COOPERSTOWN, NY - Once again, Brewery Ommegang teams with SAVEUR Magazine for its national Hop Chef Competition, returning to Albany on July 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Hilton Albany at 40 Lodge Street.
Hop Chef Albany is the final of four regional competitions pitting chef against chef, each vying for the chance to compete for national Hop Chef honors in August at the brewery's annual "Belgium Comes to Cooperstown" festival. Hop Chef is part of Ommegang's Great Beer Deserves Great Food initiative -- dedicated to the advancement of great beer as a perfect complement to fine fare.
This year, Ommegang and SAVEUR use the Hop Chef platform to bring together beer lovers, iconic chefs and local food purveyors to benefit an important cause in each participating city. In Albany, proceeds will benefit S.A.L.T. Recovery, which provides recovery assistance to those affected by disaster.
Hop Chef Albany features Chefs Ali Benamanti from Henry Street Taproom, Mark Graham from Max London's, Yono Purnomo from Yono's / dp an American Brasserie, Will Brown from Mazzone Hospitality, Tim Gates from Charles F. Lucas Confectionery & Wine Bar, Ian O'Leary from The Ginger Man, Dimitrios Menagias from City Beer Hall, and Brady Dillion from The Merry Monk - Saratoga.
Each chef prepares a dish paired with an Ommegang ale then presents and defends their dish to a panel of local and national food critics. In addition to reaping Capital Region bragging rights, the winner has an opportunity to compete for the grand prize in Cooperstown, which includes a 12-month position on SAVEUR Magazine Taste Makers Board, a showcase area with Brewery Ommegang at SAVEUR's Summer BBQ 2014, and a showcase at StarChef's International Chefs Convention 2013. Additional prizes are provided by co-sponsors and culinary leaders StarChefs, VerTerra, Shun, Lodge, Cuisinart, GelPro, Epicurean, T-Fal, and Bioletti.
Dishes will be judged on their adherence to one of five Hop Chef Pairing Principles: simple pairing-direct interaction of taking a bite of food and a sip of beer, incorporation-use of beer in the cooking process, mimicking-matching the flavor profile of the dish with the flavor profile of the beer, storytelling-how it was made and why, and experimental-making beer the star of a unique dish.
Two hundred lucky guests will get to watch, taste, and sip as the culinary competition heats up at Hilton Albany. The winning chef will go on to compete against other national winners at Ommegang's "Belgium Comes to Cooperstown" Festival on August 2-4 in Cooperstown, NY where the 2013 HOP CHEF Champion will be crowned.