Luke Whearty is the Aussie bartender who made his name in Singapore at iconic venues like Tippling Club and Operation Dagger. These days, he and wife Aki Nishikura are back in Melbourne heading up Byrdi, the innovative cocktail bar housed in a shopping centre that doesn’t advertise any booze brands on its menu.
Luke’s a champion of local producers, and takes the concept of using seasonal ingredients to another level – his cocktail creations often starting with a natural ingredient (even mushrooms!) and working backwards from there. He tells us all about where this ethos comes from and why it took travelling to South Africa for him to realise what he had at home in Melbourne.
Luke’s also recently teamed up with The Blend for Beam Suntory and is putting together a series of online workshops on everything from Fermentation, Seasonality, Fats and Oils, Texture, Acidity. Check them out at http://www.theblend.world