What’s Up Double E, Spring 2010

Life continues apace, with plenty of craziness to go around.

First off, Imbibe Magazine printed my Nocino recipe in their last issue, which was pretty fun, especially since they included an original drink recipe with it. Funny story, I actually sent them two recipes. When I was working on some cocktail recipes for the Nocino, I came up with two, one that I liked better, and one that Mrs. Flannestad liked better. There was a deadline for the article, so I just sent both cocktail recipes in to the magazine unnamed. When the issue came out, I discovered that they had named the cocktail the “Matrimony Cocktail”! For the record, the recipe they printed in the magazine was Mrs. Flannestad’s favorite of the two.

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Bartenders in San Francisco have a crazy amount of events. It’s kind of silly, really, how many contests, gatherings, and industry shin digs happen in this town. Since I live a double life as a bartender and desk jockey, I don’t get out to a lot of these events. You know, usually they are during the day, or on a “school night”. The other month, though, I got word of an event sponsored by Absolut. Two things, piqued my interest. First, one of my cocktail writer heroes, David Wondrich, was going to speak, and second, Grant Achatz, the chef at Alinea in Chicago, was designing the menu. Well, geez, how could I not go to something like that? Alinea is often bandied about as one of the top restaurants in the US, this would probably be as close as I would ever get to dining there! Near the beginning of the event they told us there would be a little contest. They asked us to identify, by smell alone, the contents of 8 opaque glasses. I did my best, nothing seemed that hard, but I so rarely win contests of any sort, I figured, eh, whatever. After the amazing, outstanding, and mind-blowing dinner, they announced the winners. I was one of the two people who got the most right! The Prize? Dinner at Alinea with Simon Ford and the other winners from New York and Washington, DC. Holy crap! I think I have just been playing the wrong contests all these years…

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In terms of work, well, it goes on.

I started working at Heaven’s Dog in January of 2009. From January through September, I worked full time at my day job and picked up shifts as I could at Heaven’s Dog. Starting in September, I dropped a day at my day job and started working regularly on Sunday nights at Heaven’s Dog. It was an interesting experiment, but it didn’t work out. I am not super great at money management. So, for the time being, I am keeping Sundays, but re-joining the legions of food service employees who work 6 days a week, hoping to get the finances back on an even keel. Mentioning that I was already kind of missing my two weekend days off with Mrs. Flannestad, Daniel Hyatt at Alembic said, “You just gotta make that one day count.”

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Speaking of Daniel Hyatt and Alembic, we’ve now been doing Sunday Savoy Nights for over a year. Crazy. I missed one Sunday when I was out of town, but they have developed into a nice little Sunday night event for Alembic. Alembic has also started a couple fun new programs, one around cask finished bottled beer and another around having a special punch every Sunday. The food is as good as ever. I know I am a bit suspect as a semi-employee, but the guys in the kitchen really are executing food as good as any well known restaurant you can name in San Francisco, and they are doing it in a tiny kitchen at the back of a cocktail bar. It’s really awesome. Since its opening, Alembic has been one of my favorite bars in San Francisco and I continue to be grateful and humbled that they let me come in and play one Sunday a month.

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Mrs. Flannestad and I celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary with a trip to Spain and Portugal. Talk about crazy! Too much good food and drink to even list, but my two favorite meals were at Casa Marcelo in Santiago de Compostella and Pasadis del Pep in Barcelona.  Both were amazing.

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That’s about it, hope you continue to enjoy the site! There will be some surprises coming this year, and, if I’m lucky maybe I’ll even finish this pesky Savoy Cocktail Project. Or at least get to the “End of Cocktails”.  See you around!