The Bar Consulate: My Classic Roots

My name is Juan Carlos Pérez. From an early age, I’ve immersed myself in art, music, food, and drinks, and I learned the importance of the role that each of these plays in every occasion. I got my first job in a bar when I was 16 years old. There, I also learned the importance of accommodating customers, listening to them, and giving them a reason to come back.

 

I carried these early lessons with me when I relocated to Boston from Colombia in 1999. My food and beverage adventure in Boston began under the tutelage of famed chef Paul O’Connell at Chez Henri in Cambridge.

 

I learned about the culture and adapted to a new way of life in the United States. No matter how much I’ve adjusted, my focus has always remained on improving my own culinary and service skills. Over the years, I was blessed to learn from amazing chefs and managers in high-end Italian eateries, steakhouses, and luxury hotels. I did everything I could to absorb as much information about technique and cuisine as possible. Nowadays, I cook at home and I have created my own technique which combines the roots of Latin American comfort food with the fine dining techniques learned over the years.

 

While I loved my time in the kitchen, when an opportunity arose at the Liberty Hotel to try my hand in the front of the house, I decided to make my move. I was curious about spirits, wine, beer and ready to take on a leadership role in a different sector of the industry. In this capacity, I enjoyed creating new seasonal cocktails and having an impact on the level of service provided.

 

Moreover, I learned the importance of leading with heart, listening, and appreciating every member of the team.

Today, 20 years later, my knowledge of food, wine, and spirits has expanded, but I always return to the basics of the industry. Provide excellent service, tasty food, and quality spirits, and you will make the people happy. Trends will come and go, but the roots of food and beverage will always stay the same.