NOSH Week takes over the Hamilton restaurant scene October 16 to 23rd, and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve teamed up with the fine folks at HAMBRGR to create a one-of-a-kind collaboration brew we’re calling One Eyed Stag. A table beer with lemongrass and blackberries. this beauty is light, slightly sour and a little fruity, perfectly paired with Chef Mike’s Elk Crossing Burger. We wanted to find out more about the inspiration behind this killer combo, so we went straight to the source of inspiration: Chef Mike himself.
Describe the menu you’ve created for NOSH Week. What can guests expect from this lineup?
When we were thinking about culinary week and what we do here at HAMBRGR, we wanted to push the envelope a bit. Already being a from-scratch kitchen gives us the ability to do a lot of different things. When we think about the seasonality of October, offerings such as Elk, Boar and Duck were a natural choice. Our guests can definitely expect a unique and memorable NOSH menu at HAMBRGR.
Why did you want to work with wild game? Have you cooked with it before? What unique aspects does it bring to the table?
I’ve worked with game most of my professional career. Knowing how wonderful a experience it can be was enough for me to want to put it into our NOSH menu. Again seasonality is a big part; this is the time of year that it is at its best. Elk and Boar both offer a depth of flavours not commonly found. Most people think of game as being strong flavoured, but nothing could be further from the truth. Boar and Elk have amazing mildness to them, being very lean and high in protein brings a lot of health benefits, and they both lend themselves very well to the seasonal ingredients that are often paired up to them. Hence why we are so excited about the collaboration with Nickel Brook. What people are going to see is a whole new way to approach game.
What are the challenges of working with wild game compared to traditional farm-raised protein?
The biggest thing to remember with game meats is that they are very lean, which is what makes them such healthy choices. People have to understand that you don’t eat game well done. If you need it well done then eat something else, for your own satisfaction and enjoyment. Game has to be treated delicately, seasoned properly and cooked properly. It requires diligence from start to finish and when it’s done right, it’s amazing.
What were you looking for in the beer pairing?
We wanted a beer that would pair properly based on the menu written. Often dishes are created and then a suitable pairing is found. In this case we had an amazing opportunity to work right with the brewmaster at Nickel Brook, and he was able to build a beer specifically for the created menu. That’s a rare find.
Why did you want to work with Nickel Brook to create this collaboration?
Nickel Brook brews some of the most complex specialty beers around. Having tried them all, there was a no doubt that an undertaking such as this required that talent. This isn’t just “a beer” on a menu in my opinion. This is as much a part of NOSH week as the menu we are offering. This was created for NOSH and for HAMBRGR. Everything about this beer is designed for this week.
Aside from this one, what’s your favourite beer and food pairing you’ve had?
I have had so many great pairings, but if there is just one that stands out in regards to beer and food pairings, one that hit the nail right on the head it would be – Sinha Stout from Sri Lanka paired up to a curried chocolate flourless torte, with cardamom whipped cream and turmeric tuile. Everything about those flavours just worked. There was no question that they were always meant to be together.
One Eyed Stag will only be available at HAMBRGR locations starting October 13. The NOSH Week Menu will be available starting October 16.