Maple Syrup and Bourbon Team Up for Dinner at deca

February 20, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Growing up in New Hampshire, I practically have maple syrup pulsing through my veins. Cut my jugular and you’re in for a sweet surprise! Just kidding, please don’t. But you can imagine my excitement a few years ago, when I was first introduced to the elixir that is Burton’s Maplewood Farm maple syrup. When I moved away from New England, I pretty much resigned myself to Aunt Jemima, but then along comes an Indiana maple purveyor with a product as good as any pancake could dream. Not only is the syrup delicious, but maple maestro Tim Burton creates whimsical variations, such as smoked syrup, spice-infused syrup, and bourbon barrel-aged syrup, the latter of which hits the spotlight at a Burton and Bourbon dinner at deca next week.

Taking place February 26 at deca RESTAURANT [yes, sic] in the Ritz Carlton, Burton joins forces with executive chef Mark Payne and Armando Zapata of Wirtz Beverage Group to curate a three-course dinner inspired by maple syrup and bourbon in celebration of maple season. Burton first met Payne when he asked Burton to visit the restaurant and talk to the staff about his farm, maple production, and the differing grades of syrup. Along with his sous chef at the time, Kevin Erving, Payne stayed on Burton’s farm for three days, helping tap maple, bottling syrup, and visiting local Amish maple syrup producers to compare techniques. On working with Payne, Burton extols him for the thought he puts into each dish, and how he elevates each one. “A testament to this is his dedication to sourcing local seasonal food by investing his time to get to know each farm purveyor on a personal level,” says Burton.

For this particular syrup, Burton aged syrup in a Woodford Reserve bourbon barrel. While Payne prepares dishes using Burton’s maple syrup, plates will be paired with Woodford Reserve bourbon cocktails. The menu includes maplewood hot smoked salmon with bourbon and rosemary, frisée and blood orange; bourbon brined and roasted Gunthorp Farms duck with parsley root and maple-sour cherry jus; and bourbon caramel milk tarts with banana and maple cream.

Guests are also in for a treat as David Hoppe, author of Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest, will be in attendance to sign copies of his book, which features Burton and other notable Indiana food purveyors.

Dinner kicks off at 7:30 p.m. and costs $59 per person. Reservations can be made by calling 312-573-5160.