This is Harry Tham, from Victoria, bartender at Clive’s Classic Lounge.
Harry grew up in hospitality. Both his parents were chefs, so he’s been involved and helping in the kitchen since he was a kid. Upon graduating from high school, he took two years off to go to Vietnam, hang out with his grandparents and explore what he wanted to do with his life.
Sometimes after he came back to Victoria, he was hanging out and browsing the Internet when he randomly found himself watching an international baristing competition. He remembers listening to a European woman talk about her coffee thesis, and was really inspired by all of her effort and passion behind her craft. Given that baristing is not as big in Canada, his second-best shot was to get into bartending, which he did. Harry got into an online bartending program, which really helped him educated himself on spirits and learn how to train his palate from the very get-go. He then went into studying hospitality and management and started to get some work experience.
After working as a server and then being promoted as a supervisor at Little Thai restaurant, Harry started to explore bartending jobs. He worked as a bar back at Little Jambo for a little while, then got a head bartender position for a season at Poet’s Cove on Pender Island. When fall returned, he moved back to Victoria to finish his studies, started to work as a bar back at The Corny Room, moved into bartending, then senior bartending, until he was offered to join the team at Victoria’s famous Clive’s Classic Lounge.
Overall, Harry has been bartending for only a few years, but his passion and motivation have led him to explore many facets of our industry. He lately got into cocktail competitions and made it to World Class Western national finalists. If he’s still pretty green, watch out for this one. A bright future awaits him.