Authors Brooke and Luther Fedora are shown in this 2012 handout photo in New York provided by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. on Aug 18, 2014. – REUTERS
The culinary couple has been creating beer-inspired dinners at their North Carolina gastropub.
Husband and wife team Brooke and Luther Fedora show how beer adds complexity to a dish and why selecting the right brew can elevate any meal in their debut cookbook, The Foodie’s Beer Book.
The culinary couple has been creating beer-inspired dinners for four years at their popular gastropub, the Horse & Hound in Charlottesville, North Carolina, which they opened in 2007.
They feature versions of roasted chicken, smoked and roasted ribs and bacon-wrapped dates at the restaurant, where customers can choose 30 types of craft beers in a bottle.
Brooke, 34, who was born in Spooner, Wisconsin and Luther, 37, who hails from Birmingham, Alabama, spoke to Reuters about creating their beer-inspired dishes and offered tips to make desserts with the beverage.
How do you create your food-beer pairings?
Luther: You could go seasonally with the beer and you look at the flavour profiles of the beers and you look at what’s available fresh seasonally produce-wise. Then you put it all together.
Brooke: Beer is more complex now, especially with the craft brews that people are making. Sometimes we might pick a beer and make a dish around it based on the flavours of the beer.
Do you tend to create a dish around a beer or do you look to complement a dish with a beer?
Brooke: It depends on the dish or it depends the beer. A lot of desserts in the book are created by picking a beer first. I look at the profile of the beer. I look at what kind of dessert I could make out of it. A good example in the book is the baked Alaska. It started with the beer and ended up being one of my favourite desserts.
What is your advice for cooking with beer?
Luther: With all our dishes, we go for balance. You don’t want to taste too much alcohol or beer.
Brooke: Sometimes you don’t want to use too much especially with desserts because if you add too much, you are adding too much liquid. In most pastries, it’s almost like adding a vanilla extract. The general rule is if you have a heavier dish, you want a heavier beer and a lighter dish, a lighter beer. In desserts, it gets tricky. You would consider ice-cream and custards heavier and stouts work really well. For ices and sorbets, you use a lighter style.
Do you both like the same types of beer?
Brooke: We often have similar styles and tastes. I think that’s why we could get along and collaborate on projects. Traditionally, he’s been a Belgian guy. I’ve been a cider girl.
Luther: I never considered myself an IPA (Indian pale ale) guy and I think I’m turning into an IPA guy. – REUTERS