If you haven’t yet met Matthew Biancaniello, Cocktail Chef formerly of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Library Bar, think Willy Wonka and Leonardo Da Vinci creating unrivaled specialties unlike anything ever experienced in Los Angeles before. One of the freshest and most unique talents to appear on the bartending scene, Biancaniello has found his niche by crafting cocktails based on farm-fresh organic foods, such as the Heirloom Tomato Mojito, the 25 year aged balsamic vinegar and strawberry libation named the Last Tango in Modena, and the fresh arugula inspired Roquette.
Impressively, Biancaniello only started bartending four and a half years ago when he transitioned out of a sales position with Time Out New York and began working for a catering company in Los Angeles. Self-taught, he read cocktail books to learn the basics such as Dale DeGroff’s “The Essential Cocktail”, which allowed him to start viewing mixing cocktails as an art. His first official bartending job came at the Library Bar about four and a half years ago. He used his own time and money to revamp the bar from sour mixes to homemade syrups and fresh, local produce inspired by his farmer’s market finds, visiting five different markets weekly. He also has formed his own bee colony to produce wild honey specifically for his cocktails. He now forages in the Santa Monica mountains for unique aronmic herbs. In August of 2009, Biancaniello won the Chartreuse Sweet 16 Competition and in February 2010, he placed nationally in the 42 Below World Cup. He has been featured in the issues of Playboy, Instyle, Imbibe and Bon Appetit magazines, The LA and New York Times and was a guest on the 8th season of Hell’s Kitchen and has also appeared on Unique Eats and Extra Virgin for the Cooking Channel. Matthew won Best Bartender in LA from both table 20 and Eater LA in 2010 and has consulted for the California Almond Board, Luxe Hotels, Sofitel and various bars across the country.
Working without a set cocktail menu, Biancaniello’s creations are based off of seasonal ingredients and unlikely pairings. His use of the freshest ingredients and his hunger for experimentation are what set him apart from the rest.