We are moving now closer to the showdown between Kelly Whitaker, Al Henkin, and me on pizza versus Patrick Rue on beer. It all began at, and was inspired by, this dinner at Basta - Wood Fired Eatery and Pizzeria, where Kelly and Al came up with a wonderful tasting menu inspired by some of the beers from Orange County artisan brewery, The Bruery. In this segment you will see Al and Kelly briefing their serving staff on the courses and the beers, including Patrick's explanation of his IPL (Imperial Pale Lager as opposed to an India Pale Ale). There was a wonderful Farro Salad with Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese (one of my all time favorites), as well as Pan Roasted Divers Scallops, Quail, Rack of Lamb, and a thoughtfully selected cheese course (see Al's mini-course on cheese and beer pairings in an earlier webisode). Most interesting of all is that Al and Kelly chose to go with a French theme rather than staying in their usual wheelhouse, Italian. Of course, they both paid their dues for years working in fine French dining, so this was but a mere dip into their previous treasure chest of training and a chance to flex their wings.
This all leads to our next webisode, coming soon, when we all sit down and come up with the Signature Pizza/Beer Challenge. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Enjoy this one first, an appetizer, so to speak, of things to come.