Tatiana Nessier, Brand Ambassador & Sommelier, Alamos Wines
Tatiana Nessier was born in Northern Argentina’s remote and breathtaking Salta region, well known for its concentrated wines and rugged landscape. Partway through her university studies is when her passion for wine took root, and what began as a casual interest in the topic soon blossomed into an all-consuming course of study. Tatiana stepped away from her formal university coursework for two years to dedicate herself to sommelier studies at the Escuela Argentina de Sommeliers, where she learned the science of deductive tasting and mastered subject matter covering global wine regions, varieties, classic producers and trends. In 2012 she began working with the wines of Catena in Mendoza, hosting trade guests at the winery, and today represents Alamos wines at home and internationally.
After living and traveling in many places, Tatiana finds her current home in Mendoza—overlooking the spectacular Cordón del Plata with the Uco Valley just beyond—the perfect place. She enjoys gathering there with friends for asado, traditional Argentine BBQ, with which she frequently pairs Alamos Special Selection Malbec. When cooking, another favorite pastime, Tatiana likes making empanadas salteña, a classic dish hailing from her homeland which finds a terrific accompaniment in the crisp, refreshing character of Alamos Torrontés.
Daniel Choiseul Paguaga, Co-Founder & Head Roaster, Relentless Roasters
In today’s Behind the Bar, we’re once ahead back behind the coffee bar. We are serious coffee people and love that Miami’s coffee culture continues to grow and thrive beyond the ever-surging prices at Starbucks. Daniel Choiseul Paguaga, co-founder and head roaster at Relentless Roasters is helping to lead that charge and we recently caught up with him for a quick chat about his thoughts on all things coffee, Miami, and coffee in Miami.
Juanita Butler, Food & Beverage Manager, WunderBar at the Circa 39 Hotel
As the Food & Beverage Manager of the Circa39 Hotel, Juanita Butler pairs her passion for craft cocktails, fine wines and culinary arts with her vast expertise in hospitality management and excellent customer service.
Edgardo Texidor, Barista/Corporate Trainer, Juan Valdez Café
In today’s Behind the Bar, we’re doing things a little bit differently. Instead of the cocktail bar, we’re going behind the coffee bar. We recently met Edgardo at a coffee cupping session at the new Juan Valdez Café in Downtown Miami and thought his upbeat personality and coffee knowledge would make for a great interview subject. So, here we are…
Ben Potts, Spirits Practitioner & Ice Enthusiast, Blackbird Ordinary
First and foremost, Ben Potts considers himself a bartender. He is also a connoisseur of fine spirits, cocktails, and pretty much anything you can drink. He’s a Miami native with an undergraduate degree from Tulane University and an MBA from the University of Miami with professional experience in investment banking, hospitality management, and staffing. When he’s not learning and practicing my craft, he’s going to CrossFit and learning about technology.
Philip Khandehrish, The Setai Hotel
On this edition of Behind the Bar, we’re excited to highlight one of Miami’s leading bartenders, Mr. Philip Khandehrish of The Setai Hotel, who was recently named Miami’s most Imaginative Bartender by Bombay Sapphire. Philip won the title by creating lucrative libations like the “Empress of India” (name given to Queen Victoria who is on the label of Bombay Sapphire) among other impressive drinks. Philip is known for creating cocktails that use exquisite combinations and are equally as impressive in their aesthetics. Truthfully, any bartender who uses ingredients like avocado and black cardamom syrup (both present in the Empress of India) has rightfully earned his stripes behind the bar. Philip also received the title of one of Miami’s Top 10 Bartenders earlier this year by the Miami New Times, so the local community also agrees that he’s one of the best in town. We got a chance to chat with this celebrated bartender a few weeks ago and had a great time learning about his favorite hangover cure, his favorite thing about Miami, and his all-time favorite cocktail. Read on to learn more about Philip!
Josue Gonzalez, Bartender, Lure Fishbar
Miami’s own Josue Gonzalez has been in the hospitality industry since starting his career as a barback at Zuma Miami back in 2010. Over the past four years he has worked his way up the ranks with varying tenures at some of Miami’s hottest bars, restaurants, and catering and event companies (Truluck’s, Toscana Divino, Bartenura Moscato, Shiraz Events, 50 Eggs, Ball & Chain) before landing at Lure Fishbar, where’s been for the past year-plus. Josue recently competed in the second Botran Rum Mixology Showdown alongside seven of Miami’s best mixologists and emerged victorious with his ‘Guatemalan Flip’ being named Miami’s best original rum cocktail. His prize? Besides bragging rights, Josue will receive an an all-expense-paid trip to the Botran distillery in Guatemala, home of the premium, award-winning rum for more than six decades.
Gabriel Orta, Co-founder, Bar Lab and Broken Shaker
Gabriel Orta has been working in the food & beverage industry for over 12 years. A great passion for the art of the crafted cocktail and its potential to transform experiences brought Gabe and, business partner, Elad Zvi together in 2009 to form Bar Lab. Soon after the duo opened Broken Shaker, first as a pop-up, where they creatively adapted of some of the world’s most classic cocktails into new and exciting concoctions, becoming nothing short of a phenomena – and a permanent fixture on Miami Beach.
Bryan Canales, Radio Bar
In our innagural Behind the Bar post, we featured Ryan Goodspeed, Beverage Director of The Genuine Hospitality Group. Today, we are highlighting bartender extraordinaire Bryan Canales of Radio Bar in SoFi. His personality is much like what you’ll find at the bar: cool, relaxed, hip and so much fun. He’s a Miami native who has been with the Menin Hospitality group since it acquired Radio Bar, which has fast become a favorite among Miami locals. Read on to learn more about Bryan’s take on the bar scene as a Miami native, and why sharing an Old Fashioned with Abraham Lincoln would be right up his alley.
Over our first few months of blogging, we’ve introduced you to Miami Tastemakers and secured you exclusive reservations at the Chef’s Corner. Today, we kick off a new series that takes you Behind the Bar with some of our city’s best bartenders. Just as our city’s culinary scene has grown more diverse over the past few years, so has the cocktail culture. No longer solely a hotbed for overpriced, oversized, and downright nasty drinks (I’m looking at you, Ocean Drive), the Magic City now boasts a plethora of fine drinking establishments from the sophisticated cocktail club, to the craft beer hangout, to the hipster wine spot, to the underground dive bar. So, step up and pick your poison #MMTM readers… Cheers!