In this episode we have the amazing Justine Baker joining us – Justine is the CEO of the Solotel group, which includes iconic venues such as the Opera Bar, The Golden Sheaf, and Kings Cross Hotel to mention just three of the ca 30 venues that form part of their business. I first met Justine a year or so ago or so when I was looking into how we could improve the number of female managers and leaders across our bar and restaurant business, and the conversation we had then left me super inspired and I have wanted to interview her for our Podcast ever since. Whether you’re just starting out in hospitality or you’re a manager or an owner yourself, there is a lot to learn from Justine’s approach to hospitality, management, team building and just life in general.
In this episode, we have Dave Spanton joining us. Dave is the founder and managing Director of the Spanton Media Group, which includes the Australian Bartender Magazine, Sydney Bar Week and the Australian Bar Awards, to mention just a few of the things he runs. If you work in the Australian Bar industry, you should know of this guy. Dave launched Australian Bartender Magazine 20 years ago this year, and the mag is still going strong and remains a key pillar and driving force in the Australian Bar Industry today.
In this episode we have Anton Forte joining us – Anton is the founder and owner of the infamous Swillhouse group of bars and restaurants which now counts a total of 5 venues in Sydney. Bar nerds are bound to have heard of his first venue, Shady Pines Saloon as well as his famous whisky and cocktail bar Baxter Inn which has won numerous awards and also made it into the top ten list on the World’s Best 50 Bars. Foodies will no doubt know of Hubert, a two hat restaurant in Sydney CBD which won Gourmet Traveller’s Best New Restaurant of the Year.
In this episode we have Kylie Javier Ashton joining us. Kylie is the General Manager for Momofuku Seiōbo in Sydney – one of Australia’s most famous and renowned restaurants – and is also our curator for our Customer Service modules on Ananas. In addition to Momofuku she also has a hand in managing the wine list for her husband, Luke Ashton’s, award winning cocktail bar: This Must be the Place, as well as taking part as a judge in the Appetite for Excellence Awards, and participating in a number of other industry initiatives.
In this episode we have Phil Bayly, for those who don’t know, widely considered to be one of the greatest experts on Tequila and Mescal in the world – which is why he’s also the curator for all our Tequila and Mescal training content on Ananas. Phil has even been appointed as an official Mescal Ambassador by the Mexican Government, and was the first person in the world to receive this accolade.
In this episode we have Simon Ford joining us – Simon is the founder and Managing Director of the 86 Co, a boutique spirits company which launched in 2012, and includes amongst other brands the award winning Ford’s Gin. Simon Ford has to be one of the most highly regarded bar professionals in the world. He won the prestigious title for International Brand Ambassador of the year at the Spirited Awards at Tales of the Cocktail as far back as 2007, and then again for US Brand Ambassador of the Year in 2009, both times for his work on Plymouth Gin.
In this episode we have Jacob Briars the global advocacy director for Bacardi, and one of the most well liked and highly respected bar professionals in the world. Although originally from NZ, Jacob is currently based out of the U.S, but managed to find some time to pop into our Ananas office on a recent visit to Australia.