Bartenders don’t lack for community, but by joining the Edible Collective, they also receive access. From pairing dinners to learning experiences, the Collective helps bar and spirit professionals take their work to the next level.
We launched the Edible Collective to create fellowship of good food and drink professionals. It’s a community where members get to interact, share with us their latest accomplishments and predictions, and where we can share what Edible editors are excited about. Collective members enjoy free admission to Edible events, quarterly gatherings and the chance to get their story in front of our readers.
Back in October, we went to Sons of Essex for a three-course meal featuring Woodford Reserve cocktails. Topher Mikels, head of the bar program there, mixed drinks such as the “Peach in the Woods,” a take on the bourbon smash using bourbon, peach purée, honey syrup, lemon juice and liquid smoke. Sweet, whiskey-glazed chicken wings served as the savory accompaniment, perfectly matching the smoke and sweetness. The next dinner took place at the Jue Lan Club, where Walter Easterbrook, Woodford Reserve’s New York City brand ambassador and a mainstay of the New York bartending scene, guided us through a tour of Woodford’s “Flavor Wheel.”
The over 200 tasting notes of Woodford’s spirits offer a lot of room for exploration both in the glass and on the plate. Woodford’s chef-in-residence Ouita Michel spoke to us of how to use these tasting notes to their fullest extent. “There are distinct flavor profiles of different bourbons, so I think that’s one thing that makes it fun,” she told us. “But another thing is that it just has so many different flavor agents and, you know, it’s a very complex spirit, so that it makes it fun to pair with he alcohol in the bourbon can really lift certain flavors forward, and the food can really lift certain flavors forward in the bourbon.”
We got to see that in full practice at the Edible Bartender Symposium on November 29, which took place at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. A panel discussion and six-course cocktail pairing dinner with 100 member bartenders. To make sure you get to join in on the gathering next time, join the collective and come hang out with us at Good Spirits on March 2 at the Pier A Harbor House in lower Manhattan.