The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

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NOBU DRINKS Nobu Dallas: Derek Smith excels at Nobu Dallas. The Drink Cocktails Like Nowhere Else "Here in Texas it can be 100 degrees one day and then drop 20 the next. Cointreau is a renowned orange liqueur that offers the citrus element without being too sweet. It's fragrant, multi-dimensional, and is built upon flavors that play off each other. The idea of creating a cocktail that echoes the same structure seemed to be a great starting point. I'm not a huge fan of adding sugar, so the fact that you can muddle a few grapes to create the element of natural sweetness and combine it with fresh orange juice makes this even more refreshing. Versatility and the idea of a citrusy and well- balanced beverage seemed quite appropriate." —Derek Smith The drink's name translates to "orange refresher"—and it is nothing short of that. by Anthony Head / photos by Kirk Weddle I t's a story of a young man who walks into a restaurant and is bowled over by every aspect of the operation, from the food, to the service, to the ambiance. Young man bugs management (for over a month) for a job; persistence pays off and young man becomes a food runner, works his way up to a server for Nobu Dallas, before being tapped to head up the Special Events department. And that's where this story typically ends. But fifteen months ago, years of hard work paid off in the form of a new position for Derek Smith: Bar Manager. The charming Smith was approached by his General Manager and was offered the challenging role of managing the bar. "It was a surprise, a pleasant one," Smith says. "Being a bartender was some- thing I was always passionate about and interested in. I was fortunate that the management team saw my attention to detail and strong work ethic, something my father instilled in me. I was trusted to restructure and upgrade the Dallas bar program, and in doing so I took a little bit of everything I learned from my men- tors within the company and made it my own." After strenuous training and re-organizing, Smith and his team have elevated the Nobu Dallas bar to a new level. Smith wants his bar program to reflect the very essence of what has made Nobu one of the most successful restaurant chains in the world—high standards and quality, innovation and ensuring that guests receive the ultimate dining experience. "In a restaurant like this," Smith says, "our guests expect a memorable experience, and they're going to get it. We want to ensure that everything that is created by the bar reflects that of the kitchen and sushi bar." 130 / the tasting panel / september 2012 ORANGE SOUKAI ◗ 4 large seedless red grapes, muddled ◗ 2 orange halves, squeezed ◗ 3 oz. junmai saké ◗ 1 oz. simple syrup ◗ ¾ oz. Cointreau ◗ ¾ oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur ◗ Shake well. Pour into tall glass with ice cubes. Garnish with dehydrated candied orange slice.

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