PHOTO BY KEVIN KORINEK
Ahi tuna with sesame ginger dressing and a cucumber salad — one course from last week's beer dinner by chef Mikey Carrasco.
Since his sudden departure from Taco Circus
, the wildly popular taqueria he co-founded in Bevo Mill, Chef Mikey Carrasco has been working to make his unique mark on the St. Louis dining scene.
In addition to joining the culinary team at WH Clayton, Carrasco has also launched a side project at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
(900 Spruce Street, downtown; 314-932-1456
): a new event dubbed the “Beer Dinner.” The concept is deliciously simple: a local chef comes to Flying Saucer to create a five-course menu around the offerings of a hand-picked local brewery.
“I want it to be like an Iron Chef kind of thing,” Carrasco says. “I’ll invite a new chef to come in and and have the freedom to create whatever they want and try to pair it well with the type of local beer we bring in.”
The first Beer Dinner took place last Thursday, with Carrasco taking the lead in the kitchen and Modern Brewery filling glasses. You’ve probably seen drafts from the King’s Oak-based craft brewer at your favorite watering hole – their tap handles are adorned with a glowing lightbulb, as if to suggest “Drinking Modern Brewery beer is a great idea.”
At Carrasco’s kickoff dinner, it certainly was. For $47 dollars, all five courses were locally sourced and well-paired with some of the finest beer you’ve ever tasted. And we’re not talking about flight glasses here – these were full, high-octane beers. By the third course, the 30 attendees were laughing together like old friends.
PHOTO BY KEVIN KORINEK
A coffee-cured beef l'orange by chef Carrasco.
Food highlights included a local charcuterie plate featuring a delectable cloth-bound, cave-aged cheddar made on a farm in upstate Missouri, and Ahi tuna topped with sesame ginger dressing and a cucumber salad. But the main course was an unparalleled, coffee-cured beef l'orange, served with tobacco shallots, a candied orange and Modern Brewery’s Arkham's Finest, a chocolate coffee stout — a veritable juggernaut of flavors.
Modern Brewery co-owner Beamer Eisele was pleased with the outcome. “Mikey really knocked this out of the park and we were so glad to be a part of it. Can't wait to do it again,” he said.
Indeed, Carrasco says this is only the beginning.
“We’re going to do these once a month for the summer for as long as we can. It’s just a great way to get more makers in St. Louis partnering and doing things together. I think that’s what’s so great about this city and I just want to be a part of it.”
The next Flying Saucer Beer Dinner will be held June 2 with Chef Sergio Nakayoshi of Mango Peruvian Cuisine (1001 Washington Ave.), crafting some unique Peruvian dishes paired with Urban Chestnut beer. Is Nakayoshi up to the Beer Dinner challenge? There’s only one way to find out.
For tickets, contact Flying Saucer at 314-932-1456. For every $50 dollar ticket sold, $5 dollars will be donated to a local charity.
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