All photos taken by Kerry and Ivy Knight
Name/alias: Jenny-Orenda Smith
Current bar: Hopgood’s Foodliner (a restaurant, actually).
How long in the business: Since early high school, though I started in the back of house, the dishpit namely. I quickly became what one would call a “career server” because I wanted to TALK to people about what they were ordering. I love serving people good food and drinks. It’s nuturing and satisfying and night-to-night, day-to-day it’s always a different experience.
First drink/drunk: Probably a sneaky sip of C.C. and Coke at a family gathering as a toddler, just to have something I wasn’t supposed to, though I actually had a distaste for alcohol in my teens and early twenties. It took a stint living around France/Spain/Portugal on farms to learn more about food in my late twenties for me to begin seeing wine as an agricultural product, as food really. And I love good food. It took turning 30 for me to let go and relish getting shitfaced (with good people, and off good things, mind you).
What influences me: Cooking influences me. Using raw ingredients from nature to make a balanced and delicious thing. As a manager, writing a cocktail list is the closest thing to cooking I get to do in the restaurant and it’s thrilling. But history influences me too, so most of the drinks I make are from the canon of established cocktails, with a personal twist.
Best barfly: No stories I should tell. I love people who go to bars alone though. I generally end up being either totally curious or conversing deeply with them, both wonderful things.
Cinematic bartender: Thereza from Unbearable Lightness of Being (the bar job is rather inconsequencial, I mostly just liked her clothes) and the bartender from the Cantina in Star Wars.
Rules: No being rude.
Celebrity experiences: Yes, though no fabulous tales, just a couple of cases of jitters. To be honest, for me the celebrities i get most geeked up about are wine-producers, but that doesnt make for exciting copy.
Best late-night or morning-after places: Anywhere i can get a nice glass of wine late and talk with nice people, so… Midfield, Woodlot, Chantecler. I mostly end up with staff in places in the neighbourhood though (the Ace, Loons, the Local) because we have a really amazing team!!!
Best /worst tip: Doesn’t really matter.
Favourite cocktail/beer/wine right now: a Black Manhattan or our version of Picon Punch…shot: a glass of whiskey followed by a glass of pickle juice…glass: arianna occhipinti’s 2010 frappato.
Watch for: Get ready for the daytime
325 Roncesvalles Ave