Four & Twenty Blackbirds, one of my favorite pie places, recently started doing a monthly "Pie For Dinner" with Chef Nate Smith. I randomly came into contact with Chef Smith, he saw my photo of a dish he made at The Spotted Pig and emailed me for a copy of it. I was curious what he was up to and that was when he told me about the Pie For Dinner event at Four & Twenty. When he first told me I *GASP. I do love pies very much. I asked if I can go and take behind the scenes photos at one of the pie dinners and he said sure.
This past Sunday I was in the Four & Twenty kitchen for over 5 hours shooting photos. I had so much fun that night. Everybody was so cool and nice enough to offer me beer and wine. While plating the starter dish I jumped in to help and grated cheese onto the dish. The night ended with all of us trying out Brooklyn Brewery's Black Ops, beer that was aged in bourbon barrels.
Here's what they served that night.
Warm Cabbage with Wild Mushrooms
Rabbit and Root Vegetable Pie
Salty Nut Chess Pie with Maple Cream
Complimentary beers selected by Brooklyn Brewery.
Chef Smith told me that he had spent about a week preparing and freezing the pies. Around 4pm when he arrived at Four & Twenty they started right away with the preparations. First was adding egg wash onto all the rabbit pot pies. After that the pies went straight into the oven. During that time they spent cleaning up the place, cleaned the dishes, forks and cups and arranged the tables for the night. As the night progressed the kitchen was filled with the warm smell of delicious pies being baked in the oven. Everyone was tempted to open the oven and just stared at the deliciousness. At 7pm the guests began to arrive. Bottles of Brooklyn lager were passed out to the guests and the chef started work on the starter, though he told me that it wasn't really a starter since he intended the veg dish to be eaten at the same time as the pie. Before getting to the starter, he took out all of the pies from the oven, unmolded them from the pie tin and back into the oven to crisp up the bottom part as well. When both the starters and pies went out it was time for Melissa and Emily, owners of Four & Twenty Blackbirds, to get to work on their dessert pies. The night ended with so many happy filled tummies and happy faces. I even bumped into my friend Liza de Guia and somehow talked her into watching The Walking Dead.
As of now both December and January dinners are sold out but they are planning more for 2011 so stay tune! ALSO vegetarian pies are available too, just let them know ahead of time.