Mixologist Orson Salicetti of Ariana - Biography

New York, NY

October 2014

Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, Orson Salicetti began his career in foodservice working both the front and back of the house in his mother’s restaurant. At age 18, he left Venezuela to explore Holland and Spain. In Spain he began cultivating a love of wine, gaining a particular interest in the wines of southern Europe.

Salicetti moved to New York City in 2001 to work in the kitchen of his mother’s Latin-inspired restaurant, Q Café. In 2004 Salicetti opened his own restaurant in Miami, Epic Bistro, but Florida’s unpredictable seasonality soon forced the project to an end. One year later, Salicetti was tending bar at the famed Betsy Ross Hotel in South Beach. There, Salicetti began to consider the craft of the cocktail as a career path.

After working at Balance in Martha’s Vineyard, Salicetti returned to New York City to work the bar at Carniceria, Crema, and on the opening bar team at Rayuela in 2007. While tending bar at midtown restaurant Islero, Salicetti worked an event for acclaimed mixologist Albert Trummer. Trummer was so impressed by Salicetti’s natural bartending abilities that after a 50-cocktail tasting Salicetti was invited to join the team at Trummer’s new apothecary/cocktail bar venture. At Apothéke, Salicetti has settled into his signature style of creating cocktails using fresh ingredients combined with highly inventive, kitchen-inspired infusions and exotic liqueurs.

Named StarChefs.com New York Rising Star Mixologist in 2009, Salicetti embarked on a global journey as a consultant, travelling to as far as Russia and several islands in the Caribbean. His concoctions appear on the menu of some of New York City's eateries including EVR, Roneria Caracas, Jelsomino, Slightly Oliver, and Ariana, where he serves as beverage director. He has recently worked on his own boutique non-alcoholic beverage, PURE, debuting next year.