Thursday, July 21, 2011

L' Art De La Degustation - A Beer Appreciation Dinner by San Miguel

French cuisine and beer make a superb match.

This power combination is what the dynamic culinary expert Karen Martin served last night straight from the kitchen of La Regalade French Bistro where she dons the executive sous chef toque for 2 years now.

Perhaps it’s her young age or her exposure to European and Mediterranean cooking abroad that sets her apart from the traditional. Chef Karen is proud to share among guests what’s new on her menu, with the three “Lifestyle Brews” of San Miguel Beer as her star beverage.

“Filipinos I would say are more beer drinkers than wine drinkers due to several factors. Number one would be the fact that we are living in a tropical country and it is but natural that we opt for a refreshing and invigorating type of beverage. I think that a deeply thought of and a harmoniously paired beer with food is a great way to serve a meal,” the 23-year old Filipina explains.

Chef Karen, who was trained by the Alain Raye -- the chef extraordinaire awarded with two Michelin stars -- will take her guests to the gastronomic adventures of savoring rabbit, tuna, snapper, lamb, goat cheese, calamari, chorizo and Belgian dark chocolates in a six-fare dinner hosted by San Miguel Premium All-Malt Beer, San Miguel Super Dry and Cerveza Negra on the second year of its signature Beer and Food pairing event.

First on the table are the Rabbit Rillete with Djon Mustard and the flavorful Terrine Maison with Onion Marmalade and Pearl Onion Tuna Carpaccio with Ten Spice Rub. These Canapes and Hor d’ Oeuvres perfectly complement the malty aroma and accented flavor of San Miguel Premium All Malt Beer, which Chef Karen describes as a “versatile and brilliant beer.”

For the appetizer, guests will discover that sautéed calamari and chorizo Pamplona, spiced with tomato, spring onion and hints of Spanish paprika create a delightful symphony.

“This appetizer is best enjoyed with San Miguel Super Dry. The robust taste of the chorizo complements the crisp and moderate taste of the beer,” she adds.

The salad is something to look forward to: fried goat cheese on a bed of young spinach leaves tossed in walnut and red wine vinaigrette with sautéed pears. Cerveza Negra’s innate pleasantness definitely matches the creaminess and slight salinity of the goat cheese.

All three dishes are no doubt an exciting prelude to the two main courses of seafood and meat. The Snapper with Rosemary Butter is a welcome treat, especially when paired with San Miguel Premium All Malt. The citrusy hop notes on the perfectly balance beer invigorates the succulence of the snapper fillet along with the velvet feel of the highly flavourful butter.

For the meat main dish, Chef Karen prepares Lamb Navarin with Couscous. She pairs this stewed lamb dish with hints of ginger, curry and dried apricots with the San Miguel Super Dry, her choice of refreshment after a long day in the hot kitchen.

“The quick and elegant finish of San Miguel Super Dry, as well as its moderate bitterness, renders this spiced dish delightful for the palate, “she describes.

The dessert is also an affair to remember, Creme Chocolate, dark Belgian chocolate custard served with almond and coconut tuille. And who says desserts are only for coffee? Cerveza Negra proves to be a perfect companion for this sweet, creamy and frothy indulgence.

“This is actually my second time to do beer pairing. The first was for a Portuguese beer where we focused on serving appetizers. The difference with taking part in this activity with the San Miguel Lifestyle Brews apart from myself being an avid consumer of San Miguel and a firm believer that San Miguel Beer is truly among the best beers in the world, there is this deeper sense of Filipino pride,” she adds.

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