Food and wine go together like Ernie and Bert, Abbott and Costello, Abercrombie & Fitch – better, even. It can be stressful to make a good match though, thus the availability of tasting notes, weekend sommelier courses and entire guidebooks dedicated to the art of food and wine pairings.
You know what’s more fun to pair? Food and music.
Last night was the 3rd annual Plate Swap at Model Milk; a night of good eating provided by celebrated chefs in support of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, who provide about two thousand bag lunches a day to students who might otherwise go hungry.
This year’s lineup was stellar: Justin Leboe of Model Milk, Keith Luce of the almost open Corbeaux Bakehouse, Duncan Ly of Raw Bar at the Hotel Arts, Jack Chen from Farmer’s Apprentice in Vancouver, Danny Smiles of Le Bremner in Montreal and Tarver King from The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Virginia.
Model Milk, one of Calgary’s hippest destinations for hungry evening crowds (they’re only open 5pm-1am) played host, and as the chefs arrived and started preparing their dishes, debates began over what music to play in the kitchen. Front of the house guy Joe Dort suggested each choose one to pair with their menu that evening, and the vinyl was switched along with each course.
I didn’t realize this: Model Milk has a turntable and vinyl collection on the upper level. And it’s a good one; flipping through I came across some Blondie, the Monks (the original Monks – American GIs who formed a band in Germany in the mid sixties), Leonard Cohen, classic Bowie, the Nuggets and Roxy Music.
So what album did each chef choose to pair with their course? Here’s the menu, music pairings included> (I can’t tell you how much I love this, and hope it becomes a trend.)
KEITH LUCE X JACK CHEN
Pickled oysters, juniper cured chicken and smoked cucumber
Music pairing: Sly and the Family Stone
TARVER KING X KEITH LUCE
Wagyu tartare, charred lardo, uni curd and yuzu gastrique
Music pairing: Muddy Waters
JUSTIN LEBOE X DANNY SMILES
Rye cavatelli, goat milk, lamb neck and schamltz
Music pairing: Darkside
JACK CHEN X JUSTIN LEBOE
Smoked steelhead, pine mushrooms and brown butter consomme
Music pairing: LCD Soundsystem
DUNCAN LY X TARVER KING
Pork jowl congee, pickled mushrooms and vinegar pearls
Music pairing: Takeshi Taraushi
DANNY SMILES X DUNCAN LY
Foie and white bean puree, boudin, duck floss
Music pairing: Gza and Rza
Mascarpone mousse, apple confit & sugar snap cookies
Music pairing: Caribou
Thanks to the participating chefs and event sponsors Bonvida Wines, Crush Wine Imports, Hotel Arts, Metrovino and The Wine Syndicate, all proceeds raised will go directly to Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids – and then be generously matched by The Prosser Charitable Foundation.