The Fusion of Flavor

“Flavor is a fusion.”Julia Herz, CIA Beer & Food Summit 2015

Our taste buds stand at the ready to give us the sensory experience of our lives. If we can let our brain be led by our taste buds, we stand to gain a great deal.

Ginger & Julia in Vail, Big Beers fest 2016

Ginger & Julia in Vail, Big Beers fest 2016

Flavor is fusion. It’s combination of actual and figurative – we factor in our previous experiences with flavors in present day eatings. Keeping an open mind will help us all enjoy more, learn more, and share more.

I like the idea of flavor as fusion. We are combining what we just put in our mouths with what else we’ve had today, be it coffee, toothpaste or pancakes. It’s the mental gymnastics we allow to frequent out thinkings while consuming too. Can you remove that bad (insert your own no-thank-you food here) from trying it today? Many of us have a tough time doing that yet that’s precisely what we need to do to move forward and get past the bad.

Be “beer-minded” – think about what is going on, talk, discuss, ask questions. Flavor components and agents aren’t necessarily off-flavors – they are what they are by themselves. preference is different from quality; quality is more the realm of off-flavors and consistency & infection issues.

With a nod and a bow to Julia, be flavor minded. Enjoy the journey of beer and all its flavors available. Happy fusion awaits.

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Celebrating Diversity

“Celebrate the diversity that’s available.” – Charlie Bamforth

Last fall I had the pleasure to speaking on a panel at the Culinary Institute of America’s first Beer & Food Summit. What a ball! The people present were all very engaged. It was a very mixed group from all sorts of backgrounds and professions.

Charlie Bamforth is a character in the profession of beer who has done much good work for the bigger idea

Friendly folks at the CIA, St Helena CA

Friendly folks at the CIA, St Helena CA

of beer. I’ve heard him speak a few times and he’s lively, funny, and gets to the point. To hear him promote the idea of celebrating diversity in what beer is today is encouraging.

The word Diversity seems to be everywhere today. No surprise there since our world is expanding, exploding and integrating faster than ever before (again, no surprise). Celebrating diversity in our mindbogglinglyfast changing world is a great approach.

Like a good friend of mine tells me, change is coming whether you want it to or not. May as well open your arms and welcome it.

Beer is good for celebrating. Celebrate what you like, what your friends drink and the abundance and variety diversity affords our tastebuds. Cheers to that ~

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Neurogastronomy: What Is It?

The Yale School of Medicine is helping define neurogastronomy.

Anne G/CIA Marketing & Ginger at the Crafting Beer and Food Summit, CIA

Anne G/CIA Marketing & Ginger at the Crafting Beer and Food Summit, CIA

I first heard the term recently at the CIA, St Helena campus, at the inaugural Crafting Beer & Food Summit. As a panelist and participant at the event, the flavor theme came up over and over and over…and it’s one I, daresay, preach about. Flavor first, then style or whatever else. To me it’s the entrance to our sensory gustatory experiences.

While the word hard some immediate familiarity, knowing the richer meaning and further information is fascinating. The book of the same title by Gordon Shepard expounds on the concept. More fascination.

So what’s this connection of brain and flavor? Scent and mental? Perhaps even scentimental…. Queue more fascination, please.

It’s true progress to see an icon recognize and promote beer – just as they have long promoted and championed wine.

Read up, sip, nosh and learn. It’s where everything should start: brains first.

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Crafting A Beer & Food Summit

“Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”
Abigail Adams

Education is queen.

So it was enthusiasm I signed up for a class My Fine Husband told me about. Crafting Beer & Food is a summit being put forth by the CIA Greystone, CA. It’s one of three Culinary Institute of America campuses, the other two being in New York and Texas.

I’d happily go to any of the campuses, so when I registered and offered myself up as a panelist, speaker and otherwise of service, they embraced the opportunity. Sweet! Ergo, I’ll be in distinguished company for the panel The Business of Beer & Food, Tuesday of the summit.  A big thanks to Anne Girvin of the CIA for the invite.

Education improves your palate.

Education improves your palate.

Beer & food go hand in hand, like a chicken goes in a pot. Many will jokingly say “beer is food” – and there’s some truth to that sentiment.

I’m excited to further my education, always glad for the fortuity to present, and see and meet engaged people. The sessions I signed up for are ones I’ve never seen offered elsewhere, specifically cooking with beer information. Since I cook with beer professionally as well as personally, these are of very high interest to me.

Full details are here and there are still some seats available. The summit is sure to be well worthwhile. I’ll circle back to share afterwards – though encourage you to register if it’s of interest to you.

With a nod to Ms. Adams, I’ll be attending with ardor and diligence. See you there.

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A Flavor Lovers CIA

Culinary Institute of America. CIA. Depending on your world view, The CIA or The Other CIA.

In all events, I’ve registered for the course Crafting Beer & Food as part of ongoing professional development.

Kirstin O/Connor/KDRV & Ginger - In The Kitchen

Kirstin O/Connor/KDRV & Ginger – In The Kitchen

While it’s all about the flavor to me (with a nod to Ms Trainor), I’m looking forward to the classes which will boost my culinary education. I registered for the following sessions:

  • How Cooking Techniques Influence the Taste of Beer
  • Spent Grains in Baking & Pastry
  • Global Toppings for Fan Favorite Foods

Anytime I can learn about food, cooking, prep, pairing, and the greater wide world of our sense, I’m interested. My goal is to learn AND to be an instructor as well. In The Kitchen episodes with Kirstin give you a taste of the fun to be had – here’s one on strawberry gazpacho.

Having given dozens of talks, sessions, classes, and demos – call on me when you’re in the market for a lively, fun, new-idea oriented pro to entertain and delight.

 

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