Tell us more about socially conscious cocktails.
First off, we’re switching to suppliers that are locally based and which operate ethically and sustainably. We’re also recycling some of the leftovers from our suppliers. For example, we’re using a local coffee company that roasts in Hong Kong; reducing our carbon footprint but also making use of the cascara [coffee husk] which is usually discarded.
We also use as much as possible of our fresh ingredients. With pineapples, we save the skin to make a fermented pineapple soda called tepache. We juice the flesh and save the pulp, dehydrating that and powdering it to use as an ingredient again. Pineapple crowns and stems are used as garnishes. Anything that we can’t use is composted and given to a local farm to grow herbs for our kitchen.
Kalpavriksha is the concept that inspired your eco-centric cocktails…
Yes, Kalpavriksha—also known as the Kalpa tree—is a wish-fulfilling tree, which in Hindu mythology is one that provides everything. In India it’s the banyan or fig tree, and in Indonesia, it’s the coconut palm that you can get many things from—water, flesh, oil, husk, leaves and wood. So it’s about not only using an ingredient for one thing.
What sparked your passion for the F&B industry?
Hospitality is a family thing for us. My grandparents were hoteliers. My elder sister and brother were bar and restaurant managers when I was younger, and they still work in hospitality. Growing up in New Zealand, I was pruning vines as a kid in the Central Otago wine region. Then, when I turned 13, I started working as a pot washer at a club that my sister was managing.