For Sanctuaria’s Matthew Koch, Mixing Cocktails Is Like Playing Jazz
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Posted By Cheryl Baehr on Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 6:00 am
Koch took a break from the bar to share his thoughts on the St. Louis food and beverage scene, the ingredient that is never allowed behind his bar and his not-so-guilty quaffable pleasure.
What is one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did?
I’m actually interested in what people are saying to me!
What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you?
Black coffee, or sometimes coffee with butter, and at least a solid 30 minutes of studying time. It can be cocktail books or research articles.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Never being tired.
What is the most positive thing in food, wine or cocktails that you’ve noticed in St. Louis over the past year?
I’ve noticed most the newer concepts that have launched have really given the proper care and attention to their beverage programs — places like Reeds American Table, Retreat Gastropub, and Publico. St. Louis residents are smarter and more turned on than they were even a few years ago, which allows new places to thrive.
Who is your St. Louis food crush?
Mike Randolph, Matthew Daughaday, and Matt Bessler for food. Jeffrey Moll, Matt Osmoe, Ben Bauer and Tony Saputo for drinks.
Who’s the one person to watch right now in the St. Louis dining scene?
I’m excited for Chris Bork’s new ramen spot, Vista, to open. I’ll be there probably too often.
Which ingredient is most representative of your personality?
I’m a pretty huge Jamaican rum fan. It’s weird and complex and good on it’s own, as well as an ingredient.
If you weren’t working in the restaurant business, what would you be doing?
Probably playing loud abrasive technical music on a stage in front of like six people.
Name an ingredient never allowed behind your bar.
Really anything grossly out of season. Also, sour mix.
What is your after-work hangout?
The Gramophone or Retreat Gastropub. I’m usually only good for one beer though.
What’s your food or beverage guilty pleasure?
It’s not that guilty, but a solid half Stag/half orange juice beermosa usually sets me right.
What would be your last meal on earth?
A negroni, fried chicken livers, a really good sipping rum, macaroni and cheese, a Margherita pizza, prosciutto, sauteed mushrooms and pork belly hash, finished off with a shot of Fernet.
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