10. Officially officiating food & beer's culinary wedding
Who does it: Adam Dulye, executive chef for the Brewers Association, San Francisco, CA
The job: In 2015, the Brewers Association, craft beer's leading non-profit trade group, brought San Francisco's classically trained Dulye on as executive chef -- a strange move for a group that neither owns nor operates an actual restaurant. The point was to lead by example, elevating food and beer pairings with innovative, carefully designed, and perfectly executed dishes at events throughout the country. And Dulye, whose resume is littered with ridiculously impressive feats like putting on a five-course beer dinner at the James Beard House as well as stints at top Bay Area gastropubs Monk's Kettle and Abbot's Cellar, was 100% game -- even if it meant rejiggering his schedule a bit. "Every day is different depending on where I am and what event or dinner we're getting ready for, be it a 40-person dinner in Paris or smoking 450lbs of king salmon for 1,500 guests," he says. "In between all that, I'm communicating with our 3,500+ brewery members, working out logistics, and reaching out to chefs all over the country to talk about what's happening in food and small, independent beer."
His story: "I have always wanted to cook -- I never thought of any other career," Dulye explains. "I got a job at 14 prepping and washing dishes and when a line cook didn't show up one day, I moved to the line and never looked back." After culinary school, the acclaimed chef moved to Portland, Oregon and began experimenting with craft beer. "The beer and culinary industries are so similar and so connected," he points out. "Ask any brewer how they do what they do and you get an honest answer. And when a chef finds a great ingredient, farmer, or rancher, they share it with everyone they know. There's a certain level of camaraderie, a sharing of battles both lost and won, and an absolute desire to see anyone who gives it their all succeed."
Any advice? "Both the culinary and beer industries have this stigma of 'Oh yeah, I like to eat, I like beer, let me just open a restaurant or a brewery.' But what it really takes is heart. You start at the bottom and you make a shit-ton less than all your buddies who have 'normal' jobs and schedules. No one who has gained massive success, fame, and now money in these industries set out with that as a goal -- they set out with an intense focus to make beer or to cook food and everything else came in time. To be one of the best, you learn it all, you do it all, and you wait."