The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2012

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Page 44 of 140

NOBU DRINKS A New Wave P ete Gomez may have the most serene view of any bartender within the Nobu group. He stands before us, preparing a series of saké-inspired drinks, and sighs. "This is the best location imaginable—looking at the ocean every day." Gomez, who did not get to see the shore often growing up in California's Central Valley and then working for Nobu in Las Vegas, made it to the right place at the right time in becoming Nobu Malibu's lead bartender. "Pete was with the company for more than ten years and stood out from the Vegas bar team," says Marcus Voglrieder, Beverage Director USA for Nobu. His cocktail crafting skills, his ability to cater to high-end clientele and make them feel comfortable and his know-how on dealing with challenging situations marked him as the man for this position." Pete Gomez is the lead bartender at the recently opened Nobu Malibu, overlook- ing the Pacific Ocean. The National Challenge As National Director for Beverages, Marcus Voglrieder wants his bar teams to keep up with trends as much as he motivates creativity among his managers. To incite a friendly rivalry among the ten U.S. locations (Malibu, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, Las Vegas, San Diego, Hawaii and three in New York City), he created the Grand Cordon, a monthly cocktail competition. This month's theme: saké as an ingredient. The Grand Cordon—the French term is used by the Japanese to represent achievement—offers the winner a Nobu restaurant gift voucher and a bottle of champagne, as well as recognition among their peers . . . and the boss! The cocktail runs for a month as a special on the cocktail list at all Nobu U.S. locations. "This challenge improves creativity—some contestants have written their own recipes" and ultimately makes them better mixologists," notes Voglrieder. NOBU MALIBU OPENS WITH AN OCEAN-FRONT ADDRESS by Meridith May / photos by Erica Bartel Winning cocktail: Amai Mitsu ("Sweet Honey" in Japanese) Bartender: Jeffrey Protesta, Nobu Los Angeles ◗ 2 blood orange circles ◗ 2 dashes of Shichimi (Japanese chili pepper) ◗ 1 tsp. of fig jam ◗ 2 oz. Junmai saké ◗ ¼ oz. homemade honey syrup ◗ 1 oz. Calpico (Japanese non-carbonated yogurt soft drink) ◗ 1 lime wedge ◗ Add new ice to rocks glass. Drip in the homemade honey. Muddle two blood orange circles with one tsp of fig jam. Add remain- ing ingredients and squeeze the lime wedge. Shake and strain into rocks glass. Judging Nobu's national Grand Cordon cocktail challenge was THE TASTING PANEL's Meridith May with Nobu L.A. Assistant GM Grace Yoo and National Beverage Director Marcus Voglrieder. 44 / the tasting panel / october 2012

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