Like Minded Creatures Vol.2
Like Minded Creatures Vol.2: three creative creatures, one bar, nine drinks , one night; what could possibly go wrong?
Check out the menu for my favo collab hosted during London Cocktail Week at Scöut
Like Minded Creatures Vol.2: three creative creatures, one bar, nine drinks , one night; what could possibly go wrong?
Check out the menu for my favo collab hosted during London Cocktail Week at Scöut
Watch my talk from the super amazing Grow Assembly in Melbourne
Check out my latest collab with supercool Above Board Bar in Melbourne during Grow Assembly 2017
Super stoked to have attended Grow Assembly in Melbourne; super amazing day of talks, training and interaction for the hospitality industry. The event is organised by the guys behind Bar Liberty and 2017 event’s theme was sustainability – whether it be mental, physical, emotional, financial or environmental. My talk was focused on education within bar industry and why we need to change the ways we teach young people to make drinks. Check out this awesome event!
Here is the White Russian Imperial Stout, quite obviously inspired by ‘White Russian’ cocktail and Russian export Imperial Stouts.
The recipe is very simple – a very traditional mix of Roasted, brown (similar roast profile to filter coffee beans) and pale malt with the addition of lactose for creaminess and coffee from our good friends at has-bean for well… coffee-ness.
Supercool deliciousness from Partizan Brewing, London!
On June 5th & 6th, we welcome you to join us for our ‘Gender’ symposium, recognizing the issues within our industry and examining how to embrace change, equality and expand this movement further. Check out the speakers line up here
Super stoked to be part of this supercool collabo with Luke Whearty (Operation Dagger, Singapore) and Matt Whiley (Peg+Patriot, Scöut, London). Three creatures from different parts of the globe come together for one night only to create a once off experience under Operation Dagger lightbulb Nebula.
On the picture is XP€NS1VE $H!T | Caviar, dill, acorn & white chocolate
Photo by @thedrinkseeker
Momento Mater is insanely amazing and super inspirational event our team attended last February. For three days, chefs, academics, artists, craftsmen, farmers and entrepreneurs gather in the Sacred Valley with the goal of understanding the interaction of multiple disciplines and how they relate to food. Thanks to Mater Iniciativa, the Inkaterra Hotel Urubamba welcomed nearly fifty professionals, each specializing in distinct fields to exchange ideas and receive information. In addition we participated in traditional activities of the region, like harvesting Andean roots and tubers, foraging for local aromatic herbs, making chicha de jora (an indigenous alcoholic beverage made by fermenting maize), preparing the huatia (cooking root vegetables in an oven made of rocks of dried earth), and the Pachamanca (cooking in pits dug into the earth), among others.
Check out the video of the world’s first drive-through immersive theatre experience featuring Simone & myself.
‘The Night That Flows’, staged within the immense space of The Printworks in London and saw 100 guests immersed in the story of one fictional night as it unfolded across five European cities: Berlin, Milan, Paris, Barcelona and London.
Each scene was inspired by key features of the C-HR.
The journey began in Berlin, where guests were transported through the streets of the city in the C-HR using projection footage captured at the Berlin International Festival of Light.
From Berlin, guests flowed seamlessly into Milan where they experienced their very own taste of a high fashion catwalk, complete with paparazzi. Following their catwalk moment, guests were led by Fabio Attanasio, Italian fashion designer and founder of ‘The Bespoke Dudes’, and Italian model Giorgia Palmas, into the backstage preparations of an Italian fashion show.
Guests were then propelled into a Parisian casino, where they joined an excitable crowd gathered around a roulette table, as French croupier Etienne Pradier invited them to take part in a game of chance. No sooner had they placed their bets on the roulette table, they were greeted by French rally driver Guerlain Chicherit, who led them in an exhilarating drive around a giant projected roulette table, showcasing the car’s driving dynamics.
Travelling through to the next city, Barcelona, guests were surrounded by a flash-mob style club scene, with Spanish DJ Cuartero leading the crowd as the soundtrack played out over the C-HR’s JBL sound system.
The journey concluded with guests arriving in a London bar, where they were greeted by us and Milla Jovovich. Bringing everything to life was a creative challenge, but we found our flow eventually… 🙂
Cook It Raw is an annual gathering of culinary luminaries who explore possibilities of cuisine. 2017 is the first year that includes bartenders and we are super excited to be a part of this adventure.
Cook It Raw programme showcases ideas, issues, people and ingredients that are fundamental to the iconic, site-specific cuisines in our areas of focus. Through immersive strategies, COOK IT RAW participants are able to examine local food systems, understand the narrative of the area, apply these ideas to their own work and become advocates for change.Providing an arena for true exchange, the gathering not only encourages innovation on the plate, but addresses environmental, social, and cultural issues as well. Moreover, by creating an opportunity for participants to share and develop their skills and knowledge, Cook it Raw leaves its creative mark on both: the chefs who travel and the cultural life of the host country.
Cook It Raw endavours to spark new personal and creative connections, that will not only help to preserve foodways in danger of extinction but will also influence the ideas and techniques of some of the most innovative chefs in the world, advancing, in other words, the very future of cuisine.
Cook It Raw gatherings are based around three different types of experiences.
This experience is all about the type, the use, history, provenance, production, adaption, exchange and knowledge about regional ingredients.
2. Cooking Methods & Techniques
This experience is all about the evolution of methods, regional skills, transfer of cooking skills, education, approach, history, cultural shift.
3. The local culinary industry: communication and presentation of food
This experience is about creativity, creating memorable experiences and the way food and culinary experiences can be communicated, represented, publicised, commercialized.
Awards and rankings have helped shape our industry, as well as the people in it. They have motivated bars and bartenders to push harder and reach further than ever before. They have built not only bars, but also entire bar scenes, brands and bartenders all over the world.
But has it now gone too far? Is our industry getting too obsessed with winning awards, forgetting that the biggest reward is a full house every night of the week?
P(our) London explores the attraction of the most sought – after accolades, what they really mean for their recipients, and confronts the consistent criticisms awards face about transparency.
We invite you to join our panel (TBA) for a discussion on January 23rd , 2 – 4 PM
Council Chamber at The Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, London E2 9NF
Earlier this year we’ve spent one week travelling, learning, exploring & researching ingredients in Lebanon to create a unique cocktail menu in collaboration with Jad Balloud and Varia Delalian. Follow our creative journey of travelling around Lebanon in search of finest local ingredients to create one off Lebanese only cocktail menu.
This is a unique collaboration; on 17, 18 and 19 November we are joining Ben Reade and Sashana Souza Zanella who with experience in some of the world’s best kitchens, food schools, creative labs and collaboratively run food spaces set up Edinburgh Food Studio, a space where they combine ideas, knowledge and passion, adding their points to the wider discussion on the way how Scotland interacts with food, and the science and culture that surrounds it.
For this weekend, drinks pairing is considered part of everybody’s menu, and the price for drinks and food will be £77.
Neither the food nor the drinks will be designed to pair with the other, but both will be developed in tandem. If you would rather not drink alcohol, there will be a non-alcoholic drinks pairing, with infusions, fresh juices, non-alcoholic fermentations and whatever takes the fancy of our team.
To reserve your spaces, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 258 0758
The theme of first P(our) symposium was ‘Modern Bartender’. Thanks to everyone who came; to speak, to listen, to support or volunteer. During two days we asked ourselves what does it mean to be a modern bartender? We’ve had some thought provoking, inspiring and interesting keynote speeches, presentations and we’ve served selection of limited edition one-off drink collaborations. Check out our website to watch videos from P(our) Symposium 2016.
We constantly look for new ways of serving drinks. Recently we’ve learned to manipulate surface of various objects that in normal conditions would not capture liquids. Check out our new serve in this video that allows serving drinks from both top and the bottom.
P(OUR) is a not for profit organization that aims to expand knowledge of drinks for everyone, make people drink better and turn interesting ideas into action.
Our aim is to organise an annual symposium bringing together bartenders, baristas, sommeliers, brewers, winemakers, distillers, drinks manufacturers as well as people of other disciplines to discuss past, present and the future of drink.
The first P[OUR] Symposium will be hosted in collaboration with Cocktails & Spirits in Paris this June. It consists of two days of curated talks by some of the world’s most influential bartenders and thinkers, presenting ideas on anything from the latest industry developments to the challenges we all face, reflecting on our shared responsibilities, stimulating action and inspiring others.
Alongside annual symposium we will create a platform and resource for learning. Around the globe P(OUR) will be hosting discussions and presentations that address issues critical to our profession and most importantly: we will record all events and share them on our online platform for free.
P(OUR) is devoted to exploring new ideas, sharing information, and exchanging inspiration.
Established in 2016 by Alex Kratena, Ryan Chetyiawardana, Jim Meehan, Simone Caporale, Monica Berg, Joerg Meyer and Xavier Padovani P[OUR] represents what we all have in common: as bartenders, baristas, sommeliers, brewers, distillers and winemakers, we all pour. The name is a union between the words ‘our’ and ‘pure’, and its purpose is to identify who we are and clearly define our goals.
Here’s a recipe for one of our new ingredients; Olive & Fennel liqueur that is amazing on it’s own and also blends wonderfully with champagne.
I personally recommend it with Fleury Blanc de Noirs, a real deal biodynamic champagne from Courteron.
OLIVE & FENNEL LIQUEUR (2016)
150g Cerignola Olives
300g Caster sugar
7g Malic acid
Chop olives & fennel and place with vodka into vacuum pack bag, seal and cook sous vide for 2 hour at 70 Celsius. Allow the mixture to cool down, open the bag and strain using super bag, or coffee filter. Combine with rest of the ingredients. Store in bottle, or airtight container.
TO ASSEMBLE AND SERVE
Place liqueur into fridge and serve chilled straight up, or on the rocks.
I think it is important to look for something new as a bartender. We define our work as a chance to discover new ideas, as well as learn about what has been around for centuries.
We’ve been incredibly busy since we left Artesian and our latest collaboration with Amaz restaurant from Lima, Peru took us to the heart of Amazon.
Named after Peque Peque, small wooden canoe used to access remote parts of Amazon river we’ve been investigating, exploring and learning about Amazonian ingredients & long forgotten techniques with chef Pedro Miguel Schiaffino, the pioneer of local produce and his team.
We’ve lived with local community called Bora, learned to convert poisonous yucca into edible one, discovered ancient fermented beverages, wild citrus tasting like Bergamot, foraged for wild fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs, barks and spices and utilised spikes of prehistoric trees as cocktail picks.
It was incredible to detect new potential, learn new things, put our lives in perspective and realize how much produce goes underused behind bars all around the world.
Wild Amazonian produce demanded us to rethink our approach to constructing recipes; our skills were put through test to create a cocktail menu within 48 hours for our collaborative night serving drinks & food from jungle.
I think of ingredients as words to express a cocktail language and our team has definitely returned with flavor vocabulary so much more rich.
Watch this space for exciting Amazonian recipes.
Last January, Simone & myself presented on future of drinks at Madrid Fusion, one of the biggest culinary events in the world.
Madrid Fusion is a half conference and half trade show held annually in Madrid, where some of the world’s top chefs showcase cutting edge, avant-garde techniques, recipes and ingredients. Magazine Forbes described it as an event ‘where chefs go to see the future.’ The theme of this years event was ‘Post-avantgarde’
Check out the official trailer narrated by Ferran Adrià
I am super excited about our latest collaboration with Fusionchef sous vide collection by Julabo. Founded in1967, Julabo is the global leader in precision fluid temperature control equipment. Cooking under vacuum has revolutionized food industry and I think it should become standard behind bars around the world too, accurate temperature, lesser herbs and spices, enhanced flavors and consistent textures, consistency, reduced labor, food & beverage costs. Free your team and impact your operation.
Check out the website and watch this space for more updates & exciting recipes from our team.
Time as a dimension is an active component defining bar experience.
Watch this interesting video from design event I’ve hosted with my team in London few months ago. The video presents Martin Kastner of Crucial Detail, Ryan Chetiyawardana a.k.a Mr.Lyan and Monica Berg from Himkok in a panel discussion encouraging thinking on how the idea of time translates into cocktails. Three interesting perspectives on time and its role in design, preparation, experience and tools we use. Enjoy!
Massive thanks to Crucial Detail for support and Bernard Zieja & his team for camera, sound, lighting & edit!
Today marks the end of an incredible era at Artesian for Simone and I. Thank you to our amazing team and everyone who supported us, it’s been a fantastic time! It was incredible pleasure and privilege to lead Artesian for the past 8 years and I will always be grateful to the Langham for its continued support and creative freedom we received. Even though we will miss our team, Simone and I are ready to pursue new challenges.
Read more here
This week I am heading to Greece for Athens Bar Show, 2 day event being held from 3rd November to the 4th November 2015 at the Technopolis in Athens. This event provides great platform for beverage professionals featuring new products, interesting talks, demos, tasting and seminars from world’s best. Our team will be very busy indeed.
Come to see my talk on 3rd November called The Push where I’ll explain why companies should encourage creativity across entire organisation instead of single departments, or simply pop in to Three Cents stand where I will be making supercool drinks using this 19th century inspired artisanal sodas.
On 4th November I am presenting with Monica Berg talk called Is Non-Alcoholic The New Vegetarian? We will explain why non-alcoholic cocktails are the next big thing and Moni will demonstrate her favorite techniques and ingredients to make insanely amazing non-alcoholic cocktails.
At night Monica & myself are taking over Clumsies and we will be serving exclusive 100% Aquavit only cocktail menu, supercool!
Discover Campari Academy, great platform for exchange of flavours and ideas. In this video I discuss ingredients, cocktails, travel and why you should always push forward.
Omnivore, festival celebrating gastronomy and passion for cooking featuring demonstrations, new trends, cocktails and creativity is finally coming to London.
For London edition I am teaming up with Wesley Pickering of Inkorporate to talk about why we are so thirsty for great designs. Design is no longer about designing objects; but it’s about crafting experiences and as society turns from material to experientially driven it’s no longer about objects presence, but about it’s role in that experience. We will explain why we collaborate, how we translate ideas into serves and why design matters in modern cocktail experience.
Our talk takes place on main stage, 3.50pm, 13th September 2015 in London.
When we develop new drinks at Artesian, our ideas are almost subconscious, even though we consciously create each drink. As a bartender, immigrant, and a traveller I find inspiration in equal measures from the world often right in front of me.
Combo consisting of Negroni and beer has been long time favourite of Simone, Monica, Andy from Partizan and myself; so I suggested why don’t we collaborate on beer inspired by the king of aperitifs.
The obvious thing to do would be creating brew fortified with Negroni, resulting in quite potent beverage. Instead we were so much more interested in the flavours itself, our aim was to create light beer with taste profile of Negroni.
Inspired by the iconic cocktail this beer is based on saison, which is brewed and infused with botanicals typically found in the king of aperitif cocktails (botanicals found in vermouth, gin and campari) It is coloured using cochineal insect, the original colouring agent of Campari with the huge bitterness coming from cascarilla, found in Campari also.
We drink it over ice with orange twist! Salute!
Here’s our tasting notes:
Campari like, neon raspberry colour with big citrus on the nose full of orange, fresh grapefruit and hints of juniper. Bright crisp and refreshing with bitterness of classic Negroni lengthened with rhubarb root, aloe, Nepalese pepper and Hallertauer Mittlefruh hops.
This year for our Tales Of The Cocktails ‘seminar’, we’ve made with Simone couple of trailers, one official, one unofficial. I hope you’ll have fun watching the videos, because we had lot of fun making it!
We are super excited about our new cocktail menu; launching 2nd July 2015 this year’s theme is Surrealism.
We will be examining functioning of cocktails & ideas in absence of reason. We will explore dreams & reality with element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions, and non sequitur.
We focus on interpreting what Surrealism could be in a modern bar, embracing iconic Dalinian symbolism, yet interpreting the liquid from fresh, innovative & unexpected perspective.
This year we are embracing 3 main elements of what makes a great cocktail: texture, function & flavour.
Texture is one of the most important factors to determine the success of a drink, the way it interacts with palate and whether the guest will enjoy the cocktail, or not. Utilizing contrasting textures is one of the best ways to add complexity to drinks and excite drinker’s palate. Because we work mainly with liquid it can be challenging, but we really like every single way of incorporating different textures into our drinks.
We will examine and question function of a glass, what it can be and what it could be. In bartending school we are taught to always serve Martini in a martini glass and Negroni always in old-fashioned on the rocks. To some extent I agree, but it very much depends on the expression you want from a cocktail. When we make drinks we think about every single element and to me all cocktails are enjoyed through senses; but also experienced & rationalized by reflection. The more we’ve been learning about drinks, the more we appreciate the role of vessel in the overall experience and how much it affects our perception of the liquid & flavor itself.
Making cocktails is to me like creating perfumes. Essentially it is about creating flavors & scents, which don’t exist in nature. It’s all about creating a synergy of different elements. The best example of flavor we are all familiar with, yet it is not present in nature would be Coca Cola, or Campari. We use these as reference to define commonly known flavors, but the overall sensation is actually result of combining many different ingredients. So how does one create flavor, which doesn’t exist?
Cocktail is a fragile art, an art of experiences and surprises. Cocktail is a place where one plus one makes three, not two.
Now after all of you have seen our Unfolding video, it’s time to watch some awesome unreleased footage, which didn’t make the final cut. In this clip you can see slow motion of Digidiva getting smashed into thousand pieces. Enjoy!
Artesian launches cinematic debut unfolding new ideas, exploring new territories and diving into the detail of each of our cocktails with cinematic poise. For this amazing collaboration we’ve teamed up with talented guys behind Luminiscent Drive as we wanted to look at our drinks and ingredients from slightly different perspective. The 5 days spent on the set was very amazing experience and reminded me once again how important great attention to detail is regardless the discipline.
The market with bar equipment is literally flooded with bar tools of various qualities and even though most pieces do the job, I’ve always felt something was missing for my needs. Because I wasn’t happy with mixing glasses available we set ourselves with task of creating mixing glass to our brief. For this particular project we’ve teamed up with finest Czech craftsmen and I asked my team: what would you do, if budget was no issue?
Our glass is much more robust, 35% more glass mass than market average using 100% Bohemian crystal with increased flexibility to prevent breakages. We added weight at the bottom, which together with specially curved base makes the glass not to spin around, when placed on wet surface, stainless steel, marble, or glass. One of the main criteria was to improve pouring spout as well as to include anti slip feature. Instead of going for crystal cut we’ve used our signature swirl finished with traditional and elegant sanding. Design is not about making product pretty after it’s been made, great design always seeks function in the first place.
Photo credit // Bernard Zieja
G’Vine is launching a global bartending challenge that seeks to pay homage to extraordinary people who look at life from unconventional perspectives. To enter you must upload a video explaining the reasons for your nomination and create unique G’Vine serve that in some way pays homage to them. G’Vine perspectives launches on March 30 and I’ve designed cocktail ‘It’s Good To Be Crazy’ in honour of Japanese architect Makoto Tanijiri. The full recipe bellow.
IT’S GOOD TO BE CRAZY (2015)
GIN | VERMOUTH | LIME | CYPRESS | CORIANDER | ARGAN
50ml G’Vine Floraison
30ml La Quintinye Blanc
20ml Lime juice
15ml Cypress syrup
4pcs Coriander leaf
3drops Argan oil
Glass | PARA by Alex Kratena & Simone Caporale
Method | Shake / Fine strain
Garnish | Argan oil / Verbena, Rose & Orange vapour
5drop Cypress oil
In nonreactive container combine sugar with oil. Place the mixture in pan, add water and simmer over medium heat. Allow cooling down the mixture and storing in airtight container.
VERBENA, ROSE & ORANGE VAPOUR
40ml Verbena hydrosol
30ml Rose hydrosol
15ml Orange hydrosol
Place all ingredients in vaporizer, evaporate the liquid and pour the vapor into Para glass.
There has been intense focus on drinks in last 15years, from beer to cocktail bars, from coffee to cold press juices and cocktail books. Lot of that happened thanks to the increasing interest in food and I think it can inspire us now as much as ever.
The initial idea why I started to travel and work for short periods of time in other peoples bars was to learn, share information and see how others operate their business. Working for free has been extremely rewarding and over the years I applied so many things I’ve learned guest bartending around the globe to our own operation, I sometimes wonder how I could have possibly been doing so many things wrong before.
In ever changing & dynamic world guest bartending turned into marketing activities promoting brands, bars and individuals and even though I am totally not against that, it makes me wonder what you can actually learn within 2-hour guest bartending?
This inspired us to go and join prep teams and countless stagiers in some of the best kitchens around the globe and most recently we’ve tagged along the team of Albert Adria. The time in Barcelona was the most inspirational days of our careers and apart from experiencing each of the restaurants, we’ve been also privileged to do all the tasting menus, learn about Bullipedia and visit El Bulli taller as well as workshop, where all bespoke tableware is produced. I think top kitchens are not only huge inspiration, but first of all learning curve how to improve the way we operate bars.
In the early days of Artesian I was convinced how important for us was to be more sharp & cool than any other bar in London, so I set myself with task of creating unique martini glass. Martini has been a staple of any great hotel bar in London and we still lacked our signature take on this timeless classic. In the process I’ve come across of small independent design studio called Inkorporate and instantly became friends with the guy behind this cool team, Wesley Pickering. What started quite slowly as one off project turned into partnership and many exciting collaborations. Today, my martini glass is one of the key elements of Tanqueray Ten global campaign.
Omnivore is French festival celebrating gastronomy and passion for cooking featuring demonstrations, new trends and creativity. Festival travels around the world to exciting destinations like New York and Shanghai, from Moscow to Istanbul and on the menu is now also cocktail stage with some of the most interesting bartenders in the world.
Next month, on the top of my things is presenting at Omnivore on ‘How alcohol kills creativity?’ I think the world is changing and we need to rethink our view on what makes a great drink. I am absolutely not advocating against alcohol, but I have big interest in alcohol free cocktails. The main question will be: ‘is non-alcoholic the new vegetarian?’
My talk takes place on Cocktail stage, 4.30pm, 10th March 2015 in Paris.
Unfolding is a collaborative project to unfold new ideas and exchange inspiration between the bar & kitchen.
Launched in 2013 by Chris King (Executive Chef, Roux at The Landau), Simone Caporale & myself, the Unfolding Dinner is an annual charity event that celebrates the union of food and drink.
Our suppliers generously donate all produce, all staff works for free and both dishes & drinks reflect given time of the year. As much as this project stimulates creativity and supports good cause, it is first of all wonderful team exercise. See our video below!
Watch the video from 2014 dinners, which shows how our menus are developed, 2015 dates to be announced soon!
Unfolding is a collaborative project to unfold new ideas and exchange inspiration between the bar & kitchen. Watch our trailer now, official video out on Saturday 21st February 2015!
See our video below!
Crucial detail is a multidisciplinary design practice based in Chicago, led by Martin Kastner, whose projects range from product development to graphic design, corporate identity, video, and photography. From this broad range of disciplines a common aesthetic marries beautiful form with simple, intuitively identifiable function.
See the video below!
Some of the work is available for purchase and Crucial Detail also accepts a limited number of commissions from people with interesting problems to solve. On the picture is my cocktail utilising Porthole, one of the iconic service pieces created by Martin.
Video on Crucial Detail is available here.
MAD is a not-for-profit organization that aims to build a community of cooks, purveyors, and thinkers with an appetite for knowledge and desire to improve restaurant trade. This annual gathering of chefs has an aim to recognize that the modern chef is faced with challenges and responsibilities that go far beyond the simple meal.
Last August I attended MAD symposium, it was very refreshing to attend an event outside the drinks industry and I encourage anyone to go. MAD is not your typical industry gathering. A renowned chef curates each program and as there is only one stage, everyone attends the same talk together.
Prior to the event we were required to complete homework and at the actual event everyone was split up into groups to discuss their part, than we had to record short video to summarize our thoughts. The speakers are some of the most interesting, influential and inspirational people in the business and each of the talks contributes to discussion and overall theme from different perspective.
MAD talks are viewable online, for free.
Earlier on this year I was privileged to gain access to the Perfume Institute in Grasse, France. It was a dream come true and the experience completely blew my mind! I was lucky to be able to meet with Mr. Bodife, the Director of Institute, as well as to spend a day with students at the laboratory and of course visit one of the producers of perfume ingredients.
Fool magazine, one of my favorite reads. The magazine is a creation of Lotta and Per-Anders Jorgensen: a husband and wife duo with years of experience in food photography, artistic direction and publishing. Fool is different to any other food magazine, taking inspiration from fashion, design and popular culture. There are no recipes, just serious gastronomy with touch of humour.