Hooray! I'm going to be 40 years old in 9 days time. To celebrate, I'm gathering a dozen close friends together at Leeds Corn Exchange, aka Piazza by Anthony (pictured left). We're going to have some excellent browsing and sluicing, in a private dining room at the venue. They've allowed me to specify the menu (from a variety of options), agreed to a very modest corkage charge for the beers that I want to bring, and have a huge amount of poncey Riedel stemware for us to drink from. Depending on your point of view, this is either a splendid way to celebrate my birthday with friends, or an irritating and toe-curling evening of poncing it up with beer. I don't mind what you think, but I'm looking forward to it.
I've got matches for most of the food, although am still a bit stuck for an aperitif to serve with the canapes - if you have any ideas, then please, fire away. And if you're really stuck for something to do right now, feel free to have a bash at suggesting beer matches for the food - although I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do, I cross-referenced most of the dishes with Garrett Oliver's "The Brewmasters Table" [beer matches now posted against food].
Just for the avoidance of doubt, I've suggested food matches for all of the courses, with an option of two very different dessert beers that should work well with any of the puddings. I've asked my friends to have a go with the beer matches, although if they choose to drink something else, that's fine (I suppose).
Canapes (6/7 of each, first come first served)
Pea Veloute, Coconut
Crab with Gazpacho Espuma
Potted Crayfish and Spiced Bread
Roast Chicken Wings & Shaved Mozzarella
Ham Hock & Mustard Caramel
- served with Mort Subite Oude Gueuze
Terrine of Duck Confit, Pistachio & Pickled Beetroot - served with Chimay Red
White Onion Risotto with Coffee and Parmesan Air - served with Duvel
Shellfish Soup - served with PJ Fruh Kolsch
Lemon Sole, French Beans, Brown Shrimp Butter - served with Hoegaarden Wit
Roast Pork, Sage Parmentier, Apple & Vanilla Puree - served with Schneider Weisse
Sirloin Steak, Mushrooms, Onion Rings - served with Sam Smith's Nut Brown Ale
3 different cheeses - hard, soft and blue - served with Fullers Vintage 2005
Poached Pineapple, Cardamom Ice Cream
Black Forest Gateau, Cherry Ripple Ice Cream
Baileys and Chocolate Cheesecake
- choice of Mort Subite Kriek or Ola Dubh 40yr Old