Off Duty Drinking: All-Star Chefs

Chef Napa Valley

Buy Devin Knell a bottle of Riesling if you see him.

On July 24, Brady Lowe culminated three years of pork-fueled Cochon 555 events with All-Star Cochon, which featured 11 past winners/fan favorites and four renowned butchers in The Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea Ballroom. I asked all 11 chefs at the Super Bowl of Pork a series of questions, including “Where and what do you like to drink when you’re not working?” Their responses may surprise you.

Jamie Bissonnette (Coppa) / (Toro)

I love to drink any wine sparkling, preferably Champagne and Cava because of how dry it is. Usually Cava, because there are so many awesome varieties and it’s a lot less expensive. Or rosé, and I like to shoot Fernet Branca on a regular basis.

Mary Dumont (Harvest)

Any beach bar that I can find. Any bar that’s on the ocean, with a view of the ocean and nice cold beer.

Chef California

Jeremy Fox favors a certain bottle from Bolthouse Farms, which is readily available at supermarkets.

Jeremy Fox (Vegetable Prospector)

My favorite thing to drink, it’s all I’ve been drinking lately. It’s from Bolthouse Farms. It’s in the refrigerator section, is chai vanilla latte and this quart has 36 grams of protein. It’s so good. It’s like horchata, but better. That’s my favorite thing to drink.

Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat)

I like to drink too much, I guess. I like bourbon. We ended up getting a barrel from Kentucky for the restaurant, and I ended up getting a barrel for my house. So I have a lot of bourbon drinking to do. I’m going to get more friends to come over and drink bourbon. And when I’m not working, dive bars. Wherever you find a dive bar, that’s where you’ll find me.

Devin Knell (The French Laundry)

It depends. If I’m relaxing around the house, a cold beer is really hard to beat. I really love Rieslings, a light, even Kabinett Riesling, for something informal, just for relaxing is always really welcome and relaxing. Gin and tonics. Water.

Mark Ladner (Del Posto)

Sake and rice beer, that’s it. I’m a Japanophile, out of control. I eat Japanese food every single day.

Andy Ricker (Pok Pok)

I like to drink vodka soda or a whiskey of any kind at my favorite local bar. The Victory in Portland is where I go.

Chef Denver

Alex Seidel doesn’t play favorites when it comes to his preferred beverages.

Alex Seidel Fruition Restaurant

Diet Mountain Dew. I drink a lot of it on the way to the farm, at the farm, at the restaurant, on the way home. I like wine. I like to drink wine. Brady has got me on this bourbon kick that I can’t seem to get away from when I do these events. A little bit of everything.

John Stewart (Zazu)

I’m Irish from New York. I like Jameson’s and I love Irish whiskey. [Where?] These days, at home, a lot, although I had a glass last night here, and it was quite nice.

John Sundstrom (Lark)

I’m a big fan of bourbon and rye, and I’ve been drinking more rye lately. We’re doing the Templeton rye in our sno cone today, and I have some of that at home in my cupboard.

David Varley (Michael Mina Group)

I like to drink a lot of water, and no alcohol…No, that’s a total lie. It depends on the mood. Summertime, I enjoy light gin cocktails. Wintertime, I’m more into the bourbons, Manhattans, ryes, it all depends. Summertime, I like light spirits. Wintertime, I like brown spirits…I’m a corporate chef for a company that has 19 restaurants, so I’m always in a new city, I’m always experiencing something new.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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