Educating Bartenders Worldwide.
By Beverage Trade Network
Before moving to London in 2011 and kick-starting his career as a bartender, Jerome Allaguillemette ran a music venue in Paris, where he was born and raised. Over the years, Jerome has made his way through layers of jobs in London’s prominent bar scene working at establishments such as Lord Wargrave - Urban Pubs and Bars as Manager, BamBoo - Caprice Holdings as Senior Bartender, and now as a Bar Manager at Sexy Fish, where he’s been working since it opened in 2015 - and currently houses the world’s largest Japanese whisky collection.
The coffee shop I was working for as a barista after moving to London was turned into a restaurant and cocktail bar, so I had to learn the craft to keep my job. Got totally hooked and never looked back.
Being a bartender, when all hospitality is closed, is the biggest challenge at the moment. You've spent years learning your craft and skills, and it's frustrating not to be able to work. Now social media platforms give an opportunity to be creative and a lot of bartenders have found ways to share their experience with others through training, tutorials, etc.
Passion, commitment, patience, and a genuine love for people.
We have the world's largest Japanese whisky collection with over 430 different lines. Therefore we need to be very careful when selecting our spirits as we have a very limited amount of space left on the back bar. Quality of the spirit and how the brands match Sexy Fish are paramount elements in our decision-making.
Sexy Fish Bar Front, courtesy of Jerome Allaguillemette.
It is difficult to forecast trends with the industry in lockdown. Obviously, mindful drinking is a hot topic at the moment, but how mindful people will be willing to be when bars reopen is the real question.
All of it really! I have the chance to work with amazing people, in a beautiful venue, selling great products to a fantastic clientele. Add to this the opportunity to travel around the world to promote what we do and taste some of the best Japanese whiskies in the world. I consider myself lucky!
I recently really enjoyed the pit-master special series from Chef's Table and just finished Succession which I highly recommend.
I'd go for Chichibu, a small young Japanese distillery that produces some amazing whiskies. We've collaborated with them and released our own Sexy Fish single malt whisky which is aged in Burgundy red wine casks.
Work hard, be patient, study, read books, watch videos, and visit as many bars as possible. It is also important to remember that skills and knowledge are useless without a great sense and understanding of what hospitality is about.
My go-to drink at home is Whisky and coconut water, a banging combination.