Industry Legends: Meet Zdenek Kastanek

Where have you/do you work?

Quo Vadis (just passed my crown after over then 3 years) now working as a Bartender and Trainer for variation of brands – next 4 months mainly for Bacardi-Martini in Asia.

Where do you live?

I'm based in London at a moment

3 favourite London bars and why:

China Tang for the set up and atmosphere, Artesian at The Langham – I cant explain why :-], Quo Vadis as I can now enjoy it as a life time member - I always wished for that.

3 favourite international bars and why:

La Maison Premiere - NY, Black Pearl – Melbourne, Hemingway - Prague

Favourite drink:

Champagne for a night out, beer for refreshment, rye whisky as a late night cup and Negroni before dinner.

Introduce us to a great London bartender:

Johan Ekelund at Happiness Forgets – go and see it!!!!!

Best part of your job?

Getting email the next day which says 'many thanks for last night' to my team from a customer... and closing a station with a cold beer :-]

What's next for you?

I love training and teaching people, as I always learn as much as they do from my class. So I'm going to keep pushing hard on that, as well as travel for little bit longer with that. But the main thing is my own place….watch out for that one - hopefully soon!! :-]

What did you want to be as a kid?

A chef, and I was for 2 years :-]

If you were going to make a BarChick cocktail what would you call it and what you be in it?

That's really easy – the hottest girl in the online bar-world is BarChick, which means she needs chic and tasty bevvie – a "La Hermosa" is in a order then. Light Bacardi Swizzle with a bit of dry sherry, lemon and dry orange liqueur.

Who would play you in a movie?

My girl said Edward Norton….. I can live with that :-]

If you weren't a bartender what would you like to be?

I have tried many times to answer this one……I'll let you know once I'm sure about the answer...

If you could make a drink for one person dead or alive who would it be?

Marco Polo

Top chefs have their guilty pleasure food, what's your guilty pleasure drink?


Drink trend that you're excited about?

I'm always about food and drink… my head they always have to go hand in hand so I'm super excited to see so many new young places which have the same focus on both….finally we can go and have awesome dinner with awesome drinks.

It's the end of the world in 24 hours what would you do?

Max out my credit cards and book myself and my girl a 1st class ticket from Miami to Prague to see my whole family – yep I'd buy a few bottles of Krug Champagne on a way :-]

Favourite place in the world?

God, I cant pick one – Prague with my family and friends, Gili Islands with a book and for diving, NYC for everything else…

Desert island bottle?

I would have to take three: Lemorton 1957, Willet Rye and RedBreast 15 – then I'd let someone else decide which I would take…as I would be equally happy with any of them but would never be able to choose…