For this year’s yuletide Film Feast, the folks at Nitehawk rang in the holiday season with a five-course meal based around scenes from John Landis’s 1983 smash, Trading Places. While Nitehawk’s kitchen took care of the cooking, we teamed up with Pennsylvania brewery Victory Brewing Company for the libations, making for a Christmas party rich enough to please even the sleaziest of stock brokers.
Scene 1: “Pork Bellies. I knew it, I knew it!”
crispy braised pork belly, green lentils, saffron honey
Beer Pairing: Victory Prima Pils
Louis Winthorpe is the managing director of Duke & Duke, a commodities brokerage firm headed up by two spectacularly rich windbag brothers, Mortimer and Randolph. Winthorpe is something of the golden boy of the company, regularly feeding tips to the Dukes that make the pair a fresh fortune on the daily. As the film opens, Winthorpe plays one of his hunches on the declining price of pork bellies that scores big with the pair.
Suitably decadent for these gilded age hucksters, the first course contained a braised piece of pork belly, lacquered with saffron honey and served atop a bed of earthy green lentils. To go with the dish, Victory chose the crunchy Prima Pils to balance out the rich pork.
Scene 2: Dinner With Penelope
brown butter crepes, poached lobster, orange segments, Gran Marnier mascarpone
Beer Pairing: Victory Winter Cheers
As the second course rolled around, life is still good for Louis Winthorpe. Satisfied with his pork belly score, Winthorpe heads home to have dinner with his fiance (and the Dukes’s niece) Penelope, a kind of clueless WASPy it-girl. For dinner, Winthorpe’s butler prepares a monster spread of lobster and crepe suzette that the pair of them barely consider before retiring to the bedroom.
The dish for this scene combines all of the ritzy elements the pair idly pick at before discarding: poached lobster wrapped in a a brown butter crepe, served along with Victory’s winter wheat ale Winter Cheers.
Scene 3: “Commodities”
coffee infused pumpernickel, slab bacon, butter lettuce, tomato, avocado mayo
Beer Pairing: Victory Vital IPA
To settle an idle nature v. nurture argument, the Dukes kick Winthorpe to the streets and replace him with down-and-out con man Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). The Dukes sit Winthorpe down and explain the commodities market in slow, condescending terms: pork, for example, “you might find in a bacon and lettuce and tomato sandwich.”
Naturally the next course was a deconstructed BLT served with a hoppy IPA. Gotta love the essentials.
Scene 4: Smoked Salmon Santa Beard
hickory smoked salmon filet, pomme allumette, roasted brussels sprouts, peppadew coulis
Beer Pairing: Victory Golden Monkey
While Billy Ray lights the commodities world ablaze, Winthorpe’s quickly devolved into a drunken wreck. Without the means for revenge, he’s left eating a stolen side of salmon through a filthy Santa beard on the bus. Merry Christmas.
A tasty twist on a gross idea, this scene’s dish takes a house-smoked serving of salmon served underneath a beard of pomme allumette alongside roasted brussels sprouts (vegetables are good for you). For the beer pairing, Victory offered up its strongest beer for the rock bottom set, the Golden Monkey, a 9.5% abv Belgian style tripel.
Scene 5: Gorilla Lovin’
banana custard, pretzel pieces, Nutella chocolate ganache
Beer Pairing: Victory Storm King Stout
Once Winthorpe and Billy Ray catch wind of the Dukes’s scheme, the pair immediately start scheming for their revenge, a complicated one involving stealing a crop report from a corrupt government official aboard a party train to Baltimore. Things don’t go well, and just as their mark is about to plug them full of holes, they’re saved by a caged gorilla who’s developed a bit of a crush on the gunman.
To celebrate the romantic union of man and ape, the final dish of the evening is a banana custard served with chunks of pretzel and a schmear of Nutella chocolate ganache. For the final beer of the evening, Victory chose their Storm King Imperial Stout, a high alcohol coffee tinged (commodities!) stout to send us home feeling like a million bucks.