Executive Chef Kevin Schulz pairs his passion for unique libations with classic Cordon Bleu training in his inaugural Chef's Dinner at Journeyman Distillery's Staymaker Restaurant on Thursday, March 12th.
At the center of his Whole Beast tasting dinner is a unique hog breed, referred to as "the Kobe Beef of Pork" by those in the know. "Today's pigs have been bred to have little-to-no fat," says Schulz, who notes that less fat often means less flavor. "Mangalista hogs are distinctive in their fat content and marbling, contributing to better texture and taste."
The handpicked beast will have a short trip to the Staymaker kitchen, having been raised at nearby 1936 Meadowbrook Farm. Owner/Producers, Michelle and Mike Otto will be honored guests at the "nose-to-tail" tasting dinner offering "at least seven courses," according to Schulz—inspired by the animal and springing from the fertile imagination of the chef. Proposed offerings include succulent head cheese with pungent Featherbone Bourbon mustard, pork skin Lyonnaise salad with O.C.G. tarragon vinaigrette, and Tonkatsu ramen with pork belly.
"It's about the food and where it comes from, but it's also about sustainability," says Staymaker General Manager, Mike Brown. The notion of local terroir is carried through the unique spirit pairings offered to dinner guests. A barrel-aged version of the distillery's Old Country Goodness Michigan Apple Cider Liqueur; a distilled "Sauvin" featuring house-made Lillet made from Journeyman's W.R. White Whiskey; and a take on the classic White Russian made with vanilla-infused Silver Cross Four Grain Whiskey are just a few on the hand-crafted cocktails diners will enjoy.