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Try the Flaming “Girl on Fire” Cocktail

An exclusive peek at the people behind the cuisine.

Not taste, not flavor, not fresh ingredients. “Presentation is everything,” says Priscilla Longhaven—President Snow’s private chef—on what constitutes the most important part of a culinary delivery.  “Believe it or not, anyone can cook.  But it’s the presentation that makes or breaks a dish.”  

Tall and lanky with perfectly set sapphire curls pinned up off her face, Chef Longhaven looks more like an athlete than a cook.  She has served as President Snow’s personal chef for close to four years and her finesse shows. As she capers around the vast kitchen, Longhaven manages to execute a perfect frosting rosette, flambe a banana and muddle mint leaves—all in one lap. This is a woman with an extreme eye for detail and the agility of an ibex.

“The petit fours are topped with a dollop of sea scallop custard,” she says with a laugh, knowing the reaction of any diner.  “Everyone grimaces…until they try one.”  When asked about the whole pig centerpiece, a glazed boar with a green apple in its mouth and a sugar candy bon-bon for an eye, she gives Capitol Couture a little inside scoop: “He wouldn’t tell me why, but Plutarch Heavensbee himself requested that; he seemed to think it was quite funny.”  

Next, it’s on to meet Capitol mixologist Kim Stodel—who also creates libations at Bar Chloe—for a quick primer on how to make the “Girl on Fire” cocktail. Stodel, who moves like an octopus as he grabs ingredients, is known for playing with heat and sweet in his concoctions. “It’s spicy and flammable, just like Katniss Everdeen,” he says of his exclusive tipple. Try this recipe at home or ask your local bartender to make one for you:


In a cocktail shaker tin, muddle:

1 thin slice of Serrano pepper

Add a few dashes of:

Angostura bitters

3/4 oz fresh lemon juice

3/4 oz simple syrup

1 & 1/2 oz gin

Add ice to the shaker and shake vigorously with a big smile.

Strain into a stemmed coupe glass that has been chilled.

Next, float 1/4 oz of Wray & Nephews overproof rum on top of the cocktail.

Strike a match and CAREFULLY bring to the rim of the glass to ignite the Girl on Fire.

Stodel is also overseeing a cool tapas pop-up dinner tonight in Santa Monica. To learn more, click here.

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