Intelligent, beautiful and witty, television personality Heather Storm is a modern renaissance woman who has quickly become one of the most-engaging talents on screen today.
She can currently be seen co-hosting Velocity Network’s hit series “Garage Squad.” The show follows Heather and her male co-stars [NHRA driver Bruno Massel and lead mechanic Joe Zolper] as they crash garages around the Chicago-land area, helping owners refurbish their distressed, classic hot rods and get them back on the road.
Heather was the spokeswoman for Mercury Auto Insurance, an on-camera sports reporter for My Combat Channel, and has starred in over 30 national commercials. You may also recognize Heather as a recurring guest-mixologist on the top-rated “Playboy Morning Show,” and as producer and host of “The MixDown,” a series on Complex TV with 180+ million impressions, where she created unique cocktail recipes paired with electronic dance music.
Heather is also a successful business-woman and marketing guru, specializing in hospitality, fine wine, spirits, and cuisine. A certified Sommelier and recipe developer, she co-founded Black Lab Mixology, a boutique, eco-friendly event and consulting company based in Los Angeles. Through Black Lab, she has worked alongside top brands, high-end restaurants, and has curated prestigious events for clients including Google, CBS, Neiman Marcus of Beverly Hills, Montgomery Distillery, and Tom’s Urban at LA Live. Providing customized bars and activations for numerous celebrities and tastemakers led Heather to curate libations for the Lance Bass – Michael Turchin wedding, which made history as the first same-sex marriage covered by a national television network.
Here is what this highly talented drinks maker had to say about her love of all things food, wine, and cocktails.
Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on or have coming up.
I cohost Garage Squad on Velocity TV and Season 3 premiered August 24th, 2016. We help car owners rescue their distressed classic cars and get them back on the road. We have been filming for the past four and a half months in the Chicagoland area so most of my time this year has been spent on that project. I am also the spokesperson for a brand new fitness product coming next year.
With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your down time?
I tend to work a lot so it’s a constant struggle to try to keep a balance between things I have to do and relax time. If I have enough down time, I like to schedule a vacation or even weekend getaway so I can totally decompress and re-energize. On a daily basis, I like to get outside in nature and I feel great after a nice run through Griffith Park or along Lake Michigan. I also love to explore the culture of the city, new restaurants, classic bars, art galleries and museums. New experiences are essential to my happiness.
When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
I most often pick a place depending on my mood and style of the evening. For quick and amazing sushi after a flight into LA, I head to Kazu Nori downtown, when craving a healthy vegan bowl I head to Cafe Gratitude and if I want farm-to-table by the beach I can’t get enough of Gjelina in Venice. Since I’ve been living part time in Chicago, I’ve been able to explore their food scene and love Nico Osteria, Antique Taco, Chicago Diner and Ema, a new Mediterranean restaurant downtown with delicious food by my friend, Chef CJ Jacobson. He hand pulls the Stracciatella cheese and it’s fantastic.
What types of dishes do you usually order?
Fresh, fresh, fresh. I prefer to share among friends because I like to eat a variety food that inspires the topic of conversation. I enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine to start and almost always a salad. I like to eat light and healthy and am always a sucker for organic heirloom tomatoes, grilled artichokes and fresh seafood.
Do you cook?
Cooking is a huge part of my life. I prepare food everyday, whether it’s juicing greens for my morning elixir, cutting up my salad for lunch or making a batch of vegetarian chili. My mom was a really good cook, she made everything from scratch and was a huge influence on my approach to cooking and entertaining.
What types of drinks do you order when out?
It all depends where I am. I absolutely love wine and recently became a certified sommelier, so if the wine menu is intriguing, I tend to order a glass of wine. I am very into Italian wines right now. If I go to a craft cocktail bar, then I’m open to experiment, leaning towards gin, bourbon or pisco. When I’m going classic, I love an Aviation or The Last Word.
Do you prepare drinks at home?
Yes, absolutely! I like to get creative using fresh seasonal ingredients and share them on my website blog, Eco-Conscious Living.
Do you own a home bar?
I used to work as a liquor rep. and have a huge collection of booze ever since. I like to entertain and pretty much have a full bar; including a variety of high end spirits such as scotch and cognac, basic clear spirits, bourbon, bitters, liqueurs, olives, maraschino cherries, bamboo skewers and I always have seasonal fruits and herbs around the kitchen. I also have a small vino collection of boutique wine producers from all over the world.
What is your favorite drink/cocktail?
I love Oregon Pinot Noir or an Aviation cocktail, but it all depends on my mood.
Have you ever been a bartender?
I have been a bar back, cocktail server and bartender. I co-founded Black LAB Mixology, an event & bar consulting company. Over the past five years we have curated customized cocktail bars for numerous high profile and celebrity events. We have developed recipes for major craft spirit brands and consulted on the opening of some of the most successful restaurants and bars in the country. So I suppose I know a thing or two about tending bar :)