Bar Wisdom: Beverage Classes Around the Country

James Beard Foundation senior editor Anna Mowry reports on beverage classes around the country

 

Bars have always been dependable places to unwind, enjoy a drink, and get some therapy (or even plot a revolution). But lately some watering holes, including the below semifinalists for our new Outstanding Bar Program award, are also offering their customers an education. Here's what you can learn at the following spots.

 

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston (anvilhouston.com)
Located in a remodeled, half-century-old tire store, this establishment is owned and operated by a trio of professed “cocktail freaks.” You can sense their enthusiasm through the generous offerings at the bar’s monthly classes: guests typically get to taste up to eight spirits and three cocktails per session.

 

Rivera, Los Angeles (riverarestaurant.com)... Read more >

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Reel Food: Teaching Tofu at the Astor Center

Chef Toshio Suzuki speaks to attendees about tofu uses; he stands before trays holding dishes of hiya yakko (cold tofu) with various toppings.

Chef Toshio Suzuki speaks to attendees about tofu uses; he stands before trays holding dishes of hiya yakko (cold tofu) with various toppings.

The latest installment of the JBF Master Classes for Chefs series, a partnership with the Gohan Society and the Astor Center to offer JBF professional-level members classes on Japanese ingredients and techniques, took place yesterday at the Astor Center. The topic? The production and uses of tofu (past classes have covered soy sauce, nabe cooking, Japanese pickling, and nigiri and maki sushi making). Held in the Astor Center's study and kitchen, the session was packed with demonstrations and lectures from Toshio Suzuki of Sushi Zen, Noriyuki Kobayashi of Megu Midtown, and Kazuhiro Saito of Nori. And then there were the tastings: over 20 dishes were

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