Shift Drink: Jared Hooper, Faith & Flower

A wine director who dives into cocktail R&D after dinner service

Welcome to Shift Drink, where we take a peek into the post-shift drinking habits of L.A.’s finest food and drink personalities.

Art is how Jared Hooper, wine director of Faith & Flower, got his start in wine. While assisting the late sculptor and vintner Walter Channing in Long Island, Hooper was introduced to the artist’s Channing Daughters winery and crew. He ended up working harvest and the tasting room for years before taking the leap to restaurant service as lead sommelier at The Laundry Restaurant in East Hampton. Since arriving in Los Angeles, he’s managed to stay busy, running the wine programs at Noir Food & Wine (which closed in 2013), award-winning Royce at The Langham and blingy Hakkasan Beverly Hills, before making the move Downtown to the corner of Ninth and Flower.

Hooper’s thirst for knowledge is never-ending, and wine is truly his life’s passion, which is exactly why he needs a break from it at the end of a long dinner service. Read on to see what kind of drinking adventure he gets into after giving his guests an excellent wine adventure of their own.

 What’s your shift drink?
“I’m rarely in the mood for more wine. While I’d love to have great aspirations of sipping fine Burgundy, the truth is the matter is I can usually be found hanging out with our bar director, Edwin Osegueda, doing R&D, on some of his new cocktails, or plunging into a new category. We tend to be methodical, obsessing slowly through one section at a time, like our absinthe selections. Last month’s journey was through mezcal. Just recently, we’ve gotten our pastry chef, Josh Graves, into the mix, and we’ve been playing around with vin doux naturel (naturally sweet wine) and some of his new dessert prototypes.  I’m always looking for new pairings and new ways of seeing. Come to think of it, I think it’s about time Edwin and I plunge further into beer.”