Here at Chrome City we pride ourselves in having ultra-creative and inspiring homies throughout the Chicago area. Each week, the Chrome Chronicle will share a little bit about these incredible people and why we are excited to feature them as our #ChromeHomie. Let us introduce our Homie, Liz.
Liz Pearce, Group Beverage Director of Bonhomme Hospitality & Co-Founder of The Drifter
Q: Explain your job position.
A: In a sense, this is something I think I'm still figuring out. Basically my main goal is to lead the various teams from the different [Bonhomme] properties, putting together interesting and cost effective menus, with a clear emphasis on the cocktail programs. Each venue is wildly different, so it's all about understanding the theme, the clientele, and the staff's strengths. In addition to this, we will be doing a huge focus on education and training - everything from classic cocktails, bar theory, coffee and tea training, pairings, etc. We will be working to keep these programs strong and dynamic, while also recruiting and training tomorrow's superstar bartenders.
Q: What is your creative process?
A: A lot of what I do is influenced by being out in the market. I go out to eat A LOT, and am influenced hugely by chefs and their creations. So much of drinking is affected by what you're eating and the atmosphere you're doing it in. I also read a lot, and watch a lot of documentaries on cooking. If I have the time. I travel extensively, which also exposes me to new flavors and techniques.
Q: What inspires and motivates you?
Q: What had most influenced your career?
A: A lot of my classic training happened while I was at the Drawing Room under Cristiana DeLucca. I was mostly a volume bartender, but she took me under her wing and taught me how to tighten my skills. I also spent some time at Aviary prior to that, and just being around some of those people (Jason Cevallos, Micah Melton, Craig Schoettler) had a huge effect on me.
Q: It seems as though everyone knows about your skills behind the bar- what are some of your other hidden talents?
A: I played classical piano for about 15 years, I'm obsessed with dogs, and I love home renovations and decorating.
Q: Your husband also works in the industry as a chef at the Freehand Hotel- how do you maintain a successful relationship when both of you work crazy hours?
A: We actually work mostly the same hours, it works out perfectly! We offer each other the criticism that other people can't or won't.
Q: You were recently appointed beverage director for Bonhomme Hospitality (congrats!)- what prompted you to make this decision and what are you most looking forward to working with the group?
A: Thanks! It's very exciting to work with such an amazing team. I think every person comes to a point where they realize that even if they love what they're doing, if they can't progress or push themselves further, they becomes stagnant. I realized I was at a point where I was becoming really comfortable and was slacking a bit, my creativity had slowed and I didn't feel I was learning anymore. Being thrown into a company with such different outlets requires me to stay on top of things, and puts a little stress on me, which I actually like.
Q: How did you end up in Chicago and what is your favorite part about living here?
A: I ended up here after being in Minneapolis for a year and being really bored. People just don't go out that much in Minneapolis in the winter, and people here go all year round. There's just more going on.
Q: What is your experience with Alex and Chrome City?
A: LOVE ALEX! We are just building a relationship, but so far so good!
Q: With so much uncertainty ahead of us, what keeps you feeling grounded?
A: Dogs. They don't care how busy you are, they still need your time and love.
You can catch Liz mixing up some of spring's hottest cocktails during Style of Sound at Celeste and DISCO on May 20th! Thanks for being a Homie, Liz!