BOURBON STEAK at Four Seasons Hotel Washington DC is pleased to announce the official launch of its new house-made cheese program created by Pastry Chef Brenton Balika.
Balika joined the culinary team earlier this year to oversee both the dessert and cheese programs at the modern American restaurant, and has already begun to incorporate a few of his creations into Executive Chef Adam Sobel’s savoury dishes, including the ricotta in the asparagus and warm ricotta tart and his signature blue cheese in “Le Brenton Blugeres,” traditional gougeres filled with whipped Brenton Blu. BOURBON STEAK offers Balika’s cheeses a la carte, to be enjoyed as an appetiser, mid-course, dessert or as a snack in the lounge, or on the restaurant’s beautiful 32-seat patio.
From blue to brie and feta to fresh yogurt, Balika looks forward to giving cheese lovers an incomparable selection of different tastes and textures at the restaurant.
“Our focus with this program is to showcase our strong core of high quality house-made cheeses and show our support for other local, artisanal cheesemakers,” says Balika. “We’ll keep the program in step with our seasonal menu at BOURBON STEAK by producing lighter, fresher cheeses in the spring and summer and debuting heavier, funkier cheeses in the fall and winter.”
After a few months researching dairy farms in the region, Balika began procuring cow and goat milk from the co-op Trickling Springs Creamery in Chambersburg, Pennsylvannia. Every week Balika produces several wheels of his signature Le Brenton Blu cheese, as well as blooming rind cheeses, including camembert, brie and goat. He also plans to make a tangy feta, combining whole cow’s milk and goat’s milk, and a rich triple cream brie, the Brillat Savarin. In addition to soft cheeses, Balika will also experiment with various aged-styles, including gouda, cheddar and tallegio.
A midwestern native, Balika grew up with a deep appreciation for Wisconsin cheddar, but it wasn’t until he entered the restaurant industry that he began exploring the infinite textures and flavours of different styles of cheese. His life-long fondness for cheese evolved into a passion for making his own. Through stages, talks with renowned cheese-makers and intensive study, Balika began successfully making a remarkable variety of cheese, now available to cheese lovers at BOURBON STEAK.