Saturday, July 11, 2009

A sobering tale...

After three days of alcohol induced mayhem there is an obvious distinction between those that are working and those that are 'chasing tale' so to speak. The bevvy of bloodshot eyes and the onset of rosatia brought on by dehydration is comical. Ladies and gents that started their week dressed in professional bar fashion, which is somewhere between zoot suit an Tommy Bahama, have now down staged to flip flops, cut off cargo shorts and have pulled down their fedoras to shade themselves from the hot hot NOLA heat.
The conference sight is a little less crowded and smells of citrus that's been rode hard and put away wet, and the elevators are like fly traps.
We've been pacing ourselves well and downright avoiding some of the temptation to run our selves ragged and while I look on this a little envy on my way to bed at the crowds gathering at midnight for a secret party where the liquor flows free and easy, I am grateful that I can keep down food and don't have to apologize for how I smell when seating myself down for the bar innovations seminar.
Besides the free samples and the exorbitant name dropping, the bartender penis wagging and the 'who can name the most obscure bartender', there really is a lot to learn. This morning we had a great seminar called Cocktail Photography. The presenters ranged from stylists, professional photographer with thousands of dollars in equipment to Anita Crotty who laid down some great info on making quality food and cocktail photos for blogs without looking like an amateur, and disrupting the rest of the diners in the bar or restaurant while your at it. ( an invaluable lesson to food and cocktail enthusiasts...). The next seminar was Cocktail Innovations a fast paced crash course in 'molecular' cocktailing... or as they would have you put it, incorporating techniques from outside the tradition of our craft. "Johnny and Dave" took us through molecular spherification, distillation, dehydration, pressure cooking, and nitrogen cooling glassware in an hour and a half. Part Billy May's and all snake oils sales man the two of them broke down otherwise daunting scientific techniques with the use of 'assload', 'crap', and 'gets air the hell away from the molecules', making the presentation educational, and easier to grasp. They concentrated on techniques that are practical and easily integrated into a bar. Pretty crazy stuff but even I walked away with some great food ideas.

There is a great flicker group about cocktail photos at