A Cocktail Chat with Barbara Fairchild and Claire Smith

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Claire Smith (Belvedere), Barbara Fairchild (Bon Appétit), and yours truly.

Last week I had the opportunity to meet Barbara Fairchild, the vibrant editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit magazine, who was in town for the Curators of Taste tour in partnership with Belvedere. We met briefly at Fleur de Lys, where she was going to be hosting an intimate invite-only dinner the following evening (the tour included Boston and Los Angeles). While tasting her new namesake cocktail by Belvedere master distiller Claire Smith, The Fairchild (which is now permanently on the Fleur de Lys cocktail menu), we got to talk a little bit about the event, and of course I had to ask her what are her favorite spots in Los Angeles right now. She’s a fan of The Bazaar by José Andrés, along with Hatfield’s (a San Francisco export, ahem), AMMO (a long-standing favorite of mine), Cecconi’s, Eva Restaurant, and Jar. A few other mentions: the Lazy Ox Canteen, BOA Steakhouse, and Rick Bayless’s Red O on Melrose. She also noted the upcoming September issue is the restaurant issue, so I’m looking forward to it.

Since Barbara is a fan of cocktails (obviously), she mentioned she likes the cocktails at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, and The Varnish. Meanwhile, Claire (who is the only female master distiller in the world, FYI), said the cocktails at The Varnish, The Bazaar, and The London are top of her list, as well as Providence. Cheers, ladies—thanks for adding to my LA hit list!