Chitchat with Andy Watson

In our chitchat format, we meet a person we like and talk about food, drink, parties, atmosphere and the great life in the pub. This week we meet Andy Watson, bar manager at Pas d’Art.

Hi Andy! Tell us about your background.
I'm Australian, from a small town near Sydney. During my studies, I needed an extra job and started as a runner. Very soon I met an amazing bartender who taught me more and more about the profession. I learned the craft, mise en place and how to move around a small bar efficiently. I loved the social aspect, the interaction with the guests!

In 2017, I moved to Sweden and tried to leave the industry. I am a trained teacher, so worked as one for a few years, but on weekends I always worked in a bar. I missed the creativity and social aspect of bartending. Returning to full-time bartending is the best choice I made!

You have put together a whole new bar program here at Pas dArt. Tell us about it.
First of all, everything should be French, because we are in a French restaurant. There is no reason not to use products that are "born" and made in France. For example, we skip the traditional Pisco in the drink "Le Sud-Americain" - and use Eau de Vigne instead. It's also time to discover the beauty of cognac - and we use it in our cocktails rather than whiskey.

The drinks should be easy to digest. They should be familiar flavors, so that the guest feels confident in the drink menu, but still push the boundaries a bit. If a guest chooses a strawberry drink, there is a high recognition of that flavor - but the drink is more complex than that, as the aftertaste might be coffee.

I have a fondness for chartreuse and was delighted when we tested the new menu and realized that several of the drinks contain it.
People are often a bit afraid of chartreuse, but it is such a complete drink that can be adapted to so many things. Using chartreuse as a main ingredient in a drink makes people realize that it is so much more than a shot. The drink menu shall not baby the guests!

What feedback have you received from guests?
We have received great feedback! Les Champs is the most popular. We have also put a lot of effort into redesigning the entire menu, so it is playful and visually delightful to look at. In this way, we dare to challenge the guests to try something else than what they are used to.

What is good hospitality for you?
A person who understands the moment. A bartender who understands why the guest is here, who sees the guest as an individual and understands their "why". I often start with the question "What are we celebrating tonight?". This is a perfect start to take the relationship further and makes it easy to recommend.

You believe that it is forbidden to give a drinks menu to a guest sitting at the bar. Why?
You don't give the bar menu to guests at the bar, it's pure laziness. Guests at restaurant tables need a bar menu - but the bar guest has access to the bartender, and it is up to him or her to create something for that particular guest.

Last fall, you received the "World's Best Bartender" award. Congratulations!
Thank you! I have won 12 competitions, both in Sweden and Australia. Last year I was awarded "Best bartender of the year" in the IBA World Cocktail Championship.

Wow! We are super proud that you have developed Pas d'Art's new drink menu! What do you want guests to feel when they leave?
That they have been seen - and surprised. Joy!

What do you like most about life in the pub?
It's so social and creative. There are few industries like this - no two days are the same!

What do you do when you are not working?
I have four children! 6, 5, 3 and 1 year old! When I am at home, I am 100% there - right now we are building a small "restaurant" in the forest.

What would you be doing if you were not doing what you are doing?
My second profession: teacher. I loved having an impact on young people.

Starter or dessert?

Wine or champagne?

Friday or Saturday?

Pool or beach?

Paris or New York?

Pre-party or afterparty
Afterparty (more stories are made....)

Daniel or Filip (the owners of Brasseriegruppen)
Haha, Daniel for the brains and Filip for the look...

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