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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Alchemy of Food and Beer

Wildwood/Cascade Brewers Dinner
7pm Friday, Oct. 15
$60 (gratuity included)
Wildwood, 1221 N.W. 21st Ave.
Reservations: 503-225-0130
Beer is tasty; food is tasty. Combine the two, and unless you've done something horribly wrong, they'll be tasty. It is possible, however, to put plate and glass together so that the ingredients in the two perform an act of alchemy in the mouth and become a third thing entirely. This is harder to do, but when done properly, it allows a person to find depths in both the food and beer she might never have located alone.

A few months back, the Paul Kasten, the sous chef at Wildwood, put on a brewer's dinner with the beers of Pelican. In I think five courses, he managed to thread that needle amazingly well, creating the best brewer's dinner I've attended. On Friday, he's working with Cascade's sour ales and putting together a tour de force of seven courses. I can't speak to how well he'll manage the alchemical transformation this time, but yesterday John Foyston reported that he is pulling out all the stops. Here's the description of course six, paired with Bourbonic Plague:
"It's a huge beer," he said, "and neither of us were sure we could find its match, but then I remembered a Black Forest ham that I've been dry-curing since 2008."

He'll cold-smoke the dense ham over pine needles for two days, slice it prosciutto-thin and serve it with house-made semolina crackers, roasted beets in zinfandel vinaigrette and truffled chèvre.
In absolute terms, sixty bucks a plate is a lot of cash. But given how much time Paul and Ron have put into the food and beverages, I have no doubt but that it's a bargain. And, if you can't make this one, make a mental note. Paul would like to do these every few months, so you'll have another opportunity. If you're interested, I'll include the menu below the jump.
Click for menu


  1. Paul is a talented dude. And, obviously so is Ron.

  2. MEAT, MEAT, MEAT, MEAT.... I think there's a common thread here?!

    Is there a beginning and an end within this MEAT ridden menu? Doesn't seem to have any normal flow of a normal Gastronomic Gourmet Menu.

    Where's the Starter/Appetizer, Salad, Soup, Palate Cleanser, Second, Main, Cheese plate, dessert, etc courses?

    Did I see Zinfandel in there!!??

    I'd like to try one of two of these, but the whole menu looks tedious.

    This is like Beer-n-Meat Gourmet Caveman meal. ;-}