I was invited to an event by Rickard’s Red a few weeks ago to talk and learn more about grilling. Rickard`s Red has been a fervent ambassador to grilling and that all year round.
We spent a few hours with Chef Jonathan Garnier who thought us some tricks in the kitchen as well as the joys of grilling. We also discussed how beer pairing was getting more and more popular and accepted not only at home but in restaurants as well.
The main event of the evening was a friendly competition where 3 teams had to concoct an appetizer with a specific ingredient. There weren’t special rules on what else we could use other than the main ingredient but the Chef was evaluating our dishes on 3 main criteria: taste, presentation and if it married well with beer.
After a few more tips from the chef while enjoying a beer each team were given their main ingredient. One team got Confit de Canard another Shrimps and the third smoked salmon. I was in the second team and after a quick group meeting we got to work. Now it might sound easy cooking as a group respecting the guidelines but it is not that easy. Different ideas bounced off each other but we had 20 minutes to submit our dish. As we were preparing Chef Garnier was preparing us filet mignon on the grill with a nice pieces of smoked salmon filet.
As we finished our appetizer the chef tasted the 3 dishes prepared by the different teams. The winner was the team with the Confit dish, we came in second. We finished the meal with a revisited carrot cake that surprisingly married well with the beer too.
It was a fun evening that just goes to prove again that beer and grilling bring people together. So as spring is around the corner dust off your grill if you haven’t used it this winter and start to think of ways to keeps your BBQ going spring, summer, fall without forgetting the winter as we know are long in Canada.
BY SEBASTIEN ROBILLARD