At Coastal Cupboard, Bring Out Your Inner Chef
Grilled pork tenderloin, rosemary cabbage on a bed of Gongonzola sauce is amazingly easy to make, thanks to Coastal Cupboard's in-house chef Bryan Breeland
Earlier this month the kind folks at locally-owned The Coastal Cupboard, a kitchen gadgetry and more store in Mount Pleasant, invited my husband and me to attend a dinner cooking class featuring beers from Westbrook Brewing Co. Westbrook is a Mount Pleasant-based brewery that happens to make my husband's most favorite beer in all the land -- the Gose. The Gose is a German-style sour wheat beer, and its growing availability in Charleston and the rest of the state is quickly making it my preferred state beverage (sorry, milk). The Coastal Cupboard runs cooking classes almost every day of the week featuring its products and, on occasion, partners with local food businesses such as Westbrook to highlight their wares, too. Needless to say, between my husband's fangirl attitude towards Westbrook and my general hysteria towards food and chefs, we were pretty thrilled to have a night centered around cooking and beer.
The chef's demonstration kitchen at The Coastal Cupboard
Left: recipes for each course are included for each participant in The Coastal Cupboard's cooking clases; right: I want one of these espresso cups in every color, Santa
From the second we stepped into The Coastal Cupboard, we knew we were in for a good time. Two words: gadgets galore. From the newest Nespresso VertuoLine machine (where we were treated to a free demonstration and a sample) to the Epicurean cutting boards shaped like the state of South Carolina, the store has everything a home cook would need and so much more.
In-house chef Bryan Breeland explaining the fine art of a handheld kitchen smoker
Top left: our favorite Westbrook Gose; right: Morgan Westbrook, the Mrs. and the marketing brain behind Westbrook, explains the background on the Gose
For each of the four courses, we were treated to a Westbrook-paired brew and a short explanation on the beer from one of the Westbrooks themselves. Starting with a crispy salad of radishes with black sesame smoked Durango salt and a chipotle aioli, in-house chef Bryan Breeland walked through how to prepare each course in a friendly, accessible way. He conceives each dish to make it easy enough for a home cook to replicate while still making each dish seem "restaurant worthy." That's not an easy line to walk, but Chef Breeland presented his tips and tricks without seeming pretentious. The salad was paired with a Lichtenhainerwaisse, a German sour wheat beer with a smoky flavor to match.
Above: volunteers help plate each of Chef Breeland's creations, including tihs radish salad topped with black sesame smoked sea salt over chipotle aioli
The next course, featuring fresh scallops from John's Island, was a stunner. Topped with a nori (seaweed) brown butter atop a bed of sugar snap peas and dill, the dish was a nice reminder that when it comes to the really fresh seafood available locally here in Charleston, you don't need much to dress it up. The sour crispness of the Gose was a perfect complement to the creaminess of the scallops. If I could bottle that scallop creaminess and slather it all over my face in the morning, I'd be a happy camper. Briny, but happy.
After our main course of roasted pork tenderloin with seared rosemary cabbage over Gorgonzola sauce (paired iwth Westbrook's popular IPA as a light complement to the richness of the dish), the Westbooks presented us with their famous Mexican Cake stout, a rich, intensly decadent dessert beer. I'm not usually one to want a beer for dessert, but the Mexican Cake made me a believer in liquid dessert. Delicious, alcohol-y liquid desserts, that is.
And what about the actual dessert part of the dessert? Well, that would be a chocolate brownie with syrup-covered pancetta and a dulce de leche ice cream, of course. Of course. Because while a beer might be an unusual thing for me to end a meal with, bacon never is.
The Coastal Cupboard | Cooking classes offered at various times and dates every month | Mount Pleasant, South Carolina