MG Road mixmaster Jonathan Ammons heads to cocktail camp in L.A.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Bar Centro in Los Angeles.

Jonathan Ammons, local bon vivant and MG Road bartender, heads to L.A. this weekend to train at The Bazaar‘s Bar Centro with international chef Jose Andres and Bazaar’s Chef de Cuisine Joshua Whigham.

Andres has connections to Asheville–he also mentored Katie Button of Curate–and is a top international foodie and food entrepreneur named “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation in 2011 and Conde Nast Traveler’s “Hot Restaurateur” in 2011.

Ammons was invited after Whigham visited MG Road, the new Wall Street bar where Ammons makes cocktails, with Katie Button and her husband Felix Meana, both of Curate.

“He seemed to really like what we were doing and extended an invitation for me to join him for a short stage in Los Angeles,” Ammons wrote.

From an email from Ammons:

My focus will be around Bar Centro and the progressive means by which they approach cocktails. Whether it is their use of molecular gastronomy staples like spherical cherries and olives or the ever mysterious “Salt Air Margarita”, I am looking forward to learning how they work their magic and adding those tools to my arsenal. I have always been focused on classic cocktails, but after Chef Whigham extended the invitation to me from the Bazaar it has really begun to get me excited about taking those classics and seeing what new ideas I can apply to them.

A Manhattan will always be a Manhattan, and will never be surpassed as one of the worlds greatest cocktails, but its when we can re-spark peoples curiosity and get them excited about it in a whole new way that we truly pay homage to the classics and the tradition of our craft as bartenders.

My trip will also include some time in San Francisco with Neyah White, the Brand Ambassador for Suntory Japanese Whiskey and a few days at several Sonoma and Napa Valley Vineyards. I’m looking forward to the experience at one of the worlds more esteemed restaurants and am excited for the chance to expand my knowledge of my craft and share it with my home town.

Ammons invites Asheville to follow his adventures on Twitter or Instagram at @jonathanammons, saying “I will be broadcasting the whole trek.”

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1


  1. Traci January 13, 2013

    in my experience, the craft cocktails in this town are too expensive and are totally weak…maybe that’s how they are everywhere, but i’m not sold. i’ve paid $9-11 for several around town. they were ok, but soooo small and soooo weak and soooo not worth the price…

  2. Jack January 12, 2013

    What “hot new” craft cocktail place is on Biltmore?

  3. Murphy January 12, 2013

    stopped by one of the “hot” new places on Biltmore Avenue after a movie the other day – the bartender handed me the house cocktail list … and I chose one …

    10 minutes later, after a trip downstairs and no real explanation as to what was up my drink was served … very tasty … I then asked about the name of the cocktail and this “professional mixologist” had no idea how the name came about.

    “craft cocktails” indeed …

    by the way, there were 3 customers in the place, including myself.

  4. jonnyquest January 12, 2013

    …and we should really care why?


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