The Meddlesome Moth will hold a special dinner featuring the Lips of Faith Brewery on September 12. But what caught my eye was the title bestowed upon Colorado-based Belgium Brewery's Lauren Salazar, who's hosting the event. She's dubbed a "Sensory Specialist," and she spoke to me by cell phone while sitting on a swing watching buzzing bees in perfect, sunny 80-degree weather, while I tried to figure out what the deal was with her job, and what she had planned for Dallas.
Sensory Specialist may sound like a bullshit title, but Salazar has me convinced. Hers is a role that deals with all matters organoleptic, as she puts it. She heads up the sensory lab, running daily taste panels with two other specialists, serves as the director of everything flavor, handles product development, and authors a training program that helps distributors better understand her products.
According to Salazar, most distributors push bottles without putting to much thought into what's actually in them. "Selling craft beer isn't just about the liquid in the bottle," she told me. "You're selling style expectations, and explaining what does an American IPA mean, what's the romance behind it."
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Salazar talks beer like a sensory sensualist, folding visceral language into her beer jargon. "Beer is romantic and invokes a lot of wonderful things like malt or fresh-cut grass. You can't smell that without having an emotional memory connection."
She's a major selling point to an event that sounds like it could be more than worth the $85 price tag, which includes tax and gratuity. Meddlesome Moth has received mixed reviews for its food, but if it pulls off the menu described below, the event will be a steal.
Wanna go? Call 214-628-7900. Tickets are limited, and reservations are required.
Each course will be paired with a beer selection from her prized cellar and will include: First course: Pate de canard and chicharrones de pato (duck pate with crispy duck pork rinds) paired with Transatlantique Kreik, a spontaneously fermented Lambic ale made with Polish cherries Second course: Roasted beet salad with an almond gazpacho and white balsamic syrup, served alongside Biere de Mars Third course: Breast of Guinea fowl with curried potatoes, arugula puree, and dried mango chutney paired with Super Cru Fourth course: Wild California Sturgeon filet with tempura pineapple and a "cherry coke" glaze, served with Dunkel-weiss, a "grand cru dunkel-weiss" Fifth course: Pork belly confit with Cannellini beans and a rosemary pesto with roasted grape marmalade served with La Folie Dessert Sticky bun bread pudding served with an Abbey Grand Cru.