The love of food was instilled in David Sigal at an early age. “My grandpa always encouraged, not forced, me to try new things. He had one rule when it came to food. I could spit anything out if I didn’t like it. I never had to spit anything out.” As it turns out, his grandfather’s rule worked and taught David that it was okay to value food, and that the world of food was bigger than what he could see. “More importantly, my grandfather taught me the value of being fearless with food, because trying new things often pays off.”
David’s journey starts with an arbitrary decision, one any self respecting college kid would make. “I had two choices,” he said. “I could take Spanish at 8 am or Chinese at 11:30 am. I didn’t want to wake up early so I took Chinese.” This decision of sleep over Spanish helped David discover his love for the Chinese culture, and directed him towards his major, East Asian Studies.
When he graduated, David really wanted to do something with food. Through a family friend, he got a job as a bar back at Kask in Portland. What he thought was an entry point to the food world, took another turn entirely. “I fell in love before I made it to the kitchen. At Kask, I ended up working the bar with some of the best people in Portland,” says David. As it turns out, as one of Esquire’s top 10 new bars Kask was an excellent launching point. During his time at Kask, he ran across a friend looking for bartenders who speak Chinese. David fit the bill and so began his experiences in Beijing.
David is now living and working on two exciting projects in Beijing. He is part of a team opening a lounge and he is also opening a store, Bottles, Boots, and Cigars (BBC). “The lounge is going to be a craft bar attached to a giant club in the Central Business District in Beijing. We are designing a unique drink list and, will have a large selection of hand crafted spirits not found anywhere else in Beijing.”
As for his store concept, “It hasn’t opened yet but are hoping to on April 2nd. We are afraid that if we open April 1st, people will think we are pulling a prank and not show up.” Right now David and his partners are working through the details, “We’re figuring out how we are going to get all the tools and bottles we will need to open and how to intelligently fill it with things we feel we can’t live without.”
The way we come across our passions can be as interesting as the passion itself. In this case, a grandparent with a taste for experiencing new things helped to create an attitude of fearlessness that David carries with him as he travels into the world of food and drink.