Spice up your cocktail with gourmet eats
Heart of The House Chef Billy Ngo & Buddy Newby
Kitchen 56 is about creating the heart of the house and bringing a chef's cuisine and a mixologist's cocktails together, creating masterful pairings. This month, we visit Sacramento, CA, a city exploding in culture, food & beverage, hospitality, and fantastic industry talent. Renowned Chef Billy Ngo is a passionate, talented industry veteran who loves what he does and loves his city. We asked Chef to create a dish inspired by and representing his city. We also requested Sacramento Bartender Buddy Newby to create and pair a cocktail inspired by his town and Chef Ngo's dish.
- Chef Billy Ngo's fantastic recipe!
- Cocktail pairing by bartender Buddy Newby!
Chef Billy Ngo
What was the inspiration behind this fantastic dish, and how did you incorporate Jägermeister?
The name and dish are derived from the traditional Vietnamese dish "Thit Kho," which is slow braised pork with hard-boiled eggs. Thit Kho is served in a sweet-salty sauce consisting of fish sauce, coconut juice (or coconut soda), and star anise and is typically served with rice.
For this dish, I braised the pork with Jägermeister, soy sauce, fish sauce, water, sugar, garlic cloves, star anise, and yellow onion. I replaced the hard-boiled eggs with white sturgeon caviar, creating a fun nigiri appetizer.
As a sushi chef, when I think of a fish that best represents Sacramento, it would have to be the sturgeon. Rivers, the delta, and rice fields surround us. Sacramento is one of the largest producers of caviar and rice, so this dish perfectly represents Sacramento with Jägermeister as the main flavoring element with the pork used. I added gold leaf to represent the California Gold Rush that was sparked by the discovery of gold nuggets in the Sacramento Valley in early 1848.
The City of Sacramento, my ethnic background, and Jägermeister inspire this recipe! The complex, sweet, herbal flavor of Jägermeister is paired perfectly with my recipe. I replaced the coconut juice with Jägermeister and used it as the braising liquid.
What do you love the most about the city?
I love my hometown of Sacramento! It's not too big or too small; we're so close to everything; San Francisco, wine country, Lake Tahoe, the coast, you name it. Our food, bar, and entertainment scene has exploded in the last 15 years. There is truly no better time to be in Sacramento than now.
City of Trees Toddy
Photo by Nate Laird @Jagerlifeatx
The inspiration behind the cocktail creation.
I wanted to make something with local ingredients like pear and honey, but I also wanted a warm drink for winter. Combining Jägermeister gave it the spices I wanted to create a spiced pear toddy that is more like a hot cider. Sacramento is proud of its local fresh ingredients, especially being the farm-to-fork capital. Adding matcha gives it more viscosity. I also love how yuzu lemons add brightness.
Cocktail Name: City of Trees Toddy
- 1 part Jägermeister
- 1 part Pear liqueur
- 3/4 part Yuzu lemon
- 3/4 part Matcha green tea syrup
- 2 part Hot water.
Glass: Footed mug w/ handle
Garnish: Lemon wheel
Tips and Tricks:
Put all ingredients in a glass, stir, then add hot water and garnish with a lemon wheel. To make matcha syrup, boil water and combine matcha and green tea with equal parts honey.
Grab Your Tools! Let's Make it Together!
Video By Nate Laird @jagerlifeatx
What do you love most about your city?
I was born and raised here, only left for a brief stint in college. I love this city because of the insane amount of community we have. We all work together to make it a better place. Significant cities, oceans, and mountains surround us. It is a perfect place for all the fun. I also love that we have created our own identity among significant cities; we have some of the amenities of a big city with the small-town feel that keeps us all tight-knit. The relationships formed from that have kept me here and have drawn more people in.