2016-2017 FINALISTS – JULIAN BERNARD

13 mai 2017
Name: Julian Bernard
Venue: fauna
City: Ottawa
 
1. Where are you from?  
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. 
 
2. How long have you been a bartender and how did you get into bartending?
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 then moved on to help open The Albion Rooms. This is where I fell in love with the craft of bartending. Gorgeous Group, a consulting firm from London England designed the concept and was responsible for our training. Hospitality specialists flew into school us on creation of cocktails, blending of flavors and knowledge of ingredients. I credit the foundation of my skills to these two.
 
3. Where/when was your first gig? How many bartending jobs have you had?
I’ve bartended at 4 different restaurants with a handful of private events on the side. 
 
4. How did you get involved with your venue?
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. 
 
5. What kind of cocktails do you serve at your bar/restaurant? What cocktails are your favorites?
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. 
 
6. What turns you on about bartending, what are the new trends that are exciting you?
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.
 
7. What’s your cocktail-making style? What are some of your favorite cocktails to make?
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. 
 
8. What spirit is sexiest to you? Why?
A nice balanced Amaro on ice with a little lemon zested over the glass. 
 
9.What do you drink as a shot?
The hipster holy water; Jamo. After a big meal, Fernet. 
 
10. What are some of your favorite ingredients to work with?
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. 
 
11. Which bartenders have been inspirations for you?
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. 
 
12. If you could work in any bar in the world for one night where would it be?
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. 
 
13. Where do you head on your night off?
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. 
 
14. What’s your favorite cocktail to order at a bar?
I’m not picky. Usually, like to leave it up to the bartender. Whatever they would drink. 
 
16.What is the most ridiculous cocktail request you had?
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. 
 
17. What got you into MADE WITH LOVE and how do you feel about the National Finals?
Proud to have made it this far but definitely not satisfied yet. 

Author: Enjoy Made With Love

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