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Sep 01, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘SubZero Vodka Bar’

The Scoop: Ivy Magruder to take the reins at Panorama, dining operations at St. Louis Art Mueseum

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

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Chef Ivy Magruder is taking the helm at the Saint Louis Art Museum beginning June 9. Magruder will oversee all museum dining services, which are operated by Bon Appétit Management Co. This includes Panorama, the museum’s cafe and its catering services.

Chef Edward Farrow had led culinary operations at the museum since Panaroma opened in July 2013. According to SLAM communication manager Matthew Hathaway, Farrow will continue to work with Bon Appétit in other capacities.

David Marshall, Bon Appétit’s general manager at SLAM, said in a statement released today that the museum is fortunate to welcome Magruder to both organizations. “He understands St. Louis and the region and diners’ expectations, which will be reflected in a fresh approach to our menus,” he said.

Magruder said he will stick with Bon Appétit’s French and Italian approaches at Panaroma, but he wants to emphasize an “approachable, St. Louis-oriented” menu. He also hopes to bring more visibility to Bon Appétit’s growing catering operation. “You can’t get any hotter than [Bon Appétit],” Magruder said. “They’re white-hot … and I have a pretty good pulse on what is popular in St. Louis.”

Magruder is currently corporate executive chef for Gamlin Restaurant Group, which operates Gamlin Whiskey House, Sub Zero Vodka Bar and Taha’a Twisted Tiki. He joined the company in September 2013, and his final day is June 8.

Gamlin Restaurant Group co-owner Lucas Gamlin said Magruder informed him about the opportunity at SLAM in April, but that the chef made his decision just days ago. “He decided it was the best move for him and his family,” Gamlin said.

Gamlin said the search for Magruder’s replacement will begin soon. In the interim, Gilberto Espinosa, chef de cuisine at Gamlin Whiskey House, will manage the kitchens with the assistance of Jaime Gomez Ortiz, kitchen manager at Sub Zero.

Garrett Faulkner and Catherine Klene contributed to this report.

-image courtesy of Vin de Set’s Facebook page

Drink This Weekend Edition: Samogon: Not your grandpa’s hooch

Friday, September 16th, 2011

091611_drink2When a new spirit called Samogon recently arrived in St. Louis, I admit that I was skeptical. Why? This spirit with Eastern European roots is 90 proof; produced from grapes, wine and pomace; and, according to a press release, is “usually made at home in small batches and given to family and neighbors.” Sounded like Grandpa’s hooch to me. I was wrong.

Samogon doesn’t fit into any category of spirit currently on the market. Its flavor is softer and fruitier than vodka, with the fruit leaning toward tart citrus, especially on the finish. It’s clean and gentle, especially compared to some grappa labels I’ve had the misfortune of trying.

After tasting Samogon both neat and with tonic water, I paid a visit to Dustin Parres of SubZero Vodka Bar. He’s been having fun with Samogon’s versatility, using the spirit in place of vodka and gin. “If I was stuck on a deserted island and could only bring one spirit with me, it would be Samogon,” said Parres, while working up a handful of Samogon-based cocktails for me to try. (View all of Parres’ Samogon-based drinks on our Facebook page.)

Parres’ winning-est drink – because, really, all five of them were tasty and worth ordering – was the Russian sangria (pictured). This super-fruity drink is built with muddled lime, lemon, orange and cherries, along with granulated sugar. Add three types of booze – Samogon, cognac and Barolo Chinato Cocchi – plus pineapple and orange juices. The sangria, now a lovely shade of pink, gets shaken and strained and served in a cocktail glass. Parres admitted that the drink could be double-strained, of course, but we both agreed that the pulp gave it body and soul.

A couple of Samogon-based drinks that Parres showed me are easy to make at home and ones I plan on duplicating with regularity. The first is a riff on a screwdriver. Parres dubbed it a Russian screwdriver: 4 ounces orange juice, 2 ounces Samogon and 1 barspoonful of SubZero’s house-made ancho chile and fruit zest powder. (You can buy a tiny container of it at SubZero.) Fill a shaker with ice. Shake and pour contents into a tall glass. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Those who like a Caipirinha should have fun comparing the classic method of preparation using cachaca to that of Samogon. In a Boston shaker, muddle 2 ounces Samogon with a lime cut into quarters and 2 barspoonfuls of brown sugar. Fill halfway with ice. Shake and pour contents into a highball.

Samogon now has a permanent place in my liquor cabinet. Grab a bottle (you’ll find it at Lukas Liquor or Randall’s Wine and Spirits and add it to your spirits arsenal.

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