Hungarian immigrant turned animator turned hospitality extraordinaire: Mate Hartai is a pensive and compassionate man. He has taken to the English language with eloquence and charisma. As beverage director at HG Sply Co, he is concerned about the well being of his employees and how they can sustain a safe/injury free career in this industry. He can design a better bar, and strives to enrich the lives of those around him. We chat Bowie, Mezcal, Dallas, and more....
Julian Pagan was infused with the spirit of music and invention from an early age. He traveled the states for love and ended up making a massive creative splash in the Dallas cocktail scene. With a constant quest for learning and approaching new ingredients, Julian has read his way to being one of the finest minds in the game. His recent chapter with St. Germain exhibits his dedication to great work and flavors. We talk hip hop, vinyl, champagne, Madrina, and Tony Romo.
The godfather of the Austin cocktail scene, Bill Norris. He's a published author, noted speaker, and modern mentor. His east coast personality brings about a clever terseness that has shaped his experiences in this intriguing journey. From teaching to politics, Bill has endured many sides of the human experience and ultimately found the perfect match in hospitality. Bill influenced the early days of the Austin cocktail scene and pushed into motion many of the trends that are commonplace in the best cocktail establishments today. In the latest chapter, Bill champions the brilliant concept and experience that is The Alamo Drafthouse. He invokes the intersection of amazing cinematic experiences paired with perfectly crafted cocktails. We chat health, english, pork rolls, and whiskey.
With a Steve McQueen rebelliousness and a Jack Kerouac sense of wanderlust, Adam Bryan has faced a lot of tumultuous roads and escaped them all. With the fundamentals in mop work, and hospitality checked off early on in his life in the Pacific Northwest, he headed to San Francisco, and ultimately Austin. As love has punctuated his life and created the new chapters, Adam's influence on the Austin cocktail scene is inescapable. He was at the forefront of the narrative, and continues to execute amazing beverages. We talk bureaucracy, walking away from a business, Mexico, and love without bounds.
Pardon the enunciation, JP De Loera deserves an introduction worthy of a fine emperor. Another brilliant compatriot of the William Grant and Sons roster, he travels the world speaking the praises of Milagro Tequila and manages to eat some chocolate along the way. From Mexico to San Antonio, JP has been focused on business, cocktails, and making the most important impact to the world of agave that he can. This unique chat traverses through the building of a bottle of Milagro Tequila. Chapter by chapter, we learn more about JP and more about each step of the process in constructing this fine Tequila. We chat politics, Havana Club, and making sure the agave locals are on the right stage as well.
Stefano Francavilla is the perfect blend of a rough and sarcastic exterior covering a truly compassionate core. A Milanese world traveler, Stefano has expertly adapted to his amazing global journeys and emerged as one of the most memorable personalities in agave. He's multi-lingual, a self proclaimed punk, and an absolutely lovely person. The exciting travels ultimately brought his story to a new chapter with Tequila Fortaleza. Stefano shares his passion and riveting storytelling to the world through the lens of tequila. We chat animal fostering, still-strength Tequila, and the unrelenting smell of curry.
A modern John Wayne, Jeramy Campbell resides as beverage director at Juliet in Austin, TX. He's the all-American hard working athlete, turned soldier, turned hospitality guru (in no particular order). Jeramy learned the manual labor trade at the early age of 8 and has used this time in the fields to craft an amazing sense of devotion and unwavering work ethic. He leads a great staff at Juliet and plans on taking his message to the classroom at the Bar Institute June 13th- June 14th with his class Poker Face: Making the Right Deals (with Brands) and Making Them Work for You. Learn more about the event and the class here. We talk about changes of perspective, whiskey, and Negroni week.
As we soon bid farewell to the studious Phillip Smith to the fine city of Chicago, it's great to recant the tale of how this Austinite became entrenched in the Dallas cocktail scene. The athletic and ambitious Phillip Smith was drawn to hospitality at a younger age and even became a cabana boy at the Four Seasons to work his way through the ranks. Bar Smarts, USBG meetings, and a Camp Runamok later, he now is building an amazing resume fueled by ambition and a dedication to his career. His next chapter begins this month in Chicago, and the opportunities are endless. We talk Mezcal, frozen Daiquiris, Parliament, and the Dallas "scene".
An academic path soon turned into one of creativity and hospitality as Elisabeth Forsythe found her true calling. Elisabeth has helped shape the cocktail scene in San Antonio and is one of the most tenured bartenders in the city. Her perfect blend of book smarts and cocktail knowledge come together in some of the best drinks committed to glass. From Speed Rack to Barbaro, Elisabeth keeps challenging herself and strives to give the best service possible. We chat grandma's, Raicilla, Uno, and more.....
It's a great thing that a San Antonio native helped found and continues to promulgate the San Antonio cocktail scene. Jeret Pena has seen the sweeping growth and transformation of San Antonio, and this Catholic school boy has affirmed his position as one of the founding fathers of its cocktail renaissance. Jeret has transmutated his love of music and singing into a great appreciation of flavor and hospitality. As an owner of some of the best bars in San Antonio (and the country), what's next and how can Jeret help promote his love of hospitality? There are growing pains, and challenging gains, but ultimately Jeret is a man of the people with a brilliant back story. We talk Depeche Mode, fatherhood, and being nice to guests.
Shrewd pragmatism drove the uber-intellectual Jake Lustig into the world of agave. A native of California and frequent traveler to Oaxaca, Jake Lustig has been at the forefront of agave sustainability and spirits education. Raised in an impressively academic household, Jake learned how to make a living at a young age and always paired passion with a sense of cost effectiveness. This adaptability and shrewd entrepreneurialism has been the guiding thread of his career. As sales director for Haas Brothers, Jake continues to bring great spirits into the US and preach the wonders of agave while always making sure we know the environmental toll of the category. We chat Enrique Fonseca, hustling, and political diversity.
As a celebration of his 40th birthday, today is Chris Bostick day on SDV. A true all-star and mentor to the industry, Chris has many unexpected turns in this cinematic tale. From music to drama to hospitality, the spark of creativity and inspiration remained a constant thread. His Tex-Mex subplot drove him to connect with one of his true loves, agave and unexpectedly shaped many aspects of his career. From NY to LA, Chris' voyage perfectly prepped him to open the Austin cocktail haven Half Step with industry iconoclast Sasha Petraske. Despite the losses Chris has felt in this riveting story, his head is up and he's working on the next great project. We chat Mezcal, Phish, NY, and the realities of divorce.
Hockey, basketball, acid burns, and mezcal are only the beginning to this fruitful chat with Vancouver native Jonathan Smolensky. A serpentine road of broadcast journalism, hockey curriculum, and a genetic prosperity to understanding economic theory led Jon into the wonderful cocktail culture of Vancouver. Although he wouldn't admit it, Jon helped shaped the narrative of hospitality and craft cocktails in Canada. His bar talents eventually transitioned into business owner and Jon now operates Sovereign Wine and Spirits which brings some of the world's greatest spirits into Canada. We chat the Eagles, ageism, and what time management is all about.
The world is a crazy place and sometimes you can't shake the path on which you were raised. Ashley Haussermann started as a Hotel owner's daughter in Canada and touched with various types of performance arts in the process. Understanding the turmoil that surrounds divorce and substance abuse, Ashley has finely crafted her ambition to ensure success in any road she takes. As she just now leaves Austin, TX after a great impact at The Roosevelt Room and Vox table, what will her life have in store as she lands in NYC? Soon to be consulting and writing under the moniker the Drink Duchess, Ashley will pave a great path in the globally influential NYC cocktail scene. We talk gourds, greetings, love, and start ups.
This is the latest from Show de Vie, Jonathan Wingo is the brilliant Balvenie brand ambassador for William Grant and Sons. His passion for music and ruckus steered his life in very exciting directions. A conservative Christian upbringing became the impetus for a deep interest in something else, something wilder: punk rock. This musical foundation inspired creativity and ultimately coincided with the perfect Jack&Coke to unleash a deep interest in whiskey. Erudite, fun-loving, and resident Saddle Creek fan, Wingo loves to learn. As a Forbes 30 under 30 nominee, Jonathan only started to see his career in the whiskey industry emerging. He nows travels the world sharing the wonderful line up of Balvenie whiskey. We talk Tim Kasher, Connor, ethics, having beards, and the lovely label mates at William Grant and Sons.
It takes a lot to start a distillery. It takes even more to put your life into mastering the flavor of Whiskey. The passion, education, and sheer sweat equity you put into your business cannot be described. So imagine that someone wants to take this all away from you? This chat with Chip Tate is a frustrating and an optimistic one. The media has portrayed his departure from Balcones in a such misanthropic way. I hope this conversation dispels any of the rumors and serves as a cautionary tale of business. Beyond the whiskey mastermind lies a wonderful father committed to his family, and a utilitarian that will succeed at anything he puts his mind to. Chip is a deeply intelligent man who thinks about the details that can perfect a spirit. His knowledge of barrel chars, fermentation, and raw material processing is astounding. He's an encyclopedia of knowledge and it was a humbling conversation to say the least. We chat agave, science, strip clubs, and wonder why people trust us the way they do.
With wild talents in brass instruments, magnet school curriculum, and LSAT studying, June Rodil has succeeded at each new challenge she's approached. She's driven, brilliant, and fun to sip with. June is a Philippines-> Texas native that has embraced a life of knowledge and education. June is one of only 23 Female Master Sommelier's in the world and despite the grueling process of obtaining this credential, she's not done aspiring for the next thing. June's rich pedigree in the hospitality industry has led her to her most ambitious role yet as Beverage Directory for McGuire Moorman Hospitality Group. Her exemplary attention to detail helps Jeffrey's, Perla's, Josephine House (and others) produce some of the best beverages in Austin. The long-awaited "June's" becomes the latest experience from MMH, but also an homage to June herself. The anticipated wine bar becomes yet another journey and another chance to learn. We chat nerdiness, Netflix, and nuance.
It's Wine week at SDV! I know sometimes the show tilts more towards booze, but this enlightening chat captures one of the most influential wine personalities (and overall lovely beings) in the culinary movement. Paula is a drama loving, New York imbibing, wine savant. Her careers spans decades and has involved many wonderful experiences across the globe. We are lucky to have her back in Austin after nearly losing her to the gargantuan wine culture of NYC. But with a new title and a countless list of opportunities with La Corsha Hospitality Group, Paula is ready to start the next chapter in Austin, TX. She's courteous, intelligent, and a real pleasure to chat with. We talk Are You Being Served?, arrogance, the growth of Austin, and how wine folks aren't that bad after all.
Iain is the "Norm" of the industry. We all want to hang out with him and we all want to know his name. He's managed to deliver amazing flavors and brilliant concoctions across the bar in White Lyan and Dandelyan in London while never showing signs of stopping. At an age just shy of 30, Iain is innovating in every way possible. His zero waste and high flavor efforts at White Lyan in London make it an international destination and his genius spawned from necessity is giving way to some of the finest cocktails in the world. Iain's career has garnered a seat at the international table of hospitality and his simple yet cerebral approach to flavor is far ahead of the pack. We chat Australia, catering, bourbon, and how apologies are so very endearing in the name of love.
Texas couldn't be more thankful for New York sending over their talented hospitality pro, bass guitar fanatic, and overall music lover, Omar Yeefoon. The NY transplant has delved into music, touring, academia and bartending while emerging one of the brightest talents in the game. With a checkered history in the Dallas cocktail scene, Omar now helms 86 Co in the region as the Texas Market Manager; where he pours quality rum and speaks the praises of this brilliant portfolio of spirits. His warmth is massive and maybe someday a new album is on the way from this jack-of-all-trades. We pet dogs, sip rum, and chat about the Descendants. Sounds like a great time right?
The week of Brazil continues at SDV! This time we dive deep into the other rich libation that we so often imbibe: coffee. Joel Shuler is a soccer prodigy who's knee injury set him on an amazing journey of exotic occupations and travels. As his Kipling-esque life kept bringing him back to Brazil, Joel set out to find amazing high-quality Brazilian coffee because someone told him it didn't exist in the states. Again, passion and necessity spawned the beautiful Casa Brasil in Austin, TX. A coffee haven, and the once pulse of Brazilian culture in Austin, that imports the finest Brazilian coffee and show now signs of slowing. The evolution and delicious endeavors of Casa Brasil also brought brewer/troublemaker Eric Wolf into the mix to roast, to create, and to deliver great flavors. A hospitality expert and ex-assistant brewer to South Austin Brewery, Eric brought the perfect set of skills to elevate the already incredible flavor profile of Casa Brasil's labels. We chat rum, back soccer movies, and getting into trouble in Waco.
Military, music, and mixology: Nate Casablanca Whitehouse is the science/art hybrid that we see so often in this industry. Good with music, but also good with details. NCW's sobering realization that he didn't want to be a musician anymore turned into a successful foray into law and booze. What was created out of necessity, Avua Cachaca became the answer to the more aggressive Cachaca's in the US market. With its impeccable design, lush flavor, and beautiful expression of the Brazilian terroir, Avua soon rose to the ranks as the best cachaca available in the US. A few years later, there are lessons learned but still so many opportunities for education.. We talk divorce, chemistry, distilling, and true generosity still present in our fellow man.
Hardcore shows, pizzeria bussing, and softball umping seem like a disparate blend of activities, but Daniel Kutch has parlayed them into a thriving career in the bartending industry. A California native with a keen interest in learning, Daniel has been manning Maven in San Francisco for over 3 years now and at the ripe age of 25 is joining us in Austin to guest bartend at The Townsend this Thursday. He's got lots to learn, but no more eager and willing a student will you find. Daniel is well traveled, well spoken, and entrenched in the well; not to mention he will be making 3 special drinks at The Townsend (718 Congress Ave, Austin, TX) on Thursday, April 7th in conjunction with Collectif 1806 from 4p-12a. We chat serial killers, tattoos, and being at the right place at the right time.
Bonjour Bob King, may your travels be fruitful. The 12 year Austinite has just left to start a new chapter of his life in PDX. The music prone, cocktail prone, and humor prone Bob King is an all American guy from Katy, TX. From Eastside Showroom to The Townsend in Austin, TX, Bob has left an amazing imprint of the lives of those around him. His sarcastic delivery and loving connection with the industry makes his departure a sad blow to Austin, TX. Sometimes love changes and deforms, and sometimes leaving it all behind to start something new is the most poetic way to punctuate an ongoing story. We talk Bourbon, guitar, Austin, and matchmaking.
This is a chat about Mezcal, this is a chat about being involved, but moreover, this is a chat about how you can have your voice heard in the debate over NOM-199. Misty is a purveyor of truth, ethics, and passion for agave. We discuss the current legislative threats to the state of the agave spirits that inspire us so deeply. Misty disambiguates this verbose bill and allows us all to make an educated choice on the issue. She embraces the midwest humility while still retaining an amazing academic pedigree. Her story is punctuated by distinct moments of clarity and learning. From a master's program at Harvard to emerging as a global personality in the field of mezcal for Del Maguey, she has experienced agave and the brilliant people that produce the best Mezcal in the world. We make jokes, sip Mezcal, and applaud Evan Meeker's professionalism. The time is now to passively engage a single petition to truly influence a classification of spirits that affect us deeply. Mezcal is pure, passionate, and is one of the finest conduits to the earth we inhabit. Please weigh the consequences and leave your mark here