Six Vancouver chefs and six breweries are joining forces this Saturday for an epic meatball and beer throwdown at The American.
Co-hosted by chefs Mike McClintock and Doug Stephen, a special Movember edition of This Sandwich, That Beer (TSTB) event will feature a slate of local culinary leaders who will compete to cook up the best meatball sandwich and local beer pairing. Guests are invited to try each sando and beer combo and vote for their favourite.
The initiative is a fundraiser for Movember, meant to raise awareness and funds in support of men’s mental health, and testicular and prostate cancer research. Tickets will give each guest six 2 oz sandwiches, at least six 4 oz beers, and a raffle ticket to win prizes.
Meet your throwdown tag teams
The participating chefs and the breweries they are paired up with are:
- Vish Mayekar, executive chef, Pepino’s and Caffe La Tana (Twin Sails Brewing)
- Justin Cheung, chef and co-owner, Potluck Hawkers Eatery (Superflux Beer Company)
- Lina Caschetto, chef, Say Hey Cafe and Deli (33 Acres)
- Johnny Bridge, UBC Campus and Mind The Bar (Strange Fellows Brewing)
- Bryan Satterford and Clay Yen, Juke Fried Chicken and Ribs (Bridge Brewing Co.)
- Boris McKay of Vennie’s Sub Shop (Powell Brewery)
This Sandwich, That Beer was created by Kevin Wood, who loves sandwiches and great craft beer. Wood used to regularly host throwdown events with local chefs before the pandemic and has raised funds for various Metro Vancouver charities.
“Something important to me”
Although McClintock and Stephen are known for their sammies, their motivation for organizing the event goes beyond their interest in hoagies and hops. Both have been impacted by Movember’s focus areas of mental health, and testicular and prostate cancer in various ways.
McClintock, who we caught up with recently, noted he’s overcome testicular cancer.
“Obviously, that’s what hit home for me with this charity,” he said.
Stephen, who most of you will know from Downlow Chicken and The Drive Canteen, believes there’s a stigma attached to conversations surrounding men’s health and mental health. That’s particularly true of the hospitality industry, which he calls “rife with ‘man, walk it off’ and all sorts of toxic behaviour.”
Stephen knows people who have been impacted by both testicular and prostate cancer, and he has lost someone to mental issues.
So, he explained, “The impetus behind doing something Movember related is many, many fold. I've been participating in Movember since I first heard about it, which was probably about eight or nine years ago in a variety of facets–more often than not just donating funds myself. But over the past few years, trying to do a bigger and better fundraiser each year has been something important to me.”
“Outrageously good chefs”
With 150 guests expected, the weekend’s event is an opportunity for “meatball deliciousness,” as McClintock put it, and a chance to “raise money at the same time!”
Beyond the charity portion of the festivities, Stephen is excited to showcase the city’s gastronomical greatness
“I am absolutely in love with what our city represents from a culinary perspective,” he said. “And I think having the opportunity to not just talk about my own food and what I can make, but to talk about just how great the rest of the city is and just how great the participating chefs are.”
The contestants are from the restaurants Stephen frequents most.
“They're all outrageously good chefs," he noted. "And alongside some really, really great breweries who are not just forward-thinking the style of beers that they make, but also in the community engagement that they're a part of. If I can eat and drink for charity, if I can help showcase what's great about our city, anytime I get an opportunity, I’m here for it.”
When asked who was going to win, Stephen didn’t hesitate:
“The dining public," he said. "They get to have six incredible, incredible meatball sandwiches alongside six beautiful beers. So they're all going to take home the W.”
And honestly, how can we argue with that?