Tom Richter has journeyed his way across this entire country, working in fine restaurants (and the theatre) in cities such as Minneapolis, Santa Fe, Aspen, Chicago, Kansas City, Dallas, Louisville, Washington D.C. and New York City. Most notable was his stint at Judy Rogers’ Zuni Café in San Francisco where his knowledge of food and wine was polished and refined to a much higher level. It was at the Zuni where he was first introduced to the “fresh” cocktail under the tutelage of Sylvie Laly.
Richter brought this philosophy to New York, further refining it at numerous New York and New Jersey restaurants, including The New Leaf Café, aKa Café, Bid, Kitchen Club, Savoy, Judson Grill, and Rosewater in NYC; and Restaurant David Drake, Daryl Restaurant and Wine Bar, Lorena’s, and 90 Acres Restaurant in New Jersey. He proudly worked under Sasha Petraske on the opening bar staff at The John Dory Oyster Bar at the Ace Hotel in New York. Currently, he is the Head Bartender at The Beagle, on Avenue A. He has also earned the Bar Ready Certification from the Beverage Alcohol Resource certification program in New York, and was the New Jersey winner in the recent nationwide 4th Annual Can-Can Cocktail Classic recipe contest sponsored by St-Germain.
But Richter isn’t a strictly behind-the-bar mixologist. He’s always found himself in the kitchen, learning from (or bothering) some of the best chefs in this country about cooking technique, flavor balance, and composition of dishes. And he’s brought these concepts to the creation of cocktails, with a balance on classics and freshness. Also in his quest for the fresh and delicious, Richter created a handcrafted quinine Tomr’s Tonic that’s already taking off. From his small start-up, Tomr is now used in numerous bars, restaurants, and retail outlets throughout the New York/New Jersey area, and is available in ten states (and growing) across the country. Tomr’s Tonic was also named one of the top 10 “Best New Products” in the Tales of the Cocktail 2012 Spirited Awards, and has been written about glowingly in Food and Wine, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, TimeOut New York, The Chicago Tribune, and countless online blogs.
Richter has also had a successful career as a performer, including recurring roles on “One Life to Live” and “All My Children,” featured roles in a handful of films, and numerous theatre jobs.