Words by: Ashley Pini
Born and raised in the Czech Republic, Kamil Foltan has spent the last 10 years travelling and working across Europe & Asia, finding his current home in Singapore.
He began his career studying at hospitality and tourism school, and supported himself by picking up shifts in cafes, nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, fine dining establishments and hotels, which “enabled me to understand all of the different types of food and beverage establishments,” he explained.
“The biggest influences on me during my youth were my father, grandfather and uncle who were all strong personalities involved in many parts of food and beverage; from hotel operations and winemaking to running restaurants back at home."
Coming from a hospitality background had a huge natural influence on Kamil: it seemed that “everyone knew this was the industry for me”. Of course there have been plenty of ups and downs, but with a positive attitude Kamil has always loved the places he has worked.
“Over time, my mentors have included such personalities as Tony Conigliaro, Zdenek Kastanek, Ryan Clift and Dre Masso,” he revealed.
“These days, my days are scheduled based on projects we are involved in. In the morning it’s straight to work at our home office, in the afternoon I have a break with my son and then I continue working till late. My work varies from building beverage programs, revising operations for our clients, getting ready for events and working on articles for The Indigenous Bartender website." Kamil said, “I love flavours and different cultures. This is where I drive inspiration from and of course in meeting new people in the industry. My wife and family motivate me.”
He continued, “There are several people that I look up to and they are all from different industries. This allows me to see things with fresh eyes.”
“When I started bartending, I had to do a presentation about one of the classic cocktails from all around the world. Guess what I have picked up Singapore Sling and if someone told me that I will be living there I would not believe it at all. Through my research about Singapore Sling, I have learnt that it was the original cherry liquor for the cocktail that I have fallen in love with. (Both, the cocktail and the liquor). Since then, it is part of my back bar all the time."
"As the co-owner of a company we also aim to carve our own path,” he finished.
Of trends in the industry, Kamil noted, “I’ve found that recently the subjects of locality, seasonality, sustainability come up in conversation quite often.”
“In regards to drinks, in particular, classics such as Negronis, Old Fashioned, Sours, Daiquiris and Martinis are still very popular.”
Glass: Tiki mug
Garnish: Pineapple wedge and cherry
Method: Pour ingredients into Tiki mug and stir. Add crushed ice and top with soda.
50ml Tanqueray Ten
10ml Cherry Heering
10ml Triple sec
10ml Benedictine D.O.M.
25ml Lemon juice
10ml Homemade grenadine*
Top with soda
Commercial grenadine syrup can be used.
For homemade grenadine, dissolve 1 mug caster sugar into 1 mug freshly pressed pomegranate juice in a pan over a low heat. Do not allow to boil. When sugar is fully dissolved, allow to cool, add 3 drops lemon juice, then strain, bottle and refrigerate.