What Chefs Drink at Home

What Chefs Drink

Hey Chef, what's in your glass?

Editor's Note: Bartenders may handle booze all day (and night) but we know quite a few chefs who can drink 'em under the table. This new series features chefs from around the country. We'll ask them about their favorite spirits, the bars they frequent, and more. Got drinking-related questions for these talented folks? Add them to the comments section below!


Adam Leonti of Vetri in Philadelphia

After a long, taxing stint in a hot kitchen, chefs like to come home and unwind a bit. Some dip into a stash of locally-brewed beer (or, you know, High Life.) Others are tea aficionados, and some collect wine for drinking at home.

And bourbon? Most of them like bourbon.

We asked 20 chefs what they drink when they're at home and off the clock. Here's what they had to say.


Michael Psilakis of Kefi, FishTag, and MP Taverna in NY [Photo: Andre Baranowski]

"I really like beer, especially bitter IPAs."—Michael Psilakis (Kefi, FishTag, MP Taverna)

"I like to drink Fernet Branca pretty much anytime, at home or out. It seems to be the one booze that I cannot go without." —Ben Bettinger (Imperial)

"When at home I drink Barbaresco, because it is my favorite region for winemaking, and at home you should have your favorite." —Adam Leonti (Vetri Ristorante)

"Tequila and Coors Light. A perfect combination!" —Brett Vibber (Roka Akor Chicago)


Michael Armstrong of Marble Lane, NYC

"I like Hendrick's gin with grapefruit soda. And straight bourbon. I don't go out a lot so I usually unwind with a few drinks at home. I'm also addicted to the small cans of Perrier sodas...the lime and grapefruit flavors are my favorites." —Michael Armstrong (Marble Lane at Dream Downtown)

"I drink a lot of 'monkey picked' oolong tea; it's good for the stomach and helps me relax." —Marc Marrone (LAVO Italian Restaurant, TAO Asian Bistro)

"Stiegl Radler Zitrone or Cynar with club soda. Both have bright flavors and are perfect nightcaps." —Bill Kim (BellyQ)


Greg Baker of The Refinery in Tampa

"I go for a good rye pale ale, a rosé, or a Malbec or Cabernet. Every once in a while I'll break into the Bulleit Rye or Blanton's Bourbon." —Greg Baker (The Refinery)

"Usually a glass or two of red wine, guaranteed to be amaro once the weather gets cold. I like Montenegro and Averna." —Harold Dieterle (Perilla, Kin Shop, The Marrow)

"There is always iced tea in the fridge as well as a six pack of High Life." —Chris Pandel (The Bristol, Balena)

"When I get home from a long day at the restaurant, I start with a full glass of club soda to relax and hydrate. I'm really into La Croix Grapefruit right now. And depending on how the day went, I'll sometimes follow this with a heavily poured Gin and Tonic—Fords Gin and Fever Tree Tonic only." —Braden Wages (Malai Kitchen)


Kyle Bailey of Birch & Barley in Washington D.C.

"At home I drink a lot of beer. My wife Tiffany got me a kegerator when we moved into our house. It's so nice having a draft beer with no shoes on. As for cocktails, every season Tiff and I pick one alcohol to feature. The summer of rum was great, as was the winter of gin. Last year was the autumn of rye, but I think this year I'd like to get into some Madeira." —Kyle Bailey (Birch & Barley)

"As far as booze is concerned, I love ice cold vodka and big red wines. For non-alcoholic, I like shitty fruit punch or Steve Smith iced tea." —Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon)

"At home I usually drink local beer, Revolution Anti Hero IPA has been a favorite lately. Something about a cold beer and putting something on the grill on our patio just relaxes me to no end." —James O'Donnell (Michael Jordan's Steakhouse)


Gabrielle Quinonez Denton of Ox in Portland

"At home, I'm always hoping I've got an inexpensive, chilled bottle of white wine on hand, something bright and crisp, such as an Alpine Jacquère or a Spanish coastal Txakoli Getariako. And when the fridge is bare, I'll usually ask my husband to make me a perfect Manhattan." —Gabrielle Quinonez Denton (Ox)

"An after work cocktail would definitely be an Old Fashioned. Whiskey is the nectar of the gods." —Gregory Ellis (2 Sparrows)

"Juice, water and beer. I love guava juice, without the high fructose corn syrup. Fiji water is my favorite. You will always find hoppy beers and Belgians in my refrigerator." —Justin Miller (Pizzeria Ortica)


Michael Kornick of DMK County Barbecue in Chicago

"Always wine from my cellar (mostly French and Californian), craft beers (stouts and porters) and cocktails made from gin or bourbon. Margaritas in the summer." —Michael Kornick (DMK County Barbeque, DMK Burger Bar)

"After work I drink mostly beer. Oregon has some great beers and its a good way to wind down. I tend to drink Full Sail Sessions." —Jasper Shen (Aviary)

"Pints of milk because it keeps your bones strong, and Four Roses Bourbon because it makes me feel strong." —Sean Temple (Paulee)

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