Born and raised in Ottawa. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of the progression in the hospitality industry in the past decade. I’ve worked with and learned from a lot of hard working people that are leading the evolution.
I’ve been a bartender for 5 years. I learned the basics behind the bar at Sidedoor kitchen and bar when I was 20. I was not very good at all and constantly pissed off my managers with lackluster closes.
I’ve bartended at 4 different restaurants with a handful of private events on the side.
I got my job running the bar at fauna because of a drink I made at my first ever cocktail competition. I didn’t win the competition. I went 5 seconds over trying to pick the perfect mint leaf for garnish. At the end of the night the judges told me if I had scrapped the mint I would’ve placed higher and then one of them offered me a job.
We let the seasons dictate most of our cocktails, our list is driven by original creations with one or two classics. I make as much as I can from scratch and like to use obscure ingredients but have found a lot of bartenders take it too far with too much going on. Keep it simple.
I love the challenge of helping people relax after a busy day. There is so much mental « noise » from cell phones, media and whatnot that causes a lot of stress, it’s important to take a break. People work so hard to pay the bills, I like being the one responsible for their downtime. It’s therapeutic.
I see rum making a strong comeback. Its cool to see more and more interesting gins. Craft spirits in Canada continue to pop up, I think that’s pretty exciting, although it’s really unfortunate to live under the reign of the LCBO Mafia in Ontario.
A nice balanced Amaro on ice with a little lemon zested over the glass.
The hipster holy water; Jamo. After a big meal, Fernet.
Changes with the seasons. I tend to lean on gin with a lot of flavors. Really into the Spanish Gin Mare right now. Cucumber is really nice in summer drinks. Not as a main flavor but as a nice refreshing undertone. My right-hand man, Eric Romolock introduced me to the Mezcal and green Chartreuse combo that I find pretty perfect. I have a cocktail being put on the list soon with Mezcal, Chartreuse, sake, coffee bean and lime leaf that is pretty tasty. I like the complexity of chai tea.
Michael Isted, one of the gentlemen that trained me at the Albion rooms. He taught me the crucial importance of knowledge and story telling and « enhance selling » instead of « up selling ». It doesn’t always cost more money to find the perfect drink for someone. Naill Robertson at El Camino taught me a lot about balance.
It’d be cool to work in one of the iconic bars of NYC. Milk and honey, PDT, Employees Only, Dead Rabbit just to name a few. It’d be cool to experience where the bar has been set (pun unintended) for many years.
I live right off of Elgin St. Lucky to have spots like El Camino, Datsun, Town, Citizen nice and close. Quick bike ride to Bar Laurel, Supply, and Demand on Wellington.
I’m not picky. Usually, like to leave it up to the bartender. Whatever they would drink.
The virgin margarita is always a good one. Had someone order a virgin margarita with no sugar once. So you would like a glass of lime juice.
Proud to have made it this far but definitely not satisfied yet.