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Dale DeGroff

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On December 23 and 24, eGullet is thrilled to host the King of Cocktails - the daVinci of Drink - Dale DeGroff, who will be answering questions those two days. Dale was the head bartender at New York's famous Rainbow Room, writes monthly columns for several publications (including Esquire UK), and trained barstaff at the best restaurants in NYC, including Balthazar and Zoe. His new book, The Craft of the Cocktail just published by Clarkson Potter, has already been touted as a classic.

Dale's website, http://www.KingCocktail.com is a drinker's delight with recipes, past articles he has written, and a special section on holiday cocktails to enjoy all year round! We are very glad that Dale has decided to participate in this eGullet Q. Dale will also pick five winners to receive a copy of his new book, "The Craft of The Cocktail." Please note this forum will be moderated and your questions will appear after approval.


America's foremost mixologist, Dale DeGroff, developed his extraordinary techniques and talent tending bar at great establishments across the US -- most notably, at New York's famous Rainbow Room where, in the 1980's, he pioneered a gourmet approach to recreating classic cocktails, setting off a cocktail renaissance and raising the profession of bartending to an art form. William Grimes of The New York Times wrote that DeGroff's, cheflike approach to cocktails has turned The Rainbow Room into holy ground for the Martini set.

Prior to his days at The Rainbow Room with famed restaurateurs Joe Baum and David Emil, Dale began bartending at the original Charley-O's and was later affiliated with the Hotel Bel-Air in California. More recently, he was cocktail guru at the much-lamented Windows on the World, where he created his terrific "Spirits in the Skybox" monthly hands-on series of cocktail classes.

Often referred to as the King of Cocktails, DeGroff provides product evaluation, recipe development, and seminars to spirits manufacturers and leading restaurants throughout the world. His dedication to the resurrection of original recipes and the use of fresh ingredients behind the bar have made him a legend in his field --as has his historic collection of more than 800 books (many now out-of-print) on spirits, cocktails, and recipe compilations.

When Entertainment Weekly decides that each "Sex and the City" character needs her own signature drink, it's Dale they ask to create them. And when the Culinary Institute of America decides it's time to create a bartending video, they enlist his help.

You may have detected Dale's talented hands "behind the bar" at NYC favorites such as Pastis, Zoe, Pravda, Balthazar, and Joe's Pub at the Public Theater, where he trained and educated staff in the classic components of tending bar. More recently, Dale was the driving force behind the spectacular bar/lounge renovations at Bemelman's in the Hotel Carlyle in NYC. In the UK, Dale consults for the Match Bar Group.

Dale DeGroff also writes monthly columns for several publications, including Esquire UK. His brand-new book, The Craft of the Cocktail: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Master Bartender, With 500 Recipes (click for Amazon link) has already been touted as a classic. In addition to hundreds of classic and contemporary recipes, the book illustrates how to set up a bar, use tools and techniques correctly, and create fabulous garnishes.

Debonair, a great raconteur, and an unparalleled authority, Dale is universally acknowledged as the world's premier mixologist and appears regularly in the press and media. eGulleters may have seen Dale mixing cocktails on Martha Stewart, The Food Network, CNN, or even The History Channel. He has been profiled many times in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and New York magazine.

Cocktail aficionados everywhere seek him out whether they come from as far away as Australia or from just around the corner, Dale always provides a good story, a great cocktail, and a warm smile.

Jason Perlow, Co-Founder eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

Foodies who Review South Florida (Facebook) | offthebroiler.com - Food Blog (archived) | View my food photos on Instagram

Twittter: @jperlow | Mastodon @jperlow@journa.host

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