ST. LOUIS, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Stella Artois is a product of one of the world's most vibrant and diverse beer cultures. In Belgium, beer is featured at nearly every course, including dessert. This year, the Belgian brand's food pairing expertise will be on display at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, where Stella Artois will serve as the official beer sponsor. The brand will be represented by two ambassadors: Master Belgian Chef Bart Vandaele and Master Beer Sommelier Marc Stroobandt.
"Aspen Food & Wine attracts the epicureans, who are always curious. The festival is for gourmands for whom food and drink is a daily thrill," said Elizabeth Price, Brand Manager, Belgian Brands, Anheuser-Busch. "This is a perfect showcase for our flavorful Belgian beers Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, and Leffe Blonde, paired with many different food courses."
This year, Aspen Food & Wine Classic has enlisted four lifestyle photographers to produce content for a new Food & Wine Tumblr initiative. One of the four, Nicole Franzen, is an acclaimed photographer based in Brooklyn who specializes in gorgeous still life images. Franzen has been commissioned by Stella Artois to capture the festival through her creative lens. All images will be posted to both the Food & Wine Tumblr as well as the bloggers' own outlets.
"Cuisine a la Biere" refers to the Belgian tradition of culinary invention and improvisation, centered on finding the perfect complement between beer and food. Vandaele and Stroobandt will celebrate this tradition throughout the festival. They will demonstrate why a complex Belgian beer such as Stella Artois makes such an interesting culinary pairing to dishes featuring lobster, salad, chocolate, and much more.
Stella Artois alongside dark chocolate is a non-traditional pairing in the United States, but has a celebrated history in Belgium. Festival attendees will enjoy the pairing in recipes that Chef Vandaele has created for the event. These include Chocolate Panna Cotta, featuring endive foam, orange coulis and blue cheese. Chocolate will appear again in Vandaele's Endive Salad, which features blue cheese, orange and dark chocolate. For seafood lovers, Vandaele has developed a Lobster-in-Aspic recipe, which also features cilantro, lemongrass, krupuk and pea-mint puree.
The Belgian beer's mild malt and light hops also accentuate the richness of dishes such as lamb and shellfish without overwhelming the balance of flavors. Stella Artois' bitterness also helps cut through cream sauces in pastas. It also contrasts the creaminess of flavorful semi-soft cheeses such as Havarti, Morbier and artisanal cheeses.
Beginning Thursday, June 13, Stella Artois will host the Welcome Reception, and will also open a spot in the Grand Tasting area, giving several thousand festival attendees the opportunity to delight in Stella Artois pairings created by Chef Vandaele. Vandaele and Stroobandt will also host Belgian Beer Pairing Seminars, as well as the famed Publisher's Party.
Marc Stroobandt will be on hand to ensure that each serving of Stella Artois is delivered with perfection. This is possible through the brand's famed 9-step pouring ritual, which will be on display throughout the festival. Pouring rituals are another reflection of the brand's Belgian heritage; most of the 500 beer brands that Belgium has produced are intended to be served in a specific glass and poured in a specific manner. For Stella Artois, that glass is the Chalice, and the pouring ritual features nine steps. These include:
- The Purification: The bartender selects the signature Chalice for the beer. The glass is scrubbed in a cool-water bath, preferably with a mild detergent. It's then rinsed with cold water to chill the glass.
- The Sacrifice: The tap is opened in one swift motion to let the first burst of foam flow away. It must never enter the glass, thus ensuring every drop of beer is fresh.
- The Liquid Alchemy: The glass is held at a 45-degree angle to create the perfect balance of liquid to foam.
- The Head: The head is created by straightening and lowering the glass. The foam is visually appealing and releases the beer's aroma.
- The Removal: The bartender closes the tap in one quick action and moves the glass away from the faucet to ensure no drops spoil the perfect head.
- The Beheading: While the beer is flowing over the edge of the glass, the bartender cuts the head gently with a head cutter at a 45-degree angle. This eliminates the larger bubbles that burst easily and accelerate the dissipation of the head.
- The Judgment: The bartender now stands in judgment. The beer's head should be two fingers thick.
- The Cleansing: The bartender then rinses the bottom and sides of the glass. This keeps the glass clean and cool and makes it comfortable to hold.
- The Bestowal: A perfectly poured pint of Stella Artois is presented with the logos of the coaster and glass facing the customer.
About Stella Artois
Stella Artois® is part of a Belgian brewing tradition dating back to 1366. It is the number one Belgian beer in the world and is present in over 80 countries. Stella Artois® is a bottom filtered, blonde pilsner. It is thirst quenching with a malty middle and crisp finish delivering a full flavor and a hint of bitterness. Stella Artois® is best enjoyed served between 3 and 5 degree Celsius and should be served in the unique Stella Artois® Chalice according to the 9-Step Pouring Ritual to guarantee a perfect experience of this gold standard lager. Visit www.stellaartois.com for more information.
SOURCE Stella Artois