Renowned California wine country chef John Ash dazzled a sold-out crowd of Mendocino Music Festival supporters at North Coast Brewing’s Sequoia Room on Wednesday night, April 25. The James Beard Award-winning chef created a spectacular menu, collaborating with North Coast Brewmaster Mark Ruedrich. Each course was paired with a North Coast Brewing beer so successfully it was generally agreed that it was difficult to determine where the food ended and the drink began.
The evening represented a continuation of North Coast’s support of the arts with 100% of the proceeds going to the Mendocino Music Festival, for which the brewery is a sponsor. Among North Coast Brewing’s other music sponsorships are the Monterey, San Francisco, and Healdsburg Jazz festivals, the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the Redwood Coast Jazz Alliance, the American Jazz Museum, and Ensemble VIII, a Texas-based early music group.
Ash is a well-established culinary figure and educator who first came into national prominence in 1985 when he was named as one of the “hot new chefs” by Food and Wine. Since then, among other accomplishments, he has opened John Ash & Co. restaurant; taught regularly at the Culinary Institute of America’s (CIA) Greystone facility; been the Culinary Director at Fetzer Vineyards; served as dean of the Brown-Forman Center for Global Wine Education; written three books; received both the James Beard and Julia Child awards; contributed to the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as numerous other publications; and taught, lectured, and consulted on culinary matters for decades. He is truly one of the community’s living treasures.
Ruedrich is well known throughout the Craft brewing community as a brewer who consistently produces exceptional beers garnering critical recognition. His beers have received Gold Medal awards at the Great American Beer Fest, the World Beer Championships, the World Beer Cup, the Stockholm Beer Fest, and the Hong Kong Beer Fest, among many others. This marks the third occasion that Ash and Ruedrich have collaborated on food/beer pairings, and each one has been grander than the last. There already have been requests for a repeat performance by the duo. Stay tuned.