I Chat With: Dave Arnold of Booker and Dax

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”.

Right, Dave.

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.

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