For our second Family Craft event, we'll bring some of the best of New York to a uniquely San Francisco environment on May 18th. Jeremiah Stone and Fabian Von Hauske, acclaimed chefs of Contra and Wildair fame, will be serving a special multi-course meal accompanied by beers curated and introduced by Fort Point Beer Company.
New York will bring the food. Stone and Von Hauske, 2016's Food & Wine Best New Chefs for New York, represent that great city by representing the world. Hauske was born and raised in Mexico City and had cooked in Denmark, Sweden, and Australia before joining forces with Stone, who had cooked in Paris and Brooklyn.
Stone and Hauske bring their collective histories to each of their dishes, but not by being fusion Mexican / Chinese. "We thought about how immigration was important to New York and how different cultures mix in to create something unique," said Hauske about their work together. "But we don't cook anything that's specific to one country, it's more about taking different flavor profiles and putting them together to make something unique."
An example of that fusion might be on one of their menus right now: raw clams with bitter almond milk and xo sauce. "Back home in Mexico, we ate clams with almonds all the time," said Hauske. And Stone brought in the idea of making an xo sauce – a boiled down sauce that combines dried scallop and shrimp with ginger, garlic, and oils. "We joked about that dish forever," said Hauske, "and now it's a staple."
The two chefs have experience pairing with alcohol, too, as their spinoff wine bar, Wildair, has long considered their natural wine list a fundamental part of the experience. While working at Contra, the two chefs visited a local wine bar and befriended manager Jorge Riera there. "The three of us are good friends," said Hauske, "and we have the same reference points, and overtime we come up with a dish and a wine, and it's very organic." They hope the same will happen for this event.
The setting for this experimental dinner (tickets here) will be within Fort Point's beautiful home in the Presidio, which offers sweeping views of San Francisco's Bay, a perfect place to drink a few of their brewes that represent the city so well.
They're of their city, but not because they're cycling through hop-bomb IPAs on their chalkboard. "The spirit of the company is aligned with the traits of San Francisco," pointed out brewer Mike Schnebeck. "Namely the idea of innovation and improvement."
One of their flagship beers, Park, embodies that spirit of improvement by combining a pilsner malt, pale wheat, citra hops and a biere de garde yeast to create a drinkable, aromatic beer that defies classification.
As for innovation, two current projects may be tapped in time for the dinner. "We're experimenting with using concrete tanks for lagering," Schnebeck pointed out. "We hope it will add some complexity to the mouthfeel, since there will be some micro-oxygenization from the oxygen trapped into the concrete, similar to working with wood but without the influence from the flavor of the wood." The result should be something like a Dortmunder export lager with full flavor.
Another beer that may appear at the dinner already has a name. A saison created using two separate yeasts then blended together, Resonance should "have a little bit of funk to it, and a bit of tartness" says Schnebeck.
The beer selections will be a little different than many of the brewers in the surrounding bay area, and yet they'll make sense together. "We're trying to create a select number of really great beers that work together as a family of high-quality beers, a collection of beers that complement that each other and play off each other," said Fort Point founder Justin Catalana. Since he and his brother Tyler founded the company together in 2014, he's summed up his own brewery and the event as well as you could in one sentence.
Two seatings (6:00 and 8:30 pm) on May 18th, and tickets are available here. It's a great opportunity to bring two families from different coasts together for a delectable meal.