranging from high level chefs to home cooks, the recipes should hold wide-ranging appeal for a broad spectrum of readers. For those who are just beginning, there are beer cheeses, soups and other preparations that are quick and easy. For those who enjoy taking things to the next level, there will also be plenty of gourmet fare involving cutting edge methods and exotic ingredients.
Chefs Press hopes to hold a debut event for the book at or around the beginning or San Diego Beer Week, which will bring together, not only many of the contributors they’re working with on this project, but also a number of their dishes. To keep up on the project and catch details about that event as it takes shape, refer to Chefs Press’ Facebook page.