Interview with Chef James Sanders of Brickyard

Chef James Sanders

Chef James Sanders
Executive Chef of Brickyard Gastropub
785 Ninth Avenue NY NY 10019

Brief Bio: After graduating with a degree in Culinary Arts from the New York Art Institute (formerly New York Restaurant School) in 1997 he then went on to receive a bachelor’s in hotel, restaurant and institutional management from Weidner University. Chef James has refined his skills as the sous chef at LaGriglia and as the Executive Chef of the Meyersville Inn. Sanitation, proper techniques and kitchen management have been guiding principles throughout his career. Maintaining a strong focus on local, organic and sustainable cooking has always been a passion. As Executive Chef at Brickyard Gastropub he has used this focus to pair both great food with great beer. One such item is Ommegang Abbey braised short ribs with both the braising liquid and the finished sauce containing the caramel noted Abbey.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? I feel beer can be paired with food even more appropriately than wine. There are a lot more flavor profiles to work with and it complement so many different styles of food.
What got you started on pairing food & beer? Really, the craft beer movement. I started to look at beer differently. There have always been great beers out there but I feel like it’s much more pronounced now.

Who are the chefs you admire? Eric Ripert, Andre Soltner

What are some of your favorite pairings? Porters with desserts and wheat beers with citrus salads or fish

Favorite style / beer to pair with? I’m open to all styles….it just needs to work with the food

Favorite all time beer? Too hard to say…Craft Beers are evolving and developing new flavors all the time…really hard to settle on just one.
Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? One such item is Ommegang Abbey braised short ribs with both the braising liquid and the finished sauce containing the caramel noted Abbey.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? I think this will be more than a trend…beer naturally lends itself to food. As more and more people are exposed to it, it will continue to grow

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own? The Mansion @ Turtle Creek, Dallas TX

Ommegang Abbey Braised Short Ribs
4 8-10oz Short Ribs
1 Bunch Celery
2 Yellow Onion
4 Carrots Peeled
1 Gal Beef Stock
1 Gal Ommegang Abbey
1 Cup Fresh Herbs (use herb you like)
¼ Cooking Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:Salt and pepper the short ribs. In a large pot brown the short ribs. Once browned remove and let rest. In the same pot add remaining oil. Add medium diced onion, carrots, celery and cook until slightly browned. Add Ommegang Abbey and beef stock and fresh herbs. Place short ribs in liquid and braise on a low heat (slight simmer) until a knife will go through the short rib with ease. Let rest and slice. Reduce cooking liquid by half and puree in a blender. Taste for seasoning.

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