The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2018

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Page 32 of 124

32  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2018 We've partnered with Chef's Roll & Somm's List, the global culinary and wine professional networks, to learn more about beverage experts from across the country. If you are a mixologist or wine professional interested in being featured here or want more information on Chef's Roll and Somm's List, please email PHOTO: ALANNA HALE PHOTO: KRISTEN MENDIOLA AARON PAUL Beverage Director for Alta Group in San Francisco, CA You've created bar programs for a diverse array of concepts. What's your process? We always start with the following questions: Who are our guests at this restaurant, and what will they want to drink with this food? When we're developing our beverage lists, we always keep in mind that we want to use those products/ingredients in a way that will be the most pleasant for our guests without challenging or alienating them. At Kaya, the cocktail list is all rum-based and the presentations are silly, colorful, fun, and fruity. It's our fantasy of what we would make if we opened a beach bar in Montego Bay. At Alfred's, we use much more classic ingredients and old-time recipes as our jumping-off point before infusing modern products and fresh California flavors. For our forthcoming Alta Group restaurants, we're excited about embracing new flavors and spices not often associated with beverages to create inspiring cocktails. How would you describe your hospitality philosophy? When you walk into a restaurant or a bar, it should always feel like a big hug. My dad's parents were incredibly party throwers—they would always cook too much food, hoping that people would just show up for dinner (which often happened), take your cocktail order, and make you something custom from their fully-stocked bar. If your guest doesn't have the feeling like they will die if they can't return to your home, then you haven't done your job. MICHAEL CARROLL Co-Founder and Head Brewer for Band of Bohemia, Chicago, IL You're popular for creating multiple layers of flavor in your beers. How have you worked to perfect and refine this creative process? A lot of it comes from my background as a cook, making stocks and using that liquid for sauces, soups, braising liquids, and so on. Each step creates a level of flavor or complexity that can be perceived in the final product. It's that mentality that I brought into the brewery that really defines Band of Bohemia and the beers that we create. I don't immediately consider my mash bill first; I consider the final product first and find the right path to get there. Once we have transferred the mash into the boiler, we can layer ingredients and add an array of aromatics as we see fit. When developing new seasonal brews, does having a cohesive pairing with your kitchen's menu play a role? We start with the beer first with a high consideration factor toward seasonality, so once we've made a beer, we taste and discuss it with our chefs and work from there. To make it work for food, we as brewers need to be conscious of how to make the marriage happen. It's not about what is trending—it's what is best for the guest and making the experience memorable.

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