Things can get dicey when we borrow elements from other cultures for our bar programs. Is it ok to use ceremonial fabric as a tablecloth or put tropical drinks in cups shaped like religious icons? Cultural consideration in bar programs is very important, but it is challenging when we don’t have an understanding or even exposure to those cultures. It’s easy to misrepresent someone else’s culture when you don’t have any knowledge about it, even if you are well intentioned.
My guest today is Samuel Jimenez. He has been in the industry in the Bay Area for many, many years. He is currently the bar manager at Novela in San Francisco, and he was recently chosen as one of Imbibe Magazine’s 75 People, Places and Things that will shape the way you drink in 2020, after spending 2019 educating the beverage world about Polynesian culture and history and how it relates to tiki. Samuel believes that the key to running more thoughtful bar programs is having a better understanding of the cultures you’re representing.
As a fist generation Samoan American, Samuel has a deeply rooted connection to Samoan culture, which many Americans have little understanding or exposure to. Samuel had so much to say about cultural consideration in bar programs and the importance of knowledge and cultural exchange. Listen to the episode in the player or wherever you get your podcasts, and don’t forget to subscribe and stay tuned for more. Also be sure to check out our homepage for more great advice on some of the biggest challenges in our industry. Cheers!