The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2011

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drınk dısh the and the Constructing Cocktails A Beer GRAB YOURSELF A COLD BREW AS THE DRINK AND THE DISH TAKES YOU TO THE BENT BRICK IN PORTLAND by Bridget Albert / photos by Geoff Kleinman s a gal from the Midwest, I appreciate the simplicity and joy a beer can bring, whether enjoyed with a hot dog at a ballgame, or at home with a pizza. But nowadays, chefs and mixologists are kicking this frothy beverage up well beyond beer battered onion rings and a boilermaker. At Portland tavern The Bent Brick, Chef Will Preisch and Mixologist Adam Robinson are creating tasty beer-inspired seasonal dishes and cocktails. Bridget Albert: Chef Will and Adam, what is your vision for The Bent Bent Brick Chef Will Preisch. Brick's guest experience? Chef Will: We have strived to be a casual restaurant—a tavern, which places equal importance on the food and the drinks that are served here. We wanted to create an atmosphere that encouraged a number of drinking and dining styles, ranging from just dropping in for a drink and a snack at the bar, enjoying a casual meal or going all out and ordering "The Menu" with pairings. Bottom line: We want people to come in and have a good time. Adam: Simply put we are trying to serve great food and drinks in a friendly atmosphere. BA: How are you bringing your individual passion for seasonal and sustainable ingredients to The Bent Brick's menus? Chef Will: We are only using domestic products both in the kitchen as well as the bar. You won't fi nd capers or sherry vinegar in the kitchen, or Italian bitters or tequila behind the bar. That small restriction has helped shape what we do. It certainly has made us look to our local producers and purveyors for things that we hadn't before. Adam Robinson prepares a beer-inspired cocktail. On my menu, I try to use some fairly common ingredients in unique and interesting ways. If I have a dish with cherries on my menu, I will use cher- ries in that dish in many different applications: raw, pickled, roasted, or perhaps puréed. I view plants and vegetables in a "head to tail" type fash- ion; we've been working with our farmers to source different parts of the plants as well, utilizing some under-appreciated parts of the plants, such as carrot tops and bean leaves. We are going to be salting and preserving the under-ripe seeds of fennel, nasturtium and coriander to mimic the effect of capers and other brined pantry items that we aren't using. Adam: I like to work very closely with the kitchen to see what is coming in season. Fruit shrubs, cordials and canning are three ways I like to transcend seasonal boundaries. We just canned a ton of cher- 94 / the tasting panel / october 201 1

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