If you've been going through withdrawal this summer, longing for more from Tyrion, Joffrey, Cersei, and the gang at King's Landing, you're not alone. Join your fellow Game of Thrones enthusiasts for a meal at pop-up Guild of Cookery, which recreates feasts taken verbatim from George R.R. Martin's popular series.
Up next is Tyrion's Feast from an early scene in A Clash of Kings, which will feature five courses: oxtail soup; summer greens with red fennel, roasted pecans, and crumbled cheese; hot crab pie; spiced summer squash, and quails drowned in butter. Of course, this being Tyrion's meal, wine, beer, and mead from San Francisco Mead Company will be flowing (wine pairings are available for an extra $35, the rest is available a la carte). Come dressed as your favorite character and get a free drink.
The Guild of Cookery is a partnership between chefs Graham Bellefeuille and Ty Cox, who met in culinary school and combined their shared love of the books with their interest in food. "George R.R. Martin is so vivid in his descriptions, it just made me want to cook the food," Bellefeuille says.
Bellefeuille and Cox's technique showed through well in the eight-course Feast of the Hand I attended a few months ago. My favorite courses were the garlicky, honey-drenched snails and a pigeon pot pie with a flaky, buttery crust, though everything was good and put me in a Seven Kingdoms state of mind, from trout baked in pastry to venison and barley stew.
The pair isn't just making these dishes on the fly -- quite a bit of thought and preparation goes into them. "One of the challenges of [making these dinners] is trying to recreate the flavors that you kind of imagine in your head," says Bellefeuille. He's done a lot of research into medieval cooking and ingredients to try to produce the best meal possible. "We mix and match using spices and techniques that were available to medieval cooks and adapting them to the dishes [Martin] describes," he says. So they'll use honey instead of sugar, unhulled barley, verjus instead of vinegar, and big cuts of meat that need to be cooked long and slow over a fire.
Then there's the old world vs. new world conundrum, something Bellefeuille has thought a lot about. Since the Seven Kingdoms is a fantasy universe, sort of loosely based on medieval England, are foods from the Americas like tomatoes, potatoes, and coffee available to the characters?
"In the book there is no New World, but at the same time in Dorne [a southern province] they eat hot peppers, which is a new world food. What we try to do is go by [Martin's] world as opposed to our real world," Bellefeuille says, meaning that they won't use new world foods unless the book specifically mentions them.
Hopefully the feast will be enough to tide you over until the Season 4 premier next spring.
When: Aug 5-6, seatings at 6 and 8:30 p.m.
Where: Mr. Pollo, 2823 Mission
Cost: $55/$90 with wine pairings; tickets available at Brown Paper Tickets