Going “Beyond the Bar” — and the KitchenAugust 10, 2010 By: Jack Robertiello
Once suffering from a lack of attention, bartenders are suddenly TV fodder. Soon, on the Sundance Channel, Grey Goose and the United States Bartenders’ Guild will introduce “Beyond the Bar,” a series celebrating some well-known North American mixologists. The one-minute documentary shorts, taped in New Orleans during Tales of the Cocktail, will broadcast starting the week of Oct. 2, with each piece profiling “a bartender with exceptional skills and highlights one of the many roles he or she plays,” according to Grey Goose. Part of the fifth season of the series “Iconoclasts,” the 12 were selected at auditions by the USBG and Sundance Channel for their style, creativity and overall originality. Look in October for bartenders April Wachtel (Boston), Evan Hawkins (Atlanta), David Ortiz (Miami), Joaquin Simo (New York), Scott Baird (San Francisco), Eric “ET” Tecosky (Los Angeles), Charles Joly (Chicago), Eddie "Lucky" Campbell (Dallas), Tony Abou-Ganim (Las Vegas), Danny Valdez (New Orleans), Willy Shine (New York) and Lauren Mote (Vancouver).
Increasingly, other culinarians are getting into the bartender act. Soon to open in NYC is the Hurricane Club, where James Beard award-winning pastry chef Richard Leach has created the drinks. At the sprawling 11,000-square foot Polynesian-style restaurant and lounge from restaurateur Michael Stillman and chef Craig Koketsu, Leach has created and designed more than 40 Tiki-inspired cocktails for the September opening. The drinks, known and to be ordered by number only, include Number 1 (cachaca-spiced passion fruit, ginger and lime), Number 9 (dark rum, banana, tamarind, peanut, mandarin and ginger beer), the ever-popular Number 20 (unfiltered sake, lemon grass, mango, lemon sour and angelica bitters) and Number 27 (bourbon, toasted rice, mandarin juice and bay leaf syrup).