Isaac Bédard – Crowd Bar And Flair
Montreal – Public’s Choice Winner
– Fun facts about MADE WITH LOVE National Finalists –
1. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
I’ve been bartending for a little less than 3 years. I really just started in the service industry as a summer job (busboy) and I quickly realized that I wanted to become a bartender. I started doing flair bartending and working on my abilities to reach the next steps.
2. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
I love giving good service! I like interacting with people and give them an experience that they never had before. It might be something they never tasted, something they never saw, something they never smelled or sometimes just a little conversation to cheer them up after a rough day because every client has special needs. I like to find that need is and respond to it in an original way.
As for the trends, I like working in Speakeasy bars. The calm mood gives you time to perfect your craft and give that little extra attention to details and to your client.
3. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
I just love citrus, orange, grapefruit, clementine, everything that you can peel and use the skins after. I think the tasting profile you benefit from using a whole fruit is so much more interesting than just juicing it. You get a blast of different flavors in your mouth that is surprising, a little bitter and, of course, delicious.
4. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
I’ve been inspired first by Sean Sargent, who’s one of my best friends now and my first mentor. I started in the industry being his busboy and he taught me that no matter what happens during the service, your client is THE most important thing. Sean is the kind of guy that leads by example. He was by far the best bartender and waiter of the restaurant back then. I noticed his service would always make people feel important and taken care of. He was always there at the perfect moment to answer a demand or just to make sure everything was going well. And of course he was super efficient.
The second one is Pierre Gadouas. He’s the guy that pushed me to improve my Flair Bartending abilities (which is now my full-time job). I was just a rookie back then and he brought me on big events with blind trust. It really helped me get confidence behind the bar and develop my skills.
The last ones (because yes there are more), are all the guys from le 4e Mur’s team. Romaric LeRoy, Jonathan Pierretti, Alexis Taoufiq, Tony Galdes, Max Coubes and Eddy Germain. They took me in even if I was a little all over the place and helped me build my style, build my knowledge and improve my cocktails. They literally took the rough stone that I was and polished it a bit.
5. What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you ever had?
A “surprising girly drink”…. But not too sweet. She ended up taking a Sex on the Beach.
6. If you had to describe your bartending style using a style of music in comparison, what would it be?
I’d say jazz. Cause it can be very classy and clean but at the same time, it can move like crazy.
7. We ask you to create a cocktail called MADE WITH LOVE, what’s in it?
It would be straight up a Ramos Gin Fizz. Because it’s a cocktail that needs love when you prepare it if you wanna give the real experience to your customer.
8. You have the choice to invite anybody you wish to sit at your bar, (fictional, dead or alive) who would it be?
I would have my Mom sit at the bar. It’s crazy like this but it’s the first thought that came to me. My Mom doesn’t really drink or hang out in bars so she never came to see me bartend. I’d love to have her in front of me to show her my passion and make her taste amazing drinks too. She also needs some time to relax with all her work and I think a bar is a perfect place for that.
9. Which cocktail would you serve to your lover? And which one would you serve to your ex?
I met my girlfriend in a bar and she was ordering Jameson-Apple juice. I told her she should get CC Rye instead and she’s been drinking that ever since so I would serve her exactly that drink to make her smile.
To my ex, I would serve absolutely nothing because she drives me crazy when she gets drunk hahaha. But if I had to choose… probably an Aperol Spritz because that’s what she always had.
10. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
I like to push my limits! I like to participate in competitions to constantly challenge and improve myself as a bartender. MWL is, of course, a prestigious one in Canada. Since I first started bartending, I told my little brother that I would win Drunken Masters and Made With Love once in my life. When I won Drunken Masters he told me I had no choice but to try and win both the same year and here I am!