Interview with Chef Chad Weller of Rumi - Miami, FL

November , 2004

Joy Johnson: What drew you into the restaurant business, in particular mixology?
Chad Weller: I started out as a bar back at the Forge Restaurant. After one week, I was thrown behind the bar to make drinks. Since then it was my dream to own a restaurant/bar. I’ve been in the industry for about 5 ½ years.

JJ: Were you trained in bartending or mixology?
CW: Not really, just hands on training in the restaurant.

JJ: What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market?
CW: Flavored vodkas and rums are very popular.

JJ: What goes into creating a new cocktail?
CW: You need to balance the flavors with trial and error testing.

JJ: What inspires you when creating a new drink?
CW: New brands and flavors of liquor encourage me to create new drinks. My creativity, different moods and guests’ requests (based on their tastes) also influence my drinks.

JJ: What are popular drinks you serve at the bar?
CW: Raspberry Kamikaze and Raspberry Cosmopolitan. Also, being on the beach, people order tropical drinks like mojitos, margaritas, and rumrunners.

JJ: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
CW: Owning a couple bars and restaurants. I’m passionate about nightlife and socializing. I like to check out other places in town to keep up on the trends.