RISING STAR BAR CHEF
AWARD SPONSORED BY
NACIONAL 27 | Chicago
At Chicago's Nacional 27 Adam Seger takes a chef's
approach at the bar and, working closely with Executive Chef/Partner
Randy Zweiban, he creates a culinary-mixology fusion, bringing together
the bar and the kitchen to take cocktails to a new level. From the
roasted West Indian pumpkin puree for a seasonal Calabaza Eggnog
to the pineapple-vanilla foam that garnishes the Passion Fruit Screwdriver,
Seger stretches the boundaries of cocktail flavor profiles, incorporating
new kitchen technologies which have a natural home at the bar.
Unlike most other mixologists, Adam Seger is a Certified Culinary
Professional (CCP). It’s no wonder that he has the ingredient
obsession of a chef. In addition to using specialty and boutique
liquors for his drinks, he also sources artisan products, such as
the organic agave syrup from Peru. Seger creates many other syrups
and mixes in-house, including Bloody Mary, Sangria, Tres Leches
and Horchata. He even makes his own maraschino cherries.
As a bar chef, Seger takes inspiration from his tenure with world-class
chefs from the Michelin-rated kitchen of Chez Julien in
Strasbourg to Chicago's TRU and Napa Valley's French Laundry.
From Chez Julien's Chef Serge Knapp, Seger learned true, unbridled
passion in the kitchen. Seger was also a general manager at TRU,
Chicago’s fine dining restaurant run by world-renowned chefs
Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand. At the French Laundry, Seger learned
Thomas Keller's religious devotion to sourcing the finest ingredients
and painstakingly processing them to produce the ultimate flavor.
Now at Nacional 27, he has adopted Chef Randy Zweiban's intense
boldness of flavor that still maintains balance and elegance.
Adam combines his rich culinary exposure with influences from world-class
mixology mentors, including Dale 'King Cocktail' Degroff, Master
Mixologist Francesco Lafranino (Bacardi-Martini world champion)
and the late Max Allen Jr. (1997 International Bartender of the
Year-Lausanne, Switzerland) to create his distinctive cocktails.
Earlier in his career, Adam served as the Director of Restaurants
at Louisville's Seelbach Hilton and AAA Five Diamond Oakroom. While
there he founded (and still owns) Sour Mash Bourbon Bread Company,
which produces gourmet bread, biscuit and pancake mix from spent
A graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration,
Seger has been featured in Cigar Aficionado, Wine Spectator,
The New York Times, and Sante Magazine. He has
been dubbed a “Spirits Guru” by Food & Wine
and Fast Company and a “Beverage Guru”
by Wine & Spirits. He has been featured on the TV Food
Network and had a regular feature on Fox News in the Morning in
Louisville. Seger’s Kentucky Long Shot was named the official
cocktail of the 1998 Breeder's Cup, and his El Corazon at Nacional
27 was named one of the best drinks in Chicago by Time-Out Chicago.
Seger, who also serves as General Manager and Sommelier of Nacional
27, passed the Advanced Exam of the Court of Master Sommeliers on
his first attempt. He is the co-founder of Chicago Blind Tasters,
a group of sommeliers from TRU, Charlie Trotter's and NoMi dedicated
to preparing each other for the holy grail of wine, the Master Sommelier