The Illawarra Always Reels You Back
Upon completing school in Shellharbour, Jared Huk knew he wanted to do big things, but not exactly what. Bouncing from local bars to a TAFE Hospitality course, the Gold Coast, Canada, and then back to Australia, Jared was getting into the hospo industry, but not quite deep enough to make it a career (yet).
After a ponder, he decided that going back to uni to study fisheries management was the next step. “But, after the first six months, I swapped for Aquaculture because fisheries management was pointless. The only way to develop fisheries management is through Aquaculture.” Although he was very successful in the field, Jared eventually left his job due to a cut in hours and one other major reason….the company he was working for wasn’t very SUSTAINABLE. What would happen next? You guessed it, back to the bar! With a stint in North Queensland managing Hooch and Fellow, the hospitality had him now. The North could only hold him for so long though, Jared returned back to the Illawarra with one particular goal in mind. Click here to see what happens next!
After giving us a lesson on sustainability, Jared agreed to answer a few questions for team FDM!
Earlier, we discussed your background in Aquaculture. Do you think you’d still be working in that field if you weren’t bartending?
Well yeah, but the end goal is to have my own farm to table restaurant where we only do cocktail degustations. No ten course dinners matched with wine, it’s a ten course dinner match with small cocktails. Because then you can be very specific. And I wanna grow all the shit myself!
Although it’s a cliche question, what’s your favourite cocktail these days?
It definitely depends on the weather. I was smashing sours all summer, and now I’m on stouts. The second it gets colder, stout me up man! I guess it’s kind of the same thing with cocktails. In summer I’ll smash daiquiris all day, but I lean toward Mojitos because of the mint because it’s ready to go. In winter I’ve been back on the Negroni train at the moment because we now have six Negroni on the menu. We will be doing Negroni flights as of next week!
Sustainability seems to be the big push these days all over, not just in bartending, but in many different industries. On the back of this, what do you think the next big push in the hospitality industry is going to be?
That’s a good one, sustainability still really pushing through as more and more people are getting on to it. Next trend is that people are really starting to go towards the Australian stuff, especially with gin. Besides that that though, no alcoholic cocktails are the other big one at the moment. Originally we were going to have a non alcoholic cocktail menu, but I’ve been a bit lazy and haven’t put one on there to be honest.
If you could eliminate one cocktail from lists worldwide, what would it be?
I wanna do this without being a dick. People bitch about the Espresso Martini all the time, but I’m okay with that one. I 100% get that, it’s booze, it’s coffee, those are two things Australians love more than anything. It gets yo drunk, it keep you awake! Everyone else is getting drunk and taking pills anyway, so why not drink some Espresso Martinis, go nuts! I’ve had the Pornstar Martini bastardised to me far too many times, so that’s an option. I got Tom to make me a version of one for me the other day called Taking The Pisco. We were just taking the piss out of it and we used Pisco instead of Vodka, it was really tasty. He did a Batch Brewing Pash The Magic Dragon reduction for the passionfruit part of the drink, and used tonka bean for the vanilla portion of the drink, and topped it off with the Manly Peary Cider, it was tasty as man! It was a great twist on it actually. That’s actually how we got the idea for our next menu, the “taking the piss out of basic bitch cocktails menu”. In terms of a cocktail being wiped from a menu though, any old Whiskey cocktail that involves Grenadine can just f#&% off really. I don’t like them, but I really just don’t like the Grenadine flavour. Grenadine I just don’t like in general. Any of those old Whiskey cocktails, any cocktail with orange juice in it. THERE’S MY LINE. I’ve never once enjoyed a cocktail with orange juice, and I’m not going to. Unless it’s a Garibaldi. Any other orange juice cocktail I’ve ever had can f@$& off.
So now that’s you’ve eliminated one cocktail, what would be the one cocktail you’d drink for the rest of your life if you were stranded on a desert island?
I’m thinking something fresh like a Mojito or some type of Tiki drink. If I’m stuck on a desert island, I’m definitely drinking something Tiki! The next option for me opening a bar would be some sort of Tiki place. I love making Tiki drinks! I’m all for making those classy drinks, but sometimes I just want to chuck pineapple juice and a bunch of flavours into a bucket and set it on fire!