New Monk's Kettle Chef Adam Dulye Spikes the Pot

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culinaryschoolrockies/Flickr
Brew chef Adam Dulye.
Monk's Kettle has been a gastropub since its inception. The biblically proportioned beer menu has served as a strong foundation to explore pairings with the upscale pub grub that emerged from the kitchen of departed chef Kevin Kroger. And while the Monk's menu has always steered diners to specific beer-style pairings, the restaurant rolled out a completely revamped menu this week that seeks to push its beer cuisine to the next level: by incorporating beer into the food itself.

This isn't as easy as pouring a can of High Life into the soup pot (it's okay ― we've all been there), since certain styles of beer can be tricky to cook with. (Quick public service announcement: Cooking down a hoppy brew can lead to the ultimate bitter beer face.) A chef must be intimately familiar with the flavor profiles of the beers she's using, and how to treat them without over-exaggerating the bitter, roasty, or sweet aspects of particular styles.

This is where new chef Adam Dulye is prepped to shine. Dulye's invitation to cook a paired beer dinner at James Beard House in New York was an acknowledgment of his skills. So far at Monk's, you can find Dulye experimenting with beer in a handful of new menu items:

• Elves on horseback, pale ale gastrique ($8)
• Mussels in Belgian ale with garlic, basil, and Acme levain ($12)
• Grilled leg of lamb with winter vegetable ragout and stout glaze ($24)
• Three-day-ale bricked chicken with cranberry beans and harissa ($19)
• Pan-roasted tilefish with lager-poached potato, celery root salad, and preserved lemon ($23)

Hopefully this willingness to inject beer's wide range of flavors into food will continue in the restaurant's regular series of beer-paired dinners. If you're into multitasking (read: playing with your food and your beer at the same time), head over to Monk's Kettle and soak up your dinner.

The Monk's Kettle: 3141 16th St. (at Albion), 865-9523.

Follow Jason Henry on Twitter @ JasonHenrySF . Follow SFoodie at @sfoodie.
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 Kevin Kroger
Kevin Kroger

Jason, your recent article stating that the new Monk’s Kettle menu “pushed its beer cuisine to the next level because it incorporated beer into the food” actually is not new to the Monk’s Kettle menu. As the previous chef, I incorporated beer in the menu on a daily basis. The beer used in the cheese sauce for the pretzel was Moonlight Brewing’s Reality Czeck. The flat iron steak was marinated in Stone Pale Ale. The mustard sauce for the pork chop was a rotating pale ale and the bbq sauce for the pulled pork sandwich was fortified with Fuller’s London Porter. The 25 menus I created for beer dinners and events married beer with food from ale demi glaces and ale braising techniques to drunken cherries and stout chocolate sauces. In fact, your reference that beers can be tricky to cook with, I believe stems from a conversation you and I had about how I added an extra-hoppy IPA to a risotto, which made it very bitter. The risotto was part of a beer dinner and I had to start over from scratch using a different beer. It proves your point that even someone who is skilled in cooking with beer can make the wrong pairing and you need to always keep a mental note of the flavor profiles that highlight the dish instead of detract from it.The “willingness to inject beer into the food” at Monk’s Kettle is nothing new. It had been evident in my menus for the three years I was chef. I’m sure current Chef Adam Dulye and his new creative menu for Monk’s Kettle will be received with the same success I experienced.

Kdispatch
Kdispatch

I've been wondering why Kevin Kroger has not commented before now that he routinely used beer in his recipes. I made his mac n cheese with beer and it was sooooo good!!

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