The Flaviar Times editor-in-chief Noah Rothbaum interviewed Chef Mason Hereford about pairing drinks with food.
Should food be paired with mixed drinks or Spirits?
Mason: Sure, why not?
What’s your personal pairing philosophy?
Mason: My personal thought is that if it's more fun to eat and drink two things together, then you did it right!
Given that your New Orleans restaurant Molly’s Rise & Shine offers an incredible breakfast, is there a brunch drink better than the Bloody Mary?
Mason: Given that I had one too many Bloody Marys once at a Saints Game, an Aperol Spritz is my favorite go-to for brunch, especially when it’s still light outside.
What’s your all-time favorite drink & food pairing?
Mason: My favorite food-and-drink pairing has to be Cheez-Its and Coca-Cola (with or without bourbon in the Coca-Cola).
Is there a food and drink pairing that shouldn’t work but does?
Mason: Toothpaste and orange juice–just kidding, I can’t think of one at the moment.
You offered Seth Meyers a shot and a beer before making for him your signature fried bologna and potato chip sandwich on his TV talk show. What foods go best with a Boilermaker?
Mason: Frozen pizza microwaved at the bar you ordered the beer and shot from is the best combination!
We’re eating a classic Nola fried oyster po’ boy, what are we drinking?
Mason: We’re always drinking a bottle of 1996 Dom Pérignon Champagne.
If you had to, what food would you pair with a Hurricane cocktail?
Mason: In New Orleans, we make the Hurricane better than anyone else, with that said I would pair it with another New Orleans specialty like Fried Chicken. I usually order mine from McHardy’s or if I’m in a pinch, an eight-piece spicy dark meat from Popeyes.
The Art of Eating & Drinking column features chefs from around the world sharing their personal philosophies on pairing cocktails and Spirits with food.
*This interview has been edited & condensed
*Cover photo source - William Hereford