Mark Gaier, (left) and Clark Fraiser.If you've ever been to Summer Winter Restaurant in Burlington, MA, and caught glimpses of chef-owners Mark Gaier and Clark Fraiser flitting between tables, you'll understand why we're so pumped about their appearances on this season of Top Chef Masters
disclosure, my idea of a quick cocktail is either a) cracking open a bottle of
beer, which is not a cocktail, or b) taking a shot, which is also not a
cocktail. Give me a little more time, maybe put on some relaxing, lounge-y
music, leave the room, and I can definitely whip something up for you. Maybe.
it's fair to say I would have been out of my depth behind the bar at Monday
night's American Idol/Iron Chef Cocktail Competition at The Hawthorne. And--because I know some of you
read that last sentence and thought, American Idol?-- no, the bartenders did
not need to sing while they slammed together artful combinations of spirits in
shakers, and the goateed Kevin Brauch, thankfully, was not there.
I've fancied myself a more than capable coffee connoisseur
since learning how to make my very own cappuccino on a countertop espresso
machine in my kitchen. After months of trial and error, I'd satisfactorily
determined how long to pull the espresso shot and steam the milk for my
I thought I was in a league of my own. Yeah, I was wrong.
A barista competition might
not evoke images of training sessions lasting into the night, or enough blood,
sweat and tears to fill a few espresso demitasse cups, but for the last two
months, this has been Daria Whalen and Wolfie Barn's reality.