There are classic, conventional culinary pairings----peanut butter and jelly, chocolate chip cookies with milk---that it’d be near impossible to imagine life without. And then there are combinations, like a sticky toffee, Turkish fig ice cream sandwich, alongside a rich Vietnamese-coffee Porter-style brew that you not only may never dream of, but are unlikely to ever see again.
Such was the theme of Peli Peli On The Bayou, the collaborative effort between South African fusion restaurant Peli Peli, and the thoroughly-local Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company. The grand experiment of taking two unique sources of flavor and marrying them through the vessel of a meticulously-prepared five-course meal accompanied by customized versions of some of Buffalo Bayou’s most popular brews was a marvelous success.
Peli Peli executive chef Paul Friedman’s astute attention to detail and Buffalo Bayou co-founder Rassul Zarinfar’s penchant for the unorthodox came together to produce creations like the peppadew puree, made from a recently-discovered South African pepper with a distinct sweet, smoky flavor. Buffalo Bayou took the challenge of using that same ingredient and infusing it with their Abrikoos, a Belgian IPA that normally bears fruity undertones. The pairing proved triumphant, providing a taste and experience that if nothing else, was certainly memorable.
This best-of-both-worlds type of project was a first for both parties involved. Based on the response (and the humble opinion of this particular taster), it certainly won’t be the last. Stay tuned!