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FDM Profiles: Richard Chao

Richard Chao

Adelaide or Bust

Richard  has been involved with Adelaide’s hospitality scene for over six years. Coming from humble beginnings as a bar-back at Skycity Casino; all the way up to Venue Manager at Distill. Over the years,  Richard has worked his way through smaller boutique bars, driven by a passion for customer service and a keen knowledge of all things alcoholic. 

In his spare time Richard enjoys exploring pop-up events and Adelaide’s tight-knit music scene. In the future he hope to be more intricately involved with both Adelaide’s music scene and a wide array of annual Fringe events.


While in Sydney. Richard caught up with FDM to talk all things drinks.



FDM: If you could eliminate one cocktail from bar menus everywhere, what would it be and why?

Richard: Long Islands! Personally with my cocktails I like to show case a premium spirit and compliment it  with syrups, fruits, tinctures or bitters. 

There is more to cocktails then to get extremely wild.



FDM: You’re stuck on an island for the rest of your life, and can only choose one cocktail to drink for eternity, what is it and why?

Richard: I have always enjoyed a “Southside”, simplicity can go a long way. 



FDM: What’s your favourite thing about working in the drinks industry?

Richard: Working with people who share the same passion as I do. There is something about hospitality that creates a mutual respect between bartenders and anyone involved with the bar scene.



FDM: What will be the next big drinks trend?

Richard: I hope more people will have more interest in American whiskeys / bourbon, such a vast amount of premium spirits out there that should get more recognition.



FDM: What is the most underrated drinking city and why?

Richard: If we’re talking Australia, I would have to say Adelaide! With the Barossa, Adelaide hills and McLaren Vale surrounding us our food and drinks culture is so diverse and interesting.



FDM: What’s your spirit animal? 

Richard: I would have to say an elephant, despite their spiritual meaning they also get drunk on fermented fruits which is always a plus.



FDM: What’s your favourite Southtrade product?

Richard: Sazerac Rye 6yo has always been a favourite of mine.