July 27, 2009
Tina Clements joined Brown’s Brewing as a chef almost five years ago. Clements was always a beer drinker and was intrigued by the Brown’s job as she wanted to learn more about beer. She was pleasantly surprised by Brown’s tasty brews and states that she will “never” go back to drinking mass produced beer.
Despite being relatively new to the craft beer scene, she has already proven herself to be an excellent chef when it comes to cooking with beer. She has been awarded three 1st place finishes at the Troy Chowderfest, best wings by RPI twice, and a silver medal as the People’s Choice for best chef. Tina has also performed a cooking demonstration at TAP-NY for the last three years where she has served her famous Mussel with Brown’s Hefe-Weizen . Tina has gone from serving 200 mussels in her first year to over 1,000 this year.
Tina grew up in the Saratoga area and came back to the area to cook there after graduating from Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Rhode Island. While I am sure that there are plenty of benefits to working in a brewery, Tina says that her favorite aspect of the job is “the people here that I work with”. Clements says that owners Garrett and Kelly Brown have treated her extremely well over the years. She works very closely with the Browns, as well as brewmaster Peter Martin. One of the projects that Clements works closely with Martin on is their beer dinners. Brown’s puts on about three-four dinners a year that center around a seasonal theme. Clements tries to use local ingredients for all of her dishes for these dinners.
Chef Clements cooks two dishes from scratch that involve Brown’s beer. Her vegan Black Bean & Barley Burger uses barley from the brewery and is the restaurants #1 seller. She also uses Brown’s Whiskep Porter to make her Chocolate Porter Cake from scratch. Clements sent me home with a piece of the massive cake and my recommendation is for anyone in the Troy area to head to Brown’s to buy a piece. The soft chocolate cake is covered in chocolate mousse and is absolutely delicious. Clements uses Brown’s beer in about 13 of the dishes that the brewpub offers as well as almost all of their daily specials. Her favorite beers to use in recipes are the Cherry Raspberry Ale and the Hefeweizen.
In addition to her duties at Brown’s, Tina will be teaching the cooking class “Cooking with Beer” at the Whisk & Spoons in Clifton Park this year. When not busy cooking Tina lives with her husband and three children at their house near Schuylerville, NY.