CPBA Bartender of the Month: Chris Chuy

CPBA Bartender of the Month: Chris Chuy
February 15, 2017 Simon Ogden

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Twitter time – describe your job in under 140 characters:  Get my ass out of bed, emails, emails, emails, calls and quotes, product testing and always working on new menu designs!

How did you get into bartending? What was the inspiration for your career route?  I was probably 6 or 7 at a cocktail party with my dad and his clients. There was a bartender mixing up cocktails and I was drawn to the bar because of how lively it was. I actually hung out with him behind the bar and handed him things when he needed “non-alcoholic” things of course. I have been in F&B for my entire life, I even worked in kitchens for many years, but I love FOH for the social aspects and bartending gives me the same creativity freedom I’ve had working in some kitchens. The bar is always the best seat in the house.

Is it barrels, carbonation or cocktails on tap? What’s the latest trend you see in bartending?  Cocktails on tap! People are batching delicious cocktails and streamlining them to make for quicker service. Just don’t skimp out on quality or presentation, then I think it’s a win/win for everyone.

 What’s the best part of what you do? And what’s the most challenging part?  Creating new menus REGULARLY! I’m often asked from clients to create custom cocktails specifically for pairings or specifically for them. Some of the challenges I’m given doing that is trying to design the cocktails to match a specific colour theme for their party/wedding. Challenge accepted!

 What is your favorite spirit to work with behind the bar?  Gin… but I love being thrown something new/different and see what I can come up with.

 Do you have a definitive cocktail style? Is custom a style? How about tailored cocktails?  Yeah… let’s go with that, cause it sounds badass. Tailored Cocktails.

What’s the most memorable moment you’ve ever had working behind a bar?  The time I don’t remember anything. Literally got day-drunk on a patio in the summer, got called in to work. Did the entire shift black out with my only memory being pulled aside later in the evening by my manager saying, “next time I get called to work, if you’re wasted, don’t come in!”.  We hugged it out after. I won’t mention a location or names…

What’s the next step for you when it comes to tending bar?  This year, I’m trying to build my own reputation as a bartender. Event bartending isn’t just beer, wine and highballs anymore!

Who’s bar are you most likely to be found at, and what are you drinking there?  I like to pop into a bunch of bars to say hello to friends in the industry. I wouldn’t say there’s a specific one I hang out at. I like to spread the love. If you ever see me, say hi and have one with me! As far as drinks go at these bars, I am a ‘dealers choice’ kind of drinker. I love trying out new creations.

What’s your go to drink to mix?  Keep it simple. Some citrus, little syrup, maybe some bitters if needed. To be honest, after a long day of work, I’ll just grab a bottle off my shelf of what ever I feel like sipping on and have it straight.

Fernet, Mezcal or Chartreuse? In order, 1. Mezcal, 2. Chartreuse, 3. Fernet.