Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Bartender Diaries: Pablo Moix

Pablo shares his thoughts on being a bartender and bringing “fun” back into mixology:

“I’m born and raised in Queens, NY. My mother is from Barranquilla, Colombia and my father is from Caracas, Venezuela. I have been bartending now almost 16 years. I always did it as an in between job til I figured out what I want to do with my life. It allowed me to have my days free while I tried things like being a stock-brocker or starting my own T-shirt company. None of these things panned out so I'm still behind the bar.

Today, I think maybe I have been doing what I really want to do - I just never realized it ‘til now. I find bartending to be a selfless job - it is about "making people happy.” Regardless of a mood someone is in, when you hand them an amazing, or as my mentor taught me a "life changing beverage experience,” it puts a smile on their face. I love that. Nowadays, luxury is important and everywhere - even in cocktails - everyone is looking for a luxury experience both in alcohol delivery and fresh ingredients. I find that people are focused on being healthy as well so fresh ingredients brings to for cocktails.

I received formal training in Cocktail History, Recipe Execution, and Cocktail Bar Management from noted beverage consultant Ryan Thomas Magarian. Together we opened for The SBE Restaurant and Nightlife Group Katsuya by Stark Hollywood and Glendale, Foxtail Supper-club, and S Bar. Now I am the Mixologist for the One Group who has some of the most successful restaurants, lounges, nightclubs and hotels in the country that include Gansevoot Ny & Miami, STK NY & Los Angeles,
One Little west 12th, One Sunset, Tenjune, Kiss and Fly, Bagatelle, and Coco De Ville.

One of my biggest challenges is [bartenders] who think cocktail bars should be super serious places, guys in suspenders and 1920's mustaches, spirits no one has ever heard of but them and the 2 people in the room, super serious. I like provide a similar, if not identical experience, in a fun environment. There are people and music and, well, fun. Somewhere in this cocktail revolution it became cocktails first and fun is non existent. I'm trying to remedy that.

Its funny because Downtown LA trying to be NY, and that is not a good representation of what I believe California style cocktails are. I describe my style as “California Fresh,” balancing complex spirits and bitters with fresh, straight-forward fruit flavors that appeal to both the connoisseur and newcomer alike. In the future, I see myself consulting on a larger scale, internationally. Los Angeles is a small pond in the grand scheme of things I would like to spread my passion around the world.

When I'm not behind the stick or doing development I send all my time with my girlfriend and her son. They are the most important people in my life. Bartending is hard because it consumes so many hours of the day. I have considered walking away and getting a 9-5 but I love what I do. The thing I like least about bartending is people that don't respect us as professionals. I don't have a favorite cocktail per se. Currently, I'm really into rum and Tiki style cocktails. They are fun and extremely approachable and when made right, they are DELICIOUS!!!!!!

A historical figure I would love to serve a cocktail would be Simon Bolivar "the liberator" as he is known he freed 5 countries in South America from Spanish rule. That guy is awesome! My earliest memories is being in Colombia and seeing a statue of a guy on a horse with a sword in hand he looked bad ass, I asked my uncle who he was he said that is Simon Bolivar. He told me his whole story I have admired him ever since. I'm still waiting for someone to make the movie.

As far as mentors or looking up to people aside for what was taught to me by Ryan who I respect tremendously, honestly it is my staff or the people I have trained that now are not only being creative themselves but now have so much respect for what they do and treat it as a craft or and art. They are the people I admire today my staff at STK and One Sunset they don;t get the credit they deserve but they are awesome!!!”

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