Kelsey Ramage brings over 15 years of experience to the hospitality industry.
After spending time working at bars and restaurants in Canada, including 3 years at GM and sommelier at the Oakwood in Vancouver, she moved to London to become the head bartender at Dandelyan. Shortly after joining the team, the bar won numerous accolades including "Best New International Cocktail bar" at the 2015 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, moved up 47 spaces to No. 3 in 2016's "World's 50 Best Bars" while also taking home the title of "World's Best Cocktail Menu," and at the 2017 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards the team took home "Best International Hotel Bar," "Best International Bar Team," and "World's Best Bar." On her own, Kelsey won the title of Global Champion for Olmeca Altos' Tahona Society competition in 2016 and continues to work with the brand speaking about sustainability and tequila.
With Dandelyan busy as ever, Kelsey thought of adding even more to her plate. In October 2016 she and partner Iain Griffiths launched Trash Tiki, an online sustainable-focused platform and touring pop-up bar that creates every ingredient and flavour from by-products and waste that bars would normally discard. What started small in London quickly became a global education platform for the craft cocktail industry on how to use would-be waste ingredients that most bars ditch at night in their programs/menus as these ingredients can still offer up flavors or other uses (husks into cordials, pastries into orgeats, etc.). This was done in an open-forum community that was non-preachy, often with fun music and vibes that has inspired bars around the globe.
Due to the success of Trash Tiki, the duo were hired as beverage directors for WastED, a pop-up led by Blue Hill at Stone Barn's Chef Dan Barber meant to change the way we think about food waste. Held in London in March 2017, Kelsey crafted drinks composed of ingredients that would normally be thrown out by major producers and local farms. In 2019, Kelsey and her partner Iain Griffiths partnered with Pernod Ricard to be their global sustainability ambassadors with the goal of educating 10,000 bartenders around the world on sustainable bar practices and creating a new model for the bar of the future by 2025. This goal is in addition to helping with a company-wide ban on all promotional items made from single-use plastic and working towards making 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable, reusable or bio-based.
After two years of traveling with Trash Tiki, Kelsey decided to make a new home in Toronto and bring one of her personal goals to life. In October 2019 she opened up her first solo cocktail bar in the heart of Tonronto's financial district called Supernova Ballroom. The bar is meant to be the living embodiment of Trash Tiki's sustainable teachings with the bar's menu focusing on local/regional Ontario/Canadian organic farmers, purveryours and ingredients as well as spirits, wine and beers that are produced with the same care for the earth that Kelsey has. Supernova Ballroom's goal is to inspire industry professionals and guests alike to drink better and embrace positive change while also providing a dazzling disco-filled experience with fizzy and bubbly cocktails. The cocktails range from plays on French 75's and Spritzes to house-fermented and house-carbonated.
Kelsey bartends most nights at Supernova Ballroom and in her freetime continues to grow, learn and educate bartenders both locally and globally on sustainable practices and local ingredient-led bartending.
What will you be looking for in the Havana Club Bar Entrepreneur of the Year?
I want to see innovation. This industry is driven by people who think differently, who don't follow those who have done before. I want to see new ideas and the drive and perseverance to pursue the bigger dreams.
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Havana Club 3 Year Old
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Havana Club Anejo Especial Rum
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Havana Club Professional Edición D
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