If you’re in Williamsburg during September #VaSpiritsMonth, make sure to stop by Blue Talon Bistro and ask Chef David Everett for The Revolutionary Mojito! Or, if you’re feeling a little adventurous, try your hand at prepping this cocktail at home.
The Revolutionary Mojito, featuring Williamsburg Distillery Small Batch Silver Rum
2½ oz. Silver Rum
Juice of one whole lime
15 fresh mint leaves
¾ oz. simple syrup
Muddle the mint leaves and the simple syrup in the hurricane glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Add rum and lime juice, and stir with a long cocktail spoon until well mixed.
by: Amy Ciarametaro
Without hesitation, it’s easy to say Chef David Everett has paved the way for Williamsburg, Virginia, to become a culinary destination.
His humble beginnings, however, can be traced to Florida. Working in restaurants since he was 12, David’s first serious culinary job was at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. He came to Williamsburg, his mother’s hometown, to become the special events chef for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. David later opened a restaurant at the Park Terrace Hotel in Washington, D.C., but Williamsburg always lingered on his mind. “My grandfather was the town doctor in Williamsburg, so my family’s were roots here,” said Chef Everett. “I remember visiting here often as a young kid and it always stayed with me as a special place.”
When the opportunity presented itself to become Executive Chef at The Dining Room at Ford’s Colony in Williamsburg, David jumped on it. In the 14 years he was there, Chef Everett brought national acclaim to one of Williamsburg’s premier dining rooms. The Dining Room received the Five Diamond Award from AAA for more than a decade for his carefully executed fine cuisine.
Nowadays, Chef Everett owns and operates two restaurants and a pub in Williamsburg, as well as participates in numerous special events. After opening Blue Talon Bistro with partner Adam Steely in 2004, he has gone on to launch The Trellis Bar & Grill, the newly opened DoG Street Pub, The Blackbird Bakery and Hair of the Dog Bottleshop. He is currently working with Chef de Cuisine Scott Hoyland and Trellis GM Louise Wood to open an eclectic, small plate venue near the College of William & Mary, Culture Cafe.
The unofficial command center for all of these activities is his French-inspired, simple but serious fare, Blue Talon Bistro on Prince George Street. It’s also where we found David for this feature. Much of the focus of his restaurants revolves around regional cuisine, which is one of the many reasons we consider Chef Everett to be a September #VaSpiritsMonth Tastemaker.
“We work with a lot of local growers and farmers. Some of these guys have been with us since we started, or even longer – back to my time at Ford’s Colony. Joe and Rob at Manakintowne Farms have been providing the very best in fresh greens to me for more than 20 years,” says Chef Everett. “Probably the most fun we have with local farmers, though, is at my annual Farm-to-Table Dinner in September. We put together a massive table that seats 450 people, and prepare a menu of entirely locally sourced produce, fish, meats and fruits.”
Chef Everett has been a supporter of Virginia spirits and local distilleries for years as well. “We use local whiskies in our Hand Crafted Cocktail menu at the Zinc Bar at Blue Talon Bistro, including Blue Ridge Vodka and Williamsburg Distillery Gin for starters,” David explains. “We are really excited about rye whiskey these days and it’s nice to see that taking off in Virginia as well. The state has an unbelievable wealth of agricultural product [for raw materials used in spirits production] and its artisans like these guys that can show that off!”
Here’s a few of the cool #VaSpirits that you can find behind the bar at Blue Talon Bistro:
• Williamsburg Small Batch Silver Rum
• Virginia Distillery Highland Malt
• Vitae Golden Rum
• Chesapeake Bay Distillery Blue Ridge Vodka
• Chesapeake Bay Distillery Ghost Pepper Vodka
• Laird & Co. Applejack
• Copper Fox Rye
• Wasmund Single Malt
• Copper Fox Vir Gin
• And more!
*Rapid Fire with Chef David Everett of the Blue Talon Bistro / The Trellis Bar & Grill / DoG Street Pub*
#VaSpirits: When you’re not at one of your three restaurants, what do you enjoy doing?
Chef Everett: I love to ride – I like to take my bike out on the Capital Trail in Jamestown and go for miles. I find it very therapeutic!
#VaSpirits: Why do you support Virginia/local producers?
Chef Everett: I’ve been intimately involved with the farmers, fishermen, brewers, winemakers and, more recently, distillers in Virginia for more than 25 years. Virginia has such an abundance of fantastic products that I try to get to know as many of the passionate folks I can and figure out how to work with them.
#VaSpirits: When you’re not drinking #VaSpirits, what do you enjoy drinking and why?
Chef Everett: That’s easy. Maker’s Mark with a splash of really great ginger ale.
#VaSpirits: Give us a glimpse of your daily morning routine.
Chef Everett: I’m sort of a creature of habit. I have a French press at home and I’ve been a fan of illy coffee for a really long time. It’s hard to beat that as a morning routine.
#VaSpirits: To wrap things up, give us your best PG-rated joke!
Chef Everett: Why can’t you hear a Pterodactyl go to the bathroom? Because the “P” is silent.
Photo credit: Jay Paul