This Mixologist Can Really Cook
As my colleague Kate Krader recently blogged, Joaquin Simo of Death & Co. is one of New York City's best up-and-coming mixologists. Kate recently enlisted him to test recipes for our upcoming book Cocktails 2009. I watched him prepare drink after drink in the Test Kitchen (wielding the largest shaker I’ve ever seen) and was impressed by his great skill as well as his depth of historical knowledge. Each drink he makes is a study in elegance. The other day, he brought in a banana bread he'd baked as a thank-you gift to the Test Kitchen staff for feeding him as he worked on the cocktail recipes. That bread was full of surprises: cumin, ancho chile powder, coriander, two types of cinnamon and a good splash of Grand Marnier—ingredients I never would have dreamed of in a banana bread. When he told us he has been baking it since he was a teenager, I was amazed that at such a young age he was already a rebel in the kitchen. I’m sure if he put his mind to it, Joaquin could shake up the culinary world as well.