On Thursday evening, I conducted a beer and cheese pairing seminar at Rosemary's Restaurant on the west side of Las Vegas. The event featured five of Unibroue's core brands (Ephemere Apple, La Fin du Monde, Maudite, Seigneuriale and Chambly Noire) and eight selected cheeses from Whole Foods Market in Las Vegas. I was hosted by my friend Michael Shetler, Director of Operations for Rosemary's, who is one of the savviest, hardest working restaurateurs in Vegas. And Michael knows beer. A total of 20 guests attended the event, most of them residents of Las Vegas, but four participants deserve special mention.
I was in Las Vegas last week for ASTD's TechKnowledge® 2007 Conference & Exposition, a gathering of 1300+ thought leaders and practitioners of workplace learning and performance improvement. I attend this conference annually and through the past several years I've become well-acquainted with several leading experts in the topic of e-Learning and the technologies that enable it. One of those leaders is Tony Karrer, CEO/CTO of TechEmpower (El Segundo, CA). During this week's conference I attended a couple of Tony's presentations on collaborative learning and blogging and I credit him with inspiring me to create this blog in his Creation Station session. So, I invited Tony to the pairing seminar and he, in turn, invited Jay Cross, Harold Jarche and Clark Quinn, all of whom are prolific bloggers. What a pleasure and a privilege it was to share my enthusiasm for Unibroue and cuisine a la biere with four highly influential leaders in e-Learning.
The participants seemed to enjoy all of the beers and some of the beer and cheese pairings. In retrospect, I should have changed the order of presentation (for example, serving Chambly Noire second instead of last) and pairing one of the cheddars with the Ephemere Apple would have been perfect. Ah, but through practice we learn and improve our performance and that seemed to be the implicit theme of the evening (especially with such collective expertise in the audience), but really it was all about the beer and cheese. The most rewarding aspect of conducting pairing seminars is that I learn something new from the participants and collectively, we all learn to appreciate beer as a highly appealing culinary beverage that enhances the eating experience. Two years ago, I presented my first beer and chocolate pairing seminar at Rosemary's Restaurant and it was a pleasure returning to conduct another event at this classy yet comfortable fine dining establishment.