Name: Amba Lamb
Location: Grand Cayman
Establishment: The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman
Notable Achievements: won the 2017 Diego Reserve World Class competition Bartender of the Year award
Q & A:
What do you like the best about working at the Ritz-Carlton, specifically in Grand Cayman?
We have such a huge collection of talent and diversity throughout the Ritz-Carlton and it just about seems magnified at the Grand Cayman properly! We have around 60 different nationalities working there so there is always someone to learn a new technique or a story from. I especially love working with our culinary team to use local Cayman Ingredients in new ways, they are wealths of knowledge.
What is your favorite kind of cocktail to make?
It would have to be the old fashioned, only 4 ingredients, (spirit, sweetener, bitters and ice) so each one plays a huge part in the result. It is such a gentle manipulation of flavours but can have stunning results when done well.
You’ve won a number of beverage competitions including the Diego Reserve World Class in 2017 – What do you like about competing in that way?
For me there are 2 parts to competing. Putting myself entirely out of my comfort zone has absolutely pushed me to be better. Every time I stand up in front of people to compete I learn something else about myself and get better each time. When I started competing I was so nervous there was a very real danger of throwing up back there lol. The second part would be the community you build, both locally and globally. These are the people we learn from and share with, our industry gets stronger through these relationships.
What’s the best cocktail that someone else has made you recently?
I am in Iceland at the moment and a few days ago I had a cocktail with gin, mango and dill oil. The flavour combination was spectacular!
What’s been inspiring you lately?
I love the provenance of ingredients. What is the story behind an ingredient or spirit, where did it come from, who made it or grew it? Then trying to tell that story in a cocktail.
Photography courtesy of Marriott International.
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