Discovery Green Blog
Behind the Scenes with Sundown at the GroveJuly 21, 2014
by Ashley Roberts
The long awaited Sundown at the Grove is here and there are great things in store for craft brew-loving Houstonians! We wanted you to take a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating the perfect Sundown event, so we caught up with The Grove General Manager, Jody Fiess and Chef de Cuisine, Ryan Williams to chat about the annual event.
Q: Sundown at The Grove has become a summertime, after-work hot spot for Houstonians. Why do you think it is so successful?
A: Several factors probably influence this. It is a unique experience to blend hand-crafted brews with food produced specifically for each beer by talented chefs. Fans of each brewery, as well as The Grove, can enjoy amazing pairings. We are excited to have DJ Sun, who has earned prominence on the Houston music scene. Finally, it is a chance for the general public to enjoy a space that is reserved for private events every other day of the year.
Q: Can you tell us about what else is going on at The Grove this summer?
A: We will be a part of Houston Restaurant Weeks and we are launching an all-new menu in late July!
Chef Ryan Williams
Q: I understand you’re trying all new menu items this season. What can attendees expect?
A: We have been in menu development for the past six months and are very excited about the dishes! When possible, we do try to pair the items with the craft beers. For example, for the first week of Sundown, we paired fried baby carrots tossed in a mole negro, garnished with pickled golden raisins and queso fresco with Saint Arnold’s Elissa. The fried baby carrots are included in a roasted quail dish for the new menu. An upcoming Sundown will highlight a new appetizer dip, Smoked Garlic Aioli. The aioli will be paired with Karbach’s Love Street. Every week we try to highlight our new menu, which will be released very soon.
Q: Could you tell us the process of creating a food pairing specifically for each of the beer offerings?
A: We start every pairing with tasting the beer. Once, buzzed (only a joke) we begin trying to pinpoint flavor profiles that the beer contains. For instance, Karbach’s Weisse Versa tastes a lot like bananas. So, we took the idea and ran with it, literally! We ran around the kitchen, gathering and tasting everything that is known to go well with bananas or contain bananas. One of our new desserts, a Banana Pudding Tiramisu, is one of the items that we grabbed. The coffee component of the dessert did not complement the beer, however we were able to verify that bananas do. So then, we brainstormed on what to do with bananas. We tossed a couple ideas back and forth throughout the work day until one caught our attention. In this case, Houston’s hot and muggy weather influenced our decision to make some kind of frozen banana desert. After multiple trials and test we finally prepared a banana shaved ice. The shaved ice is topped with black falk salt, lime zest and condensed milk.
There you have it folks! Apparently, Sundown at the Grove is not something you want to miss. Catch a craft brewery’s flight combined with delicious parings from The Grove, every Wednesday at 5:30 pm, through September 17. Tickets go fast, so arrive early! Click here or visit The Grove’s website for more details.