Lars Williams – Co-Founder, Empirical Spirits.
Born and bred in New York City, Lars grew up in the West Village and went to high school in Brooklyn before attending Wesleyan University for a degree in literature. He somehow found himself working as a set designer for commercials and music videos until he became entirely disenchanted with that business and focused on making his compulsion with cuisine a profession. Enrollment at The French Culinary Institute was a springboard to New York restaurants, including Aquavit and WD-50. Europe was the next destination and he landed in the development kitchen at The Fat Duck.
Feeling a lack of sun, he went off to cook in the South Pacific for a year, honing rudimentary foraging skills
before moving to Denmark to work at Restaurant Noma. Lars is now co-founder of the free-form spirits distillery and fermentation workshop, Empirical Spirits.