Bar­tender of the Year

Vancouver Magazine - - Restaurant Awards -

Satoshi Yonemori Grapes and Soda, 1541 W 6th Ave., grape­sand­ When is agood drink more than just the drink it­self? For Bar­tender of the Year Satoshi Yonemori, the an­swer to this ques­tion lies in dove­tail­ing the in­or­di­nate amount of care and pre­ci­sion that goes into craft­ing a top-shelf cock­tail with un­wa­ver­ing con­sis­tency and ex­cep­tional cus­tomer ser­vice.

Orig­i­nally a cook in sev­eral note­wor­thy Van­cou­ver restau­rant kitchens, Yonemori honed his mixology craft be­hind the wood at the Di­a­mond, Wilde­beest, and at Eau de Vie in Syd­ney, Aus­tralia, be­fore set­tling into his po­si­tion as open­ing bar man­ager for Grapes and Soda. His culi­nary back­groundaf­fords him au­nique per­spec­tive when it comes to build­ing the over­all flavour nar­ra­tive of his thought­fully cu­rated drink list. Lauded by both his peers and this year’s judges for his fi­nesse and tech­ni­cal prow­ess, he cre­ates clas­si­cally rooted li­ba­tions that es­chew flash and fads in favour of el­e­vat­ing bal­ance and taste above all else.

Yonemori suc­cess­fully nur­tures asym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ship be­tween bar and kitchen. He’s highly skilled in ar­tic­u­lat­ing sub­tle nu­ances of flavour, seam­lessly in­te­grat­ing un­con­ven­tional in­gre­di­ents from Grapes and Soda’s lo­cally fo­cused food menu into his cock­tails to give them a unique iden­tity of place. Re­fined el­e­gance and metic­u­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail are Yonemori’s hall­marks, right down to his hand­carved ice cubes, and an evening spent at his bar is in­vari­ably a sin­gu­lar drink­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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