What Drinks Do Chefs Hate?

What Chefs Drink

Hey Chef, what's in your glass?


Marc Marrone of LAVO Italian Restaurant and TAO Asian Bistro in Las Vegas

It should come as no surprise that many chefs are actually quite picky. With their keen sense of taste, it's no wonder they can be vocal about the foods they do and do not like. And as for what they like to drink? Well, that's no different.

Most turn their noses up at super-sweet drinks, as many just aren't excited about an overly-complicated tipple. Others shy away from drinks that bring back memories of the not-so-glorious collegiate days.

We asked chefs from around the country what they hate to drink. Here's what they had to say.


Ben Bettinger of Imperial in Portland, OR [Photo: John Valls]

"I am really not a fan of Mezcal. I just cant quite seem to enjoy it, which is strange because I love smoky foods." —Ben Bettinger (Imperial)

"This is tough. I'm a thirsty guy in every sense of the word. I try not to discriminate, but if I must, I would say that eggnog scares me. It's just way too viscous and creamy." —Braden Wages (Malai Kitchen)

"Bitter melon juice is my least favorite drink; it tastes like old fashioned Chinese medicine." —Eddy Thretipthuangsin (PakPao Thai)

"Fountain soda. It's always way too sweet." —Vinny Dotolo (Animal)


James O'Donnell of Michael Jordan's Steakhouse in Chicago

"My least favorite drink is anything too complicated. I enjoy tasting the main component of the drink. I don't need to hit every sense of taste in my cocktails." —James O'Donnell (Michael Jordan's Steakhouse)

"I am not a fan of Fernet. I know it is a big industry and hipster thing, but I think it tastes like Jagermeister and reminds me of terrible college nights." —Jasper Shen (Aviary PDX)

"Hands down, tequila. I had a bad experience when I was 13/14, and after that, I don't touch the stuff." —Harold Dieterle (Perilla, Kin Shop, The Marrow)


Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery in New Orleans

"Anything overly sweet. I have not had a soft drink in over two years." —Justin Devillier (La Petite Grocery)

"I would say whiskey... I overdid it in college and refuse to drink it now." —Brett Vibber (Roka Akor Chicago)

"Cynar. Artichokes are delicious, but Cynar is proof that they do not want you to drink their juice." —Greg Baker (The Refinery)

"Anything diet. It feels like I am being cheated out of all the real enjoyment." —Brian Zenner (Belly & Trumpet)


Shaun Hergatt of Juni in New York

"Coca Cola." —Shaun Hergatt (Juni)

"Fancy coffee drinks. I don't get it. I'm not cool enough to get that trend. I'm a simple man—espresso with sugar for me." —Justin Miller (Pizzeria Ortica)

"My least favorite drink is anything too acidic or over sugary like cheap margaritas. I hate the cloying fake sour mix crap." —Chris Pandel (The Bristol, Balena)


Gabe Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland, OR [Photo: David Reamer]

"Heavily flavored beer like coffee, pumpkin, chocolate stout (if it's the kind of beer you have to have a sip of water after a sip of beer, it's not for me)." —Gabe Rucker (Le Pigeon)

"A Michelada. Beer, salt, black pepper, Clamato, lime, Tabasco, Worcestershire...absolutely gross. Need I say more?" —Peter Coenen (The Gage)

"Overpowering red wine." —Bill Kim (BellyQ)


Akhtar Nawab of La Cenita in New York

"I don't like cranberry juice because it doesn't taste real." —Akhtar Nawab (La Cenita)

"My least favorite drink of all time is anything with gin... Bad experience when I was in college." —Marc Marrone (LAVO Italian Restaurant, TAO Asian Bistro)

"I hate screwdrivers and most other drinks with a strong OJ component, which is weird because I am a huge fan of all citrus, but something about the orange + liquor combination is just nasty to me." —Gabrielle Quinonez Denton (Ox)

"A poorly made Bloody Mary is the absolute worst...if you're not going to put the effort into making one, don't make one!!" —Sean Temple (Paulee)

More on what chefs drink here...

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