Mixologist Of The Month - Dom Dutch
- Date of Birth: 30th April
- Height: 5' 11"
- Birthplace: Chester
- Eye colour: Blue
- Nationality: British
"Most recently, I have been working as a Restaurant and Bar Consultant focusing on the Asian markets, this included a year in Japan open a restaurant in Kyoto and new menu development in Osaka. This led to a consultancy role for Fling Bar Services, where I was teaching a Professional Bartenders Course at a number of hotels in Abu Dhabi and London.
Due to the pandemic, all of the Asian borders are currently closed, so I’ve been helping my parents design takeaway menus for their B&B in Pickmere, Cheshire, with the aim to move back to Japan when normality returns."
Your claim to fame?
I was the bartender for Didsbury Gins successful pitch on Dragons Den.
Q & A
What do you as a mixologist think about beer? Any brews of note for you?
I actually started life disliking beer and it’s only in the past 5 or so years that I have developed a taste for it. I love beers with lots of character and flavour, stouts, wheats, ales and Trappists are now my usual go-to. I still struggled to appreciate lagers, but Budvar Tank Beer is a winner in that department.
If you could offer a couple of short pieces of advice to the average bartender, what would they be?
Always look to improve and develop. This is a philosophy I use in all aspects of my life. I’ve been in hospitality for 12 years and I’m still learning, whether it’s from a new books, colleagues, tasting session or courses.
Surely you have some pet peeves about bartenders -- care to share?
Don’t be pretentious. You might think a Pornstar Martini is ‘basic’ and it might be the 100th one you made in a row, but as long as guest loves it and leaves happy, that’s all that should matter. If it annoys you that much, try putting your twist on the drink and making it the best version you can.
As a mixologist/consultant, you work directly with many restaurants on their drink menus -- describe the parts of this process.
The most difficult part is securing the consultancy roles, it involves a lot of networking and getting to know the people in the decision making positions for the company. I’ve done this independently and for companies like Fling Bar Services and both processes are similar once you have the job locked in. It’s about understanding what the owner or manager want to create and making sure they’re happy at each step of the journey, ensuring their vision comes to fruition.
How did you get started?
My first bartending gig was at the Knutsford Wine Bar, a fantastic independent that really ignited the passion for this industry.
How were you trained in bartending?
The first formal training I received was the 2 week intensive training with Living Ventures, from then I’ve topped up with reading, watching and attending comps and talking to other bartenders.
Did you take any courses?
WSET Level 1 & 2 in Wine.
What are some trends you're seeing in the market?
Vegan (both food and drink), Tap cocktails before (lockdown), Bottled cocktails (during lockdown), natural wines, alternative liquors (baiju, awamori, shochu, soju etc).
What's your process for creating a new cocktail? And what inspired you in the first place?
I’ll always start by have a flick through The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit. This is a fantastic resource for flavour combinations. From there, I develop the concept, does it have a story or meaning to me? Followed by a great deal of tasting and tweaking.
What is your favourite cocktail To make?
A flip, it’s always fun to watch people as you drop a whole egg into their drink.
What are some of your favourite tools?
My Japanese knife set, and whetstone.
What is your favourite mixology resource?
The plethora of people I’ve met throughout my career.
What does success mean for you?
Quality of life.
What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
Lo/No, Hyper-local, and every fermentation under the sun.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully back in Asia, and back on the consultancy train.
If you weren't in the drinks industry, what do you think you would be doing now?
My parents both work in travel, so my first ambition was to be a pilot.
Your biggest career influencer?
Rich Woods - The Cocktail Guy.
First drink you ever tried?
Whenever we visited my grandma, I used to sneak a taste of port out of her decanters.
We've all had a bad experience with at least one drink. What drink do you most avoid?
Sambuca, with a vengeance!
Your hangover cure?
A Red Eye if I want to sounds cool, but really time, water and TLC.
£10m comes to you. What do you do next?
A food and drink tour of the world … and a PT
Bar or cellar at home?
My cellars coming along nicely, and has been very useful during lockdown!
Amarone della Valpolicella.
Sazerac – Equal parts Cognac and Rye.
Bar Shiki in Osaka - small, intimate and the epitome of Japanese bartending.
Dabbawal in Newcastle – a curry tasting menu like no other.
Taiwan – Beautiful country and mountains, amazing people, great food and drink, good value (everything you could ask for).
Train to Busan – best zombie horror film out there.
Even though I don’t agree with J.K. Rowling recent views, the Harry Potter series will always have a special place in my heart, and a tattoo on my ribs.
Back in Black – AC/DC.
Red Hot Chilli Pepper – All the nostalgia.