Rising Star Mixologist Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli of Island Creek Oyster Bar - Biography

Boston, MA

November 2011

2009 Boston Rising Star Mixologist Tom Schlesinger-Guidelli grew up in the restaurant business. The importance of flavors was instilled in him from early on by his well-known chef/uncle Chris Schlesinger—who also discouraged him from becoming a cook. After working in several positions at his uncle’s restaurants, East Coast Grill and The Back Eddy, the young Schlesinger decided the bar was the place to be.

But before mixology became his apparent career path, Schlesinger went to Kenyon College to study archaeology and political science, and then traveled in Europe and Central America. Upon his return to the United States, he bartended for the summer season at The Back Eddy, and then moved to the newly opened Eastern Standard.

Schlesinger’s time at the Eastern Standard proved pivotal for his career. For starters, he met his mentor and best friend mixologist Jackson Cannon and consequently embarked on his mixology career in earnest. Schlesinger assisted Cannon for over three years and learned from him the importance of the customer and the complexities of flavors in cocktails.

Upon joining the team at 2006 Rising Star Chef Tony Maws’ Craigie on Main, Schlesinger honed his focus on cocktails with cultural and historical significance. At Craigie, Schlesinger enjoyed a unique collaboration with Chef Maws that blurs the line between kitchen and bar.

Schlesinger was named the “2009 Best of Boston Mixologist” by Boston Magazine and the Improper Bostonian. And in 2010, he joined the team at Island Creek Oyster Bar as head mixologist.