The World According To... Dave Arnold

Alice Lascelles

Alice Lascelles

31 October 2015

Fresh from winning Best New Cocktail Book at Tales of the Cocktail, Liquid Intelligence author, culinary innovator and owner of New York’s Booker and Dax Dave Arnold tells Alice Lascelles why you’ll never find him with a corn drink on the beach 

1989-1997 BA in Philosophy from Yale University and MFA in Performance Sculpture from Columbia
1997-2005 Works as a paralegal, performance artist and pizza delivery man before experiments with culinary technology lead to him writing for Food Arts magazine where he meets mentor, the late editor Michael Batterberry
2005 Launches the Culinary Technology department
at New York’s International Culinary Center
2011 Opens Booker and Dax in New York in partnership with Momofuku chef David Chang
2013 Launches the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD) in New York City
2014 Publishes Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail

‘My mom had me when she was at college. When I was three she went to med school and ended up founding the paediatric heart transplant programme at Columbia. She is super, hyper badass.’

‘I’ve still never made a corn drink that I like. They all suck.’

‘My boys Booker and Dax are 13 and 10. Dax still likes to hang out with his dad, which is nice. But sooner or later, no matter how cool you are, you’re no longer cool any more. That sucks.’

‘We’ve just bought a plot of land outside New York City. My first goal is to get enough money together to get a small tractor and dig some big holes.’

‘I like working at parties rather than hanging out at them. I find actual party scenarios kind of stressful.’

‘Life’s a series of compromises. The trick is knowing which compromises to make, when to give in, what to compromise on.’

‘I like Paris, even though Parisians are problematic– they’re the only people whoare more self-important than New Yorkers are.’

‘I played electric bass in a band. Our main influences were all those funk punk bands of the early 1990s – Fishbone, early Chilli Peppers. High energy, fast, loud.'

‘Life’s a series of compromises. The trick is knowing which compromises to make, when to give in, what to compromise on.’

‘One of my favourite bartenders is Tony C, but we’re very different – he creates emotional landscapes with his drinks, using lots of evocative, subtle flavours. I’d rather hit you over the head with one pure flavour.’

‘I’m pretty happy about who I married. She’s still the only person I would trust 100% to make the right decisions if I wasn’t there.’

‘I don’t like relaxing. Or tropical paradise. If I have to be on a beach I’ll wear what you see here – T-shirt, shirt, jacket, chinos – with a big hat.'

‘Your first job is to make your customer happy. Even if what you actually want to do is hit them in the face.’

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