Tuesday, February 2nd, was the night to be at Mad House Comedy Club for a great Stone Brewing dinner. I know, you’ve never thought a comedy club is somewhere you would go for good food, let alone a 6 course craft beer pairing meal, but get used to it!
When Chef Karl joined Mad House, I knew it would only be a matter of time until he got his amazing friends together for something like this, it’s like assembling the Avengers to destroy the aliens, except, in this case, the aliens are the taste buds in your mouth. If you have gone to any of his past events or were one of the 45+ people that had the vision to attend, you completely understand what I mean.
This group of chefs has worked together many times and truly has a ton of fun in the kitchen, which you can clearly taste. Each chef has a unique culinary view and knack for pairing a dish with great craft beer on par with a great soundtrack composer, you’re not even aware of the breadth of excellence until it overwhelms you, like a flash food. The Stone beers are definitely amazing and coupled with the talent and skill of these chefs, the pairings produced that aha moment, where the combinations of flavors seemed to exceed the possibilities of the ingredients, over and over again. This rapid fire, total domination of your taste buds was an absolute joy to experience.
Side note: I have completely missed hanging out with these amazing people (the chefs and support crew)! For years, I was super lucky and got to cover many events put on by Chef Karl; the friendships built were the most rewarding aspect of that time. Being able to spend an evening with them again was truly wonderful. I hope this is only the beginning for independent beer/ culinary events at Mad House.
Let’s break down the courses and cover what you missed (or experienced).
Course #1- Chef Anthony Sinsay- Bigeye Tuna and King Crab Kinilaw (Filipino style ceviche) with green garlic, coconut vinegar, coconut, and calamansi paired with Stochasticity Grainiac.
What a start! If you know me you know I’m not a fan of coconut but this dish had me second guessing that. Grainiac is a tremendous paring beer, if you’re considering a beer dinner, check it out! The acidity of the ceviche stuck out to me as a great match for the malt sweetness of the beer.
Course #2- Chef RoseAna Peyron- Dandelion green salad, smoked crispy beef tongue croutons, horseradish yogurt, and pickled blueberries with Matt’s Burning Rosids.
Another hit! The smokiness of the tongue complimented the the beer, while the hints of fruitiness, horseradish, and earthy dandelions matched the overall flavor profile of the beer quite well. If you’re not familiar with the tribute behind this beer, please look it up.
Course #3- Chef Ami Cisneros- Squid ink carbonara with chorizo, cured egg yolk, citrus pea puree and smoked uni paired with Stone Enjoy Black IPA.
I had no idea squid ink pasta could be this freaking good. The richness matched the intensity of the black IPA and the hoppiness balanced the citrus notes of the puree in harmony.
Course #4- Chef Karl Prohaska- Ras Al Hanout rubbed Lamb with Israeli Cous-Cous infused with merguez and confetti vegetables and mint tomato jam paired with Arrogant Bastard Ale.
The chef said it himself, with Arrogant Bastard as the beer you have to bring some big flavors and he definitely delivered on that. I could have eaten 5 servings of this and seriously wish I had gotten that chance. The acidity of the tomato jam cut the fat of the lamb and the contradiction of the flavor profile of the beer made this pairing really sing to me.
Course #5- Chef Hanis Cavin- elk sausage and beef chorizo cassoulet with white beans, charred tomato, and crispy onion crumble paired with Stone Vertical Epic 08 Encore.
This little, scrumptious cauldron was deceiving. Inside it contained a marriage of flavor and texture that was on a level I was not ready for but was instantly enchanted with. Hanis brought the epic, just like he should have for this beer.
Course #6- Chef Rich Sweeney- Ancho Chili Cheesecake Brownie, Smoked Vanilla Bean Gelato, Crumbled Cookie, and a Warm Xocoveza Ganache paired with Stone Xocoveza.
What a way to close it out! Honest advice for Rich, get this chili, cheesecake brownie on the menu at Waypoint man. It was incredible! Every bite dripping with Xocoveza genache made it even better.
I lack the vocabulary to poetically describe the overall excellence of this meal but I can assure you that you must attend the next one, if/when that happens.
If the amazing food and Stone Brewing beer were not enough for you, don’t worry, there was still an entire stand up comedy show featuring Chef Karl and others afterwards to help you laugh off some of the calories!
As I’ve said above, I really hope this is only the beginning for food/beer events at Mad House!