(small batch) is Birmingham’s innovative tasting event—details here

Sam Adams - small batch chef
Sam Adams, the chef behind (small batch). Photo via Miranda Shaffer for Bham Now

Whether you know it or not, Birmingham is a foodie city full of some of the most innovative culinary talents. We got the scoop on one culinary experience and the people behind it, and we’re here to tell you: (small batch) should be on your radar. Read on for all the details and inspiration.

Today’s amuse bouche: a small taste of (small batch)

(small batch) tasting menu
I’m still dreaming of this menu. Photo via Miranda Shaffer for Bham Now

Before we get into the delish details of the inspiration behind this innovative tasting experience, you’ll probably want more information on what exactly it is.

(small batch) is a pop-up tasting event. Sam Adams and Brian Dyer create a monthly six-course menu with unexpected flavor combinations, local ingredients and purposeful wine and beer pairings. They’ve popped up in different Birmingham locations, including The Pizitz Food Hall in September.

Their public pop-up dinners are a great experience, complete with conversations with the friends or strangers sitting next to you. I got a taste of what the excitement is about after attending a (small batch) dinner on Friday, September 24.

“We have been blessed with a staff that is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about food and wine and who love to share that with guests without them feeling rushed or bored.

I feel that food on this level should be enjoyed almost as a conversation with guests who are excited about learning and eating.”

Sam Adams, (small batch), Chef

Meet Sam Adams & Brian Dyer, the people behind (small batch)

small batch cocktails
We started the night with refreshing cocktails. Photo via Miranda Shaffer for Bham Now

Sam Adams spent the night cooking the best food I’ve ever tasted, and Brian Dyer introduced each dish to us.

Sam’s culinary journey began right out of high school. She went to a pastry arts certification program and began to delve into the savory side at a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. After realizing that she wanted to learn more about the art of cooking, she moved to Birmingham. In Birmingham, she’s worked at Hot & Hot, Highlands Bar & Grill and Bottega.

The original inspiration for (small batch) came from Sam’s experimental cooking at her sister’s house. After expanding the dinners to include wine pairings, she and her partner, Brian Dyer, discussed making the pop-up public. Their main focal points, “Inspired, Local, Seasonal, Focused” perfectly encapsulate each dinner.

“I find it very fortunate to live in a very progressive time in the food industry, with lots of resources to keep me creative.

Sometimes, a previous dining experience inspires a technique or flavor combination that helps me develop another one similar. We like to give guests a ‘wow factor’ while dining with us. That can be from a crazy flavor on a dish, to a wine pairing, to an opening cocktail. There’s never a cap on learning in this industry, and that’s why I love it.”

Sam Adams, (small batch), Chef

A look at the night’s small batch menu

Each month, Sam and Brian release a new (small batch) menu—be sure to follow on Instagram for the latest, tastiest details. When a few fellow Bham Nowers and I tried out (small batch) for ourselves, the menu was full of inventive takes on classic favorites.

Patrick pouring wine
Patrick, your new best friend for the night. Photo via Miranda Shaffer for Bham Now

I was incredibly impressed by everything I ate, but I truly cannot stop thinking about the foie gras eclair. It was my first time having foie gras, and enjoying it in a pillowy eclair with crispy garlic shards has set my expectations sky-high. Each course came with an intentional wine or beer pairing.

Experience (small batch) for yourself

Now that I’ve made you sufficiently hungry, make plans to try the pop-up for yourself. (small batch) is moving to a new location in October, so follow their Instagram to see locations, dates and menus. When you’re ready to experience an event, send them a message to reserve your spot.

Know of any other Birmingham chefs making waves? Let us know by tagging @BhamNow.

Cecilia Wood
Cecilia Wood
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