Goat Tour 2011

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fall is here and that means the goat tour is about to begin! i guess i should go back to the beginning… how we decided to go on tour, what we will be doing on the road, and how you can come out to have fun and support!  over the past year, a number of restaurant guests who have been visiting chicago from various cities have asked me, “hey, are you ever going to open a spot in [X] city?” i reply that my plan is just to open a couple of restaurants right here in my favorite city, chicago.  but it got me thinking… why can’t we just visit cities around the country, cook food with chef friends and have fun dinners with guests from all over? hmmmm… and perhaps i can travel to the hometowns of chefs that i have met throughout the years via food & wine best new chef, the beard awards, or cochon 555, so we can cook while doing something to give back. over the past few years i have done work with share our strength, and i know national chefs’ support is an important factor in the organization’s fundraising efforts. so naturally it seemed like a perfect fit to have the tour proceeds go to benefit share our strength.  then came the last part of the puzzle—the book tour. with my first book girl in the kitchen hitting shelves this fall, a book tour was sure to follow. but in usual goat fashion, i couldn’t see myself doing a tour in the classic way. i wanted to do more than just travel the country signing books… so then it all came together. we are going to combine a fun filled cooking tour with the book signings, all focusing on raising awareness and money for share our strength.

and… the goat tour was born.  we’ve created a one-stop website for the entire tour which will start being filled with information about the dinners, signings and other events coming up in each city. we will also be adding photos, videos and blogs galore about the cities we have already visited. keep an eye out as more info is added and check your calendars to see what cities you can come find us in! 

ooo maybe we can actually get a couple of groupies to follow around us the country like a grateful dead show smile

first stop on the tour is denver and it is coming up quick! a fun filled dinner at cholon bistro, a book signing at the williams-sonoma in littleton on september 30th at 12pm, and a demo with jared rouben at the great american beer festival! this past spring, jared rouben and i met for the first time to chat beer, get to know each others’ favorite styles, and pick each other’s brains about ways to make our first collaborative beer (we also chronicled the experience… check out the video below). we wanted it to be unique as well as representative of both jared’s brew style and my cooking. one of many qualities that make jared unique as a brewer is that he started his career back in the kitchen, at the culinary institute of america in new york. the way that he thinks about layers of flavor in his beers is similar to my approach to food at girl & the goat. at first, i’m not sure if he agreed when i asked to put mustard seeds and thai chilis into the beer alongside the more common coriander and orange notes found in a wheat beer. but in the end, the ‘tingly tongue’ was born, and it sparked our interest in collaborating more.

so here jared and i are, getting ready to head to denver together for great american beer festival. while we’re there, we will be doing a demonstration and having a discussion about pairing food with beer in the same way sommeliers pair food with wine. the chef community around chicago, and the nation for that matter, is very supportive of craft brewing in restaurants, so it’s fitting for us to come together and share our experiences with the chef/brewer collaboration.

supporting local farmers is something else that jared and i both stand behind, so the beer that we are bringing to great american beer festival is a honey porter made with wildflower honey from ellis farm in illinois. the result is a medium-full bodied beer that balances honey, roast and smoke flavors.

aside from the great american beer festival, our the other event in denver is our first tour collabortation at cholon bistro! i’ll be joining chef lon symensma along with alex seidel of fruition in denver to host a dinner that is all about pairing foods with craft beers. alongside the previously mentioned honey porter, we will be showcasing rumble oak aged IPA from the great divide, funkwerks belgium white, and finishing with the dulce (jared’s american stout made with seville oranges). each chef will create a family style dish to accompany the different beers to show the many directions one can go, and the various styles of cooking that can work well when pairing beer and food.

date:  september 29, 2011
where: cholon bistro
time: 6pm for beer cocktail reception and snacks,
      7pm dinner
cost: $125
for tickets: 303.353.5223

*a signed copy of the cook book is included with each ticket.