The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2013

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Page 135 of 152

PHIOTO: TYLER FRACASSA ERIC SCHMIDT: REMEDY FOOD + DRINK Eric Schmidt is Bar Manager for up-and-coming Gastropub Remedy Food + Drink in south Kansas City. "My favorite thing about Remedy is that we're in a blue collar neighborhood. We're not downtown where the hip crowd hangs out. It's a lot of fun to introduce different flavors to people—I like helping them step outside their comfort zone." Schmidt admits that he is a Berto Santoro. BERTO SANTORO: PHOTO COURTESY OF REMEDY MICHAEL SMITH AND EXTRA VIRGIN "Technically, I started bartending the night before I turned twenty one," admits Berto Santoro with a self-deprecating laugh. He's been Bar Manager for celebrity chef Michael Smith in his two restaurant concepts, Michael Smith and Extra Virgin, for five years now. With creativity and humility he has carved himself a solid spot on the Kansas City cocktail scene, along with fellow Extra Virgin bartender Paige Unger, who recently won the Midwest Speed Rack competition as well as the 2013 Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition. Santoro was one of the first to try the barrel-aging trend in Kansas City and has a history of obsession with spirits that spreads to the cocktail menus he designs. Most recently, he's been exploring Agnostura Bitters, that famous Trinidadian concoction invented in 1824. "My palate's always changing with the times and what's going on in the cocktail world," he says. It's been that way my whole life—tasting and falling in love." Also notable is Santoro's dedication to the community of bartending, including cofounding and acting as President of the Kansas City chapter of the U.S. Bartender's Guild. A colorful cocktail from Remedy Food + Drink. KENNY COHRS: Café Trio TP1113_109-156.indd 135 PHOTO: CHAD COGDILL lifelong fan of the Sazerac: "It's a cocktail that should be made with love, care and tenderness," he says. "You can't make an awesome quick Sazerac. You can taste the effort, if you will." Like many mixologists these days, he's a fan of classic cocktails and enjoys the hunt through old books for the next great cocktail. "It's focusing on the long lost art of cocktail bartending, and it's cool to reconnect with that really passionate skill." RYAN MAYBEE: MANIFESTO AND THE REIGER Manifesto first opened in 2009, and with its founder Ryan Maybee has received a huge amount of attention, from New York Times to GQ. The duo of Manifesto (downstairs) and The Reiger Hotel (upstairs) focus on seasonal fare, creativity and unfailing hospitality. Maybee says, "For me, hospitality always comes before everything else; before what I think people should be drinking. After that come teamwork and camaraderie, having a good rapport with your fellow bartenders and staff." Ryan Maybee. november 2013  /  the tasting panel  /  135 10/24/13 9:17 AM

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