RISING STAR BAR CHEF
AWARD SPONSORED BY
PROVIDENCE | Los Angeles
Born in Italy, Vincenzo Marianella moved to America in 1999.
His love for traveling led him to live in New York, London and now
Los Angeles. His extensive resume shows that he has worked and studied
the ways and styles of bars and restaurants such as Valentino
in L.A., 7 MOMA in New York, Smollensky’s
in London and now at Providence in L.A. But it was the
trip down to Australia where Vincenzo discovered that the “cocktail
world” was more than just a couple dozen classic drinks and
a few modern cocktails. He attended the Australian Bartending Academy
in Sydney and worked a few private events there.
Vincenzo had a desire to learn as much as possible
about the craft of tending bar. He started studying and collecting
both old and new cocktail books. He attended the Dimensione Bar
Freestyle Team Association School in Cerviniano Del Friuli in Italy
before heading to London. He was sure that with his knowledge and
experience in Europe, America and Australia, working in England
would be a walk in the park.
Arriving in London, it didn’t take long for
Vincenzo to understand that to become a real mixologist, he had
to learn a lot more. London wasn’t a walk in the park at all,
but it was the right place to be. He got a job at Smollensky’s
on the Strand in the heart of the city and one of London’s
most reputable cocktail bars. Under the supervision of an amazing
general manager who supported a great team of professional bartenders.
Marianella started to develop and understand the craft of mixing
drinks. Vincenzo went around London checking out popular cocktail
bars such as LAB, The Player, Match Bar and AKA.
Becoming friends with some of the new rising stars of the bar scene
such as Berry Chalmers and Milo Rodriguez made his passion become
even stronger. He also had the chance to go and observe Salvatore
Calabrese, at the Library Bar, who is his mentor and considered
to be one of the best bartenders in the world.
When Vincenzo returned to Los Angeles, he worked at
Valentino, which is one of the finest Italian restaurants
in the country known for their vast wine selection. He spent months
looking for the right place to work. It seemed as if such a place
did not exist. He was tired of using pre-mixes for cocktails and
serving poor quality drinks.
At the first informal interview with Donato Poto,
owner of Providence and former manger of Bastide,
Vincenzo told him everything he believed what an ideal bar would
be for him. In less than one week, he had his second interview with
Donato and Michael Cimarusti, co-owner of Providence and
former head chef at The Water Grill. He realized that they
all shared the same idea of what quality and customer service really
After gaining the trust from Poto and Cimarusti, Los Angeles
Magazine recognized Vincenzo Marianella for having the best
summer cocktail of 2005 – the “Rhode Island Red”.
AB: What are some current
trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market? How have trends
VM: It seems people here in
LA are just discovering rum and the mojito. Rum, bourbon, and tequila
are moving ahead of vodka.
AB: What goes
into creating a new cocktail? How long does it take to create a
VM: It takes anywhere from
30 seconds to three days. I use my nose to create new cocktails
because it’s big and can take in the perfumes.
AB: What inspires
you when creating a new drink?
VM: I go with what I feel I
would like to have at the moment, something that can quench my thirst.
Reinventing old school cocktails is also inspiring.
AB: What is your
favorite cocktail to drink and make?
VM: A drink depends on my mood
and if it is a good bartender. First would be a margarita, and then
a Blazer with cognac. It’s the best drink in the winter. I
like to make all drinks, but I love to make a Blazer. But you need
a beaker that won’t explode with the fire.
AB: Where do
you see yourself in five years?
VM: In a bar on some Caribbean
island with sand on the floor. I wouldn’t prefer my own bar,
but a nice hotel on an island.