If there’s one problem with the period of time between late November and late December, it’s that there simply aren’t enough opportunities to eat copious amounts of food. Seriously, it’s been at least two weeks since any of us ended the evening sacked out on the couch with a food baby bump. Thankfully, Green Flash came to rescue us from the food doldrums on Monday night with their December Supper Club.
If you’re unfamiliar with Green Flash’s Supper Club, the concept is simple. Green Flash partners up with local culinary minds to create a tasting menu paired with their beer. For Monday’s Supper Club, Green Flash assembled a triumvirate of culinarians to create a true farm-to-table tasting menu. Port Brewing Co-Founder Vince Marsaglia, Chef Nate Soroko from Toronado, and Chef Samantha Parker from Flying Pig Pub & Kitchen literally got their hands dirty with the menu by going up to Valley Center to pluck the produce out of the ground at Schaner Farms.
Arriving attendees immediately sampled the first dish: a smoked duck liver pâté crostini with persimmon and Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk cheese. The pâté was a labor of love for Marsaglia, who smoked the duck on his smoker in Julian, and even “ate duck for breakfast” to make sure he got the flavors just right. The accompanying beer, Green Flash’s Rayon Vert, stood up quite well to the unctuous smoked duck pâté, and provided a great palate cleanser after the funkiness of the cheese.
The second course arrived after a brief introduction by Green Flash Tasting Room Manager Dave Adams. The trio of chefs roasted red and golden beets from Schaner Farms, and tossed it with a Saison Diego vinaigrette and candied pecans. Belgian Red Rye, the accompanying beer, complimented the citrus notes in the salad, and let the Cypress Grove Herbs de Humboldt cheese shine through.
The third dish proved to be the most controversial of the evening. Marsaglia, acting as smoker in chief, created a triple-smoked cauliflower soup with bacon lardons. While the smoke may have been overpowering to some, if you like smoky food, this is right up your alley. Green Flash 30th Street Pale Ale cut through the smoke and red pepper flake heat with a signature dose of hops.
The entree was a de facto surf and turf divided into two courses. Surf was a dish of sea scallops on a bed of green curry and coconut risotto with wilted Swiss chard. Green Flash Trippel’s malt and spice flavors complimented the slowly building heat from the green curry.
Boar chops brined in Green Flash Super Freak made up the turf portion of the main course. A sweetbread, sherry and mushroom reduction sauce topped the chops, while a parsnip puree provided a base to the edible construct. Super Freak, the accompanying beer, provided a funkiness from the brettanomyces that paired nicely with the earthiness of the mushroom sauce.
Before the dessert course arrived, Green Flash Brewmaster Chuck Silva announced an upcoming expansion of their barrel aging program, which makes great use of oak barrels. In that vein, dessert consisted of oak bark ice cream atop an allspice cake with poached figs and a Green Flash American Strong Ale reduction sauce. American Strong Ale accompanied the dish, and tied it all together with sweetness from brown sugar and maple syrup.
After a thank you from Green Flash Founder Mike Hinkley, the calorie-laden crowd slowly trickled out after milling about with the chefs to thank them for a great meal. The next Green Flash Supper Club event is scheduled for February with chef and date still yet to be finalized. Hopefully this event was enough to hold people over until Christmas dinner…they were starting to look like skin and bones!