The SOMM Journal

May 2014

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 105 of 107

106 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2014 WE RECENTLY CAUGHT UP WITH WINE DIRECTOR DANE Campbell between shifts at the Musket Room, the only New Zealand–themed restaurant in Manhattan. "New Zealand?" you ask—perhaps with a lifted brow and a chuckle. Well, swallow that snicker: Last year the restaurant received a Michelin star—four months after its opening, the young- est New York restaurant to be so recognized. At the front of the house, there's no better guardian than Campbell, himself a trained chef with a deep understanding of quirky flavors, wines and Kiwi cul- ture. After receiving a degree from the Culinary Institute of America, he traded in the chef's knife for the corkscrew and never looked back. A Long Island native who grew up both on the beach and in the kitchen, Campbell says he's fanatical about learning everything Auckland and beyond. About 60 percent of the 130-label list at The Musket Room is New Zealand– based, all from small producers, many of whom make the restau- rant a stop on their stateside visits. "From the beginning, the phi- losophy was certainly to celebrate New Zealand, and we always wanted relationships to be the driving force," Campbell says. "I am proud to say I have a personal con- nection to a lot of the winemakers themselves and that's what's fun for me." Having grown up in pubs, this guy knows his brews, too, and has one of the largest New Zealand beer programs in the city. He's high on Nelson hops from En-Zed's South Island, which he says have "have a fruit-bowl nature versus a pine-y, resin-y bitter profile that a lot of people associate with IPAs." About 60 percent of Campbell's wine list is from New Zealand. Kiwi Kicks WINE DIRECTOR DANE CAMPBELL CELEBRATES NEW ZEALAND AT MANHATTAN'S MUSKET ROOM by Lana Bortolot / photos by Doug Young CELEBRATE is a word Campbell uses often, most often in talking about food and wine. Here's where and how else he does that: Sunday sojourn: "For me, the best Sunday is when I go to the market and get inspired by what's available and cook a meal for my family (mom, dad and sibs)." Late-night luxury: The curried crab dip at Mother's Ruin, a "brilliantly industry-driven cocktail bar." Must have: His MacBook. "It's really what I use more often— from inventory of wines and when I'm not working, I like to Hulu things on my computer and hang out with my cats." He's all ears for: "I'll Drink to That" podcast by fellow sommelier Levi Dalton. Online eye candy: Eater's "60 Second Tasting Menu" videos. Favorite board game: "I grew up as a board-sport kind of guy—surfing and snowboarding. Any time I get on a moun- tain, I just go for it. And I keep a surf board at my uncle's beach house." Business plan: "Between my brother and me, we have everything we need to successfully imagine a business— whether that's a restaurant or a bar. We really only need an accountant. That's the ultimate dream for me—to do something with my brother." Dane Campbell takes a breather between shifts— with wine, of course. closing time Somm Journal June/July.indd 106 5/9/14 12:13 PM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - May 2014