This is Dinah Kisil, from Vancouver, Bar Manager at The Vancouver Club.
Dinah is 28 years old and is originally from Calgary. She studied Liberal Arts at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, QC. After finishing her degree, she was starting to get into law school and was frequently going to cocktail bars in Montreal. Then one night, she walked into Le Mal Nécessaire and saw this girl behind the bar, pouring four bottles at the same time and commanding the attention of the entire room. Dinah loved the power that she had. Her performance, her grace, she was amazed and decided there and then that bartending was what she wanted to do.
She moved back to Calgary and started to teach herself. She didn’t have anyone to learn from, so she would watch online videos, put rice in a shaker and practice her shake at home at 3a.m. She would also read all the books she could find. While she was teaching herself all of that, she was managing a restaurant and playing around with cocktails at work. One day, someone noticed her interest and offered her an opportunity to learn more about cocktail bartending and to join the opening team of Ricardo’s Hideaway.
From there, Dinah kept on wanting to learn more and more. And oh boy! She did. She went to every cocktail conference or cocktail event that she could, such as Portland Cocktail Week, San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Camp Runamok, etc. She would also submit herself in cocktail competitions, and basically would seize every opportunity to gain more knowledge. Meanwhile, she worked at Proof, one of Canada’s best bars, for a couple of years, until she got the opportunity to join the team at world-famous American Bar at the Savoy Hotel in London. A guest that she served there approached her to open a new hotel in Tofino. So she moved to Vancouver Island for a year and worked as a consultant to open Roar. She now works as the bar manager of The Vancouver Club.
Overall, Dinah is one of these people that thrives to excel. And she succeeds. Sure, she’s a bad ass bartender that literally worked at some of the best bars in the world, which is sufficient to say. But even more importantly, she’s truly passionate about our industry and about building a better, stronger community, making sure that the future generation understands the viability of bartending. Which, let’s say it, makes her even more bad ass.