Have you ever dreamed of traveling the globe, visiting bars and restaurants, teaching people about unique artisanal spirits, and meeting new people along the way? Todd Richman is fortunate enough to do just that in his role as the Specialty Spirits Ambassador for importer Frederick Wildman and Sons. Todd is passionate about his products and energetic enough to keep up a rigorous travel schedule, but thoroughly enjoys all that New York has to offer when he is home between trips. We caught up with Todd while he was out on the West Coast this week.
Name: Todd Richman
Location: Anywhere fine wines and spirits are sold
Occupation: Specialty Spirits Ambassador for Frederick Wildman and Sons
Websites: =frederickwildman.com; @greenambassador; @ilegalmezcalusa
At what point in your life did you turn your love for wine and spirits into a career? I used to cook for a living and had developed an appreciation for wines and spirits. I was given an opportunity to sell wine for Frederick Wildman 3 years ago and it's been a fantastic experience and led me to working with Chartreuse and Ilegal Mezcal for Wildman and Sons.
What does your job entail? Everything from presenting and working with wholesale distributors to marketing, consumer tasting, cocktail creations and staff education across the country. Also, I have been guest bartending, which is a great way to introduce people to our brands—there are so many ways to create drinks that really accentuate the spirit itself.
Can you give Serious Eaters some advice on how best to learn about spirits? Taste them! Don't be afraid to ask questions of retailers, bartenders and sommeliers. Try spirits on their own and in mixed drinks; the range of flavor profiles in a single category (digestifs and mezcals for example) is very diverse. Figure out what fruits, juices and other ingredients please your palate, as most spirits will work within that parameter.
What are your favorite NYC hangouts or places you might be considered a regular? I'd have to check my bank statements! Just kidding. I'd say PDT, Rye House, any of the Zak Pelaccio restaurants, Mayahuel, The Summit Bar, Death and Company, the bar at the Andaz Wall Street, Huckleberry Bar, Ward III, Locanda Verde, Raines Law Room, Vero Wine Bar. (I could go on.)
If you could put together a three course meal with dishes from three different NYC restaurants, what would you include (with cocktail or wine pairings if you can)? Too many to choose! Galen Zamarra's tuna l'occidental with some Moreau chablis or Broquel torrontes or Ilegal joven Mezcal, at Mas Farmhouse; Mayahuel's tacos with a Loop Tonic (blanco tequila, green chartreuse, vermouth, celery bitters, lime); and Fatty Cue's Bobo chicken dish with a Preamble cocktail (rye, green Chartreuse, Cherry Heering, lemon, Maraschino).
What's your guilty pleasure in terms of drinks? Pol Roger, a Paloma or a great Vesper. And, of course, a shot of Green Chartreuse!
What's your favorite hidden gem in NYC? Jaiya Thai. Tremendous food and great wines.