Beer Tasting Wednesdays and the Road to Cicerone

Every Wednesday evening in recent weeks at Ten22, Executive Chef Jay Veregge leads an entertaining hour of beer tasting. Known for its large beer selection, Ten22 wanted to create a program where beer enthusiasts can come learn more about their favorite beers, as well as fall in love with new beer and food pairings. With a different them each week, Beer Tasting Wednesdays have been a beer lover’s paradise.

But wait! There’s more! Beer Tasting Wednesdays just got infinitely more interesting as Chef Jay just passed his Certified Beer Server exam in the Cicerone Certification Program. Now beer enthusiasts, as well as beer skeptics, can come to Beer Tasting Wednesdays knowing they are listening to an expert! “It’s necessary in this business to understand and keep current with the ever-changing beer industry,” said Chef Jay. “I’m a beer enthusiast, and I wanted to test my knowledge on what I know.”

To become a Certified Beer Server one must have proficient knowledge of beer storage and service as well as some knowledge of beer styles which includes understanding of beer tasting, flavors and the basic brewing process and ingredients (Cicerone.org). Doesn’t sound quite so simple for the first level, now does it? “The first test in the Cicerone Program was more difficult than I expected even with my expansive knowledge of beer,” said Chef Jay. “If you’re not completely into beer, you might have a hard time.”

Nevertheless, Chef Jay is confident he can give people the opportunity through Beer Tasting Wednesdays to become their own Cicerone if they should choose to do so. The information he imparts on Wednesdays on different types of beer leaves room for everyone to be educated in some capacity. It is extremely important to Chef Jay that everyone who comes to Beer Tasting Wednesdays has a good time, but also that they learn something. “Beer Tasting Wednesdays have fast become a place where people can come to have fun, and we’ve already developed a loyal following,” said Chef Jay. It is a good deal indeed to receive a fair amount of beer and food for $10!

For more information on Beer Tasting Wednesdays, visit our website.

Lindy Gervin

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Published in: on February 6, 2014 at 5:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Winter Menus at The Firehouse

Winter is here, and so are the new menus at The Firehouse! Launched on January 24, Chef Deneb showcases his skillfully crafted menu items that are sure to warm the palates of all who set foot in The Firehouse this winter. The Firehouse offers the best fresh and seasonal ingredients from the Sacramento region, proving there is an option for everyone whether for lunch or dinner. In fact, it is the “wide array of local vegetables prepared with global culinary influences,” according to Chef Deneb that he believes guests at The Firehouse will enjoy the most.

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Lobster-Parnsip Bisque

The fresh, local ingredients Chef Deneb refers to on the winter menu include the Lobster-Parnsip Bisque. This delectable soup with caramelized leeks, potatoes and fennel, and cream sherry-infused lobster velouté is a fantastic option as an appetizer for lunch or as a course to dinner. This dish is the perfect example of one with local vegetables (the leeks from Yolo County’s Del Rio Botanicals), and a “global culinary influence” with the French sauce, velouté. Chef Deneb is confident that this soup will warm guests during their dining experience, while satisfying any appetite.

Chef Deneb is not shy about embracing new ingredients for the shift to winter. When asked what his favorite winter ingredient is, he responded with, “Winter greens, hard squash, citrus, root vegetables, warm exotic spices…oh, that was more than one.” Essentially, the same amount of care goes in to each dish that Chef Deneb makes no matter which ingredients he is using. The cold smoked then chargrilled Boliche Pork Tenderloin is a prime model as it is cooked to perfection and served with Cuban spices (just one example of an exotic spice Chef Deneb is so fond of), and embellished with pepitas chorizo-black bean-red pepper-quinoa sofrito.

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Boliche Pork Tenderloin

One of Chef Deneb’s preferred menu items is the Duck with Blood Oranges, although he said that he loves all menu items the same, because the same flawless attention goes into creating each item. The Duck with Blood Orange has blood orange molasses, coriander and roasted beets, and spiced sweet potato confit hash: a mixture of some of Chef’s favorite winter items!

To top off the best attributes of the lunch and dinner menu is the dessert menu created by Pastry Chef, Nichol Santisteven. What else completes a meal but dessert? The Black Forest Baked Hot Chocolate dessert is a melt-in-your-mouth delight. Kirsch baked hot chocolate, malted chocolate Chantilly served with dried cherry and pistachio biscotti complete this ensemble for a heavenly mixture of chocolate-y goodness.

The menus at The Firehouse change seasonally, and there is a lot of creativity that goes on behind the scenes to make these menus a steadfast representative of Sacramento’s most notorious restaurant. “It takes months of collaboration, trial and error, and perfecting each recipe,” said Chef Deneb. “The menus are something I work on 24/7. Some of my best ideas come in the middle of the night, or while I’m distracted with something completely unrelated to food. Mostly it’s my lifelong obsession with food, and learning what I don’t know that keeps driving new menus.”

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Duck with Blood Oranges

The Firehouse has long been a Sacramento favorite in fine dining and cuisine, and Chef Deneb does not disappoint with the new winter menu options. “Our menus’ diversity is what sets The Firehouse apart from other restaurants,” said Chef Deneb. Truer words have seldom been spoken! To see the full lunch, dinner and dessert menus, please visit The Firehouse website.

Lindy Gervin

Published in: on January 27, 2014 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Ten22 Celebrates its 4th Birthday and Benefits Food Literacy!

Ten22 honors its commitment to community and to local, quality food with a birthday party dedicated to food literacy. Join us as we shut down the restaurant for a private VIP cocktail reception featuring a signature farm to glass cocktail and seasonally-inspired food stations served with a side of food education fun facts to spark the conversation.

The nonprofit California Food Literacy Center will be on hand to announce this year’s winner of their kids’ recipe contest, whose sweet potato creation will become a new item on Ten22’s kids’ menu. Watch Chef Jay Veregge and the winning kid chef demo this dish as it’s unveiled to the public for the first time!

“I’m a proponent of food literacy. It is exceptionally important for children. My own kids know the importance of the garden, fresh food, and patience for the fruits of their labor. I love to see my kids enjoy blackberries and cherries and think of them as candy. When you start young, kids don’t know the difference. Sharing that message is beneficial to the future of their health,” said Executive Chef Jay Veregge.

California Food Literacy Center, based in Sacramento, supports kids to improve their knowledge, attitude and behavior toward food through community food education. The organization empowers K-5 students to explore new foods, learn to cook healthy, sustainable snacks and make smart choices and truly understand the impact of food choices on health, the environment, and the community.

The winner of California Food Literacy Center’s Kid Recipe Contest will also be announced during the celebration followed by a cooking demonstration of the winning dish alongside Chef Jay Veregge. The recipe will also receive placement on the restaurant’s kids menu.

“Food literacy education is the solution to inspiring a new generation of healthy food habits,” said Amber Stott, Executive Director of the California Food Literacy Center. “As a community we can make food education a priority. We are honored that Ten22, one of Sacramento’s premier dining destinations, is partnering with California Food Literacy Center to support these crucial programs.”

The celebration, from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 22 at Ten22 located at 1022 2nd Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, will feature an expertly prepared seven course celebratory menu from Executive Chef Jay Veregge.

Tickets are just $40 with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting food literacy programs administered by California Food Literacy Center. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ten22oldsac.com.