Event: Brewery Ommegang’s second-annual Philly Hop Chef 4/23 – Plus Game of Thrones Beer

COOPERSTOWN, NY – On Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m., some of Philadelphia’s most talented chefs will compete in Brewery Ommegang’s second-annual Philly Hop Chef for a chance to represent the city in a cook-off at the brewery’s annual Belgium Comes to Cooperstown event. 
As the event date gets closer, more information is coming in about this
thrilling competition, including each competitor’s chosen beer, the
illustrious judges and more.
“The lead-up to Hop Chef
can be almost as much fun as the competition itself, with each
contestant trying to top the others on social media with teasers about
their dish, playful smack talk and inside jokes,” says Megan Maguire,
Ommegang Market Manager.  “But there’s a serious amount of culinary
talent in play, as well, and some awesome prizes – which makes being a
part of Hop Chef even more rewarding.”
Hop Chef is an annual competition: six chefs each create
one dish each showcasing their imaginative beer and food pairing
skills, based on five principles of pairing.  The dishes, all paired
with Ommegang beers, are served to a panel of judges and to all
attendees; each chef is on hand and gets 15 minutes to describe and defend his dish to the judges.  This year’s Philly Hop Chef will be held at Union Transfer (1026 Spring Garden Street, 215-232-2100); tickets are $53.50 per person, with a portion of proceeds going to support the Mural Arts Program and Groundswell.  
 Shot March 15, 2013 at Le Virtu (HughE Dillon, oh that’s me)
  The outstanding line-up of competing chefs, already engaged in 140-character banter on Twitter, includes:  Yun Fuentes of JG Domestic (@JGDomesticPHL);  Lucio Palazzo of La Calaca Feliz (@LaCalacaFeliz);  Nick Macri of SouthWark (@Meat_Man_Macri);  Pat Szoke of The Industry (@PatSzoke);  Eli Kulp of Fork (@EliKulp);  and Mike Deganis of Alla Spina (@ChefMikeDeganis). 
Each chef has also announced the Ommegang beer that he has chosen for his dish:  Rare Vos, a traditional care-style ale that is mellow, fruity and spicy, for Chef Fuentes;  Witte, a traditional Belgian-style wheat ale that is flavorful, soft and hazy, for Chef Palazzo;  Hennepin, a hearty and rustic golden ale that is full-bodied, hoppy and crisp, for Chef Macri;  Three Philosophers, a blend of Ommegang Quadruple Ale and Liefman’s Kriek cherry lambic, for Chef Szoke;  Abbey Ale, a rich, fruity and aromatic Burgundian brew, for Chef Kulp;  and BPA, pale and hoppy with notes of citrus and tropical fruits, for Chef Deganis. 
The chefs will be judged based on five pairing principles:  Simple Pairing, a direct interaction between food and beer;  Incorporation, utilizing beer in the cooking process;  Mimicking, matching the flavor profile of a dish with the flavor profile of a beer;  Story Telling, tracing the history of the dish and the beer;  and Experimental, making beer the star of the dish.  
 Ommegang’s first Game of Thrones Beer, the Iron Throne Blonde Ale,
is available in all 45 states where Ommegang is sold. For specifics, use
the beer locater on Ommegang’s website.
Recently, Ommegang confirmed the judges for this year’s Hop Chef:  Art Etchells, founder of FooboozCaroline Russock, food editor for City Paper;   Collin Keefe, editor of Grub StreetDanya Henninger, editor of Zagat’s Philadelphia Blog and Drink PhillyScott Schroeder, the 2012 Hop Chef People’s Choice winner;  Will Blunt of;  and Cory Baldwin, associate digital editor for
The Hop Chef Competition is part of the Ommegang program known as Great Beer Deserves Great Food®, a
national initiative dedicated to the idea that fine beer deserves its
rightful place at the table with fine foods.  The Philadelphia event is
the first in a series of chef’s cook-offs across
the U.S., including other semi-final competitions in Boston, MA;
Chicago, IL; and Albany, NY, culminating in a Grand Hop Chef cook-off at Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival August 2-4 at the brewery.  

Fans and food and beer lovers should follow the chefs on twitter (hashtag #HopChef) as they taste Ommegang beers and create their competition dishes.  For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit  You can also follow Ommegang on Twitter @BreweryOmmegang and @OmmegangPhilly.