TORONTO — Authors of the recently released cookbook Food & Beer visited George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts on Monday for an on-stage Q&A and book signing.
To celebrate the book’s Toronto release, co-authors chef Daniel Burns and brewer Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø — masterminds behind Brooklyn, New York’s Michelin-starred Luksus restaurant and its sister bar Tørst — sat down for a discussion led by the book’s third co-author, Joshua David Stein of the New York Observer.
The trio discussed a variety of topics, including the writing of Food & Beer, the early days of Luksus and Tørst and modern fine dining.
Luksus is unique in that it’s the only Michelin-starred restaurant to exclusively pair with beer — a concept both Burns and Jarnit-Bjergsø admit was a big risk. Not only does the restaurant only offer beer, but it is a tasting menu only and is located in the somewhat out-of-the-way neighbourhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. “It sounds crazy, but it also gave us a lot of attention,” said Jarnit-Bjergsø.
When it comes to pairing beer with the restaurant’s dishes, the pair explained, Burns designs the dish first, before finding a beer to accompany it. When tasting the dish Jarnit-Bjergsø said choosing a style of beer to suit the dish “is always a good starting point.”
The speakers noted the world’s dining scene has evolved significantly in the last decade to embrace different flavour profiles — a topic discussed in the cookbook. “Natural flavours — that’s what the world wants,” Jarnit-Bjergsø explained.
Burns believes this shift has also been reflected in the way we view the concept of fine dining. “Fine dining is very much in quotation marks in 2016,” he says. “Now [fine dining] is chef-driven restaurants that can really be whatever you want…It’s about the food and that’s what it should be.”
During the question and answer session, Jarnit-Bjergsø revealed a Tørst brewery is in the works.
The on-stage portion of the evening was followed by a reception featuring craft beer from Jarnit-Bjergsø’s Evil Twin Brewing, as well as local brewers Indie Ale House, Great Lakes Brewing, Side Launch Brewing Company, Left Field Brewery and Beau’s All Natural Brewing Company. The brews were accompanied by a selection of cheeses provided by Cheese Boutique.