By Libby Lancaster
These days, people seek out new adventures in dining, with happy hours, wine flights, beer tasting and more. This Thursday, August 8, Santa Monica restaurant Upper West, hosts a new “Pairing Dinner” featuring Jim Beam Whiskey. The event dubbed, “Kentucky Classics,” is another in a series of sold out events at the restaurant.
Executive chef Nick Shipp enjoys creating and planning the menu for these special pairings. He explains, “For me, doing these events not only breaks the monotony of the day to day operations of the restaurant, it also presents an opportunity to really step outside the box and be a little more adventurous in a culinary sense.”
Through the years, Upper West has held roughly twenty pairing dinners. Chef Shipp works with the ambassadors from each event to create savory and satisfying menus. The events features Irish whiskeys, Single malt scotches, tequila, cognac, beer & wine and more. At each event the ambassador brings his or her own expertise to the table. Shipp continues, “As someone who craves information, the tasting events always deliver.”
Eyal Raziel, partner and bar manager talks about the role that the ambassadors play in the evening. He relays the process; “They run the event in conjunction with Nick. Since nick is cooking in the kitchen a five-course dinner, they use this event to present their brand. We had one guy bring a copper pot still & distill a whiskey from beer at the event. A different ambassador brings his Comedian personality & knowledge.”
The first course features Jacob’s Ghost paired with rolled oyster green apple tartar sauce, wasabi caviar, sriracha, lemon verbena. Next Devil’s Cut will be paired with Fennel & lamb burgoo, along with smoked tomato and croutons with cilantro. Basil Hayden is next to be served with Kentucky hot brown brioche and braised turkey, accompanied by curried tomato, bacon crumble, cheddar on duta and basil oil. Makers 46 then will be paired with Upper West’s own Kentucky fried chicken, with pepper-chorizo grits, ginger mole and Thai basil.
Finally Knob Creek Rye will conclude the evening along with a Kentucky butter cake and Rye chocolate sauce plus cream cheese ice cream.
The cost for the event is $60.00 per person. It includes a five-course pairing. Call Upper West Restaurant to reserve your spot for this exclusive event, (310) 586-1111. Upper West Restaurant is located at 3321 Pico Blvd., in Santa Monica. http://www.theupperwest.com/
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