Previously I’ve asked “beer folks” to talk to me about memorable beers for my ongoing series, The best beer I’ve ever had. Recently, I put the call out to chefs and restaurateurs to detail their “best beer” experiences for me in hopes of exploring the important connection between food and beer.
For today’s installment, Mark McEwan shares his story. McEwan is the Chef/Owner of North 44, Bymark, One, McEwan and Fabbrica. He is also the author of Great Food at Home and Fabbrica, the star of The Heat and Head Judge of Top Chef Canada.
For the past three years, my executive assistant Jordie, executive chefs Andrew Ellerby (One, Fabbrica, McEwan), Brooke McDougall (Bymark), and I head down to Barbados in November for the Food, Wine and Rum Festival.
The four of us work for 12 hours a day prepping items for their main event, called Ambrosia, where 1200 guests enjoy appetizer offerings from six international chefs and six on-island chefs at the polo club [i.e. the ridonkulous Lion Castle Polo Estate.~ Ben.]
We are known for showing up at the prep kitchen with a great playlist, speakers, and cold Banks beer to get us through the days of 100-degree temperatures inside the non-air conditioned kitchen.
Cracking that first beer always signifies the start of a lot of hot, hard work ahead, but also a great amount of bonding time in the kitchen. Lots of laughs with new friends and old are always a part of that experience, which makes that first beer always so special.
Lead photo credit: The McEwan Group Blog.