Marcello Cauda was recently named the new bar manager at Blue Bar at The Berkeley.
A prestigious bar with illustrious alumni and a worldwide reputation as one of the first modern hotel bars, attracting A-listers and drinks enthusiasts from across the globe.
Marcello has demonstrated his skills at previous Cocktails In The City Summer events whilst bar manager at Mezzanine Bar at The Stratford which was nominated for Best International Hotel Bar Europe at Tales of The Cocktail 2022 Spirited Awards.
A great person and a fantastic new role, we went to say hello….
What do you think is required to be a great bar manager?
A genuine passion for the industry
A desire to exceed expectations and do the very best you can.
A good bar needs a great team, what do you look for when recruiting someone to join your team?
For me a good bartender isn’t just making great drinks, they need to understand and contribute to all facets of the business.
That would include being able to work the floor, educating our guests on the drinks and products we stock and most importantly being able to work as part of a team.
It’s important for me that the person joining us clearly understands and wants to contribute to the wider aims of the bar.
You've taken on a very prestigious role, can you talk us through the process
To begin with, I really made sure everyone in the business knew that I wanted to make this position mine. It involved a three-stage interview process so the company could evaluate my suitability in different areas.
The Blue Bar has always had a reputation for innovation and unique menu concepts and so they really wanted someone with creativity and who could structure a whole menu around a concept. I had done this successfully previously at The Mezzanine Bar with my post-covid Authentic Life menu and I’m looking forward to releasing our new menu in early 2023.
The Berkeley is part of the Maybourne Hotel Group which includes Claridges and The Connaught and so their standards are incredibly high and particularly well known for their cocktail bars and so I’m proud to be part of such an organisation.
And what makes a great guest experience for you?
We strive to deliver a very personal experience and understand what type of service the guest is looking for. The requirements of a business meeting are very different to a couple enjoying their first drink together for example.
We enjoy a lot of regulars and like to greet guests by their names and make recommendations based on the drinks they enjoyed on their last visit.
We’ve recently invested in a ripple machine that allows us to print personalised designs on the top of a guest’s drink and we keep a polaroid camera and cocktail cards at the bar so guests have a physical memory to take away from their visit.
Which bars or bar menus stand out for you at the moment?
I like the minimalist style and design of the drinks menu at Silverleaf and their drinks are fantastic.
I also enjoy the tactile and playful style of the drinks menu at Scarfes Bar with its beautiful illustrations.
And finally if you had to recommend a simple but delicious drink to make at home?
I enjoy making this one at home, particularly in the winter months, the rye and sherry work really well together.
50ml Rye Whisky
10ml Oloroso Sherry
5ml simple syrup
2 dashes of chocolate bitter
Combined together and stirred slowly over ice.