Archive for the Distillery Review Category

Update on my life, such that it is…

Posted in Cooking at Home, Distillery Review, Inked Rogue Chefs: The Book, Personal on April 20, 2009 by winechef

So it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, I’ll give you a quick synopsis then fill in at a later date.

The time line went something like this: Ocean Seasoning and I parted ways, the realizations of the unfounded accusations “I was aware of my poor performance” confounded by the possibility of immediately finding a job in this economy, mounting debt, first year of marriage, a new dog, and trying to get my shiz together for the book…pushed me just about over the edge. I had to fight for unemployment ( I didn’t know that was even an option), we had to move, and I was quickly running out of gas money to get to interviews. I had already been interviewing for months before my stint at Ocean Seasoning had ended (more often than not I was miserable, and in the 15 plus years of working in some of the most stress filled kitchens in the country, I never cried or let it affect me at work. While at OC, the chef drove me to hysterical bouts of tears on several occasions) but I was too comfortable to really leave. Problem was solved for me, so thanks.

Now that the unemployment checks are finally coming in (thanks for truly F ing that one up EDD), I’m not in a horrible state of crippling depression and I’ve become nigga rich and have been having crazy meals and spending my days having as much fun in the Bay Area as possible, reconecting with friends and eating truly wonderful food (on most occasions). Activities include but are not limited to: SCD dinner (10 courses of Beef in an undisclosed location in San Francisco), a private tour of the gin distillery No. 209 (thanks Arnie!), lunch at Waterbar, Lavende East, Bakesale Betty’s, beer at Jupiter and Triple Rock in Berkeley (stay tuned for that update!) $45 massages, walks in amazing locations with said dog (and husband), and last but not least, a gym membership…

And I’ve been cooking! Not usually for money, actually seldom for money, but stints have included cooking for an exclusive Sufi Retreat (No Booze, No Bacon, how does she do it?!), family and friend dinners (Carnitas with homemade tortillas , thanks to Steve, and oatmeal horchata), a 4 course for my granny and her group of sassy octogenarian frends, and random potlucks.

The book…querying agents. I didn’t get the one that I specifically was hoping for, but we’ll see. I’m still hoping for some interst from agents in the upcoming weeks, then I go straight to Chronicle and 10 Speed. I have gotten more awesome chefs, there does seem to be a lot of buzz about the book, I just need to sell it! Anyway, look me up on Facebook, there is also an Inked Rogue Chef group that you can join and follow. I am much better about updating Facebook with at least pictures of what I’m doing since I got a new crackberry with my refund.

Until next time, let me know what you want to see, hear, feedback, etc. Late.



Posted in Bartending at Home, Bay Area Festivities, Distillery Review, Food News, Illegal Substances, Product Review on December 26, 2007 by winechef


I myself, waited for nearly 3 hours in the freezing cold (for the Bay Area) to purchase 18 bottles for industry friends and hastilly bought 18 more on an inexplicable whim. I am sitting next to the credit card reciept totalling $2,936.25 and a glass of the classic “Death in the Afternoon,” Hemmingway’s drink of choice combining Absinthe and Champagne.

This day started loaded with anticipation. I had called and texted everyone I knew to ask if they wanted to get in on this historic release, at a hefty $75 plus tax, people were resistant. Then they all started xalling while I was in line that morning. Getting to the distillary was like being in a rally car race. People were ginning it around corners in the old military base then screaching to a hault when we realized, sadly, that we were no where near the only ones in line. Helicopters circled then hovered earily above the croud. Photogrophers spied us from atop the hangar. Journalists snuck in the back doors to bombard Lance with journalistic questions. And the rest of us froze. Pathetically inhaleing as the people leaving the building with their bottles breathed out the green fairy. I opened a credit card in line and spent the majority of the time praying that they would not run out before I got a chance to use it, bitching that someone should be handing out shots to the people with obvious addictions in line, making up illnesses in which the only cure was absinthe. Threatening to drink the whole bottle, refil it with NyQuil and sell it on the black market, we were bored, desparate, and truely hard core.

Like everyone else, the thought of making a profit on this little adventure has entered my mind so I turned to Craig’s List to see who else was venturing into the payoff for absinthe.jpgabsinthe.jpgthe time braved in line for this historic release. These are some of the posts I found.

 Good Morning,

If you are looking at this ad you know what I had to do to get this bottle. 3 hours at Hangar 1. Me, Tim and Rob standing in that bitter cold for the first batch. We told stories and talked to other people while trying to stay warm. This bottle means allot to me. I will only sell it if the buyer promises not to open it for at least 10 years and pays me in 1500 dollars in $1 bills. This bottle will sell for at least a million dollars in the next 200 years. By the way this is a serious ad. if you have $1500 in ones the bottle is yours.

Good Luck and Merry Christmas.

I waited in front of the door to St. George Distillery at the defunct Alameda Naval Station for 4 (count ’em F-O-U-R) days in the freezing wind and cold, waiting for the HISTORIC moment to arrive: the first U.S. distilled absinthe since 1912 available for legal purchase. Alas, the much awaited 11:00AM hour tolled on the 21st of December of the year 2007. The distillery doors flung open, smashing my frozen nose, but I was not deterred! My frost bitten fingers were shaking as I handed over my plastic currency and stuttered “T t t twelve b b b bottles p p p please”. At $75.00 USD a pop I could hardly afford this expenditure on my part-time clown income, but I was determined to chase the green fairy until I found doG, or, at least got laid. I hobbled through the warm tasting room past professional drinkers parading themselves as Grey Uniformed Green Fairy Guardians. Bursting through the back door I elbowed my way through throngs of green eyed monkeys hungrily eyeing my clinking cache of TRUTH ELIXER. Out on the desolate, weed choked former jet fighter runway I slammed the trunk of my convertible Falcon Futura closed on 11 bottles. Looking across the bay at the almost sinister skyline of Little Gotham West I slither into the back seat, frozen limbs tingling, heart audibly pounding my rib cage. I pop the cork and release the green fairy. Eschewing proper absinthe preparation I tip my head back and gulp straight from the bottle. Pungent aromas of anise and fennel assault my nostrils as the holy green liquid tumbles down my throat. I feel like I am simultaneously ascending and descending as distilled wormwood wriggles into my brain. I returned to this body 48 hours later and there are no words to explain that I now understand everything. You cannot revisit the revelation, thus I have no need to imbibe the remaining liquid doorway. I am dispensing the opened bottle to strangers, and have randomly scattered the remaining 11 bottles near fairy symbols throughout the Bay Area.

Another Visit to Hangar 1

Posted in Distillery Review on July 3, 2007 by winechef


This truly is one of the greatest ways to kill an afternoon. I’ve been here for multiple tastings by now and there is almost always no one else there! How could this be?! Yes, the only reason to go to Alameda is usually because you missed the onramp and ended up in the tunnel, but once you enter the naval base past the ferry terminal you realize that true-colors-008.jpgAlameda is one killer spot in the Bay.

This large scale boutique distillery offers around 14 tastings of vodkas, eau de vies, brandies, whisky, and tea infused liquors for ten dollars. Situated in an old hangar facing the San Francisco skyline at sea level, you can hardly picture a more remote destination that is in full view of the city. true-colors-006.jpgThe people running the tasting room are usually very friendly and informative, but never quick to give up current projects. On my last visit I tasted the Chipotle Vodka from their alchemist series, which had morphed from a trial batch of Fresno Chile infused vodka that I tasted a year ago, to a spicier smokier, bitier blend! This one I could see as a nice addition to an alternative true-colors-004.jpgcocktail, bloody maries are obvious, but the tasting room attendant suggested mixing it with coconut water and lime, that I have to try!

We also sampled the new batch of the Riva Ranch Raspberry Vodka that blew the doors off of last years. As they were out of the pear brandy we were given a sample of a lovely, but slightly overpriced, dessert wine. The label has a subtle, but very funny innuendo.  For now I’ll stick with the bottle of Buddha’s hand that is in my freezer and look forward to the Basil Eau de Vie’s release on July 14th.