Kevin Diedrich is Tales of the Cocktail's 2020 American Bartender of the Year. He's also at the helm of the American Cocktail Bar of the Year - Pacific Cocktail Haven in San Francisco.
PCH's reputation in San Francisco precedes it. But four years ago, when Kevin was still in the process of re-imagining the existing neighbourhood bar that would become PCH, a bunch of regulars were asking why he was ruining their bar. He said it was like getting punched in the stomach, over and over again.
But listening to Kevin speak about hospitality and service leaves nothing to the imagination as to how he's been able to push through that initial pain to become one of the emerging stars of the industry.
Fler avsnitt från "Living Proof: Conversations for Bartenders"
The Masters Series | Salvatore Calabrese
39:04Our final installment of the Masters Series features Salvatore Calabrese. Known as the Maestro, Salvatore has been mixing drinks for over 40 years. He's served the likes of US Presidents, Fidel Castro, Mick Jagger, Princess Diana and even Nelson Mandela. He also knows what it's like to being in every corner of the bartending industry. Over his career he's written books, sold barware, judged competitions, consulted for bars and brands, created his own products and mixed drinks to the point of mastery. In our 2019 chat with The Maestro, we discuss what it means to create a classic and reflect on 100 years of the negroni. “Simplicity is one of the [keys] of a great classic. And the name. Simple name, simple ingredients- ingredients you can find all over the world.” "It is worrying- we go further into our industry but we create less and less classics.” Salvatore also reflects on being mentored by Signor Rafaello in the early stages of his career. The lesson he learnt then has stayed with him throughout his career: perfect the art of reading a guest. It was a lesson he learnt after having a fish thrown at him."Every customer is different. So before you bring your sunshine to somebody else, try to understand what they want… It’s about making him feel comfortable in his own shell. And then maybe eventually bring him the sunshine.”In conclusion? "Remember that a great bar is made by people. It’s not the place that makes the place, it’s the people inside.”Tune in to hear all this and more on part 5 of the Living Proof Masters Series. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of those considered to be legends of the industry. Stay up to date by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
The Masters Series | Jim Meehan
44:33When he was younger, Jim Meehan wanted to be a doctor who wrote books. Fast forward a few years and, although he didn't follow the medicine path, his desire to serve others persists in what has been an outstanding bartending career. Oh, and he has two books under his belt, too. In this latest episode of our Masters Series, Jim discusses how his desire to 'lead' in the industry brought him to the brink of burnout. He talks of preparing for the marathon, not the sprint, and managing your career devotion. It ties into themes of health an wellbeing that persist in the industry today. "If you work in the bars or own the bars, there’s a curtain between the people who host the party and people who are at the party. That’s a dangerous line, I think." -Jim MeehanTune in to hear all this and more on part 5 of the Living Proof Masters Series. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of those considered to be legends of the industry. Stay up to date by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
The Masters Series | David Wondrich
49:02There must be some unwritten law stating that every bar worth its salt carries at least one copy of David Wondrich's Imbibe. Long accepted as one of the foremost authorities in the cocktail world, David Wondrich takes his place as the fourth master in our Masters Series. Our conversation with the drinks historian takes us as far back as 1850 with the story of Jerry Thomas, before flinging us into the future with David's views on 'restaurant-style bars'. "One thing we’re seeing a lot of here is a new relationship between bar and restaurant where the bar is in the driver’s seat. So you’ve got a full bar with a small restaurant menu as opposed to the usual, small bar with a full restaurant menu." -David WondrichWe'll also cover David switch from a 'miserable' junior professor to regular drinks columnist for Esquire, and how nobody believed that positive change was possible in the bar industry. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of hose considered to be legends of the industry. Stay up to date by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
The Masters Series | Philip Duff
42:40Our third installment of The Masters Series takes us back to 2019, when we sat down for a chat with industry great, Philip Duff. We kick off the conversation with Phil's bold step into producing, Old Duff Genever. Now the top selling 100% genever globally, Old Duff has provided Phil with an insight into just how far the liquor industry has to go. From there, we pick Phil's brain about the second cocktail revolution, global bartending hotspots to watch and his tips for young bartenders. Phil knows this industry inside out, so being able to pick his brains at length provided us with a wealth of insights. When it comes to bartending, he truly is a Master. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of hose considered to be legends of the industry.
The Masters Series | Gaz Regan
35:33Join us this week as we remember the late Gaz Regan. Gaz was brought up in British pubs in the 1960s, before he made his way to the US aged 19. Over the next five decades, he became a larger-than-life pioneer of the cocktail revolution - his impact epitomised by the popularity of his iconic finger-stirred Negroni. His books, such as The Bartender's Bible and The Joy of Mixology, have become some of the most-referenced texts of today's cocktail renaissance.Full of both hilarious stories and sage advice, our time with Gaz is always worth listening to again.
The Masters Series | Dale Degroff
27:55Nicole and Marcus revisit one of their first interviews with King Cocktail himself, Dale Degroff. He’s a bartender, author and “one of the world’s foremost cocktail experts,” according to in the New York Times. He’s worked some of the US’ best bars, written some timeless books, helped found award-winning training platform Beverage Alcohol Resource, and even opened a Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.In this episode, Dale, Nicole and Marcus discuss the cocktail revolution, the future of the bartending industry, and the test of a true bartender. As one of the most qualified bartenders in the industry, Dale's view of the bartending industry is fascinating. In The Master Series, The Living Proof Podcast will be taking in the advice, stories and opinions of hose considered to be legends of the industry.
The Year That Was: 2020 on the Living Proof podcast
42:27It’s been a year like no other, especially for bartenders and anyone in the hospitality industry. So for our final episode of 2020, we're taking a look back at the year that was on the Living Proof podcast. You'll be hearing snippets of a few of the conversations we were lucky enough to have in 2020, the first of which focus on the subject of wellness and balance for bartenders. We had some great discussions with Tim Philips-Johansson, Australia's most awarded bartender, and Mark Livings, CEO of Lyre's Spirit Co, about how and why young people are increasingly choosing to drink less. Then, we cast our minds back to when the pandemic first took hold of cities the world over, spelling a long lay-off for many bars. We hear from Dante's Liana Oster, who we spoke to back in April, and then Big Bar's Eugene Lee and Selene Martinez. Finally, we explore how the industry might emerge from the challenges of the year with a renewed focus on high quality customer experiences. Alex Ross, who opened the renowned Ginger bar in Melbourne, talks us through how she keeps the customer front-of-mind whenever she's working on a project. And Diageo's Global Cocktailian, Lauren Mote, describes how the front- and back-of-house are coming together to create guest experiences that go beyond the glass. And we couldn't look back on 2020 without re-visiting our hilarious chat with Artem Peruk of El Copitas Bar in St Petersburg - the bar that went from scrounging around to find enough chairs to open, to sitting proudly on the World's 50 Best Bars list.
#77 | The Juniper Canvas, with Stuart Gregor of Four Pillars
35:54Stuart Gregor is Co-founder and Trade Director at Four Pillars, the Australia gin distillery that's just won International Gin Producer of the Year for the second year running.
#76 | The courage to make mistakes, with Dushan Zarić of Employees Only
47:04Dushan Zarić is an owner and co-founder of Employees Only, one of the most recognisable hospitality brands in the world. To date, EO has operated bars in Los Angeles, New York, Singapore, Sydney, Hong Kong and Miami. Dushan himself arrived in the US from Yugoslavia when he was in his 20s. He had nothing but a "useless degree" and $2,000, but quickly went from working the door at a strip club to making cocktails under the tutelage of Dale DeGroff. Then, it was a loophole in the law that banned smoking in bars that saw him and co-founders Henry Lefarge, Igor Hadzismajlovic, Jason Kosmas, and Bill Gilroy devise the concept for Employees Only. Dushan's an advocate for working your way up within an organisation, and helping people realise that it's a privilege to be of service to others. It's this ethos and support that has seen Employees Only become such a rewarding place to work that staff members very rarely leave. Dushan explains: “At Employees Only, when you’re hired you’re encouraged to make mistakes. We want you to make mistakes … [otherwise] there is no chance for you to build confidence and feel like you have support. I encourage everybody to take responsibility and run with it. If you make a mistake - so what? .. so long as we are courageous enough to stand there, take responsibility, learn what we can and move on, feeling like we have support." “It’s a real privilege to be of service to people. It took me a long time to realise that. I was a really ego-driven maniac rockstar kid … it took a long time for me to understand why service is such an avenue for growth and personal happiness and contentment. And here's a couple more of our favourite quotes from what was one of our most thought-provoking conversations to date: “Anybody can make a good burger or a good cocktail. That will not differentiate you from anybody else. What will differentiate you is how people feel - I emphasise feel because most of them are not even aware why they prefer a certain place. … when you distill it down, it’s basically because you feel comfortable in a place and you’re not rejected.” “I’ve had plenty of people who’ve worked with me whose attention was on developing a different career - some art or becoming something else. And that’s fine. But when you find yourself in a situation to be serving others, I think it’s important to ask oneself: ‘How curious that in my life, at this time, I’ve been given this opportunity to actually be of service. This is not just a job that provides me with some money. It is an opportunity for me to learn something about myself.” Stay up-to-date at instagram.com/livingproofpod
#75 | Warm welcomes & fond farewells with Kevin Diedrich
40:14Kevin Diedrich is Tales of the Cocktail's 2020 American Bartender of the Year. He's also at the helm of the American Cocktail Bar of the Year - Pacific Cocktail Haven in San Francisco. PCH's reputation in San Francisco precedes it. But four years ago, when Kevin was still in the process of re-imagining the existing neighbourhood bar that would become PCH, a bunch of regulars were asking why he was ruining their bar. He said it was like getting punched in the stomach, over and over again. But listening to Kevin speak about hospitality and service leaves nothing to the imagination as to how he's been able to push through that initial pain to become one of the emerging stars of the industry.