5 Questions for Wes Lieberher
Wes Lieberher is executive chef of Beer Belly, where he turns out duck fat fries, beer-braised pork belly skewers and Jidori chicken wings to go with the Koreatown pub's list of American craft beers. A little about Lieberher: He's from Philadelphia, gave up a career in music after he developed tinnitus, forced himself to like mushrooms, and was the only non-Korean competitor in last year's Korean barbecue cook-off at the Korean BBQ Festival (and took home the trophy).
What's coming up next on your menu? My menu at Beer Belly changes weekly, keeping with the beer-inspired comfort-food theme.... Our newest mac 'n' cheese, the Loaded Baked Potato Mac 'n' Cheese, is for the bold of heart. The cheese base for the mac 'n' cheese is always homemade and is made with a special craft beer each week. I'll also be putting our popular fried chicken into sandwich form in a Philadelphia Amoroso roll with pickled cabbage, asiago and beer-roasted corn and sriracha aoili.
Latest ingredient obsession? Well, since we opened Beer Belly my latest ingredient obsession has been craft beer. It's been a blast thinking of new and different ways to use craft beer in my recipes. The possibilities seem endless.
The one piece of kitchen equipment you can't live without, other than your knives? A whisk! I love making sauces by hand, and it'd be a nightmare to stir without my whisk. It's a great workout too!
What’s the last non-food-related book you read? "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell" by Tucker Max. And I thought I was crazy.
Favorite kitchen soundtrack? Without a doubt the favorite soundtrack in our BB kitchen is Joy Division and New Order.
Beer Belly, 532 S. Western Ave., Los Angeles, (213) 387-2337, www.beerbellyla.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo credit: Yume Han