T. Cook’s Alaskan Brewing Beer Dinner Recap
T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Hotel hosts a variety of special dinners for Valley food enthusiasts – from their “Summer Favorites” $99 Tasting Menu for Two, their “Sangria Summer” $39 Tasting Menu, and the beloved $2 Taco Tuesdays and Thursdays, there is something special to enjoy at the restaurant almost every evening of the week. From time to time, Chef Lee Hillson will sprinkle in special dinners featuring a specific product or beverage. On August 16th, the restaurant hosted an Alaskan Brewing Beer Dinner featuring Skuna Bay salmon to promote the upcoming PhoenixCooks! event to be held on September 1st.
Guests enjoyed four courses of masterfully-created cuisine prepared by Chef Hillson and his team; each course thoughtfully paired with an Alaskan Brewing beer. Alaskan Brewing rep Andy Silvas was on hand to explain the characteristics of each brew and shared tidbits on the industry.
The first course was an instant winner as each person was plated their own personal International & House-cured Charcuterie with cheeses. Spoonfuls of wholegrain mustard and sweet caramelized onions sat beside a dollop of creamy goat cheese – the perfect mates for the spicy, salty meats brought together with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I completely fell in love with this plate and thought the presentation was beautiful. I love when you’re encouraged to play with your food! The charcuterie plate was paired with the Alaskan IPA, brewed with coriander and orange peel and complemented the cheeses especially.
The second course lightened the meal – a Watermelon & Feta Salad with frisee, arugula and orange served alongside the Alaskan White Ale.
The entrée course, paired with the Alaskan Amber, showed off Skuna Bay’s salmon as Chef Lee prepared it with roasted peppers, artichokes, fingerling potatoes and salsa verde. The salsa verde was bright with a hint of mint and briney (lent from a handful of capers) at the same time and completely made the dish. The salsa not only played well with the colors on the plate, but brought all of its components together. Not even a bite when I was done!
Dessert quickly made its rounds and seemed to be the highlight of the meal among guests. Who could say no to the Alaskan porter blended with Bailey’s ice cream and served with mini caramel chocolate brownies? I’ll take an adult milkshake any day of the week.
We sipped the Alaskan Smoked Porter in between spoonfuls of dessert – thought it may sound as an odd pairing, it was a delicious one. I am an all-things-smoked advocate so I especially enjoyed the smokiness of the brew. At first taste, my best description was that it, “smells like bacon, tastes like Tahoe.” Like campfire in a bottle. Andy described the process of smoking the porter (they use a fish hatchery smoker and smoke their malts. Some drinkers can actually pick up smoked fish notes.) and noted that it has won the most awards of any of their brews. As the porter gets older, it gets less smoky, but they have yet to find an expiration date for it. So, store a few cases up with your wine! I can’t wait to use the porter in cooking preparations. Andy guaranteed that if you marinate your steaks in the smoked brew for about 12 hours then grill, you’ll have the best steak of your life. I’ll give it a go soon and report back!
Learn more about Alaskan Brewing at alaskanbeer.com.
Keep up on upcoming dinners at T. Cook’s like this one by checking out their website and calendar: royalpalmshotel.com.
Recap by Amy Martin, PhoenixBites Editor in Chief
This meal was provided complimentary as a part of a media invitation. However, this has no effect on our opinions and comments regarding our experience. View our Disclosure Policy for further explanation.