All Event Photos: © Our Local Commons
A change of plans due to snow, a wee dram of single malt whiskey, and a trip to Lovingston Virginia is what it took for UGK’s belated Burns Night celebration, “UGK: Dinner Over the Barrel” to come to life. Virginia Distillery Company’s visitor center was transformed into a gourmet restaurant for our special UGK guests. The attendees were greeted at the door by UGK’s staff and then cozied up to the bar for a “Smoky Gold Rush,” a take on the traditional Gold Rush cocktail which is typically made with Bourbon. The Smoky Gold Rush was made with Virginia Distillery Company’s port-finished Virginia Highland Malt Whisky, ginger liquer, and lemon juice, and it set the tone for the sweet evening to follow.
While the UGK attendees milled about the visitor center learning about the process of making whiskey, Chef Joy Crump (Executive Chef, Foode, Fredericksburg, VA) was in the kitchen plating the first course. She chose to begin the meal with an amuse bouche of Renegade Chicken, which consisted of fried chicken skins, hot Virginia honey, lemon, basil, and arugula. Guests were given a dram of whiskey to pair with the amuse. The smokiness of the #singlemalt brought out the smokey-savory flavor in the chicken, and mixed beautifully with the sweet-spicy honey.
After the amuse bouche, began the five course meal inspired by the savory flavors of the winter months. The first course was a savory Winter soup with smoky greens and a local pork broth that was poured tableside. As the rich broth was poured over the base, the piquant flavors of the vegetable elements infused the soup with a wonderful earthy quality. This was followed by a seared young chicken in a spicy red pepper glaze with broccolini and a farm fresh egg. The third course consisted of a cast-iron snapper with a fava purée and a lemony salsa verde. A medium bodied Merlot, Luc Pirlet “Les Barriques,” was paired with this course, an interesting choice for a seafood dish. The wine was just structured enough to balance out the acid of the salsa without overpowering the delicate and subtle flavors of the fish. Grilled Hanger Steak with kale kraut, creamed rice, dressed tomato, and a bacon jam was the final entrée of the evening. A Chilean Cabirnet, La Finca “Clos D’Angel”, was a natural pairing for the grilled meat, bringing out the smokiness of the steak and adding a savory dark fruit finish to the course.
Instead of a wine pairing with the dessert course, a hyperion espresso mousse with a smoked caramel whip, the guests were served a “White Nail,” which is the lovechild of a White Russian and a Rusty Nail. Grated nutmeg over the frothy cocktail sealed in the savory sweetness of the evening, and sent guests home with warm memories of a Belated Burns Night well spent.
To see more photos of the Virginia Distillery Company’s gorgeous venue, and to see how they are a Distillery that flows #againstthegrain, check out their Instagram! https://www.
And keep up with all things Virginia Highland Malt on VA Distillery Co.’s Facebook and Twitter pages!
Chef Joy Crump (Executive Chef, Foode, Fredericksburg, VA)
Renegade Chicken: Hot Virginia Honey, Lemon, Basil, Arugula
Sunday Winter Soup: Cornbread Sauce, Smoky Greens. Winter vegetables, Local Pork Broth
Seared Young Chicken: Spicy Red Pepper Glaze, Broccolini, Farm Fresh Egg, Puffed Rice
Cast Iron Snapper: Fava Purée, Lemony Salsa Verde
Grilled Hangar Steak: Creamed Rice, Kale Kraut, Dressed Tomato, Bacon Jam
Hyperion Espresso Mousse: Smoked Caramel Whip Cocoa-Cinnamon Crush
A Wee Dram O’Whiskey
Port Finished Virginia Highland Malt Whiskey
Virginia Distillery Company
Albino Armani “1607” Soave
Domaine Le Rinard Cotes du Rhone, Cotes du Rhone Villages, FR 2014
Luc Pirlet “Les Barriques” Merlot Reserve, Les Ponts, FR 2014
La Finca “Clos D’Angel” Cabernet Sauvignon Colchauga Valley, Chile 2016
A Light (Rusty) Nail