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Bartender of the Month
Simon Eadie of October Cafe, Glasgow
Anyone ordering a cocktail in Glasgow's October Cafe can rest assured that the barman will be able to cook up something a little special, because Simon Eadie, the latest winner of the Black Heart Rum Bartender of the Month Award, has a college degree in catering management behind him.
'Directly before working here I was head chef in a wee cafe/restaurant in the West End,’ says Simon. 'Originally, though, I started in bars, first of all in Stirling where l was brought up. At college, we had to find placements for the summer, so I went down to the Channel Islands and did a couple of seasons there working both in kitchens and out front. I've also worked in the south of France.‘
After seven months behind the bar of the October
Cafe, he now feels completely at home. 'The at- mosphere is the best part of the job,’ he reckons. 'lt's far more relaxed and laid back here than in most places I've worked in. The way it's set up means that it's actually busier as a restaurant, so it's never six people deep at the bar.‘
This gives Simon plenty of time to mix up the cocktails for which the bar has gained an enviable
Scots barmen are better at dealing with people - not just with the customers, but with the people they work with too.’
reputation. As well as the cocktail special of the month, he is ready to shake up any combination a customer could ask for, as well as suggest a few
that he's picked up on his travels. And needless to say, Black Heart Rum is a prime ingredient.
Simon's range of experience at home and abroad has convinced him of one thing at least - Scottish bartenders are a different breed. ‘If you go to London,‘ he says, 'a lot of the good barmen are Scottish. Pubs are different up here - they're not interested in that flashy Tom Cruise style - and so the barman is required to chat a bit more. Scots barmen are better at dealing with people - not just with the customers, but with the people they work with too.‘
It brings a whole new meaning to having a good mixer with your cocktails.
Photograph: Douglas Robertson