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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine


Trend Report from the Great American Beer Fest



© Christian DeBenedetti
Brian Simpson of New Belgium Brewing Co., in Fort Collins, Colorado, pulls a sample of unblended Felmish-style sour red ale.


An estimated 49,000 craft-beer lovers descended upon Denver last week for the 28th Annual Great American Beer Festival, where they had the opportunity to taste some 2,100 beers in 78 styles from 457 American breweries. Writer Christian DeBenedetti, who recently covered the craft-beer scene in San Diego for F&W, was on the scene.” Here, he shares highlights and a few interesting trends: 

“Brett” beers, named for Brettanomyces (bacteria that impart powerful, earthy flavors considered flaws in wine but boons in certain beers), are quickly gaining ground. Standouts at the festival included Odell’s Brett Barrel Brown and New Belgium’s Le Fleur Misseur. Brewers were also collaborating on pairings: Deschutes Brewery’s The Dissident, a sour Flanders brown beer, was amazing with a confit of pork with sage and macerated peaches. Perhaps most surprising was the growing popularity of sour beer styles, which are usually tricky to produce. These beers, such as Berliner weisse, Flanders red and brown ales, lambic and geuze, tend to be an acquired taste due to their acidity. Click here for a list of the festival's award-winners.


Test Kitchen

Two Perfect Cakes


F&W's testing kitchen assistant, Brian Malik, spent last week baking cakes for a January story. Here, he reports:

For an upcoming story on bakeware, F&W's awesome food intern Molly and I worked our ovens overtime making yellow cakes, 14 in all, to test different baking pans. It’s amazing how different the cakes turned out in each pan, even though we used the same recipe every time. Some were light and spongy, others were dark and crisp, and in one, the cake overflowed, covering the oven floor with a sticky burned mess. The full results will be in a future article, but until then, use your favorite cake pan for these amazing recipes:

Yellow Cake with Vanilla Frosting

Marble Cake with Chocolate-Buttercream Frosting


Pasta Sfoglia Cookbook



© Sfoglia
Sfoglia's new cookbook shares the restaurant's best recipes.

The NYC Marathon is one month away, and while I’ve been pretty diligent about getting in my long training runs, I’ve been more lackadaisical about my diet. I’ve learned the hard way that late-night Momofuku pork buns and foie gras ice cream are not the best fuel for a 5 a.m. workout. So I’m making an attempt to cook at home more over the next few weeks, and I’ve found myself turning to the new cookbook from Ron and Colleen Suhanosky, the husband-and-wife chef team behind Sfoglia in Nantucket and New York City. Pasta Sfoglia features more than 100 recipes inspired by Sfoglia’s addictive pasta dishes. While I don’t always have time to make pasta from scratch during the week, I do have the luxury of being able to buy exceptional ingredients, like Sfoglia’s bread and house-made goat cheese, at Tutto Sfoglia, the tiny new market adjacent to the Upper East Side restaurant.


Chef Tim Love at Austin City Limits


Some major bands headlined the Austin City Limits Music Festival this past weekend: Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews, Pearl Jam, to name three of them. But during the day, there was another star: chef Tim Love, owner of Lonesome Dove and two Love Shack burger joints, all in Fort Worth, Texas. Each day of the three-day festival, Love cooked around 4,500 burgers, 1,500 hot dogs and 3,000 orders of freshly made potato chips at the Love Shack booth in the food court. Each day. “Saturday I was cooking burgers in the pouring rain; there was a sea of people out there chanting my name,” says Love. “It was nonstop from noon until 10 pm. Love burgers everywhere. It was like being a rock star.” Even better than that were some of the rock stars Love got to hang out with at ACL. More on that tomorrow.


One Winner Buys Another


Just heard that F&W American Wine Award winning winery Cliff Lede (the 2007 Cliff Lede Sauvignon Blanc won in 2008) has gone and snapped up F&W American Wine Award winning winery Breggo Cellars (Best New Winery of the Year, 2008). Apparently Breggo co-founder Douglas Stewart will stay on as general manager and winemaker. No word on what Cliff Lede paid for Breggo, but regardless, it's nice when these things stay in the F&W family. I'm sure that had a huge influence on the deal, of course...

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.