Two stories have popped up recently on the intersection between chefs and gin.
Roxor gin is made in Texas and was developed in part by Robert Del Grande, a James Beard-awarded chef with a PhD in biochemistry. The gin contains the usual juniper, corriander, orris, grains of paradise and citrus including grapefruit and lime; plus hibiscus, cocoa nibs, Texas pecans, and cinnamon.
The chef developed the gin, and it is distilled to his specifications at San Luis Spirits in Dripping Spring, Texas.
Chef Peter Smith of PS 7's in Washington DC uses the spent mash from gin distillation- the botanicals left in the bottom of the still - to cure meats for the restaurant. He uses the mash from both Bluecoat Gin in Philadelphia and Catoctin Creek in West Virginia. Then:
At the distillery, the fresh, non homogenized botanical spices are boiled down and melded together into a balance of flavors that is mellow but intense. Peter mixes this leftover, tea-like compost, with oil, leaving it to sit for a month. Then, he strains it through three times to get it pure, clear, and compressed.
He has created a “Ginola,” a play off breseola, by rubbing his beef with the spent botanicals and hanging it to dry and cure for about a month. The beef develops a gin-like taste and is included on his tasting menu. He has been curing “GinBelly,” similar to pancetta, a cured pork belly covered with the gin mash botanical and then rolled and dried for two-five months. PS 7’s also now features a halibut dish in which the fish has been treated with his gin-mash powder, giving it a light and unexpected gin flavor. He has also worked with Catoctin Creek to develop a gin salt.
You can read the press release here.