Name: Maximiliano Vallée Valletta
Venue: Les Enfants Terribles
1. Where are you from?
Small town outside of Montreal named Rigaud.
2. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
I first started as a waiter in a cocktail bar back in 2008. I was looking at all the cool stuff my colleagues were doing behind the bar and it got me hooked. I waited almost 1.5 years to get a spot as a bartender.
3. Where/when was your first gig? How many bartending jobs have you had?
L’Assommoir Notre-Dame gave me my first chance behind the wood. We had over 300 cocktails on the list so it was a really good school to learn the basics and develop my bartending style. I left l’Assommoir in 2013 and I have been with Les Enfants Terribles ever since.
4. How did you get involved with your venue?
I joined Les Enfants Terribles in 2012 to build their new restaurant in Nun’s Island. I was acting as a project manager at first. I was managing the project during the day and shaking cocktails at l’Assommoir at night so when I left this place, it was a natural for me to take over the bar program at Les Enfants Terribles. I am now acting as the General Manager of the company and Bar Chef. We have 4 locations and another one coming in May.
5. What kind of cocktails do you serve at your bar/restaurant? What cocktails are your favorites?
Mainly classics with some twists. Throughout the years, I realized that my clientele likes to drink cocktails that they had in the past. They say things like: ‘ Wow, it’s been a while I haven’t drink a Manhattan, or an Old Fashioned, or a Vesper, or a Negroni’. So they get to drink the concept of a classic but with my creativity in it. Since last year, I introduced a small creative section and it’s very positive so far.
I really like spirit forward cocktails like Old Fashioned, Negronis, etc. If I had to choose one, it would be the Old Fashioned. It’s so simple but at the same time complex. I judge a restaurant or cocktail bar by the quality of his Old Fashioned because you can screw it up easily.
6. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
The infinite possibilities are my main motivation! The entire world is our playground throughout the people and the ingredients. You can create anything and you’re able to share your passion with the customers. I am not so much into trends. I always create cocktails according to the season’s availability.
7. What’s your cocktail-making style? What are some of your favorite cocktails to make?
I would say that my cocktail style is clean, elegant and subtle. I always let the spirit speaks for itself and I make balanced cocktails. Any stirred cocktails are fun to make! I also like Sours because when the clients see the foam, it always looks so tasty and they can’t wait to have it!
8. What spirit is the sexiest to you? Why?
I would have to say gin. There are so many types and flavors of gin and I find that you can really complement them with multiple ingredients. I love to work with flower and plants and I find that gin is the best fit for these ingredients; my cocktails are always silky, smooth and elegant.
9. What do you drink as a shot?
10. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
Sea Buckthorn, carrots, lavender, orgeat, orange,
11. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
Romain Cavelier – I love the way he thinks. Less is more and he lets the ingredients and spirits speak for themselves like I tend to do. He’s also a great passionate guy.
Andrew Whibley – This guy has an incredible palate. His cocktails are always perfectly balanced.
12. If you could work in any bar in the world for one night where would it be?
Employees Only – NYC
13. Where do you head on your night off?
Atwater Cocktail Club, Midway, Huis Clos, Soubois
14. What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar?
Old Fashioned / Mezcal Old Fashioned
15. Do you have a funny bar story to tell us? What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had?
One porn star and one sex on the beach… on the same order!
16. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
MWL was my first ever cocktail competition 2 years ago. I placed last in the qualifiers and ended up working hard and taking the 2nd position for both the judges and the public at the Montreal’s regionals. I came back this year in order to challenge myself and work my way to the top. This year’s regionals were amazing and I was lucky enough to conquer the crowd with my Eden Garden cocktail. I’m very excited about the National Finals, it will represent the passion and all the work I have put in the past year to get there.