This is Monique Godinho, from Toronto.
Monique is 27 years old and is originally from Kingston, Ontario. She moved to Toronto about ten years ago and now bartends at famous Bar Raval.
From Jack Astors to Bar Raval, Monique’s path into bartending is an interesting one. She started to get into cocktails in Toronto. She got a job at The Cloak, where they wanted the bartenders to get involved in the creation of seasonal cocktail menus. Monique started going to seminars and bartending events. Eventually she worked at the Drake for a little while and met a lot of people involved in the cocktail community. This got her thinking about cocktails, but also about what it meant to make them. She always loved cooking and showing her love through cooking, so when she realized that bartending was actually just that, she fell in love with the trade and never looked back ever since.
Monique and her sister were raised by a single mother that taught them at an early age how important it is to be independent. This made Monique the amazing and strong person that she is, but it also made her a bit more difficult to work with when she was younger. She was very direct, wanted to prove herself and to show the world that she could do it on her own, that she didn’t want to rely on anyone’s help. Eventually, she realized that it’s a lot easier and a lot more fun when you create a team and you do it together. She is now fortunate to have a group of strong mentors such as Christina Vera, Evelyn Chick and Sally Gillespie. They forced her to get out of her comfort zone and definitely helped her grow a lot these past few years.
Monique is one of these people with such contagious energy and love that just the sight of her is enough to brighten one’s day. She’s a hustler, she’s funny, she’s talented and overall, she’s quite an incredible gem of human being. Most of you probably have already met her since she is very involved in our community and present at most events as much as she can. But if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting her yet, we highly suggest you go sit at her bar and let her charm you with her beaming smile, a few dancing moves and many delicious concoctions.
A little bit more about:
The three words that describe her best: crazy/wild – caring – fun
One cocktail last on a desert island: Tequila Martinez
Her favourite colour: Yellow and purple
The biggest lesson that her job taught her: She has grown exponentially and there was a time when she thought that it was her way or the highway. Bartending taught her that everybody is different and every experience is different. So everything that you do, you have to do it differently because not everybody is the same and not everybody will take you the same way. That’s something she learned working with great people that taught her how to read people.