When thinking of Verde, Stephen Starr's restaurant at Pérez Art Museum Miami, craft beer doesn't necessarily spring to mind. Yet this Thursday, chef Nicolay Adinaguev will be collaborating with brewmaster Wayne Wambles of Tampa's Cigar City to create a beer-pairing dinner that will be sure to please all beer snobs.
Adinaguev knows the beer well, as his history with Cigar City goes back to 2008 when the brewery first opened. Adinaguev was the opening chef at the brewpub, so the beer-pairing dinner came naturally. "This is the perfect opportunity to work with Cigar City again," says the chef.
"My experience with Cigar City gave me a ton of practice with beer pairing. I love food and as a chef I get to work with flavor balance every day," says Adinaguev. "It's more fun than work."
The five-course dinner is priced at $50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Adinaguev's thought process behind the pairings involves creating dishes that won't overshadow the beverages and vice versa but rather complement one another. "The pairings should bring out the flavors in the dish and beverage and not mask them. The pairing has to be memorable together, not just one or the other."
Verde's cuisine is all about simple, clean, and barely tampered with flavors. "Cigar City's style is similar to Verde, in that the flavors are clean and representative. As a result, the pairings were really easy to come by."
Adinaguev and the Cigar City team worked closely on the dinner menu, taking into consideration that it is August in Miami, which means keeping the offerings extra cool and refreshing. Think hamachi sashimi paired with Cigar City's Cucumber Saison and mahi-mahi ceviche with their Florida Cracker Belgian-style white ale.
Adinaguev's favorite thing to have with beer is anything with salt and fat, so expect to find that consistency in the tempura corn fritters, which are being paired with the brewery's Invasion Pale Ale. As for what doesn't pair with beer, the chef didn't have much to say. "I honestly think that everything pairs with beer."
In addition to the five courses, which also include fish and grits and Verde's donuts paired with Cigar City Maduro Brown Ale, guests will also received a surprise directly from the Cigar City representative and Wambles. What's the surprise? "Let's just say that beer nerds like me get excited about the special release brews," says Adinaguev.
"Beer has a reputation for being low brow so this is an opportunity to elevate the beer experience by trying different styles with a variety of dishes in a beautiful location at the Pérez Art Museum."
Verde and Cigar City beer dinner takes place this Thursday, August 28, at 7 p.m. Tickets costs $50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity) and can be purchased via eventbrite.com.
Follow Carla on Twitter @ohcarlucha
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