Fine Art Bartending’s Instructor Hall of Fame
Over the years we have had some really great bartending instructors. Bartenders are a very mobile group of people with always something shiny and new to move on to. Considering we hire bartenders to teach our students what to expect from the industry today, it makes sense that there is a little turnover on even the teaching side of things. Considering the time we put into training these great teachers, and the number of students they have shared their knowledge with… we capture their profiles for posterity’s sake. This isn’t of course also because students seem to forget who their instructor was 🙂
Al got started bartending while studying Anthropology and Economics at UBC. Originally from Ontario, Al wanted to break into bartending so he took a course just like this. In just a few weeks he began slinging drinks at the well renowned Pit Pub and Gallery 2.0 Lounge. After going from busser to manager in just a couple years, Al moved on to making drinks at the Shark Club for the crowds needing a drink before and after events at Rogers Arena and BC Place.
Most recently, he was working the bar at Tap Shack in Coal Harbour while working through his WSET certifications. Currently, Al has his Level 2 in Wine and Spirits from WSET. Al has a passion for wine, and a knowledge of how to pump out drinks in quantity. Bartending is also about quality, and personality and over the course of a couple weeks he will be sure to step you through his adventures behind the bar.
Al also occasionally leads our Wine Tasting Seminars too. Come check out one of these classes where he really gets to dive deep into a topic he is very passionate about… that isn’t basketball related.
Allan is a born and raised Vancouverite! He has worked everything from high volume bars and nightclubs to upscale restaurants. Over the last 10 years he has been working 40+ hours each week in the food and beverage industry with extensive time as both bartender and bar manager. If you’ve been to Library Square, C Restaurant or the nearby St. Regis Bar & Grill or more recently The Flying Pig, you may have seen him in action.
Allan is a fan of classic cocktails and has developed and implemented many new cocktail lists. He is particularly a fan of a well made Manhattan and will be quick to point out how that spirit-forward cocktail comes together.
Allan is also currently working at the Dockside Restaurant on Granville Island. If you happen to be on that end of the island, you might find him catching some sun while working the patio.
Lamont has been mixing drinks for over 15 years in New York City, Toronto, Jamaica, Brasil, and right here in Vancouver. He has worked in a spectrum of bartending environments: tiny Mom ‘n’ Pop neighbourhood joints, family and fine dining restaurants, vacation spots and hotels, huge multi-level 3000+ party-goers high-volume nightclubs, catering events from private-home cocktail parties to large-scale events such as Ralph Lauren’s birthday party and the Vancouver Mayoral Gala… the list goes on.
He has loads of stories, advice, and tips on working in the hospitality industry, with a focus on customer service – smiles and personality go a long way to earning those tip dollars! Whether you’re looking to pick up some skills to impress your friends at parties, or to begin your job search, LJB provides an environment in which students will gain a firm grasp of hands-on techniques and mixology, paired with knowledge of wine, beer, and spirits. Lamont now has his Level 1 Award in Spirits from WSET.
Also an Actor, in addition to his degrees in Theatre, English, and Cultural Anthropology, Lamont was also the youngest instructor at a bartending school in NYC. We now have him as a part of the Fine Art Bartending team to help guide and coach aspiring bartenders in how to succeed behind the bar. What does he like for a cocktail? The Godfather is among his favourites.
Angus comes to us from the quaint small Scottish city of Glasgow! With over 15 years of industry experience, from stocking shelves in Scotland at a cold beer and wine shop to most recently bar manager at Sneeki Tiki on Granville before COVID-19 hit and shut the downtown tiki bar.
He is quick to state he is much more of a gin lover, than whiskies. We agree that everyone likes something different, and we aren’t quick to judge! Angus knows his whiskies though and in addition, he really likes to talk about aged spirits like rum. He also really likes to talk about tiki drinks.
Angus recently relocated from Scotland to Vancouver, looking to spend more time on our sunny West Coast beaches. With a degree in genetics and diploma in culinary arts he is perfectly suited to understanding how a great cocktail comes together. You might find him now as the Bar Manager at Black & Blue!
Kam started bartending when he was attending UBC. When working on his masters degree in engineering, he picked up a few regular shifts pouring beers for grad students at Koerner’s Pub. It wasn’t until he was done with his degree that he decided to do the bartending course with us at Fine Art to expand his cocktail knowledge.
Kam continues to practice engineering throughout the week. Bartending is a hobby for him, and he has spent evenings and weekends making cocktails. He has been spotted behind the bar at Canadian Brewhouse and Grill in Richmond and more recently at Ancora Fine Dining in West Vancouver. Recently he had Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel pull up a seat at his bar for a Negroni! Have a look for him now at Ancora Waterfront Dining – False Creek.
Mike has been making drinks for more than 15 years now. He has spent time in the UK as well as around Calgary and Vancouver. Starting out as a sous chef, Mike moved to bartending and managing at an early age. He has spent time as a bar owner, which brings along a lot of stories. In addition, he has managed at places like Marquis on Granville Street, Sky 360 in Calgary Tower as well as just bartending at a few smaller pubs in and around Vancouver.
He has been very diligent in keeping up his flair skills over that time too and now puts those flashy moves on display in our 4-hour working flair bartending class. Mike can teach you a thing or two about some simple moves to boost your tips behind the bar, plus get into the more complex actions of bottle flipping for competition type flair. It is pretty amazing to see him in action, so be sure to add the working flair seminar to your list of classes to take at Fine Art.
Ileana has been bartending for over 15 years now, mixing drinks in Alberta, BC and Australia. Originally from the nearby Prairies, she started out on the floor as a server, then made her way behind the bar at a nice little resort in BC’s Fraser Canyon. A couple years of pouring beer in a small town and she was ready to explore the world, starting first with Australia.
Her resume includes fancy titles like Lounge Bartender and Shot Specialist. Be sure to ask her also about fondue! She also has done a little stand-up comedy, film school with a focus on acting, plus graded lumber at a lumber mill. A wealth of knowledge and experience.
Matthew has a passion for the fundamentals of cocktails. Originally starting his working career in sales and management, Matthew found his skills are better suited to mixing drinks. After moving to Vancouver, he started his cocktailing career at the convention centre. After a stint doing event bartending, Matthew headed out to UBC to mix up drinks for the university crowd at the Pit Pub and Gallery 2.0 (yes, he worked with Al).
The university pub crowd was exciting, but Matthew moved on to fine dining at West on Granville. Here he was able to explore the intricacies of cocktail creation for a high-end crowd. A short stint at Glowbal followed that, with many stories. His most recent bartending gig was just down the street at Darby’s.
Matthew has seen a ton of different work environments, knows his whiskies and has a wealth of information to share… plus some easy resume and job hunting tips.
Graham brings over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry, including bartending, managing and even kitchen experience to the table. He has always had a passion for teaching, which makes him a natural. Trained as a chef, Graham moved to bartending as a means to satisfy his desire to mix and mingle various ingredients. He started his bartending career in Calgary at a little place called the Milk Tiger Lounge and after growing tired of the long, cold winters he packed his stuff and came out to the coast.
After moving to Vancouver, he landed in the craft cocktail scene working a few different venues in Gastown including the prestigious Revel Room. In addition to those smaller venues, he has also worked the bar at Chill Winston and Guilt and Co. as well as Vancouver’s classiest strip joint Brandi’s. Graham did a bit of juggling as a kid, and has incorporated that dexterity into a bit of flash and flair behind the bar. Years of entertaining customers definitely helps when now applying his skills as a bartending instructor.
His first day walking into 432 West Pender, he felt like he was home. Now Graham is ready to impart a little of the bartending wisdom gained over his years. Did we forget to mention he is also an artist? Maybe we will have a mural or two on the walls before long.
Jon has a decade of experience in the restaurant industry, having served and bartended in restaurants and bars in both Edmonton and Vancouver. He also tours Canada as a standup comedian with Yuk Yuks in addition to doing gigs right here in town.
Jon got started in an Italian restaurant, which gave him a crash course in all things wine related. In addition to wine service, Jon also tended bar and perfected the martini for those very particular customers. After a few years, Jon was ready to move to the west coast to pursue new opportunities.
Jon landed at Moxie’s while developing his stand up routines, then moved on to Gastown’s Revel Room for a great new change of scenery. He now spends nights as a bartender manager at Rogers Arena and gets his choice of hockey games or concerts to work. If you are lucky, you might catch him doing a little standup across the street from the school at a club downtown.
Jeroemie has over 20 years of industry experience, which includes 5 years of dedicated teaching at Fine Art Bartending. He now spends his time behind the bar at high end hotels. He was last teaching specialty classes like our Intro to Bartending class.
At the age of 18 Jeroemie went to Bartending School in Toronto, and then got to work right after. He spent the first few years of his career working in various nightclubs throughout Ontario and Quebec. This even included a stint at Toronto’s famous Dock’s Nightclub. He soon realized though, that with the skill of bartending, he could set out to see the world.
Jeroemie’s bartending travels started in Britain working in various pubs throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland. Then when he’d seen his fare share of the UK, he moved on to see the rest of Europe. Gigs included working at all kinds of hotel bars across the Mediterranean. He even worked the bar on cruise lines occasionally to get from one country to the next. Jeroemie also took his skills down under, pouring pints all over Australia including at the world famous Bojangles Saloon. After years of travelling, and pouring literally thousands of drinks, Jeroemie decided to return to Canada, but not before a quick stop in New York to pour just a few more drops. Eventually, Jeroemie came back home, settling here in Vancouver.
Jeroemie has picked up a massive store of knowledge of all things drinkable. Add to that, an endless catalogue of stories from behind the world’s most famous bar tops. He’s been able to enjoy such a diverse career because of the effortless rapport he shares with his customers.
Ryan was with Fine Art Bartending School Vancouver for more than 12 years now. Over that time Ryan was the lead bartending instructor and manager. Ryan took on the daunting task of teaching our students the basics of Working Flair Bartending.
Finally, a short list of Ryan’s career highlights include:
- Graduated from Fine Art Bartending School Vancouver in 1994
- 18 years of bartending at Bar None, Pop Opera, Luce, La Terrazza, The Roxy, Richards on Richards, Voda Nightclub & Lounge, Mars Nightclub
- 10 years Instructor/Performer/Lead Instructor with the largest Flair Bartending training company in the world: extremebartending.com
- Organized, judged, competed-in & won various Flair Bartending & Cocktail competitions locally & internationally
- Featured Flair Bartending & Customer Service Trainer in the worlds #1 best selling Working Flair & Customer service DVD series
- Exhibited, performed, and spoke at various international trade shows
- Featured in Bar & Beverage and Night Club & Bar Magazine
- Appeared on various TV programs showcasing & promoting Flair Bartending
- Winner of National Martini, Cocktail, and Flair Competitions
- Traveled extensively internationally training hundreds of Nightclub, Casino and Restaurant Bartenders in Working Flair Bartending
- Consulted in the areas of Customer Service, Efficiency, Cocktail Menu Creation, Wine List Creation, and Suggestive Selling Techniques
- Continues to pursue a passion for wine, touring vineyards locally & internationally
We have been around for over four decades now and these are only a few of our past instructors. If you want to become part of the team and learn how to teach some bartending basics… send us a resume. Have a look at our Jobs page for a rundown on what we might be looking for in a bartending instructor.