Chef Stephanie Izard of Chicago’s Girl & the Goat is a grilling genius. Here, she gives a tutorial to her husband, Gary Valentine, a craft-beer expert—and he returns the favor with a pairing lesson.
What Stephanie Taught Gary About Grilling:
Salt As You Go
Says Gary: “Steph taught me to salt a little here and a little there, not just at the beginning or end, because the salt will dissolve more evenly.”
Thin cuts of meat, like short ribs, are easier to cook than thick ones. To gauge doneness, “I use the smell test, like, ‘Smells done to me!’ ” Gary says.
Treat Vegetables Like Steak
“Getting Gary to eat vegetables was a big part of our marriage,” says Stephanie, who made him a convert by marinating broccoli before grilling.
Fuel Adds Flavor
“Steph’s wood oven at work adds so much flavor, so I’ve been trying different chips,” Gary says. “Peach wood is fantastic with steak.”
What Gary Taught Stephanie About Beer:
Not All Hops Are Alike
“I thought I hated hoppy beers,” says Stephanie, “but Gary taught me that there are two main kinds of hops: floral hops and more acidic citra hops. I’m partial to citra hops beers like 3 Floyds Zombie Dust.”
Sour Beers Go Well with Food
“Sours are crazy when you first try them,” says Stephanie, “but they pair really well with food”—even the Skillet Graham Cake with Peaches and Blueberries.
Every Beer has a Place
“Some beers are good for sipping on their own, like an IPA, while bigger beers [like Founders Black Rye ale] need to be tasted with food to be appreciated,” Stephanie says.
It's Getting Easier to Drink Local
“There are so many new breweries in Chicago—the city is almost at pre-Prohibition levels,” Stephanie says.