Rising Star Bartender Jesse Vida of Atomix - Biography

New York, NY

October 2018

All it took was a sip of Sazerac for Jesse Vida to know he wanted to be a bartender. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he began his hospitality career at 14 and started behind the stick at Locanda, part of the James Beard Award-winning Delfina Restaurant Group. While he was learning the trade, Vida worked as a hip-hop artist, learning how to read a room’s energy, control a crowd, and how to host.

Vida soon switched coasts, moving to New York City and honing his skills at Dutch Kills, Booker & Dax, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and, most formatively, at the Dead Rabbit. He remained there two years, working closely with Jack McGarry and Rising Stars alum Jillian Vose.

Vida has guest-bartended in more than a dozen cities across the country. He’s also made drinks in London, mixed pisco in Peru, competed in Iceland, and consulted in Columbia. He’s a mainstay of the cocktail circuit and a familiar face to many at Tales of the Cocktail, Bar Institute, the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, and San Francisco Cocktail Week. In 2016, Vida was tapped to manage the bar at BlackTail, where, along with McGarry and Vose, he develops the cocktail program inspired by Prohibitionera Cuba. Vida earned a StarChefs Rising Stars Award for his work, and BlackTail won the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award for “Best New Cocktail Bar in the United States.” In 2018, Vida collaborated on the cocktail menu at Atomix, a fine-dining Korean restaurant from fellow Rising Star Junghyun Park.