The Asbury’s Collaborative Series kicks off with an impressive Biscuits + Beer dinner

By Stephanie Hoyt

May 26, 2017

Myth or Fact: Biscuits are only served for breakfast or alongside fried chicken. Chefs Greg Collier and Matthew Krenz partnered at The Asbury on May 23 and debunked this myth with a gourmet, five-course dining experience pairing this southern staple with Sycamore Brewing beers. The Beer + Biscuits dinner was a true collaboration between Chef Collier, of The Yolk in Rock Hill, and The Asbury’s Executive Chef, Krenz, who were joined by friends Justin and Sarah Brigham, founders of Sycamore Brewing. Since 2015, through their collaborative series, The Asbury has been bringing innovative chefs, enthusiastic diners and artisan farmers and food makers together to celebrate the region’s produce and display culinary creativity. The multi-course dinners take place at The Asbury in the historic Dunhill hotel (circa 1929). Each event highlights different ingredients including heirloom staples local to North Carolina and specialty items grown by family farms. Diners are provided an opportunity to learn from renowned chefs and purveyors. A convivial atmosphere quickly develops at large, rustic communal tables conducive to conversation, networking and good natured laughter where guests can share dinner and conversation, what food is all about to Chef Krenz.

Photo by Jonathan Cooper

Passed Snack: Sticky Biscuit Grilled Cheese | Apple, Thyme, and Cheddar

To get diners excited for the 5 biscuit variations ahead, Chef Krenz and Chef Collier created a new twist on The Asbury’s favorite “sticky biscuits.” These warm, buttery biscuits were stuffed with applewood smoked bacon, melted cheddar, and fresh apple. The thyme added another layer of flavor to the rich sandwich, making this the ideal adult comfort food. The starter was paired with Sycamore Brewing’s Sun Grown Lager, for a light, refreshing flavor that paired nicely with the herbal thyme and crisp apple. The Sun Grown Lager is a refreshing summer beer, and lucky for Charlotte, will soon be available in cans at retail locations this season.

1st Course: UAV Beet Stuffed Buratta | Spring Vegetables, Herb Biscuit, Mushroom Caramel

Photo by Jonathan Cooper

The presentation of the first course awed guests before the first bite. The chefs took an innovative approach by stuffing the local UAV burrata with seasonal beets, giving the creamy cheese a beautiful pink hue. Fresh spring peas and crunchy radishes gave the dish bursts of green, while adding a level of texture to the Charlotte made cheese. The biscuit was transformed into a herb crouton, which provided additional bite to the soft cheese and gave diners an introduction into the versatility of biscuits. The light lager paired perfectly with this spring time salad.

2nd Course: Smoked NC Trout Salad | Ramp Biscuit, Cabbage Chow Chow, Pickled Potato Chips, Black Garlic Aioli

Photo by Jonathan Cooper

Nothing says summertime quite like fresh North Carolina trout. The Sunburst Farms trout was smoked and served in a flavorful salad and paired with a ramp biscuit, cabbage and pickled potato chips. Ramp is a wild leek found in Western North Carolina and was combined with buttermilk to create a tangy and green, flaky biscuit. The green biscuit paired aesthetically with the purple cabbage chow chow and the pickled potato chips provided consistency to the course. The Countryside IPA, with fruity notes including grapefruit and mango, was paired perfectly with the smoked, salty fish and pickled vegetables. This Sycamore IPA is brewed by hop bursting and includes five Pacific Northwest hops for an aromatic taste.

3rd Course: Shrimp + Crawfish Etouffee | Garlic + Herb Drop Biscuit, Spring Onion

Photo by Jonathan Cooper

In this dish, Chefs Collier and Krenz ‘riced’ a garlic and herb drop biscuit for a spin on a classic etouffee. The drop biscuit was crumbled to create a rice-like texture and was layered beneath large, Carolina shrimp and crawfish. The roux-based etouffee was thick and creamy and robustly spiced for a cajun flavor. The Countryside IPA was paired with the etouffee and cut the spices of the dish using hops and citrus flavors.

4th Course: Foie Gras Biscuit Duo | Blackberry, Basil, Goat Cheese

Photo by Jonathan Cooper

The inventive main course combined Foie Gras, custard and biscuits as well as summer flavors such as blackberries and basil for a unique flavor profile. Foie Gras butter was blended and rich, herbal biscuits prepared using this butter. Then, the biscuit was plated on top of creamy, heavy Foie Gras custard for a decadent duo. The duo was topped with sweet blackberries, basil from Chef Krenz’s garden and flavorful goat cheese, and paired with the Audacity American Strong Ale. The Strong Ale was aged in cognac and brandy barrels with a sweet finish, almost like crème Brule but with 10% ABV. The salty and rich Foie Gras was cut nicely using the sweet fruit, basil and unique barley ale.

5th Course: Benne, Cornmeal + Cocoa Biscuit | Apricot, Strawberries, Grilled Corn Ice Cream

The inspiration to the cocoa biscuit came from Chef Collier’s grandma’s biscuits and cocoa gravy. This dessert was all about texture using cornmeal and benne to create a coarse, chocolate biscuit topped with sweet grilled corn ice cream, tangy apricot puree and sugary strawberries. The night was completed with a Wild Raspberry Stout which was brewed then added to bourbon barrels for over 6 months. The deep flavor comes from 100 pounds of raspberries, yeast from South Mountains State Park and English yeast. The light biscuit and fruity compotes and beer provided a flavorful ending to a heavy meal.

Justin Brigham, Chef Matt Krenz, and Chef Greg Collier. Photo by Jonathan Cooper

On June 21, 2017, The Asbury will have its next event in the series called “Dinner with Friends” to celebrate the June 2017 issue of Local Palate magazine with editor Peggy Loftus. Chef Krenz is featured in this issue hosting a dinner with Charlotte chefs, farmers and beer buddies at Krenz Ranch in New Salem, NC. As this Beer + Biscuits event sold out, start planning for this exciting opportunity sooner, rather than later.

More about The Asbury.

Read next:

In this article