Sky Full of Bacon

Sky Full of Bacon Presents Chicken-Fried Beer

The new Key Ingredient stars Pat Sheerin 95 floors above Chicago, making stuff out of the stuff that makes beer. Read it here.

A while back somebody asked me how the dishes were and I described the end results of the ones so far. This being the tenth one, I thought I’d recap the first ten, and if it we get to 20, I’ll do it again:

Achatz/Kluwak Kupas: like a fermented chocolate, very nice, nothing strange
Duffy/Chinese Black Beans: very faint black bean taste (that’s why I asked him if he thought he’d merely hidden it), beautiful dessert overall
Des Rosiers/Geraniums: nice preparation overall, but winter dry cleaner geraniums didn’t contribute much flavor. Geranium pesto in spring or summer would surely be better.
Foss/Freeze-Dried Saffron: very clean, almost metallic saffron cutting through everything
Posey/Bull Balls: nice preparation but the meat is very chewy. Nobody liked that, though he certainly made it palatable.
Virant/Spirulina: the lemon and the smoking of the sturgeon really worked to make the nori-like taste of the spirulina seem natural, not muddy. Amazingly good, really.
Zimmerman/Lamb Fat: I have no problem with lamb fat at all and this was a great roasty-tasting savory dish, the one that would move most easily onto the menu for me.
Enyart/Natto: Natto actually doesn’t taste bad, but natto+risotto+raw egg was a pretty mushy, oatmealy texture; what made it not seem old-folksy was the heat. Still, more crunch somewhere probably would have been a good thing.
M. Sheerin/Guaje Seeds: He was right, it did need some acid, but it was nice overall and the earthiness of the guajes and beets was a big reason. What I really loved, though, were those popped guajes on their own. I’d eat a bag of those at the movies.
P. Sheerin/Hops: The hop flavor was a little too bitter for me to make a pleasant dish (though it’d be very interesting at a beer dinner, which he actually mentioned in an outtake). However, I loved the malt risotto. Chewy malt and that chocolatey sort of molé, that was great.

What’s been great about doing this has been seeing how these chefs come up with things, on the fly, that you’d never ever have in a restaurant. Sometimes you feel like every combination has been tried (even bizarre things like chocolate and parsnip, have ’em once and you’ll see ’em again somewhere) and yet these dishes, even as I think they often look the same (stuff stacked in a little circular paint stroke of goo), have shown that there are totally new things out there… at least to me.

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