Equal Parts Publicity: the Modern Mixolgist Endorses Equal Sweetener
I remember the diatribes that erupted when Chef Rick Bayless endorsed Burger King's chicken sandwiches. It wasn't long until some unfurled the banner of gastronomic purity and barked, "sell out," which is one of the most meaningless terms I've ever encountered in the gastronomic world.
I mean, aren't you supposed to make money for cooking? Aren't restaurants businesses and executive chefs (notice the word executive and how it resonates in that business sort of way) businessmen? Sure, passion and craft are part of it, but that doesn't mean money shouldn't exchange hands.
So I'm bracing myself for this one. Tony Abou-Gamin, also known as the modern mixologist, has an endorsement deal with Equal sweetener. I heard it on the radio a few days back and subsequently emailed the mix master himself. I received this email response from Tony today:
Yes, your ears were not failing you it was me. I have been working with Equal as their spokesperson this year, developing recipes featuring Equal as the sweetening agent. I found in mixing drinks that not only does Equal provide the element of sweetness but also enhanced the flavor of many of the cocktails I fashioned with it.
My two cents:
First, it elevates our art in that it brings more attention to mixology. That can't hurt our choices in libations as more bartenders will see the value in bartending as a craft.
Secondly, the guy deserves it. Take a look at his resume. He's worked for some great bars, including running the bar program for Steve Wynn's Bellagio in Las Vegas and Harry Denton's Starlight Room in San Francisco atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel. He's working on his first cocktail book and has a show on the Fine Living Channel, "Raising the Bar: America's Best Bar Chefs."
I know, I know, but what about using Equal in cocktails? I'll leave that to you to decide. I've never tried Equal in cocktails and, really, have no intention of doing so. But the future looks bright for mixologists.
Good job, Tony.