18th Street Brewery Fan And Collaborator Crowned as New Iron Chef

18th Street Brewery Fan And Collaborator Crowned as New Iron Chef

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

Owner and head brewer Drew Fox from 18th Street Brewery sent out congratulations on Monday, the 22nd of May to Chicago chef Stephanie Izard on becoming a Food Network recognized Iron Chef. Izard, the head chef and co-owner of such Chicago delights as Girl and The Goat, Duck, Duck Goat, This Little Goat, and Little Goat Diner, competed on the Food Network show, Iron Chef Gauntlet in an episode that aired on May 21st.

Drew Fox on the left, Stephanie Izard on the right. Photo credit: 18th Street Brewery and Joey Potts.

In April of this year (2017), Izard and husband Gary Valentine collaborated with 18th Street on a citra-featured and dry-hopped pale ale called The Fox and The Goat (Fox for Drew and Goat for Izard’s several restaurants). The pale ale was well received on the beer ratings services (4.21 on Beeradvocate and 3.86 on UnTappd). Valentine is a well-known Chicago craft beer consultant, having worked designing tap lists and philosophies for several high end Chicago beer bars, is Siebel Institute trained and is the former director of the Festival of Barrel Aged Beers (FOBAB) competition in Chicago.

Izard is a former winner of Top Chef (2008) on the Bravo! Network, was named one of the Best New Chefs by Food & Wine in 2010, and was a James Beard Best Chef for the Great Lakes in 2013. Her restaurant, Girl and the Goat (inspiration for the beer collaboration name) was nominated as one of the best new restaurants in the nation in 2011.

Drew is the one on the left, Stephanie Izard is the one with the goat. Photo credit: 18th Street Brewery.

On the Iron Chef Gauntlet series finale, Stephanie defeated iron chefs Masaharu Morimoto and Michel Simon, while dropping a head to head battle against Bobby Flay. But that’s no insult, James Beard himself would probably get trounced by Flay and his spice cabinet from heaven.

Gary Valentine began a relationship with Drew as far back as 2015, when he and Stephanie compiled a list the best Midwestern breweries and included 18th Street on that list. In the Food & Wine article, Valentine predicted that 18th Street would, “become a bigger hitter in the next couple of years.” He was certainly correct there. Unfortunately, Drew wasn’t around to congratulate Stephanie in person; he and the guys are in Iceland brewing with KEX Brewing and The Brothers Brewery while on their way back from presenting their beer to Europe at the Mikkeller Beer Celebration in Copenhagen.

Drew Fox himself is no stranger to awards and coverage. He was profiled in the January issue of Beer Advocate magazine, and his naming of new executive chef Andrew Dering brought accolades as well. The brewpub AND the brewery labels were nominated for the 2017 USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Travel Awards. The brewery is known far and wide, and has been sought out to do collaboration beers with breweries in Arizona, Texas, Denmark, and Sweden.

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