The balance between romance and the hospitality industry is a complicated one. Madelyn Kay is a rising start in the cocktail scene and represents a lot of the complications brought on by technology. As a Speed Rack competitor, shaker and stirred at Vox Table, her career is building but at what social cost? This chat is broken into two parts, the latter being more up close and personal with Madelyn as she returns from a brilliant European trek. We chat texting, psychology, starting a family, and the future.
Salud Bon Vivants! Today's guest Whitney Hobbs cut her teeth with sandwiches and brunches before joining the Ancho Reyes/Tequila Ocho team. What started as a path paved in volleyball veered sharply into hospitality since mean coaches can really change the trajectory of one's life. A few stabs at academia and living the Rocky Mountain high later, Whitney stepped into yet another chapter of her story, the Texas chapter. With a great familiarity and passion of agave spirits and great cocktails, it's no wonder that she now traverses the states honoring some of the greatest spirits made today. We chat Snooze, love, Houston, and sacrifices.
Magic number 80, Trevor Schneider is another great mind and personality on the William Grant and Son's roster. He has seen a life of popularity, tragedy, and male persuasion. Talking to him you think Tom Cruise, but he has the mind of an insightful Tom Waits. An unexpected baseball injury propelled Trevor into a different stratosphere of sensory perception and future. He landed somewhere in the middle of the hospitality industry and now travels the world speaking the praises of Reyka Vodka. A captivating presence and wonderful person to get to converse with, Trevor is the guy you rally behind. We chat the meaning of life, vodka-bitters, JR Mocanu, and being attractive.
Music often spawns other creative endeavors and WG&S's Fred Parent is a true master of the arts. Aspiring screenwriter, musician, and gin peddler, Fred has an academia focused lens on the world around him. As the new Hendrick's Gin ambassador, Fred integrates his love of aesthetic, history, and the arts into a Gin-fueled roadshow. Often brandishing his massive cucumber, an eccentric blimp, Fred shares the nutty and Terry Gilliam inspired spirit of Hendrick's Gin. We talk typewriters, cigarettes, Thomas Edison, and the lucrative field of modern bartending.
This world traveler was literally born into this industry. Michelle Fedor is the lovely brand ambassador behind Bruichladdich and The Botanist Gin. Her varied interests have led her in many directions professionally but ultimately were never quite the perfect match that she now feels with Whiskey. But what about that moment when it's ready to give it all up and just hit the road? We talk materialism, Florida, Scotch, and great marketing.
The history of Ireland and Irish Whiskey is an eye opening one. Once the largest segment of whiskey in the world, now has had to reinvent itself and bring people back to Irish Whiskey. With great options and conversations, Irish whiskey sees a bright future; especially now that Jennifer Farrell has moved from Ireland to Texas specifically representing the wonderful Tullamore Dew. Jen is an ambitious Irish native that knows whiskey and wants to share a sip with each and everyone of you. Focused on studies, her master's degree, and a career that didn't involve observing consumer behavior in the grocery store with a clipboard, fate lined up and Tullamore Dew brought her to Texas to socialize the brand. We talk prohibition, Tully 12, youth, and the future of whiskey.
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.