One of my favorite stores in the Belle Hall Shopping Center is The Coastal Cupboard, “the Lowcountry’s most complete kitchen store.” They’ve got all sorts of tools, gadgets, gourmet food products, and gifts. I could spend hours just poking around looking at all the fun kitchen toys. Aside from being a store, The Coastal Cupboard offers cooking classes taught by Chef Stephen Harman.
My friend Eric, another food writer, and I were both invited to select a class to attend. The Bell’s Brewery Beer Dinner appealed to both of us, so we signed up, and my “sister wife” Amanda came along for the fun. The class started at 6:30, shortly after the store was closed so we had the entire place to ourselves (and about 18 other guests). We were seated and given the recipes with room to take notes.
We got down to business right away. And by business I mean beer. The first bottle we tried was Lager of the Lakes. I’m not much of a lager fan, but I actually quite liked this one! While we sipped, Chef Stephen started on the first dish: Maple Bacon Mac N Cheese.Look how creamy that is. Guess how. Butter, flour, whole milk, maple syrup, and cheese. Paula Deen would be so proud.
The Rahmschnitzel was paired with a Pale Ale. I liked this one a lot too.
The next dish was sort of a bonus; the chef was braising pork for another event but let us have quite the sample…and I’m so glad he did. It was fantastic! Alongside the pork were braised mustard greens.
The third beer we tried was Two Hearted Ale, which Eric said is one of the best-rated beers. I liked it, but had to give it to him or else I would have been bouncing all over the place. ;)
Our fourth and final course was dessert of course! For this, we tried the Kalamazoo Stout. I’ll be honest – there was no chance in hell I was drinking this. It was way too heavy for me. A man beer if you will. I was much happier with the dessert.
We had a slice of Chocolate Stout Cake with a scoop of Molasses Stout Ice Cream, both of which had been prepared in advance. I’m not really a fan of chocolate cake (weird, I know), but this was so rich, I couldn’t resist eating half of it. The ice cream? Oh, that went down easily.We had a great time at the cooking demonstration. Stephen gave us great tips, let us ask questions, and was very personable. I’d love to go to another class. Eric and I both suggested they do a class on pickling. Pickles + beer = heaven.