Bar Chef Vincenzo Marianella of Providence - Los Angeles Rising Star on

Photo Credit: Jon Deshler

Vincenzo Marianella
5955 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(323) 460-4170

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Antoinette Bruno: What drew you to restaurants and in particular, to mixology?
Vincenzo Marianella: When I was in London, I learned that mixing drinks was a craft, and that really interested me.

AB: Were you trained in bartending or mixology?
VM: I took a bartending course, but it wasn’t a good experience. Going to drink and work in the bars in London was my best training.

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Vincenzo Marianella
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 was.
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”.

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Interview Cont'd
AB: What are some current trends you’ve seen in the cocktail market? How have trends changed?
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 new cocktail?
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.


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   Published: May 2006