Archive for August, 2015
John S. Pomeroy, Jr. is a beverage consultant and urban farmer based in Oakland, California. He holds a master’s in education from University of California, Santa Cruz and is a teacher and community activist. A deeply seated belief in the importance of a chemical-free agricultural system drives everything he does. He’s committed to working only with businesses practicing (or moving toward) holistic, sustainable systems. He has consulted with iSi since 2011. More at www.omnibibulous.com
In 1995, Montrio restaurant in Monterey, California was voted “Best New Restaurant of the Year” by Esquire magazine. I started working there as a server and banquet bartender in 1996. Executive Chef Tony Baker insisted on daily pre-shift meetings to learn about food and drink, and over the next three years, my passion for Food and Beverage was cemented. It was there that I first came into contact with the iSi Gourmet Whip, but like most people’s introduction, it was only being used to make whipped cream.
Fast forward to 2008- I moved to New York City to see if I could make it there as a professional bartender. I lived on West 88th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, where a new restaurant, Bloomingdale Road, was being built on the corner of 88th and Broadway. I went in, pitched management on my cocktail consulting services, and Omnibibulous was born. I put together some of my favorite recipes in a seasonal cocktail menu, and the signature drink was my own riff on Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Angostura-Scorched Pisco Sour . Using the iSi Gourmet Whip to make the egg white foam made it much easier to produce en-masse, but without Baker and Stamenov’s dedication to staff training, we were on Eater NY’s deathwatch soon after we opened. Six months later, it was closed and I moved on to Brooklyn.
Living just outside of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, I began working at a tiny livery stable converted to a secret bar, Hideout was every bartender’s dream come true: owned in part by a model/actor who knew bartending and only cared about the aesthetic. Within reason, I could do whatever I wanted. Molecular Mondays were born. One of the guest bartenders we hosted was the Liquid Chef himself, Junior Merino. Along with some liquid nitrogen, he unveiled an iSi Gourmet Whip from his bag of tricks, and for the first time in my professional bartender life, I saw it generating something other than whipped cream or merengue, and started imagining other applications. I am still humbled by Junior Merino’s creativity and panache, and when iSi’s recipe book, A Culinary Journey, was released, I was incredibly pleased to see my recipe for The Dirt Nap sharing space there with his.
After Hideout, I focused on Omnibibulous, and got regular consulting gigs through my involvement with the United States Bartender’s Guild NY. I was later hired by Purity Vodka to assist with their NYC launch. One of my first assignments was to put together a unique bartender’s toolkit – so where do bartenders in NYC go for tools? They go straight to Don Lee and Cocktail Kingdom.
Having long admired Don Lee and his work at New York City’s Please Don’t Tell (PDT) – I had worked with him on various small projects, and even competed in (and won!) a competition where he was the judge. I really trusted his opinion, and when he suggested I pitch Purity Vodka on a process called “rapid infusion” I got right to it. I spent the next three years traveling around North America and Sweden teaching people how they could add any flavor they wanted to this beautiful and elegant Swedish vodka using the iSi Gourmet Whip and iSi Cream Chargers.
Since learning of David Arnold’s use of rapid infusion using the iSi Gourmet Whip, and spearheading Purity Vodka’s rapid infusion program, I have been privileged to participate as the process evolved into what it is today. This year, iSi introduced a Rapid Infusion Tool Kit for the ever-versatile Gourmet Whip, and I’m looking forward to more and more industry and consumer applications with this creative technology.
My newest business venture is very close to launch, and its mission: to foster a return to a holistic, pesticide-free lifestyle. As agricultural practices evolve from a “kill what you don’t want” to a “nurture what you do want” mentality, the availability of ingredients worthy of going into my Gourmet Whip will multiply. If they don’t come from living soil, they don’t make the cut.