Name: Ravinder Singh
1. Where are you from?
I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba, born and raised.
2. Where do you currently work?
I am a microbiologist by day, and a private contract mixologist by night. My full-time work is with the Public Health Agency of Canada, and in my spare time, I work as a bartender and mixologist for special events.
3. How long have you been in the culinary industry?
I have been in the culinary industry since 1999, moving into the bar service industry in 2005.
4. If you could work with any other Chef in the world for one night who would it be?
I don’t have any specific Chef that I would strive to work with, I enjoy the experience I have with every Chef I’ve been able to work with. Every Chef has their own style and knowledge allowing me to learn something new from every experience I have had and integrate that into my own work.
5. If you could visit any restaurant in the world where would it be?
Furumen Ramen shop in The Roppongi district of Tokyo. Ramen is the one specialty food item that I believe is truly the food equivalent of mixology. With strict attention to detail regarding the balance of flavors, start to finish, the complexity of Ramen resembles the pleasure of a beautiful craft cocktail.
6. Who is your mentor, if you have one?
Adrian Stein. He is a mixologist and bar manager/owner from Toronto. He gave me my inspiration for my first entry into the MADE WITH LOVE Regional Final which took me to the National Final. His concepts of originality and unforgiving devotion to his own vision and values inspired me to create cocktails that I knew I would love and be proud of. Cocktails with a background and a story.
7. Why do you feel MADE WITH LOVE, as a cocktail competition, is important for the Industry in WINNIPEG?
Because Winnipeg is a smaller market there are fewer creative outlets for mixologists to express their art. MADE WITH LOVE has become a staple event fostering creative expression, artistic development, and professional networking for the competitors. They, in turn, show the city how exciting Winnipeg’s cocktail culture truly is.
8. What is the skill you look for in a competitor when you are judging?
Passion. Passion for what they are doing and what they have created. Passion cannot be falsified and is a true indicator of the love and pride the Barchef has for what they are presenting.
9. What is the most impressive thing you have ever seen a bartender do?
I’m impressed every time I come into an event. One thing that stands out for me is that a bartender took his ingredients and dry shook them to mix thoroughly and create volume without dilution. To cool the cocktail he ran the cocktail through a tube contained within a block of ice to chill it and served it in a glass without ice and without dilution.
10. What’s the most frequent error competitors do in a competition?
Serving the judges in plastic sampling glasses.
11. What’s the biggest challenge a judge has?
It is a challenge to create a judging scale that is fair and linear. These are many of the best mixologists in the city and should all be expected to score 90% or higher in all categories. Finding a way to separate them from each other is the difficult part because many of the scores fall within a few points of each other. It is important to be attentive to every detail so that every single point awarded must be earned, and then ensure that each competitor is given equal scale regardless of which point in the evening they present.
12. What is the most precious advice you could give to a competitor?
JUST HAVE FUN. Do it for yourself and for your art. Go in without expectation and deliver a cocktail that you love and that you are proud to exhibit. The competition should be fun and every aspect of it should be enjoyable. Winning is a perk, but what’s most important is to just be proud of what you have done and if you are having fun doing it, everyone including yourself will be satisfied.