Craft Beer + Foie Gras in Wine Country

Craft Beer + Foie Gras in Wine Country

Chef’s in amazing food areas like Manhattan have been lavishing in this mouth watering dish even while it was banned in California. So after the banned was recently lifted we saw in all of the food blogs and news publications online that Chefs all over were shouting out to their California peeps and saying congrats. It’s incredible how something so hated by so many can be so sought after for many others.

I have always loved to enjoy this fatty dish with an aged Champagne, something nutty, doughy, creamy, and yeasty or a beautiful Sauternes. Naturally everyone looks to wine to sip with this….

Being that I am a craft beer and food lover, I thought I’d share some delightful pairings for this decadent dish. We all know that foie goes really well with wine and we are in wine country, but the textures, flavors, and nuances that make up this dish also pair really well with craft beer.

Foie Gras is rich, fatty, delicate, and decadent. On it’s own can seem quite overwhelming in flavors and to be honest all of us need something to balance out those flavors on our palates. Commonly paired items one the dish are fresh, house-made, warm brioche, a sauce made from fig, blackberry, huckleberry {my favorite}, or some other sweet tasting fruit. Though it really can be prepared with anything, or even eaten on it’s own without any sauce or toast.

Whether this dish is is prepared as a torchon, terrine, or the lobe is seared whole {That’s my favorite} this mouth watering delicacy can be enjoyed with many of the wonderful craft beers you can get your hands on right here in Sonoma County at my favorite local beer shop: Beercraft.  

Photo courtesy of Huntington Post
Photo courtesy of Huntington Post

I spoke with a few local chefs in Sonoma County to see what they are doing with foie and if it will be on their menus. To my surprise, many are not putting it on the menu and did not really have it on the menu in the first place- it’s a pretty high ticket item. Sondra Bernstein, Proprietor of the famous Girl and the Fig and the Fig Cafe and Wine Bar says,  “We did not always serve foie as a regular item, price point is usually too high for both restaurants as much as I love it. -To be honest have not given it any thought lately at all, though can’t wait for some tourchon!!” Chef Josh Silvers of Jackson’s Bar and Pizza Oven doesn’t offer Foie as it’s “not a Jackson’s thing”. Chef Dustin Valette on the other hand does not even have his restaurant open yet and I could tell his mouth is watering already! He’s definitely serving Foie Gras, in fact, he was recently at the James Beard House in Manhattan and served the Foie Gras sous vide in Pinot Noir and served it with a kumquat marmalade, “it was amazing!” he says. I am sure it was, I have had a lot of Chef Dustin’s food at the Dry Creek Kitchen and it was always amazing. All of the chefs I spoke to about a beer and foie pairing said they had never even thought about pairing craft beer with the dish in any capacity but would love to experiment.

Naturally, being the foodie I am, I must experiment too. So while everyone is snacking on chips and dips for Super Bowl Sunday, I will be enjoying a little seared foie paired with several craft beers. Here is what I am going to open: A barley wine, Almanac blueberry barrel aged, and Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose. Stay tuned for the results!


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