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L is for Beer

lisforbeer01On a very cold evening in January I joined fellow beer fans for a special  dinner by the L is For… team at Toronto’s Beer Academy. The meal was prepared by Chef Eyal Liebman, courses were introduced by his wife, sommelier Rebecca Meir Liebman, and the paired beers were presented by the Beer Academy’s head brewer, Stephen Rich.

The menu for the night.

The menu for the night.

Even with six full courses — two appetizers, a fish, main, cheese, and dessert — Chef Liebman did a commendable job of walking the fine line between satisfying and over-stuffing diners. He also showed that plates at beer dinners don’t need to be a four-foot slab of barn board covered in a mountain of meat. Instead his her attractive and carefully presented without being fussy. (more…)

Weekly Roundup II

IMG_7769I managed to get a bunch of writing done this week — much of it here on Food with Legs in fact — so I’m happy to say that this, the second weekly collation of my web writing, is longer than round number one. (Feel free to keep your comments to yourself about how it’s been more than a week since the last roundup.) (more…)

Keep Guacamole from Turning Brown

IPAGuacFWLWhen I was writing the process steps for the IPA Guacamole in my cookbook I thought it a good idea to offer some advice on how to take the avocados from intact to in the bowl. I did a bit of old-fashioned crowdsourcing and it turns out that you’ve already cracked this nut.

To my amazement, just about everyone named a different method: peel the avocado with a vegetable peeler (seriously?); or with a paring knife; pry the pit out with a spoon; or try to flick it away with your thumb. Obviously, I would’ve been wasting space on a problem that was already vaguely under control. (more…)

Goose Island Comes to Ontario

Bottles of Goose Island Sofie and Matilda

At the same time that a new brewery seems to open in Ontario every week, we are also treated to the release of widely-recognised, international beers almost as often. Two Belgian style ales from Chicago’s goose island brewery – Sophie and Matilda – will be making their Ontario debut this April.

The plan is to have them in LCBOs by the week of April 29. Until then, they are exclusively available at Nota Bene on Queen Street West. I had the pleasure of attending a media lunch there last week to mark the occasion. (more…)

Second Draught: Brasserie Dupont’s Biere de Miel

When I write tasting notes for my First Draught posts, I do my best to not let preconceived notions cloud my judgment. Sometimes, though a reference to how the beer differs from expectations is unavoidable. I can’t remember a honey beer experience (before this one) that wasn’t full of cloying sweetness. As I think about it more, that might be because the honey beers I’ve tried (usually dug out of the bottom of a cooler at a barbeque) really were designed to be that way – sweet, cheap, and cheerful. Anyway, the point is that this beer is anything but. It has all of the aromatic and lovely floral aromas and flavors of honey without any of the sugary sweetness.

The rest of the Dupont release also deserves some attention. The Monk’s Stout is all right, but as I posted on a homebrewing discussion forum, who needs another halfway decent stout in the middle of April? The bruine is good (and on the same forum some have speculated that it will get better with age), but the Cervezia is the other gem of the brewery feature. In some ways it’s an advanced version of Dupont’s famous saison. My tasting notes for it include “funky” “pastrami” and “wicked length”. That world-famous, mainstay saison is now a regular listing the LCBO and should still be on shelves after the brewery feature ends. (more…)