The Art of Eating & Drinking: Chef Colin Wyatt

The Art of Eating & Drinking: Chef Colin Wyatt

Portland, Maine, has one of the East Coast’s most exciting restaurant scenes. The coastal city has attracted top culinary talent from around the country. One of the newest hot spots is Twelve, which is run by executive chef Colin Wyatt. He had previously worked at legendary New York restaurants Daniel and Eleven Madison Park.

The Flaviar Times editor-in-chief Noah Rothbaum interviewed Chef Wyatt about pairing drinks with food.

Should food be paired with mixed drinks or Spirits?

Colin: Absolutely. Great bar programs have always been a part of restaurants, but now they are crucial. Cocktails are more frequently drunk throughout the meal and the ingredients have reflected that.

Twelve restaurant

What’s your personal pairing philosophy?

Colin: I believe you should drink what you like. ‘Perfect Pairings’ are great but sometimes it’s at the expense of what you actually enjoy.

The dessert menu at your Portland restaurant naturally features Maine’s famous fresh blueberries. Is it possible to use the fruit for a delicious craft cocktail?

Colin: Blueberries are great for drinks. Fresh they have a great acidity that works really well with cocktails. I like making a blueberry and ginger shrub and serving it with gin and club soda.

Chef Colin Wyatt

What’s your all-time favorite drink & food pairing?

Colin: Gin Martini and oysters. If I can, I will always start my night with this.

Is there a food and drink pairing that shouldn’t work but does?

Colin: Sherry with crab chowder. I always pour a little extra on the top of the chowder and it is perfect. This is something.

We’re eating a classic Maine lobster roll, what are we drinking?

Colin: Maine Beer Company Lunch, the most perfect IPA.

Ice cream bar with blueberry and corn macaron

If you had to, what food would you pair with Maine best-seller Allen’s Coffee Brandy Liqueur?

Colin: True Mainers add Allen’s to their morning coffee. I would pair it with a Maine potato donut from the Holy Donut in Portland.

The Art of Eating & Drinking features chefs from around the world sharing their personal philosophies on pairing cocktails and Spirits with food.

*This interview has been edited & condensed

*Cover image credit: Meredith Brockington

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