Stable Craft Brewing Welcomes New Executive Chef

Joseph Bissonnette, Stable Craft Brewing’s new executive chef, started working at the brewery in January 2018.

Stable Craft Brewing recently welcomed a new executive chef to the company’s brew crew. The newly appointed executive chef, Joseph Bissonnette, is already hard at work creating new specials and reworking the current menu.

Bissonnette’s humble introduction to cooking began in his Grandma Grzemkowski’s kitchen.

“I know it is real cliche for everyone to say that standing in their grandma’s kitchen and watching her cook inspired them, but, after working in the industry and looking back and asking myself why I am doing this, I would think that is an important person who inspired me and does daily,” he said.

Bissonnette’s grandma is Polish and the dishes they made together paid tribute to his family’s eastern European heritage. These dishes included: cabbage rolls, perogies, kapusta, different kinds of sausages and Polish angel wings, or chrusciki.

Bissonnette chose to pursue a career in the culinary arts after graduating high school and college.

He spent five years working as a sous chef at the Devils Grill at Wintergreen Resort. The Devils Grill serves contemporary American fare and sources local ingredients, just like Stable Craft Brewing.

In this role, Bissonnette worked under three different executive chefs, and he described the experience as his most influential job to date.

“I learned quite a few things as far as the levels of standards and consistency,” Bissonnette said.

Stable Craft Brewing represents a couple of firsts for his career; it is his first time working as an executive chef and his first time working at a brewery.

Bissonnette’s Polish cooking knowledge is excellent and compliments the beer very well as certain dishes from Poland share similarities in Austrian and German cuisine, specifically beer-paired foods, Craig Nargi, the owner of Stable Craft Brewing, said.

Polish cooking is rich in meat, especially beef, chicken and pork, and winter vegetables and pairs well with English Pale Ales.

An example of a special that Bissonnette has already created in his short time at Stable Craft includes porter-braised steak tips with pepper jam cornbread and garlic bacon green beans.

Adaptability, understanding the clientele and making the guest feel welcome by knowing what they want and preparing foods that complement the region are all important attributes of a chef, according to Nargi. The brewery’s goal behind welcoming a new executive chef is not to completely change what is already being offered, but to adapt to the ever-changing culinary desires of the clientele by utilizing the talents and skills of a professional chef.

Guests can expect a short-term menu change for Stable Craft Brewing’s tasting room courtesy of Bissonnette in the next week or two. A greater transformation of the menu is expected to be released in about three months.

Pork “U” Back Room at the Taproom- Informational Beer & Bacon Pairing Class

Saturday, January 13th 2-4pm

Stable Craft Brewing will host Pork “U” an informational beer and bacon pairing class from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13 in the back room of the tap room. Pork “U” is a beer and bacon pairing class hosted by Stable Craft’s award-winning head brewer Christopher Fann and bloggers, Jason Baker from “Beer Bacon & More” and Josh Hall from “Swill & Swine”.

Fann, Baker, and Hall will each offer a particular expertise to this class as they walk participants through pairing six different Stable Craft beers with six different types of bacon. Matt Milhit, Stable Craft’s hospitality director and taproom manager came up with the idea to do a beer and bacon pairing class during the brewery’s Porkuary event as a way to give people the opportunity to not only learn more about Stable Craft beers, but to also teach participants about beer and food pairings.

Pictured: Chris Fann, Head Brewer at Stable Craft; Matt Milhit, Hospitality Director at Stable Craft; Josh Hall from Swill & Swine; Jason Baker of Beer, Bacon & More

Pictured: Chris Fann, Head Brewer at Stable Craft; Matt Milhit, Hospitality Director at Stable Craft; Josh Hall from Swill & Swine; Jason Baker of Beer, Bacon & More

Milhit is a veteran of the hospitality industry having worked for major resorts, such as the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, W.Va., Boars Head Inn in Charlottesville, Va. and Airlie Center in Warrenton, Va. He is skilled with food and beverage pairings and enjoys sharing his expert knowledge with others.

Milhit will cure all of the bacon for Pork “U” himself. He plans to have the following types of bacon available for the class:

  1. A maple whiskey brined bacon smoked on hickory
  2. An agave syrup and tequila brined bacon smoked on mesquite
  3. A brown sugar and cinnamon dry-rubbed bacon smoked on applewood
  4. A black pepper and coffee dry-rubbed bacon smoked on hickory
  5. A chili dry-rubbed bacon smoked on cherry
  6. A dry-cured Italian bacon, or pancetta

The following Stable Craft beers will be paired with the above types of bacon:

  1. Porter
  2. Roostered Red
  3. Blue Ridge Sunryes Lager
  4. Throatlatch
  5. Britchin Brown
  6. Special Collaboration Beer – This is a beer that is specifically being brewed for this event.

Milhit encourages craft beer enthusiasts, cicerones, fans of wine pairings, foodies, pork lovers and anyone else interested in learning more about pairing craft beer with bacon to sign up.

Tickets are $25 per person with limited availability.
Purchase tickets online through Paypal and present receipt at the door or purchase tickets directly at Stable Craft Brewing during our normal business hours – Wed-Sun.