Russian River Consecration Barrel Stave
Primarily a self-taught chef, Sean Z. Paxton’s focus has always been to create a quality product. From an early age, he sought to learn various cooking techniques and styles to create dishes from cuisines all over the world. His experience and skill led him to, restaurants and hotels and catering to share his passion for food with others. Simultaneously, Sean was inspired by the craft of beer making and brewing techniques. As he became an accomplished home brewer, he took his knowledge of combining food flavors from the kitchen and applied them to his home brewing. With the understanding of both culinary and brewing sciences/ingredients, he realized each craft shares similar parallels that together would bring a depth of flavor to both food and beer not previously explored.
Today, Sean writes for and his recipes featured in many magazines that focus on trends in the beer and food industry. His expertise has been noted in publications such as Beer Advocate, Brew Your Own, Craft Under My Host, Imbibe, Wine Enthusiast, Food & Wine, Esquire, Draft, Plate, and Culinary Trends. His recipes have also been highlighted in several books on craft beer including " The American Craft Beer Cookbook" by John Holl. As the Executive Chef for Home Brew Chef, he collaborates with pub owners and Craft Brewers across the country to host exclusive multi-course beer dinners. Homebrewchef.com is where Sean shares his knowledge and experience of food and beer with the brewing community. Chef Paxton has also engaged in collaboration brews with master brewers nationally and internationally including Belgian and South American brewers creating unique beers, and extending his vision of flavor profiles. Sean is also a judge for the Master Cicerone exam and contributed to the development of the master syllabus. Sean shares his love for Beer Cuisine with others through teaching "cooking with beer" classes at the Le Cordon Bleu cooking school (Portland, OR), Ramekin Culinary School and Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co "The Fork" in Northern California. He is also the creator and co-host for “The Home Brewed Chef” podcast show on The Brewing Network.
Sean continues to be involved in the Homebrew arena as an active board member the Northern California Homebrew Organization. He has presented several workshops at the AHA National Homebrew Conference and has and been Executive Chef for the Grand banquet since 2008 where he has designed and executed a unique beer infused menu both cooked and paired with beer for over 2000 homebrewers’ attending the conference. Sean also executed the World Beer Cup Grand Gala Banquet for the 2010 Awards Ceremony for 2000 brewers from 44 countries, serving 5 courses of custom designed dishes, paired with over 650 gallons of beer.
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This site focuses on beer cuisine, cooking with beer, pairing beers with food and techniques to show you how to do this at home. You will find seasonal recipes that use unique beers to showcase a dish to breweries that are pushing the envelope, sharing some of their beer recipes with you. Beer in food is not as understood as wine. Why use beer when the recipe calls for wine? Beer is very complicated, with different barley malts, hops, some adjuncts (sugars and different grains like spelt, buckwheat, rye, quinoa) and yeast. All these flavors will add a complexity to a dish, giving a strong backbone to ingredient and playing off it with some bitterness, sweet malt or sour development. Yet to use this fermented ingredient as you would with wine, will vary your results. The hop oils will make a dish too bitter if not used correctly. Or the malt will over shadow a main ingredient, confusing the palate. My goal is to help educate the use of beer in food, both in cooking with it and pairing with the final dish.