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September 23, 2020 39 min

Training for Mastery takes years of work and dedication, and after a certain point there is no road map in any industry that helps the novice graduate to the journeyman, and the journeyman transform into the master. 

In our continuing Bartending Masterclass, host & Master Bartender Michael J. Neff, discussed the different phases of mastery. This time, we’re focusing on Mastery of the Heart with special guest Ms. Yael Vengroff (aka Yael Stormborn).

Yael is a long-time bartender who cut her teeth in some of the most storied bars in Houston (Grand Prize) & New York City (Pegu Club, Painkiller) before moving to Los Angeles to take over as Bar Director for The Spare Room in the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and Genghis Coen. The group also has bars in Seattle and Nashville, which Yael helms, as well.

She has many accomplishments to her name, including winning the women-only charity speed competition Speed Rack, as well as being named Best American Bartender at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail.

Some highlights from Part 1 of our conversation:

“Our biggest mountain to climb after (COVID) is, how do we keep the sexy, how do we keep the romanticism, how do we keep all these things.”

“Vulnerability breeds vulnerability. It means accountability. It means admittance. It means transparency.”

“If you’re not a bartender-owner, your top-tier management better be that soldier that is so intuitive and that leads back to vulnerability. People without vulnerability don’t know how to listen.”

“The reason that I can do what I do, and that I do what I do, is that I’m not afraid to talk about my weaknesses. And my shortcomings. And my mistakes.”

Weird-tempo Banjo Tune: Katy Hill

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