A typical day?
I get to Hudson Kitchen just after two in the afternoon, perhaps with Porcetta in tow, and spend a couple of hours cooking up syrups, juicing, infusing, or otherwise creating those things that set a bar apart from a bunch of ingredients behind the wood. I like to be ready for service by half passed five and by one in the morning it’s off to the bar or straight home, really depending on the service itself.
How did you get started in mixology?
Rob Montgomery hired me at the Miller Tavern thanks to my pathetic recipe for a Manhattan built using Jagermeister in a pinch and, I suspect, because he wanted to convert a flair bartender.
Best advice you’ve received?
“We [bartenders] are the product.” – Aja Sax
If you weren’t a mixologist, what would you be?
I’d have joined the Canadian Armed Forces for sure.
Favourite cocktail to drink?
Corpse Reviver #2 – classic cocktail combining gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc and absinthe.
Least favourite cocktail to make?
Caesars. If you’re going to pick up six ingredients, make it worthwhile.
Most popular cocktail at HK?
In The Pink” a cocktail with strawberry-ginger infused Beefeater, Aperol, Cointreau, Galliano and lemon with a red wine float.
HK was a TIFF hotspot – what’s your favourite TIFF moment?
We had so many celebrities in during TIFF 2013, but I’ve got to say – Paul Giamatti is the best dude
A place in Toronto you’d be proud to take people to?
If you mean as a matter of CIVIC pride, I’d probably say Billy Bishop airport. It’s one of few active projects that make our city more practical for business and to keep competitive on an international scale.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Outside of Hudson Kitchen, my favourite restaurant is Le Bremner, in Old Port Montreal.
Your favourite Toronto neighbourhood and why?
I really like the simplicity of Liberty Village.
Least favourite thing about Toronto?
1998 Amalgamation (mega-city).