This week we get a piece of Brooklyn coming to Sweden. It’s the festival Brooklyn Sweden that’s being held for the second year and the event is hitting Stockholm and Malmö beginning tomorrow. We wanted to know more about Brooklyn beer and food and were therefore being given the opportunity to ask some questions to Andrew Gerson. Andrew Gerson is the head chef at Brooklyn brewery and he is responsible for all the dishes that are being served at the event. Here is the Q and A – read and discuss!
First of all, how would you (if possible?) describe the food culture in New York right now?
– The food culture of New York is dynamic and heavily influenced by the many varying cultures that it encompasses; Nordic, Asian and Latin with a focus on local ingredients and seasonality. Chefs like Paul Liebrandt and Wiley Dufresne are opening casual spaces featuring fine dining menus in relaxed atmospheres without the pretense and stuffiness of traditional fine dining.
And is it different from that of Brooklyn?
– Brooklyn is leading the food culture of New York, Brooklyn is everything I mentioned above, on warp speed, with cooler outfits and better mustaches.
How have you been thinking when you have chosen the dishes for the Brooklyn Sweden-event?
– I wanted to select dishes that first and foremost complimented the specialty beers we sent over to serve at Brooklyn Sweden, but also focused on local ingredients while being fun and accessible. The goal was to work with Mike the Debaser chef and collaborate to find a menu that captured the Brooklyn Sweden feel. I hope we were successful.
You are working with a very wellknown and good brewery – how does that inspire your cooking?
– My cooking captures the passion of and values of our brewery. The collaborative spirit, the commitment to real food and real beer, to fostering community and engaging folks to think about their food system are all parts of my approach to food, and that of the brewery. The better our beer is the better my food must be so I am constantly pushed to progress, to learn and to engage with my audience. Sometimes we learn that more is less, and simplicity and honoring your ingredients is really the way forward.
Are you always thinking of combinations with beer when you develop new dishes or is that something that comes after you have developed the recipe?
– It depends, there are ingredients that I know go well with specific beers, but usually I go to the market to get inspiration, and I create dishes that will compliment or contrast certain aspects of the beer. I look at the beer as another ingredient in the dish, not necessarily to cook with it but that each sip will work with the dish for a specific reason, or cleanse the pallet ad leave you ready for the next bite. I rarely create recipes on paper, more so in my head and then play as I cook.
Can you give us some really good beer and food-pairings that we should try?
Gorgonzola dolce and Brooklyn Black Irish stout is my favorite pairing of the moment. Seared Duck breast and Brooklyn local 1 works very well. But I would say you should not limit yourself to my suggestions, try a lot of beers with many different foods and experiment for yourself.
The beer from Brooklyn brewery have become very popular in Sweden, what is the reason for that do you think?
– We Make great beer and the Swedes appreciate great beer.
When you are in Sweden – are there any dishes you are interested in tasting? Any restaurants and bars you are interested in visiting?
– I love the rich seafood culture, and the simplicity and refined quality of your cuisine. I spent the last few days in Gothenburg at the fish market, and eating my way around town, I ate at Hakan Thörnströms restaurant, Thörnströms kök, and newly opened Barabicu – both of which were great. I look forward to eating at AG steakhouse, Bhoeg, Magnus and Magnus, Flying Elk, Matbaren, Nosh & Chow, Riche, yes – I could go on forever! Sweden, and Stockholm in particular, is full of restaurants I would love to try, I wish I had more time to explore and eat!
Brooklyn Sweden starts tomorrow and you can read more about it here – Brooklyn Sweden.
You can read more about the brewery itself here – Brooklyn brewery.
Text: Joel Linderoth
Foto: Brooklyn brewery