Why did you become a bartender?
It all started when I was 16 years old. I started working part time in the local pub in the outskirts of Manchester and then I went to Leeds to study contemporary art. During my studies, I began to work in one of the best cocktail bars in the north of England and it was there that I fell in love with the industry. Since then, my profession has taken me all around the world, to the Great Wall of China and trekking in the Amazon on the search for new botanicals.
What do you look back on with particular pride in your career?
In 2018 I was honoured to receive our industry’s two most prestigious awards: International Bartender of The Year at Tales of The Cocktail Spirited Awards, and Bartender’s Bartender at The World’s 50 Best Bars. I am the first person in history to have won both.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration can come from many places. It is important to keep an open mind when creating new serves. I have always been particularly influenced by the kitchen, especially when I worked for Global Culinary Director, Ryan Clift, at Tippling Club in Singapore.
What values do you represent?
I think one of the most important values for a bartender is Kaizen. It is a Japanese term which basically translates as “continuous improvement”. I try to apply this to all aspects of my life.
How will your ideas develop in the near future?
Watch this space!
What “effect” would you like your creations to have?
I would like my guests to leave feeling better than when they came into the bar. Hospitality is the most important element of a guest experience.
Do you have a first/early (childhood) memory that you associate with food or cooking in general?
One of my favourite dishes that my mother used to cook is her Lancashire hotpot, a very traditional regional dish in the north of England. It is pure comfort food for me.
What does partnership mean to you?
Partnership for me is about creating a unique connection. It is about working together in harmony to benefit everyone.
Why do you work with V-ZUG?
I have always admired how innovative yet functional V-ZUG are. They push the boundaries of what kitchen appliances can be. They are committed to the environment and the development of food and cooking experiences.
What do you particularly like about the collaboration?
I really respect that V-ZUG have partnered with me as their first non-chef ambassador. It shows that they aren’t afraid to break the status quo and that they truly care about all aspects of flavour and innovation.
Do you have a special memory or moment relating to your partnership with V-ZUG?
A couple of years ago, Ryan and I attended Chef Alps to represent Tippling Club. It was then that I was blown away by trying some of the incredible food by fellow ambassador Tanja Grandits.
What’s your vision for the next few years and what could the ambassadors do?
I think that we have the potential to really blur the lines of food and drink, kitchen and bar, to create some impactful memories for our guests.
“We Create Friendship” was our new hashtag for our anniversary year. What’s your spontaneous reaction?
Food and drink are for me the real source of creating relationships, either in a restaurant or in the kitchen at home.
From look and feel to smell and taste is our guiding principle: what treat do you particularly like to conjure up in the V-ZUG steamer?
I love to utilize sous vide cooking in the production of my ingredients for cocktails. It opens up a realm of possibilities for use with liquids.