Think wine and cheese is the ultimate pairing? You might have felt differently after Tuesday's Beer & Cheese Dinner at Pura Vida, Brandt Evan's inviting new restaurant on Public Square. Besides fans, foodies, and a myriad of media types, special guests included Sid Cook of Wisconsin's Carr Valley Cheese and members of the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Joe Widmer of Wisconsin's Widmer Cheese Cellars had been expected too, but was sidelined at the last minute by a back injury.
Evans is a chef-ambassador for the milk marketing board, helping raise awareness of the state's fine cheeses and dairy products. Naturally enough, his menu was built around products from Carr Valley and Widmer.
Also on hand, Ari Weinzweig, co-founding partner of Ann Arbor's Zingerman's juggernaut. For you non-foodies, the dude is a big deal. Besides founding a world-renown gourmet foods op, he's included in the 2006 edition of the James Beard Foundation's “Who’s Who in Food & Beverage in America." And in 2007, he and Zingerman's co-founder Paul Saginaw were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bon Appetit magazine. Long, lanky, and laid back, the t-shirt-clad Weinzweig was just the kind of top exec we would expect from the Ann Arbor-based biz.