Dez O'Connell, Bar & Spirits Consultant

  • 11 Feb 2009 11:00 AM
Dez O'Connell, Bar & Spirits Consultant
I was born in Glasgow and lived as an expat child until returning to the UK for high school and university. Prior to coming to Budapest, I was the Bar Manager at Roast in the heart of London's Borough Market. Before that, I looked after the three bars that comprise Just St. James in Mayfair. Whether it's running events for 800 guests or one to one service, my passion for all that is Bar is my driving force.

Having worked in the cocktail industry for over ten years, I am now a recognised mixologist in the UK where I've been able to teach, party and learn. I prefer the term bartender though, as it appeals to my more classic interpretations of the job - the host, the friend and the liquid chef, for want of a better term.

In Hungary, I operate a bar consultancy and bespoke cocktail party service. I also work part-time at Boutiq'Bar on Paulay Ede street (formerly Mini Bar). Other than that, I enjoy the freedom of living away from London's furious pace and my biggest worry now is finding a tennis partner and whether my Unicum is cold enough.

1.When did you arrive in Hungary and what brought you here?
Last June. My Volkswagen brought us here (my Hungarian girlfriend and I).

2.Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
When I was a kid. Indonesia, Portugal and South Africa.

3.What surprised you most about Hungary?
Hortobágy. I didn't expect the incredible, flat plains. It felt almost literary - from Kerouac to Cowboys and Indians. An inspiring, calm place.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
Széchenyi Baths are a must for me and the view from the top of Gellért Hegy. A martini in the Gresham Palace bar then a palinka tasting session in a koscma or Corvin Tet? in the summer. A wander through town, then cocktails at Boutiq' bar.

5. What is your favourite Hungarian food?
Véres és májas hurka

6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Milk (for my tea)

7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?

8. What do you miss the most from home?
Friends and a proper curry.

9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
Easy one: rockstar

10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
I saw a guy mopping up the endless water that gets splashed next to the slides at an aqua park in Debrecen. Talk about soul destroying.

11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Mallorca on a lovely boat.

12. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Mexico, Brazil or failing that, Balatonfüred.

13. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
Skateboarding whilst listening to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers!

14. What can't you resist?
My Puli kutya, 'Pamacs', when he asks for a hug.

15. Red wine or white?
Ummm- white then red?

16. Book or movie?
Book but movie if I'm tired.

17. Morning person or night person?
Night. I do get jealous of early birds though. My motor's not running properly until the evening.

18. Dog person or cat person?
See question 14!

19. Buda side or Pest side?
Pest. Buda is still relatively unknown to me at the moment.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
"Do unto others as you would have done to yourself"

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