FOODIES WEST.COM         
DAMON THOMPSON, Beverage Manager
HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE at GAINEY RANCH

March 2017 Issue | Vol. 5, No. 4                                                                       Did I create a Frankenstein?





















 
 
 
 


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Executive Chef
WESTIN KIERLAND RESORT
CHRIS MASCO

Executive Sous Chef
HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE
BRIAN CONTRERAS

Executive Chef
COPPERWYND RESORT
FOUNTAIN HILLS, ARIZONIA

PAUL STEELE

      
FOOD LORE
FROM DESERT LANDS

Where food connects cultures.


Damon Thompson shares bar stories on our —


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DESERT SPRING
ARIZONA'S SONORAN DESERT
Wine & Cheese
in the poppies.


     
Nellie Cashman's
Monday Club Café
WESTIN KIERLAND SCOTTSDALE

     
ALTO ristorante e bar
with Chef de Cuisine Christian Brady
HYATT REGENCY SCOTTSDALE

      
Yerba Santa: A GRAS flavoring's noble past


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Damon Thompson | Beverage Manager | Hyatt Regency Scottsdale at Gainey Ranch | Scottsdale, Arizona Damon Thompson has lived in, what he calls, “The Cocktail World” for some 20 years. Though he bartended for a time, he, “in no way” would consider himself a master mixologist. Then the kegs came, and Thompson was given strict instructions to “have fun” creating barrel-aged cocktails. “The great thing about the Hyatt is we call ourselves A Learning Hotel,” Thompson described how he accepted this mission. “We never stop learning. Never stop asking questions. So my bosses have given me full leeway to just kind of play around with it. Have fun.” Thompson’s barrel-aging experiments, which he defined as “a blast”, started about six months ago. He and his team currently have concoctions aging in nine barrels. “The idea was to get into the craft cocktail market without having to go through the logistics of the bartenders having a lot of steps to make the craft cocktails,” Thompson explained. “Because we have such high volume at times, it’s difficult if someone wants crushed ice or a smoked drink or something like that, which could take upwards of five minutes to make each drink.” Not good when the bar’s several people deep. Thompson talked to his vendors, and they got him set up with the fired oak barrels. “They’re charred on the inside,” Thompson said. “What the charring of the oak does is change the flavor profile of the cocktail. It allows you to infuse things.”