The Yum List gets an introduction to life behind the scenes of a bar in an interview with Palmira Bertuca, head bartender at Marcello Bar at the InterContinental Robertson Quay in Singapore.
What do you do and how did you get into the industry?
I’m the head bartender at Marcello Bar, a craft Italian bar that hosts the largest collection of Amari in South East Asia. I started working behind the scenes in a nightclub in my city (Bologna) when I was almost 18 years old and never left the bar ever since!
What’s the best/ worst part of your job?
The best part is probably the worst at the same time. Dealing with people, making new friends from all over the world you’ll never feel lonely… on the other end, not everyone is easy to please, and some people require some extra care and attention. Guests are always the priority or at least they should be.
What’s your favourite drink at Marcello Bar?
I love drinking iced cold Amaro del Capo.
What’s one of the funniest things you’ve seen behind the scenes?
It’s always funny seeing drunk guys trying to hit on the hot girl at the bar… but the funniest part is when they’ve been drinking and showing off all night and at the end of the party they check their bill with a very interesting look.
The perfect day off would be…
… oh ideally at the beach, drinking healthy smoothies and enjoying friend’s company… somehow though, I always end it in some favourite bar, drinking all the Champagne and eating all the food!
A day in the life of a bartender is…
bartenders are known for not being morning people and I’m definitely not the exception. I usually wake up quite late, get my caffeine level sorted, then I head to work where before setting the bar I deal with emails. Then the show starts, we set the bar, preparing the freshest mise en place. It’s when the doors open and the music starts that the show begins…
What do you do for fun?
Travel… travel and travel. We only live once and this world is too big and beautiful to not explore it as much as we can!
What’s something you’d like guests to know about Marcello Bar?
Marcello Bar is located at the Intercontinental Hotel in Robertson Quay. It’s one of the prettiest bars I’ve had the pleasure to work in and has got two personalities.. is a little like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde… but, you have to visit to know what I’m talking about.
What’s your favourite food and wine pairing?
Am I too obvious if I say Champagne and oyster?
What’s your view on the bar scene in Singapore?
Singapore has got one of the greatest cocktail scenes in the world at the moment. It is a vibrant city and people are curious to know and explore new flavours and cultures…
What’s in store for you in the upcoming months?
At Marcello, we’ll be part of the Negroni week the first week of June and some more projects are on the calendar at the moment, soon to be revealed!