Bourbon and Hot Sauce Make a Damn Fine Dinner

Two new articles are up over at Tasting Table. The first is the exhaustively researched 16 Bourbons Every Collector Needs To Find, with the caveat that you need the price of a used car to afford most of them. But hey, it’s for collectors, but not happy drinkers…though I tried to work a few of those in there too. How many of them are Van Winkle, you ask? Only two. How many of the rest are Stitzel-Weller wheated bourbons by another label? Waaaay more than I’d intended. I mean, you put a bottle of Weller on my desk, I aim to drink it, but I guess some folks are going to ride this collection train to the terminus.

(Now accepting tips in the form of Antique 107, thank you.)

Shake Shack x Hot Ones Chicken sandwich

The other was a very fun event last night now flying under the flag of We Tried Shake Shack’s New Hot Ones Menu: Here’s What You Need To Know, in which I strolled down to Shake Shack’s Innovation Kitchen and met with some of their top kitchen talent–including culinary director Mark Rosati. Turns out we went to the same high school at the same time! Small world, I tell ya, I tell ya. Another chef, Nick, turned out to be living two blocks from my East Harlem digs back when we were both residing there. He kindly fed me a borage flower from Shake Shack’s in-kitchen hydroponics rig:

And then executive chef John Karangis and I were chatting about running and riding around this fair city, particularly Central Park.

I think what I’m getting at is I just met three of my new best friends, and the free Shake Shack had nothing to do with it. But it was delicious! I stuffed my gob for my job on bacon cheddar fries, Spicy ShackSauce, a Hot Ones Burger, and a Hot Ones Chicken sandwich, followed by a deadly hit of Hot Ones The Last Dab, Apollo pepper edition. Vanilla milkshakes and summer berry punch pours were requisite relief. And then they gave me a nice bottle of my own to take home, putting this delicious Spicy ShackSauce on my own creations. Thanks, Shake Shack!

Shake Shack x Hot Ones hot sauce Spicy ShackSauce

Sometimes this freelance game really is a wonderful way to live.