This is Dave Arnold of NYC’s Booker and Dax, a Momofuku creation on 2nd Ave. I interviewed Dave for my We Chat With… column on Serious Eats, NY. As he whipped this baby up – perfectly chilled and bright with Thai basil – he told me how we could recreate it quite similarly at home. Within a week, my photographer Brent was slugging them down and I was still thirsty for another one. A week later at the mess of the Great Googa Mooga festival, Booker and Dax mixologist Tristan Willey pour liquid nitrogen on the ground and passed a plastic container with the bright green concoction the small crowd in their VIP tent; after fighting for food and finagling profile and plate shots out of busy chefs, it was liquid perfection.
Head to Serious Drinks for Dave and Tristan’s recipe.
And if you’re in NYC, I’ll most likely be stopping in at Booker and Dax tomorrow night.
Dave Arnold, perfectly chilling a coupe with liquid nitrogen, photo Brent Herrig
When I was a sophomore in high school, I foolishly decided to skip biology and go straight into chemistry: why they let me do so is a mystery. All I knew was that, if I worked my ass off and passed, I wouldn’t have to take any more science classes in high school. I’m good with words, not numbers. And so for that long year I scraped my way by and ended up with a C+, an uncommon grade in my book. But I passed.
Fast forward about 14 years and I’m watching Dave Arnold spin molasses in a centrifuge and hold up some sorta refractometer thing to his eye to check the separation level of blah blah blah. I am so curious about the science behind food, but it’s gotta be slowed way down for me to be able to understand it at such a level. Yes Dave insists what he’s doing is not science, “really, it’s just cooking”.
What follows the spinning centrifuge is the most fun interview I’ve done to date. And when I sip on one of Booker and Dax’s most simple cocktails – a classic Manhattan served in a perfectly-chilled bottle alongside the coupe – I don’t care about all that science stuff, anyway. Which is partially what Dave intended.
Head to Serious Eats NY for the interview. And then get to Booker and Dax for something scrumptious.