The Report from This Fall’s Collective Bartender Symposium

Tasting is always a key component of the Symposium.

Sustainability was the key focus of this year’s 2017 Edible Bartender Symposium, held in October. Edible and Woodford Reserve invited 60 bartenders from around New York to the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) at Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan for an evening of eating, drinking and workshopping.

The main event of the evening was the demo by Luis Hernandez and Christian Orlando, the bar manager and bartender at Seamstress on the Upper East Side. Seamstress utilizes a “closed loop” system, which encourages efficient use of ingredients and reduces food waste.

Hernandez and Orlando prepared pork tenderloin and a Woodford-based pineapple jam, made with only three ingredients: Woodford Double Oaked, pineapple and sugar—no spices.

Farm One, an indoor farming startup that works with restaurants around the city to provide rare and high-quality greens and spices year-round, also provided tours of their facility, which is located within ICE. Rob Lang, the company’s CEO, served sample greens all evening.

The evening was also an opportunity to celebrate the success of Woodford and Edible’s Pairing and Sharing program, in which restaurants across New York and Chicago raised money for The Trotter Project, a 501(c)(3) charity founded to build on the late Chicago chef Charlie Trotter’s legacy of mentorship.

Ousia and Petaluma served cocktails and food: Petaluma’s head mixologist Robert Ulasiuk served veal milanese and the Sour Oak, with Woodford Reserve Bourbon, lime juice, simple syrup, orange juice and pinot noir, while Ousia’s Johnny Livanos and Craig Schiedlo brought Greek lamb chops and the Boulevardier, with Woodford, cherry liqueur and burnt rosemary. Dessert was provided by Courtney McKamey, owner of boozy baking popup The Cocktail Parlor, who made Woodford Reserve mini cupcakes. And to close out the evening, Woodford Brand Ambassador Walter Easterbrook presented Trotter Project Executive Director/Co-Founder Derrek Hull with a check for $10,000.

“We work with underserved children at the high school level and post-secondary, and several of our students who are receiving scholarships are here in New York for their first year in culinary and hospitality school,” said Hull. “So we could not do anything that we do for these kids without all of you here in this room today.”

Join the Edible Collective and you’ll be joining the Edible Community. The Collective is made up of the people who make what we eat and drink.

The Collective‘s goal is to create a culture of collaboration up and down the food and drink chain. Think of it as a roundtable where bartenders, chefs, makers and farmers share ideas, education, enlighten and enhance skills.

Ben Jay

Ben Jay is a freelance journalist and photographer. In addition to Edible, he’s also contributed to WNYC’s The Leonard Lopate Show, Gothamist, Deadspin, the Village Voice, and more. His hobbies include dark beer and brisket.