I was fortunate enough to join a group of locals, bloggers and food lovers at a fabulous event at Tom Douglas Co.’s Palace Ballroom last week. The reason? Negra Modelo hosted a gentle throw-down pitting Northwest food guru Tom Douglas against preeminent Mexican chef extraordinaire Rick Bayless using Negra Model as their common thread. The challenge was set to promote Negra Modelo, as well as to kick off a culinary Chef’s Challenge. Tweeters, bloggers and food lovers alike spent the afternoon regaled by chef Bayless’ stories of trips to the Oaxacan region of Mexico and learned how it’s resonated with him personally as a chef.
Chef-in-the-Hat Thierry Rautureau played whimsical emcee and walked us through the two chef’s dishes. Bayless’ pulled pork tacos played against Douglas’ black bean soup as the two bantered while stirring, chopping and singing the praises of Negra Modelo. In the end, although no one chef reigned supreme, the consensus was that Negra Modelo beer was, indeed, the perfect compliment to both dishes.
At day’s end, after serious banter and delicious food, I was left with a greater appreciation for Mexican foods (and quickly picked up Tom’s Big Dinners cookbook at my local bookstore to re-create the corn crepes served to us earlier in the afternoon) — as well as a desire to try each of Bayless’ restaurants during my upcoming trip to Chicago!