Stateside chef George Sabatino admits he’s not much of a beer dork, but that’s hardly holding back his enthusiasm for Sunday’s Brewer’s Plate. For the annual celebration of local farmers, brewers and chefs that doubles as a fundraiser for Fair Food, Sabatino and the Stateside crew are pairing up with Dogfish Head Brewery. At the Delaware-based beer makers’ request, no less! And as if that’s not enough excitement, he said that this being the still new East Passyunk Ave. restaurant’s debut at the event has everyone psyched. “For us it’s really cool, because Dogfish Head actually sought us out” Sabatino told Grub. “I think it’s awesome, because they’re local and really passionate about what they are doing, kind of like us here.”
Sabatino said that while chef de cuisine at dearly departed Bindi, and later Barbuzzo, he participated in the Brewer’s Plate. But since this is the first time for Stateside, he wanted to create something that was a little less ordinary.
“Every time I’ve done one of these things, I’ve always done braised pork, because it’s delicious with beer,” he said. “To do something different this time, I’ve chosen to go the route of using seafood.”
Riffing on the honey, saffron and coriander notes in Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch, the sweet and dry brew that was the first in the brewery’s Ancient Ales series, and was reverse engineered from residue discovered in a 2,700-year-old drinking vessels found in the tomb of King Midas, Sabatino has come up with lightly cured day boat scallops with preserved lemon and pickled sunchokes.
“As opposed to using the beer in the marinade, we trying to play on flavors that compliment the beer,” Sabatino said. “So the marinade is going to be a little sweet with some ground coriander and saffron.”
He’s also coming up with a sweet chocolaty surprise to pair with Dogfish Head’s India Brown Ale. But to keep it a surprise, he’s not saying much else about it.