Craft Beer and "Craft Salmon" at T. Cook's Alaskan Beer Dinner Last Night
Lauren Saria Guests at the T. Cook's Alaskan Beer Pairing dinner
T. Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort invited guests to an Alaskan Beer pairing dinner last night, in what it hopes will be the first in a series of beer pairings to run throughout the fall and winter. The evening featured a variety of Alaskan Brewing Company beers and showcased Skuna Bay's Vancouver Island craft raised salmon - yeah, craft salmon.
The lush (particularly for being in the middle of the desert) grounds surrounding the Royal Palms and T. Cook's provided a romantic background for the intimate dinner experience. Several tables of diners inside the restaurant enjoyed an evening of brews and summer-themed cuisine from T. Cook's Executive Chef Lee Hillson.
Even before the first course landed on the table, waiters poured a (hearty) tasting of Alaskan Brewing Company's IPA, or Indian Pale Ale. Although IPAs are known for their hoppy and sometimes bitter flavor, the Alaskan brew favored a more mild profile that even winos could appreciate. The flavors paired excellently with house-cured charcuterie and cheeses, the particular standout on the plate being the smooth and slightly salty goat cheese.
The dining pairing also served as a build-up to the Phoenix Cooks! Culinary Festival coming up on September 1. In addition to Hillson, one of the headlining chefs of the event, recognizable names such as Matt Carter, Steven Toevs and Jason Alford will come together to make a "culinary wonderland" to benefit the Phoenix Children's Hospital. It also served as an unofficial preview of what Chef Hillson plans to serve in his upcoming dinner at the James Beard House this December.
Lauren Saria T. Cook's charcuterie plate