Chef Roblé Ali has earned his stripes as one of the brightest culinary talents to emerge from New York and has rightly earned his “Saucerer” nickname. The Smoke Lord himself took time out of his busy schedule to speak exclusively with CASSIUS regarding his innovative spiced hot honey created in conjunction with Bacardi Spiced Rum and how it can, ahem, spice up your wintertime soirees.
Unlike typical brand partnerships, Chef Roblé’s affinity for the Barcadi brand of rums is a genuine one born of his own explorations into combining tastes and flavors to come up with his latest creation. Over the holiday season, the celebrity chef helped to put together the Bacardi Spiced Hot Honey, combining GOYA Sazón, cayenne pepper, maple syrup, and honey into a delectable concoction that would jazz up a variety of dishes including pizza, chicken, and more.
With the Bacardi Spiced Hot Honey in tow, Chef Roblé recently took to his Instagram account and shared a tasty grilled cheese recipe with a spiced honey mustard remix. Check out the clip below.
Chef Roblé was gracious with his time and talked to CASSIUS in detail regarding his inspiration for the Bacardi Spiced Hot Honey, how he’s enjoyed the Bacardi Spiced rum on its own, and much more.
We opened by asking if the chef was a fan of the rum before working with the brand, and as a true imbiber, Roblé shared that he’s been a fan of Bacardi before any deals were brokered.
“Bacardi is the gold standard in rum; they’re the Yankees of rum,” Roblé opened with. “Rum lends itself very well in being an ingredient in cooking. It’s basically sugar, and that itself makes it a fine element right there in endless amounts of cooking. And just the combination of flavors works well with a plethora of foods, including marinades, rum cake, rum raisin ice cream, I can’t think of any other spirit that’s this versatile.”
Roblé’s passion for rum really shined through in the brief chat, and that was especially true when he shared his idea for the Bacardi Spiced Hot Honey and, most especially, the aforementioned grilled cheese recipe.
“My signature grilled cheese that I’ve been making forever, the basis of it is honey mustard,” he explained. “When I began talking with Bacardi and thinking of how to approach their spiced rum, making the honey mustard was the first thing that came to mind. I can taste things in my mind before I make it, and I knew this was going to work.
Considering the big, bold flavors of the french dijon mustard and the sweet-spicy contrast of the rum along with the rich flavors from the cheese, Roblé’s certainly covers a lot of bases for all crowds. In his words, the flavors are a “perfect storm.”
But what about the Bacardi Spiced Rum itself? Does it pass muster with some of the other rums Chef Roblé has sampled in his travels? In his words, apparently so.
“I’ve had other spiced rums, and I can honestly say, no cap, whatsoever, that this is the best by far the best of its kind on the market,” Roblé said with measurable sincerity.
While there was an opportunity for those to pick up a spiced cider kit that came with a bottle of the hot honey, that offer is expired last month, much to our collective sadness among the CASSIUS team. However, Roblé says that there could be some mass production of the Bacardi Spiced Hot Honey should the demand continue to grow over the months to come.
Along with his awesome culinary alchemy with Bacardi Spiced Rum, Chef Roblé teased a move into the retail space but kept the details mum for now. He also will be stepping in front of the camera, this time as an actor, for the second season of HBO’s series, Betty, set in his home of New York City.
Roblé’s 2021 will also feature a new, delivery-only Afro-Italian food experience known as MoMo with Chef Mohamed Wahiba. MoMo is a nod to both their names as Roblé’s middle name is Mohamed, with both gentlemen hailing from African nations that were colonized by Italy.
In closing, Spirit.Ed cocktail columnist D.L. Chandler introduced the potential of meeting with Chef Roblé once it’s safe to do so and create some cocktails and cuisine with Bacardi Spiced Rum in the mix.
Bacardi was gracious enough to pass along the recipe for the Spiced Up Cider cocktail below. And let us be the first to tell you, it’s worth the effort.
SPICED UP CIDER
• 1.5 oz BACARDÍ Spiced Rum
• 0.5 oz Lime Juice (fresh pressed)
• 0.5 oz Cinnamon Syrup
• 3 oz Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider
Method: Fill a highball glass with ice. Combine and shake BACARDÍ Spiced Rum, Lime Juice and Cinnamon Syrup, and strain into the highball glass with ice. Top with Sparkling Apple Cider and garnish with a lime wedge.