Chris Wertz has been involved in the booze business most of his life, and for the last 16 years, he has been a part of the New York restaurant industry, working as a bartender in Williamsburg and a General Manager in DUMBO. Before coming to New York City, Chris traveled through Europe sampling regional drinks for the sake of science—from homemade grappa in the hills of Tokaj, Hungary; to Becherovka at the source in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic; and pastis in Provence,
France. In 2005, he opened his first bar, Professor Thom’s, named in homage of famed 19th-century NYC cocktail creator Professor Jerry Thomas.
Bestselling author Peter Thomas Fornatale has spent a good part of the last two decades drinking in Brooklyn. He’s also been a publishing professional in that time frame at Simon and Schuster and Random House. He took cocktail classes from legendary New York bartender (and author) Dale DeGroff and spent a summer supporting a horseracing habit by bartending at the acclaimed Chez Sophie in Saratoga Springs. Cocktails are literally in his blood: his grandfather, John T. Flynn, was a brand manager at Seagram’s for many decades. He is also a site coordinator at The Park Slope CSA, putting him in close touch with the best local ingredients (and the people who buy them).