Facundo Gallegos is the Bar Manager of the Arts Bar at St. Regis in Venice. He makes us two cocktails, one with vodka infused with horseradish and Verjus the second with Mezcal and a Cordial of Artichoke.
Facundo introduce yourself
My name is Facundo Gallegos, and I was born in Argentina 37 years ago. I moved to Italy with my family back in 1990, and I grew up in a small village called Sesto al Reghena, near Pordenone. My experience in hospitality started almost 20 years ago on the seaside in a beach town called Bibione. Immediately I understood that working in hospitality was the right job for me. After a few experiences in different restaurants, I start working in hotels, and I had a beautiful experience on a cruise line. I flew to the USA by myself at 21 years old, and that was an amazing and memorable life experience. Upon my return to Italy, I was very lucky to be part of the Cipriani bar team in Venice, and after 3 years I decided that was not enough. So I moved to London where I spent 8 intense years that change my life. I worked a few years at The Bar at The Dorchester Hotel, where I understood what it means “hospitality”, and I could say that that was the place where I became a Bartender. The last two years in London I had the real pleasure to work at The Connaught Hotel, where I spent one year working at the Connaught Bar and one at the beautiful and cosy Coburg Bar. So after all these years in London, an amazing opportunity came up, to become the Bar Manager of the new opening in Venice: The St. Regis Venice, one of the most important openings in town in the last few years. I’m very proud of what we achieved with the bar team so far.
The classic you want to show us
Santa Maria Bloody Mary
40ml of Vodka Infused with Horseradish
75ml of Clarified Tomato Juice
15ml of Verjus
3 dashes of d spicy tincture (black pepper/cayenne pepper)
3 dashes of salt solution
A spray of grappa
The bar you dream of
It’s a mix of combined elements, many of which are present at The St. Regis Venice! Ideally, the bar I dream of is a rooftop bar with an amazing view over the Venice lagoon, with live music every evening and a place where you could experience local exquisite food as well as signature cocktails that pair with dishes. And for sure with an amazing Champagne list!
What do you do in your time off
I spent most of the time with my family and with my beautiful cocker spaniel named Duke. I love to travel, so while I was living in London we visited a few different countries with my wife. I love as well to discover new restaurants and bars, as I think there’s always something new to learn.
The spirit you like the most
I think all the spirits have a story to tell. But for sure one of the spirits I like the most to create my cocktails is Whisky, as with many different options there’s always the chance to create something different and bespoke.
What makes a good cocktail
A good cocktail is a mix of a few different ingredients. For sure the balance of the ingredients, but one of the most important things is the storytelling, which will let the guest taste the drink even before the first sip. If they understand what is the inspiration behind they will understand why you choose those ingredients.
What ingredient do you enjoy using in cocktails
One of the ingredients I like to use in cocktails are bitters. I’m always fascinated by the fact that a very small drop of bitter could change the taste and the aroma of the drink.
The signature cocktail you want to show us
40ml of Mezcal
20ml of Fino Sherry
10ml of Dry Orange Curaçao
25ml of Artichoke Cordial
15ml of Lime Juice
3 Dashes of Grapefruit Bitters
Where do you think we need to go to interview another bartender
The next Bartender you should interview is Danilo Lanteri owner of Shape Cocktail Bar, in a small city near Verona called Cerea.
Thank you Venice Cocktail Week for having us