By: David DiPino Contributing Writer
If given the chance and have the luck of the Irish on your side enough to get invited to a Terrapin Beer Dinner at Duffy’s Culinary Arts Studio nestled in rows of identical buildings in a local industrial park, one should stop what they’re doing and indulge mouth wide open and bottoms up.
Membership has its privileges, and recently 70 guests, many of which are Duffy’s MVP Card holders, were treated to a smorgasbord of new culinary delights by Duffy’s Sports Grill Corporate Executive Chef Eric Parker, his talented team and new beer pairings by the restaurant’s partnership with Terrapin Brewery. As beer one was being poured, it was a tasty IPA known as the “Hopsecutioner” the moniker told to us by Terrapin Beer co-founder Brian “Spike” Buckowski.
“You are here (at the Terrapin Beer Dinner at Duffy’s Culinary Arts Studio) for one of three reasons, either you attended one of our Terrapin Beer samplings throughout the company (Duffy’s), or you are one of our top Terrapin Beer drinkers or we just simply like you,” Duffy’s president Jason Emmett said.
Each Duffy’s course was paired with a different Terrapin Beer.
Hopsecutioner, a tasty IPA– by the way, if you’re scoring at home that’s India Pale Ale, take the time to look that one up if not familiar because you’ll be amazed at the history of IPA’s. This Hopsecutioner was tasty and strong, with a bite like a Florida gator. But, before all the tasty Terrapin Beer and six-meal courses, all 70 of us indulged in the charcuterie bar consisting of the finest meats and cheese being attended by Chef Parker and his talented team in a real test kitchen overlooking a real test restaurant, a mirror image of a Duffy’s Sports Grill establishment.
Pimento Cheese, cheese curds, olives and prosciutto hit this plate and then disappeared, washed down with that attractive Hopsecutioner if there could ever be such a thing. Beware Spike is as big of Grateful Dead fan as yours truly is a fan of Pearl Jam (over 20 tour stops for me and counting), so the road ahead will have “Dead Head” references of Truckin’ and Casey Jones, which is only natural as the bright, black light like colors on Terrapin Brewery beer cans. Walking Dead fans take note Terrapin has a new Blood Orange IPA which nods to the popular TV series.
Where’s the bacon? Because you can’t have a beer dinner without bacon – can you? The Wake-N-Bacon consisted of Pepper-crusted bacon glazed with Terrapin Beer’s W-N-B Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout. This Nueske’s Bacon was so tasty and the pepper enhanced the flavor perfectly but wasn’t overpowering. The true star though was the Terrapin Stout used to carefully glaze the perfectly cooked bacon.
“Our courses for this dinner have Terrapin Beer infused in every part of the meal. Wake-N-Bacon is done with the Terrapin Oatmeal Stout, what we did is mixed some brown sugar with the beer and reduced it and took Nueske’s Bacon Slab shaved it a quarter-of-an-inch thick on the slicer put it into the oven, pulled it out and glazed it. It was just an hour process at 300 degrees,” said Chef Parker.
After bacon it was time for salad, because what comes after a charcuterie, followed by a bacon appetizer, other than a salad? Everyone is eating Kale these days and reports point to this leafy, crunchy green’s protein level, fibrous content, vitamins A, C and K and form of omega-3 fatty acid, so the Hawaiian Kale Salad with Terrapin Beer’s Luau Krunkles Vinaigrette was a healthy, hearty choice. Hey, whoever can make salad dressing made with beer taste this good deserves some kudos.
For course three, this out of the ordinary beer dinner was as Florribean as a Jimmy Buffet concert at Hard Rock Stadium home of the Miami Dolphins – taking center stage was the Terrapin Hi-5 IPA with Steamed Cedar Key Clams and sausage. Lager seems like the most common choice when cooking with clams here but the curveball of pairing it with an IPA hit-it-out-of-the-park. The Cedar Key Clams were the Littleneck variety and sweet and the bite of the Hi-5 IPA was a nice sidecar choice to complement the perfectly cooked, not overdone clams and brought out the flavor of the multi-meat sausage, fresh fennel, garlic and shallots mixed in by Chef Parker helped too.
Courses four through six chugged along like a Grateful Dead concert set list songs ten through twenty starting with the fourth course featuring a Terrapin Beer Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout Braised Short Rib Taco carefully braised by Chef Parker and his team for hours with splashes of veal stock and a mirepoix of shallots, carrots, celery and thyme. Chef Parker explained that he pureed the braising liquid and then reduced it with Ancho Chile and whisked in Ghirardelli 60 percent Cocoa. Wow! Just wow! The course of this Terrapin Beer infused Braised Short Rib taco was garnished with pickled red onion and Cotija Cheese. The taste buds were Truckin’ to another palate they hadn’t visited ever before.
Unbelievably, the fourth course also included a Mahi Mahi Fish Taco marinated in the Terrapin Luau Krunkles, hey that’s the same beer used in the vinaigrette from earlier, should get the cooking beer title due to the fact that it sounds like a great beer to work with on culinary masterpieces, and Ancho Chile added to give the fish tacos a little, kick or heat as some would say. Then, the fresh, locally caught fish was battered with Luau Krunkles and this time the Terrapin Beer was made into a beer batter, great choice if you ask me, and drizzled with cilantro lime cream, cabbage, Pico de Gallo, and Cotija Cheese. Crunch! Nom, nom…
Just when all 70 guests including Christine Legris, a sales and marketing executive who drove up from Miami for the event, were about to give Chef Parker and Spike a standing ovation, a fifth course of BBQ Pork Tenderloin with Korean BBQ glazed brussel sprouts, and tri-color chanterelle mushroom quinoa hit the table. This appealing dish was brined in Terrapin Recreational Ale for 24-hours, and then dry rubbed by a food masseuse and grilled. Before serving to the beer dinner dining patrons the dish was drizzled with BBQ sauce made from Terrapin IPA. The night ended with course six, a Wake-N-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout Chocolate Cake that was heavenly and wet. Taste buds left the Duffy’s Sports grill Terrapin Brewery Pairing Dinner in sheer ecstasy.
For more information visit: Duffy’s Sports Grill, Duffy’s Sports Grill Culinary Studio is located at 1100 Barnett Drive, #38, Lake Worth, FL 33461.