Rising Star Mixologist Vincenzo Marianella of Copa D'Oro - Biography

San Francisco, CA

November 2011

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 and Providence in L.A., 7 MOMA in New York, and Smollensky’s in London. But it was the trip down to Australia where Marianella 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.

Marianella 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 Marianella 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, 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. He went around London checking out popular cocktail bars such as LAB, The Player, Match Bar and AKA. Becoming friends with some of the new up-and-comers 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 Marianella returned to Los Angeles, spent months looking for the right place to work. It seemed as if the place he wanted 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, Marianella told him everything he believed an ideal bar would be. In less than one week, he had a 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 Marianella for having the best summer cocktail of 2005 – the “Rhode Island Red,” and the mixologist stood amongst the city's top up-and-comers as a StarChefs.com Rising Star. In 2009, Marianella opened Copa d’Oro in Santa Monica, a unique concept that focused on fresh produce from the local farmer’s markets, and allows the guest to, in part, help create the cocktail.