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Big things are happening at Phantom Canyon Brewing Co., starting with a recent Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) whole hog beer dinner.
Executive chef Noah Siebenaller teamed with Jason Nauert, owner of the Rocky Mountain Institute of Meat, to butcher a whole Berkshire hog.
Half of the 265-pound animal was used to prepare the six courses of the pork-centric meal, including a dessert of candied belly with whipped pork fat and beer-infused dark chocolate gelato. Sounds weird, but it was a winning combination.
The other half of the pig became a butchering lesson between courses.
"It was fun to see Jason breaking down the pig," said Noah Kaufman, general manager at Phantom, 2 E. Pikes Peak Ave. "Everyone seemed very interested in the process. I think this is something we will continue to feature at our beer dinners. Have Jason butcher other animals and our chef prepare the meat."
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Nauert's idea of a pork chop was astonishing. He cut the slab of meat to include two ribs.
"I'm guessing this weighs about a pound and a half," he said, holding up the massive chop. "Now that's what I call a pork chop."
The day after the dinner, Siebenaller cooked the chops in a sous vide for about three hours. Before serving, he seared the meat and served it with his spicy voodoo sauce. There was enough meat for three hungry teenage boys.
Siebenaller rolled out his new fall menu the next day. His signature ground brisket, chuck and short rib beef patty burger is on the menu, and the PB&J Colorado Wagyu burger is there too. Daily soups are offered as a cup ($4), bowl ($6) or in a bread bowl ($9). Go for the bread bowl, which is made by Aspen Baking Co. in Denver. The soup lineup: Mondays, broccoli cheese; Tuesdays, cassoulet; Wednesdays, brisket chili; Thursdays, Thai curry chicken; Fridays, salmon chowder; Saturdays, chipotle chicken; and Sundays, beef tortellini. Details: 635-2800, phantomcanyon.com.
Christopher Davies, publisher of Wine Country International magazine, hosts several beverage competitions, including the Pairsine Chefs Food and Beverage Pairing Competitions held in Denver Nov. 2. Ten chefs prepared 20 dishes to pair with 20 gold-medal-winning wines from the 2017 Denver International Wine Competition. Chefs got one week's notice to create the perfect gourmet dish to pair with each of their two assigned wines. Three other food professionals and I were judges. Here are the winners of bragging rights:
- People's Choice: Duy Pham, executive chef at The Parker Garage, Parker.
- Best Chef Judges Choice Winner: Danielle Sorrano, sous chef at Mercantile Dining & Provisions in Denver.
- Most Creative Chef Judges Choice Winner: Richard Hammons, executive chef at Five Star To You in Denver.
Dickey's Barbecue Pit is offering delivery from lunch to dinner in under an hour. You can even order a full holiday feast brought to your home. Through November, get $5 off a delivery order of $25 or more with the code "DELIVERS" at checkout. Visit dickeys.com for delivery options.