Creating cocktails can be a joyful, creative endeavor, and can be an opportunity to present a unique and delicious experience in a glass. This fall, we’re participating in a new event where we’ll be able to create *four* unique experiences in glasses! I’ll be writing about our creative process throughout the next few weeks, as we create four incredible cocktail pairings for the kickoff event, called Palette to Palate, at the new Revelry Food & Wine Festival in Lake Forest.
About the Event
For one night only, four chefs and four artists will be collaborating to pair artwork with a specific dish, and we’ll be pairing a cocktail to each pairing of food and art. Guests will walk around, talk with the artists and chefs, and experience the pairings up close and in person, with the opportunity to discuss them with the creators.
Here are the artist and chef pairings, with what we know so far:
- Artist: Ari Smejkal/ Chef Beau MacMillan – Japanese influence
- Artist Cecilia Lanyon / Chef Ryan Clarke – Casino / Southwest influence
- Artist Linda Scholly / Chef Paul Boehmer – Trees / Canadian influence
- Artist ISz / Chef Dominic Zumpano – All things Chicago influence
Without knowing the actual dishes just yet, I needed to select glassware. For events like these, the glassware is rented. So, deciding early increases your odds of getting what you actually want. I set out to make some decisions based on what is available, and what we’d like to use.
Pairing #1 – Japanese influence
For this pairing, I’m planning to incorporate some traditional Japanese ingredients. However, what direction the drink will go depends on the style of richness of the dish, so I’m mostly doing research at this point and experimenting with a few special ingredients to see how they behave in cocktail applications. For this pairing, I selected a simple coupe glass for an up-style drink.
Pairing #2 – Casino/Southwest influence
This one could go a variety of directions too, depending on whether the artist and chef lean into southwestern flavors, or to a casino/rat pack-type feeling, or something else? So, I kept it classic with a cocktail glass – we can go either way with this one.
Pairing #3 – Trees / Canadian influence
I am thinking gin here, of course, and maybe spruce tips or another forest-inspired ingredient or two. I look forward to hearing what the dish will be and seeing the artwork! I selected a long, tall glass for a tall drink with layers of flavor.
Pairing #4 – Chicago influence
Hmm. What to do to for our beloved city of the big shoulders… I’m thinking big, bold flavors, probably a bit boozy. Maybe in the style of an old fashioned, but we’ll see what the dish and artwork are like before deciding…
This is so fun! Stay tuned to see how we develop the cocktails for each of these pairings.