Name: Darren Cheverie
City: Edmonton, Alberta
1. Where are you from?
Pictou, Nova Scotia
2. Where do you currently work?
Owner/Operator of Chartier in Beaumont AB
3. How long have you been in the culinary industry?
19 years……..I just went white as a ghost typing this…I’m old.
4. If you could work with any other Chef in the world for one night who would it be?
David McMillan of JOE BEEF
5. If you could visit any restaurant in the world where would it be?
Tough question – Probably St. John by Fergus Henderson in London or Fireworks by Micheal Smith in PEI….I’d love to do a similar concept here in Alberta.
6. Who is your mentor, if you have one?
I’ve had many mentors in my career, right now I’m trying to learn as much from my wife/business partner as possible… she possesses a much different skill set than me 🙂
7. Why do you feel MADE WITH LOVE, as a cocktail competition, is important for the Industry in Edmonton?
I think this competition is important to any city across Canada…not just Edmonton. However, showcasing the talent we have in a blossoming cocktail culture is probably the biggest advantage. I’m a huge believer in creating culture as opposed to changing…so the sooner we can get these talented craftsmen/women in the same room together sharing ideas, visions, recipes and laughs the better it is for our culture as a whole.
8. What is the skill you look for in a competitor when you are judging?
Incredible palate but more importantly story telling. I think being a “spirit guide” is the most important skill. Walking a guest through an experience as opposed to forcing a cocktail together. There has to be some heart behind the cocktail.
9. What is the most impressive thing you have ever seen a bartender do?
Vito Ciocca of Le Bremner in Montreal… I didn’t order a drink my entire evening there, he basically just talked to me, learned about who I was… and made me drinks inspired by our conversations all night. I didn’t even have the chance to look at a cocktail menu… it was the most engaging experience I’ve had in a long time.
10. What’s the most frequent error competitors do in a competition?
Complicate flavors….or force flavors into a cocktail that may not work. Cocktails for me are about harmony.
11. What’s the biggest challenge a judge has?
Setting personal preference aside for a certain a spirit and judging the cocktail as a whole.
12. What is the most precious advice you could give to a competitor?
Tell a story. Take me somewhere.