Chez Petrossian, before every plate left the kitchen, the rims were wiped with vodka! This had nothing to do with adding another flavor to the dish and everything to do with removing errant fingerprints, sauce or salad and sending out a dish that was sparkling clean.
Vodka is ideal for the job: it’s clear, odorless, tasteless and high in alcohol, the ingredient that makes it edible Windex. I guess gin might be just as good, but when the mousse missed its mark, I looked up at the cupboard and the first thing I saw is what I grabbed, bourbon.
Not clear, odorless or tasteless, but efficient. One swipe and the mousse was ready for its close-up.
(Photo by Mary Dodd)