The Five Questions: Week Two
August 24, 2010
Each week since Wild Table was founded, I’ve tried through my fingers on keys to give you a vision inside my head. For twenty years while working as an executive assistant, I should have been trying to discover more about other people. I was just in the wrong job. All the while on weekends and holidays I worked in the wine trade as a retail salesman and doing private chef work. My passion is food and photo journalism, talking about food and eating it.
Two weeks ago I was in San Francisco. The Ministry of Rum holds a Sugar Cane Rum Competition every year. It’s a masterfully run event. I’d never been to San Francisco prior to this trip.
Strange. For a person, like myself – who has seen many countries and enjoyed many foods in those countries, how come I’d never been to SF? Well, I took public transportation everywhere and really got to know the city. All of this energy was building up in me though. How could I discover things about people? I’ve talked about the power of the Social Network. I had the opportunity to meet Jeff Pulver who is the founder of the #140conf which discusses the inter-connective nature of the universe. Pretty heady stuff. The Real Time Internet allows anyone to connect to (nearly) anyone in the world, in Real Time by using our Smart Phones. (iPhone, Blackberry-etc.)
For the last six months or so I’ve been writing a weekly column, trying to create a brand for myself and share my passion for reinvention with others. The organization known as My Path Builder discovered me through the Real Time internet. They did a digital video interview and it revealed the REAL Warren-the one I am most proud of.
Looking at this digital video gives me hope that something written in this new column on Wild Table will resonate with you.
Which brings me back to San Francisco. While tasting through fifty sugar cane juice rums, I had a flash of inspiration. I was on the Hydrofoil going across the bay from Oakland to San Francisco. There was what appeared to be a space ship coming into view. Outdoor Art is a fun thing in SF. This space ship, built from gleaming stainless steel is a prop from the upcoming Burning Man Festival in Nevada. I’ve never been to Burning Man, but seeing this space ship gave me a flash of inspiration.
What popped into my brain at that moment in time was a new vision of Wild Table. A Wild Table that attempts to discover and strip away the hidden thoughts of people when talking in the context of food, wine, liquors, memories and tears. Why tears? I believe that if we cook food, and truly enjoy what we eat enough, this energy or shared experience connects all people. We eat from day one and hopefully until the end game. I want to discover the very core level of human beings, like myself, who have a true passion for food and intoxicating liquors. Over the past few days I’ve contacted about two dozen or more people.
We will be examining CEOs and cocktail personalities, Bourbon sippers and Rhum Explorers. There are famous cooks and less than famous people. All of them I find interesting. These folks all have a story to tell about food memories and the inter-connectivity of food to love and life. There are the authors, editors and food writers. The names astound me, that these people would expose their passions- they don’t know me, other than on Twitter or Facebook, a few in person, but the majority in the Real Time Internet.
So, what is the format of the Five Questions?
I try to create questions that resonate with me. I try to research the person and develop questions based on their personal experience. I’m interested in food and memories.
People, places and things that bring back thoughts and dreams of meals enjoyed, people who may not be here any longer and the stories that surround these experiences.
Yes, one of the questions regards “preparing foods that brings a tear to the eye.” This is a very intimate question. Most of my questions are usually different each time with each person. There are a few that repeat because of their intimacy with emotion. I like that. These interviews are not taped. I like to do telephone interviews- I’ve done email interviews and some in person ones. They all reveal things unexpected. That is the true meaning of life.
Thank you for listening to me run on. Your friend, w.b.
Christopher Martino mixologist/blogger Washington, DC :
I met Chris through Twitter. I do a lot of cocktail writing for the online magazine named Served Raw in San Francisco. They are a magazine of cocktail/food culture. When you publish cocktail recipes on the Twitter, and millions of people read them on the time-line, people into mixology start to follow you. Chris found me in this manner.
He’s a friendly man on Twitter and no less friendly on the telephone. I think he was a bit surprised that I asked him to participate in this project.
Chris- I’m honored to have you join me on this journey.
1. If you could have any meal in the world what would it be? Where?
” I’m still young, no one place right now.. thus far the best meal Ps7’s DC, Cashion’s in DC” I asked Chris about his experience in the restaurant business. “In order to manage anyone you have to know what to do and to start at the bottom and work your way up. You need to learn every aspect of it. I want to study Food and Beverage Management to become more proficient in my craft of being a Mixologist. I’m from Washington, DC and there are many opportunities for people like myself. DC is an International town. Unfortunately there is no great Greek food. I like Greek food and can’t find it in DC.”
2. What do you do currently? Do you have a cocktail recipe that you’d like to share with me?
“I’m a mixologist, A mixologist is sort of like a mad scientist, making alcoholic potions that inebriate and enhance life. I do the serving of food, I love bar-tending. Right now I’m trying to learn everything I can in the restaurant/bar business so I can do any job if necessary. In the restaurant business they call this being a key-player.”
This is a cocktail of my invention. It’s called the Honeysuckle Rose.
• Barbancourt Cinque Etoile (rum) 1.5 ounce
• Lime Juice .5 ounce
• Gran Marnier .25 ounce
• Honey Syrup (2:1) .25 ounce
• Rosewater 1 dash
• Flamed orange zest for garnish
To begin, in a chilled cocktail glass flame the orange over the empty glass and rub the peel around the interior and mouth. In a shaker filled with ice, add the rum and other remaining ingredients. Shake until well chilled and pour into seasoned glass, strain out any flecks of ice if desired/necessary. Recipe graciously Reprinted from:
3. Do you follow cocktails and food?
“Yes, I’m so out of the loop though.”
4. Who taught you how to cook?
I learned how to cook by reading ..watching tv. When I was 12 years old I made pasta from scratch! By junior high school I knew that I wanted to be a chef. I enjoy cooking as a hobby. But I would much rather do combination of things. Front of the house is my passion. I really a people person. Like to work by myself but get me out in front of people and I can really light up a room!”
5. What dish or experience brings a tear to your eye when you prepare it.
“Grandma passed when I was three or four, so I never knew her. Recently I had my cards read. What came out in the reading surprised me. The reader told me that my grandmother was a great cook. I always think of my grandmom when I cook. I write things down and take good notes.”
El 6 de mayo which is Mezcal, cinnamon, lemon verbena, and strawberry rhubarb juice
Thank you Chris for your time with me. Cheers, wb
Warren Bobrow is a mixologist, chef, and writer known as the Cocktail Whisperer. In 2010, Bobrow founded “Wild Table” for Wild River Review and serves as the master mixologist for several brands of liquor, including the Busted Barrel rum produced by New Jersey’s first licensed distillery since Prohibition.
Bobrow has published three books on mixology and written articles for Saveur magazine, Voda magazine, Whole Foods-Dark Rye, Distiller, Beverage Media, DrinkupNY and other periodicals. He writes the “On Whiskey” column for Okra Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and has written restaurant reviews for New Jersey Monthly.
His first book Apothecary Cocktails, was published in September 2013; and immediately went into a second printing. In 2014, he published Whiskey Cocktails. He was born and raised in Morristown, NJ, on a Biodynamic farm.
Warren Bobrow in this Edition
COCKTAIL WHISPERER, Editor
Apothecary Cocktails: Mexican Sleep Cure
Billy Reid: Bourbon, Branch and a Splash of Southern Lore
Blue Hill/Stone Barns: Time Exists in Harmony with Nature
The Cocktail Whisperer asks Anthony Bourdain Four Questions about Scotch
The Five Questions: Andrew Bell, American Sommelier
The Five Questions Catherine Reynolds
The Five Questions: Lincoln Henderson (Master Distiller)
The Five Questions: Natalie West (Foppiano Wines)
The Five Questions: Randall Grahm
The Five Questions: Sustainable Sushi
A Glass of Bourbon, Branch, and History
Midnight in the Bronx: Visit to Hunt’s Point Wholesale Fish Exchange
A Modern Day Absinthe Alchemist
A Summer Cocktail Party for Artie Shaw
Tales of the Cocktail: New Orleans, Louisiana