Meeting of the Masters
Wow, what a great evening it was. We had 3 different dishes prepared by Tandy Wilson, and 3 different beers prepared by Linus Hall, and it was definitely a match made in culinary heaven. The event was low key, and enjoyable on one July evening that was relatively cool and with low humidity. It was an evening that was meant to be.
The variety of Yazoo Beer available was Hefeweizen, Pale Ale and ESB. Tandy and Linus thought these 3 would pair best with the 3 courses offered.
3rd course was the City House made spicy fennel sausage. Above are the sausages on the grill. This was the 1st meal I had at City House, and the sausage hooked me in. It is the best sausage I have had in Nashville. I think that Tandy should make a new pizza with this sausage crumbled on top. Linus and Tandy thought the ESB would be the best pairing with the sausage because the bitter could cut through the heaviness and the fat of the sausage. Good pairing in my opinion.
The second course was the local organic tomatoes wrapped in City House made mozzarella. The orange tomatoes, the size of a large jaw breaker, were from Delvin Farms, a fairly large local organic farm in Williamson County (just south of Nashville). Delvin has a large CSA following, provides a fairly large farm stand at the Franklin Farmer's market, and they also provide local organic veggies to sell at the local Whole Foods in Green Hills. Delvin is one of the farms that is helping change where Nashville gets its produce. The local, fresh, ripe and delicious veggies taste so much better than the poor veggies that are picked unripe and have to travel 1000s of miles to a grocery store.
Anyway, back to the beer and food pairing, Tandy and Linus thought that the Pale Ale would be a good pairing. In our opinion, tomato and mozzarella is impossible to pair with anything but a wine that has a level of acid to it. I enjoyed the tomato and mozzarella because each bite
seemed to take my mind to Italy, sitting in a small restaurant by the sea with a lovely sea breeze and bright sun lapping over me. The dish was simple, and elegant, capturing the simplicity of taste and texture of old world food.
The 1st course offered was peach wrapped in German style speck. The speck was cured and smoked with peppercorn to give it an extra umph of flavor that you cannot find in an air cured Italian tradition prosciutto, or a plain USA ham. The peaches came from Columbia, TN, but I did not get the name. I am unsure if Tandy made the speck or if he got it from a speck maker. It doesn't matter because I think I enjoyed this dish the most. The peaches were prefectly ripe, and not overly ripe, and the speck had a really nice gentle savory flavor that paired well with the peach.
Linus and Tandy thought a light beer like the Hefeweizen was the match to the peach dish. As the Hefe has a banana essence to it, the rest of the Hefe did not have the umph to compete with the complexity of the peach. We thought the Pale Ale was a better match. The peach and speck seemed to bring out the fruity aroma of the Pale Ale and also smooth out the edge of the hops in the Pale Ale. Well, that is just our opinion, and we are willing to experiment more with ripe peaches and Yazoo varieties.
While I was eating this dish, I thought that it might be a good thing to toss onto a charcoal grill to crisp up the speck a little, and char and caramelize the peach a little and serve it warm. Since I don't have a speck provider, I will have to resort to prosciutto or even a shaved country ham. Also, I had been experimenting over the past couple of years with various fruit to wrap in prosciutto, and I had not tried a peach. It really works out. Cantelope, of course is a classic. I had tried pineapple, and that is a no go. The pineapple is too acidic and overwhelming for a delicate slice of ham.
Thanks Tandy and Linus for a really nice evening of tastings and chatting. I hope you can do this again sometime in the fall perhaps, when the weather is cooler. I had a nice relaxing time, I enjoyed the food, the beer and the company.
Labels: Nashville Eats