Besides from inspiring me to get out and taste what Westchester has to offer, the foodie revolution that has taken over the surrounding area has also encouraged me to get in and cook. Gone are the days of copy and paste, cheap-y chain dinners being the only options for a close-to-home night out. Instead, innovative burgers, farm-to-table chicken dishes and more ways to prepare a brussel sprout than you could ever imagine have graced the plates of LoHud diners for the past few years. Experiencing this new wave of dining has encouraged me to get a little freaky in the kitchen and push my home-grilled burgers to the limits, try out a few chicken tricks and attempt to re-create innumerable brussel sprout preparations for myself.
But like any good meal, the DIY dishes are coming paired with a perfect sip to wash them all down – craft brews.
Local breweries are sprouting up all over the region and no local joint is complete without a few taps of homegrown suds. Of course, I’ve taste-tested plenty of these at home but never tried my hand at the ultimate #teenstestkitchen – homebrewing. For that – I’d need a little help, someone more savvy, someone with actual restaurant kitchen experience, someone with more space than my junior 4 apartment currently accommodates.
From barback to server to line cook, Rico Algarin has held nearly every job a restaurant could offer. (And from hubby’s classmate at Mt Saint Michael Academy to groomsman to “Uncle Rico” – he’s held nearly every title our friendship has had to offer.) Currently working as cook in Brooklyn’s Fat Goose, Rico has recently ventured to translate the organic and sustainable cooking he does there to homebrewing efforts at his home in Yonkers. When he gifted us with a Growler-full of one of his first batches, an idea was hatched.
Over grilled octopus, pizza and of course craft brews at Polpettina’s new Larchmont location, we devised a plan to brew a batch and do a pairing dinner with the finished product, sharing the how-to’s along the way. Thus the Great Homebrewing Experiment was launched.
Next time – all you need for your pilot batch and where to get it locally.