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Lucy Saunders
4230 N. Oakland #178
Shorewood WI
53211 USA
@ site name

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Chef Bruce Paton
Cathedral Hill Hotel
San Francisco, CA

One of the stalwart supporters of the beer dinner on the West Coast is Chef Bruce Paton, a maverick among hotel chefs. Rather than relying on the standard wine dinner of Napa Valley favorites to build dining room traffic, Chef Bruce prefers to promote American craft beer and food pairings at the Cathedral Hill Hotel.

For client Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chef Bruce recently created a stunning buffet for the after-party of Celebrator Beer News 15th Anniversary at the Great American Music Hall. Chief among the culinary attractions was a tray full of spoonfuls of luscious tuna tartare, decked out with bronzed "truffle" caviar.

Paton came to the Cathedral Hill after working at the Clift Hotel. While at the Clift, beer dinners included a rooftop barbecue for the Russian River Brewing Company, featuring a spicy ceviche of scallops with caviar, oysters con espinaca drizzled with chile c, and a lobster pozole, with Damnation Ale.

For Deschutes Brewery, Paton created a Fat Tuesday celebration, with lobster beignets, grilled oysters, a smoky gumbo of venison and crawfish, and grilled game with Black Butte Porter.

And for local friends in the industry, such as Nico Freccia of the 21st Amendment on Second Street, Paton developed new twist on standards such as "beef and beer", re-incarnated as a carpaccio of smokey beef with horseradish creme fraiche, to stand up to the Northstar Red Ale, or a lightly sauteed filet of escolar, with ginger butter and banana salsa, to make a sweet contrast to the hoppy IPA.

In 2003, the "Dinner with the Brewmaster" series includes feasts with the North Coast Brewing Co., Magnolia Brewing, Chimay, Bear Republic Brewing and Hoptown Brewing Co. The events tend to be affordably priced at $50-$75, depending on the complexity and choices of the menu. Best of all, since the dinners are held in a hotel, diners can stay the night and avoid driving.

When food and beer expert Stephen Beaumont met Chef Paton, one of his first questions was, "How did you make that stunning tuna tartar?" Here it is:

Bruce's Tuna Tartare

1/4 lb. fresh Ahi tuna

1 tablespoon truffle caviar

1 tablespoon minced chives

1 tablespoon truffle oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Combine all ingredients and check seasonings. Serve in Asian porcelain soup spoons.

Note: "Truffle Caviar" is actually white fish roe which is naturally flavored with truffle oil and naturally colored with vegetable caramel. It is produced by Tsar Nicoulai and available retail at Whole Foods and Draegers grocery stores.

Chef Bruce Paton
Cathedral Hill Hotel
San Francisco, CA

Chairman of the Board of Directors,
The Chefs Association of the Pacific Coast
San Francisco Chapter of The American Culinary Federation


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