Funky Buddha's Ryan Sentz Talks Bottle Releases and Saturday's Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival

Categories: The Verbal Nosh

Beer is kind of big deal in South Florida.

Craft beer: even more so.

With South Florida Beer Week coming to a close, we figured it was time to catch up with one of the biggest names in the Broward and Palm Beach scene, Ryan Sentz of Funky Buddha Brewery.

With just eight months into expanded production, the Broward brewery recently got into bottling on its own -- the release of its Maple Bacon Coffee Porter had fans camping out hours before it opened its door.

We chatted with Sentz about his craft brew start, Funky Buddha at the Jupiter Craft Brewer Fest, and more.

See Also: Jupiter Craft Brewers Festival Returns January 25 as South Florida Beer Week's Grand Finale

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Cafe Boulud Pastry Chef Eric Snow on Martha Stewart, Palm Beach, and More

Categories: The Verbal Nosh

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Photo of Cafe Boulud
As much as we don't like to admit it, when it comes to most things in the culinary world the French do it best.

Yeah, we know; it defeats the whole ethos of American exceptionalism; the idea of the city on the hill and what have you, but, unfortunately, it's true.

Especially when it comes to pastries.

Fortunately, American ingenuity is still a major part of the equation.

This past summer, French-trained, Alaska-native Eric Snow took over as pastry chef at world-renowned Palm Beach French restaurant Cafe Boulud.

We spoke to the Snow, who has worked for famed chefs ranging from Alain Ducasse at the Essex House to Frederic Robert at the Wynn in Las Vegas about his previous posts, Martha Stewart, and his German Shepherds.

See also: Rick Mace Takes the Reigns at Cafe Boulud

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Bartender Q&A: Kelsey Simon on Inhaling Alcohol Fumes and Miami Vice

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Photo courtesy of Tin Fish
Tending bar tends to be an extrovert's game.

You have to deal with other staff members and chat to dozens, if not hundreds, of customers on a daily basis -- it's almost like being onstage.

For the most part, you're not going to find many shy people behind the bar, unless they've learned to get over their shyness by jumping straight in, says self-proclaimed introvert and mixologist extraordinaire Kelsey Simon of Tin Fish.

Clean Plate Charlie spoke to her about learning to socialize and some really strange drinks.

See Also: The Balvenie Releases New, $250-a-Bottle Scotch

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Bartender Q&A Manny Alayeto of Dada on White Cabernet and His Favorite Spirit (Hint: it's Not Rum)

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Nicole Danna
Mojitos are pretty much the patron drink of South Florida. And why wouldn't they be? They're refreshing on a hot day, freaking delicious, and were invented 90 miles away from Key West -- we would've tried to figure out the exact distance, but math just isn't our thing.

The only problem with the mojito equation: Most bartenders hate them. They're time-consuming and easy to screw up, and once one person orders one, it spreads like a wildfire.

However, there is one local bartender known for his exceptional minty, sugary rum drinks, Manny Alayeto of Dada Restaurant & Lounge.

We decided to chat with the master mojito maker to find out more about his favorite spirit, strangest drink orders, and favorite drink to make.

See Also: Ten Best Bartenders in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

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Bartender Q&A: Tiffany Pearson of Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican on Virgin Margaritas and the Whistle Stop

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Photo courtesy the Buzz Agency
Peanut butter and jelly; milk and cookies; bacon and eggs: some things are just better in a pair.

We think tequila and summer need to be added to the list. What could possibly be better than sitting poolside with a margarita in hand? Our point, exactly.

Since summer is now well under way -- okay, it has been been for quite some time now -- we figured it was time to chat with someone who knows a little something about tequila (our new stand-by summer spirit), bartender Tiffany Pearson of Uncle Julio's Fine Mexican Cuisine in Boca. She fills us in on her favorite dives and favorite spirit.

See also:
- Bartender Q&A: Erik Smith of 3rd & 3rd on Ernest Hemingway and Big Dudes With Girly Drinks
- Cinco de Mayo Is This Weekend: Tequila Cocktails Recipes

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Bartender Q&A: Amanda Padilla of Cantina Laredo on Psych, Sartre, and Sex on the Beach

Categories: The Verbal Nosh

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Photo Courtesy of the Buzz Agency
There's a funny stereotype when it comes to women bartenders: If they're pretty, you don't expect them to be talented or smart.

As is often the case, those negative patterns of belief get proven wrong.

Amanda Padilla of Cantina Laredo in Hallandale Beach is proof. This beautiful bartender not only whips up a damned good drink but she'll do it while discussing philosophy. With that, we decided to pick her brain about the ins and outs of tending bar, as well as her chosen drink for Sartre.

See Also:
- Bartender Q&A: Mark Parisini of III Forks Steakhouse on Jessica Biel and Espresso Martinis
- Summer Restaurant Deals for Locals in Broward and Palm Beach

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Bartender Q&A: Mark Parisini of III Forks Steakhouse on Jessica Biel and Espresso Martinis

Categories: The Verbal Nosh

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Photo courtesy the Buzz Agency
Most people don't realize it, but bartenders have a pretty tough job. Just like chefs, they have to learn to work with different flavor combinations. And just like waitstaff they have to deal with annoying customers.

On top of all that, they have to play comedian, counselor, friend, and, well, bartender. Quite frankly, we think that deserves a round of applause.

Mark Parisini falls into all of those categories. When the III Forks tender of bar is not mixing up creative cocktails, he's trying to rally a good time.

See Also:
- Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant's Gary Burke on Gin, Hemingway's Drinking Habits
- Iliya Dimitrov of Valentino's Cucina Italiana Has a Secret Weakness for Ben & Jerry's

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Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant's Gary Burke on Gin, Hemingway's Drinking Habits

Categories: The Verbal Nosh

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Photo Courtesy the Buzz Agency
Delray Beach is known for its burgeoning--or, well-established but still growing--culinary arts scene. So it should come as no surprise that South Florida's 'foodie city' comes stocked with a pretty decent cocktail culture too.

Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant may be one of the newer spots to the neighborhood, but its bartenders know a thing or two about mixing up a drink.

See Also:
- First Look: Over 100 Small Plates at Ceviche in Delray Beach
- Top Ten Dive Bars in Broward County

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Bartender Q&A: Erik Smith of 3rd & 3rd on Ernest Hemingway and Big Dudes With Girly Drinks

Categories: The Verbal Nosh

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Micah Kvelt
Broward and Palm Beach Counties have been starting to pick up the pace in terms of interesting mixology programs.

Unfortunately, it's still hard to get a drink in a laid-back setting.

For those of you looking to chill out while sipping on a delightful cocktail, there's 3rd &3rd. The relaxed bar is full of easygoing--yet attentive staff--who can mix up a damned good drink. We decided to chat with 3rd & 3rd's Erik Smith about Scarlett's, Ernest Hemigway, and cleanliness.

See Also:
- Bartender Q&A" Valentino's Cucina Italiana's Iliya Dimitrov on the $500 Cocktail and the Dangers of Showing Off

- Mixologist Iliya Dimitrov on How to Make the Perfect Negroni

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Bartender Q&A: Valentino's Cucina Italiana's Iliya Dimitrov on $500 Cocktails and the Dangers of Showing Off

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A lot of people like to eat food just to fill their stomachs. And a lot people drink cocktails just to get drunk. And hey--we've all done both.

There really is little difference between making good cocktails and good food; both require a certain level of intuition and training. A bit too much of this, or a bit too little of that, and you're way off balance.

Valentino's Cucina Italiana's Iliya Dimitrov knows a thing or two about mixing well-balanced drinks. The lifelong mixologist--he actually started at the ripe old age of 16--creates many of his concoctions himself: bitters, simple syrups, limoncello.

We decided to sit down with the amicable mixologist to get his take on his most embarrassing moments behind the bar and his favorite local bartender--his wife.

See Also:
- Park Tavern Rolls Out New Spring Cocktail Menu Designed by Co-Owner Brian Albe and Mixologist Nick Nistico (Photos)
- Bartender Q&A: Malcolm's David Walker on Screaming Vikings and the Sweetest Pick-Up Line. Ever.

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