On Wednesday night, SAVEUR Magazine and Cooperstown, New York's Ommegang Brewery held the Boston regional event for their culinary competition Hop Chef. The competitors were Joshua Smith of Franklin Café, Brian Young of Citizen Public House, Andy Husbands of Tremont 647, Michael Lombardi, Jr. of The Salty Pig, and Josh Harrison of The Publick House. The chefs were each assigned a different Ommegang beer to pair a dish with. The winning chefs (it was a tie!) will compete in Cooperstown later this summer for a series of prizes. Keep reading to see photos of the evening's highlights and to learn who won.
- Josh Harrison (far left) takes a break from plating his dish to pose with his team from The Publick House. Perhaps the most involved dish of the evening, his duck duo of a pan seared breast, risotto, duck confit gyoza, fennel, mache, and a sauce based on
- Doing his Emeril impression is Tremont 647's Andy Husbands (right) with his Ommegang "wicked good" smoked beef brisket, custard cornbread, and barbecue sauce made with the Ommegang Rare Vos it was paired with.
- Michael Lombardi (and his sous chef, The Flash) from The Salty Pig preparing his yogurt panna cotta with puffed barley, chocolate truffle & cherries. This co-judge's choice was paired with Ommegang's Three Philosophers - a Belgian-style quad beer brewed w
- Presenting to the judges, Joshua Smith (blue-green shirt) of the Franklin Cafe describes his dish of carrots cooked with hops and barley, mango, black rice, and grains of paradise. The dish would go on to tie for first place from the judges.
- Two accompaniments for Joshua Smith's co-winning dish: a carrot powder made from dried carrot pulp, and "hop spice," a concoction Smith made with the same hop pellets used in brewing the beer.
- Attendees had three hours to sample their fill of dishes and beer and place their own ballots for whomever they thought presented the best pairing of the evening.
- The competing chefs congratulate Publick House's Josh Harrison (far left) on his audience choice award.
- Both judges' winners will compete at Ommegang's Cooperstown, NY brewery later this summer for the title of Hop Chef 2013.
Nearly 200 guests braved the rains to get to the Boston Center for the Arts' Cyclorama in the South End. They were rewarded with five very different plates of food to pair with each of five different Ommegang beers. Guests were able to increasingly drunkenly wander the room, gorging on brisket and panna cotta. However, the judges - a six-member panel of national and local media and beer experts - were asked to concentrate long enough to determine which dish best reflected the assigned beer.
DJ (and onthebar co-founder) TJ Connelly kept the crowd dancing with forks in hand using his talent of creating a soundtrack of songs everyone knows the words to but hasn't heard in years. In between spinning tracks like Warren G and Nate Dogg's magnum opus collaboration Regulate and the Kingston Trio's Charlie on the MTA, he interviewed each chef so the crowd could learn some of the thought processes that went into their food.
When the votes were tallied, Josh Harrison's duck and Abbey Ale dish was the audience favorite, but the judges were split on their choice. A tie was declared between Joshua Smith's Hennepin carrot dish and Michael Lombardi's Three Philosophers panna cotta. Both chefs will represent Boston later this summer at Ommegang's brewery to compete against the winners from Chicago and Syracuse. The winner of that competition will receive a one-year appointment to SAVEUR's "taste makers board," and several showcases at national culinary events.
· All coverage of Tremont 647 on Eater [~EBOS~]
· All coverage of The Salty Pig on Eater [~EBOS~]
· All coverage of Andy Husbands on Eater [~EBOS~]
· All coverage of The Franklin Cafe on Eater [~EBOS~]
· All coverage of Brian Young on Eater [~EBOS~]
· All coverage of Citizen Public House on Eater [~EBOS~]
· All coverage of The Publick House on Eater [~EBOS~]