From creating the menu to pair with Three Taverns’ beer to what his favorite course will be, the extra cool Chef Nick Leahy tells all.
I am so excited about my upcoming beer dinner with the renowned Saltyard and the award-winning, Belgian-inspired Three Taverns Brewing this Thursday at 7 p.m. (Click here for all the info, the ridiculously good menu, and making reservations.)
From the amazing dishes Saltyard Executive Chef and Partner Nick Leahy has on deck, to the official launch of Three Taverns' new brew—the Pils Mundial—I had to kick it with him a little bit and give you, my beloved readers, a teasing preview of what’s in store.
Chef Nick, who was born in Bermuda but raised here in Atlanta, has an extensive list of work experience in the culinary industry working everywhere from London, England, to revered Atlanta destinations including Food Studio, Two Urban Licks, STATS, and Parish. Trust me, this dude knows how to throw down with the pots!
While I sipped a Three Taverns Night in Brussels inside Saltyard’s swanky digs, here are some questions Nick fielded about strategically pairing his food with the beer, how the dinner materialized, and how much he respects Three Taverns’ product, before talking fantasy football (I left out the latter).
Me: What made you choose the food for each course?
Chef Nick: Three Taverns’ beers are really food-friendly beers. They're not mass produced or homogeneous at all. Each one has a lot of thought put into it by Brian [Purcell] (right), from different sugars to the addition of spices like cumin and grapefruit; that makes them really fun to pair with. I tried to put flavors that would complement and enhance the beer, and—whenever possible—I am putting some of that beer in each course. Actually, I think we're putting some of the beer in every course now that I think about it!
Now that is a true beer dinner pairing! Speaking of which, what are favorite pairings at this dinner and what was the most challenging?
I think my favorite might be the dessert. The Quasimodo Quad just has so much going on with it that it's a fun beer to pair with, plus we're making ice cream with it. [Whoa!] I think the most challenging were the first two beers. They're both great beers, but are the lightest two obviously; the challenge was pairing them with something that is interesting and enhances them without overpowering them.
Anything else you want folks to know?
Anything else you want folks to know?
Seriously, both you and Brian at Three Taverns are just great to work with. First off, you both are just extremely passionate about what you do, which makes any interaction great. Second, you both are easy going, down-to-earth people. Seriously, I can’t stand prima donnas. Lastly, any meeting with you guys is a great excuse to drink a Three Taverns beer, so you’re always great to see.
Damn dude, I’m fighting a tear. Ha! After having brunch here and kicking it with you, it was a no-brainer to do this beer dinner. I am glad you and Three Taverns were down. You are both kickass! Okay, enough ego stroking. Leave us with a shout out.
Sure! Just know that I've done a lot of beer dinners, but the pairings for this one are some of the most food friendly that I've had the chance to work with. Plus, supporting local businesses is what we're all about at Saltyard because that's what we are, so it's a great fit. Oh, and I am really excited about the launch of the “Pils Mundial" on Thursday. Tell people not to miss out!
You know it! Hey everyone, Don’t Miss Out! Trust me, five delectable courses, five excellent craft beers, and a cool vibe to match? You can’t hate on that. Call ahead to make reservations (404.382.8088) and come treat yourself!
See you there!!!