Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita chef’s craft beer obsession results in unusual dinner

See how Central Standard’s beers pair with some of Wichita’s finest cuisine at a dinner on Thursday.
See how Central Standard’s beers pair with some of Wichita’s finest cuisine at a dinner on Thursday.

Fancy dinners in upscale hotel restaurants should be paired with fine wines, not beer.

Or should they? On Thursday, Chef Josh Rathbun – a beer fan and the head of the Siena Tuscan Steakhouse’s kitchen – is putting on a five-course dinner that features pairings with beers from five local breweries: Central Standard Brewing, Wichita Brewing Co & Pizzeria, Aero Plains Brewing, Hopping Gnome Brewing Company and Walnut River Brewing Company LLC. Siena is the restaurant inside the Ambassador Hotel, 104 S. Broadway.

The dinner will feature dishes like watermelon gazpacho, chicken liver mousse and duck breast, and each will be paired with some of the popular beers brewed in Wichita. Representatives from the breweries will be at the dinner to talk about their products.

“To me, one of the coolest things about Wichita is the growing craft beer community,” Rathbun said. “And I like to blur the lines between what the food norms have to be, especially in Wichita, where people have preconceived notions of what you can and can’t do.”

Tickets to the dinner are $94.35 a person, which includes tax, gratuity and processing fee, and are available at https://siena. ticketbud.com/wichita- craft-beer- dinner.

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