Name: James Grant
City: Edmonton, AB
1. Where are you from?
2. Where do you currently work?
Woodwork Restaurant in Edmonton, AB.
3. How long have you been in the culinary industry?
4. If you could work with any other Barchef in the world for one night who would it be?
5. If you could visit any restaurant in the world where would it be?
6. Who is your mentor, if you have one?
Natasha Trowsdale always makes me feel like I don’t know anything.
7. Why do you feel MADE WITH LOVE, as a cocktail competition, is important for the Industry in Edmonton?
It brings out a lot of first-time competitors and put us, old-timers, on the watch for getting lazy.
8. What is the skill you look for in a competitor when you are judging?
Perfect, absolute professionalism.
9. What is the most impressive thing you have ever seen a bartender do?
Ran a whole bar alone and still remembered my name and where I came from so they could properly say goodbye when I left.
10. What’s the most frequent error competitors do in a competition?
They drink beforehand to deal with nerves and then drop something.
11. What’s the biggest challenge a judge has?
Reinforcing that this is a situation in which the competitors learn. This isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about getting better in ways that ultimately benefit our guests, not our egos.
12. What is the most precious advice you could give to a competitor?
Don’t let the comps phase you. This isn’t anything you haven’t done on a busy Friday night.