Earlier this year in March-April 2019, I was honoured to participate in a program called “House of Change” created by the Grey Goose team in India. You can imagine how excited I was to go to “The Land of Spices” .
The whole Grey Goose training and philosophy behind “House of Change” is exactly what it
sounds like. Six selected bartenders from each city, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai went through interesting sessions with professionals from following industries; Fashion (self-grooming, tailoring), Photography (photo-taking), Social Media (Instagram, FB, and other platforms), Etiquette and lastly the beverage topic called “Passion for Flavour, Respect for Culture” conducted by us.
I have to say, I wish I had the opportunity to go through such a program when I started
bartending. As I sat through some of the sessions, it was very refreshing and eye-opening to
see what the bartenders went exposed to.
At the end of the House of Change program, there was a cocktail reception where the six bartenders from each city, showcased what they had learnt. While they were preparing to host a cocktail reception I did a ‘crash course’ with up to 60 F&B professionals to showcase what we had just gone through together with the bartenders.
Just before the reception started we announced a little surprise for the group letting them know one of them was selected to go to Singapore to enjoy and learn more. Getting the opportunity to meet other bar personalities during the Singapore Cocktail Festival, showcase their bars and do a guest shift at our bar, IB HQ.
The selected bartenders who visited Singapore were Krishna Kumar (Byg Brewski)
We asked them a few questions about their experience during the House Of Change
program as well as the trip to Singapore:
1) Which topic of training did you enjoy most during the House of Change program
Krishna: “The technical training was something new for me, topics like rotary evaporator,
centrifuge, sous vide opened up a gateway for new styles of cocktails. It helped me make my
bar more sustainable.”
Sahil: “ I loved the topic on social media and photography skills as social media is one of the most important platforms to showcase our skills and keep yourself updated on current trends and I loved Masterclass given by Kamil as we got to learn about new types of equipment and new techniques.
Santosh: “ I enjoyed the experience that Mr. Kamil had shared with us from his personal
experience. Mainly focusing on customer service, communication with the guest and be
presentable at all times which helped me a lot.”
2) What have you done differently in your professional life since the program
Krishna: “ I am using a wider spectrum of ingredients our signature cocktails. My social media influence got stronger with the help of photography skills that I have learned during the House of Change.”
Sahil: “ The importance of communication and how to communicate with my guest was
eye-opening. My interaction skills have improved and I am still working on myself with this topic.”
Santosh: “I have learned guest interaction which professionally has helped me to build a good relationship with the guests. Learning about photography is helping me to build my Instagram and Facebook account.”
3) What would you suggest to the F&B industry after the 2 day House of Change
Krishna: “ Sourcing local ingredients has a great impact, not only in your cocktails but also in your costing. Your personality plays an important role in maintaining your clientele which starts with the proper grooming.“
Sahil: “Grey Goose House of Change is a very unique training program with the best interest to train bartenders in all aspects that important for personal growth which leads to better experiences to our guests.”
Santosh: “Training programs like a Grey Goose House of Change should be conducted every year so that young and emerging bartenders will gain a lot of learning about the latest trends in the bar industry and new techniques to be able to serve cocktails with international standards across India.”
4) You all visited Singapore Cocktail Festival, can you describe the experience for
Krishna: “From the first moment we entered IB HQ bar it was a journey which kept on getting more and more exciting. I got to work with Mr. Kamil and understand his ways to run a bar. In the cocktail village, I met a few of the greatest influencers in beverage industry such as Steve Schneider, Alexander Stishtifnov, Vijay Mudaliar, Luca Cinally, Simone Caporale and Christian Delpech. The bar hopping across the diverse bar scene in Singapore was on my bucket list and I got to do it with my fellow bartenders.”
Sahil: “Because of Grey Goose House of Change I got to travel out of India for the first time
and I am very thankful for this. Singapore cocktail week was a great experience as we got to
meet several legends of the industry as well as visit several of bars that we dreamt about
visiting. Overall it was great fun and great learning in Singapore Cocktail Week.”
Santosh: “I got to visit internationally recognized bars which were my dream to go to. I got a
chance to interact with their teams and learn what they do and how they do it. All knowledge
and experiences will be shared with junior team members in my bar.”
Video credit: Frozen Pixel Studios