Blake F. Donaldson isn’t just another bartender at a trendy restaurant. He approaches his profession as an art… Possessing a deep passion and knowledge of his world of ‘Liquids’, in fact, that is how his business card reads. Blake F. Donaldson… Liquids.
As if from another era, one feels pampered by the ever-present Blake. His philosophy of personal service is reminiscent of bartenders from a classic Hollywood movie.
Walk into the bar and one feels like Blake’s personal guest. Unsure of what to order? Blake will quickly suggest one of his latest creative creations, or engage the guest in a world of discovery towards the perfect cocktail for the moment.
He will be more than happy to tell anyone who is interested about the origins of this cocktail or that elixir, beginning with a detailed genealogy of the perfect martini or perhaps the difference between Bourbon & Tennessee Whiskey.
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Considered by many to be the best bartender in the South Bay, Blake was featured as ‘Bartender of the Year’ by the Los Angeles Easy Reader in 1997. Over thirty years of experience in the hospitality industry, he now proudly hangs his hat at the Daily Grill, on Centruy Blvd. in Los Angeles, California, after having some illustrious experiences at Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, Shade Hotel, Rock’n Fish Restaurant, Mangiamo Ristorante in Manhattan Beach and Michi in Manhattan Beach, Chez Melange in Redondo Beach and Café Del Rey in Marina Del Rey.
Knowledge, expertise and professionalism are among Blake’s attributes, and if he’s working for you… your life will be just a little easier, a little more enjoyable, knowing that your guests are in good hands.
Blake is now branching out into instructional ‘product specific’ videos AND ‘hands on’ consulting… helping you build a bar or restaurant designed to run smoothly and profitably, with flair and creativity. Please feel free to contact him and ask any question you like.
Blake F. Donaldson – The Drink Chef
A Brief Biography
Blake F. Donaldson began his long and arduous journey through the world of hospitality and the tender young age of 16, when he signed on as a dishwasher of a local hot spot in his hometown of Stony Brook, Long Island, New York. Graduating as a line cook and broiler man, cooking local Maine lobsters for the tourists that flocked to the ‘Three Village Inn’.
Next stop was as a busboy at the ‘Red Lobster’ in Port Jefferson, New York, he was quickly promoted to bartender, when the current bartender sampled a little too much of the spirits he was supposed to protect. So… Blake found himself a bartender, while in high school, beginning a career that was to last a lifetime.
Between 1980 and 1992 Blake found himself in Aspen, Colorado, plying his efforts in many restaurant jobs as a kitchen manager, cook and most notably as a snow maker and snowcat operator, on Aspen Mountain. After spending 4 years at the University of Colorado at Boulder, he found the next step was Los Angeles. So he picked up his things and moved to the beach in the South Bay of Los Angeles. Hermosa Beach is where he would spend the next twenty years of his life. Gaining a tremendous knowledge of the hospitality industry and the world of spirits and wine.
Beverage Director Blake F. Donaldson isn’t just another bartender at a trendy restaurant. He approaches his profession as an art, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of his world of ‘Liquids’. In fact, that is how his business card reads. Blake F. Donaldson…Liquids. As if from another era, one feels pampered by the ever-present Blake. His philosophy of personal service is reminiscent of bartenders from a classic Hollywood movie.
The term ‘Modern Mixologist’ comes to mind, however, Blake chooses not to be known by this moniker, because of the ego and self-promotion that goes along with it. He prefers the term ‘Craft Bartender’ because this name conjures the actions of a true ‘host’.
He does not sell food and drinks… Blake sells satisfaction!
Walk into his bar and one feels like Blake’s personal guest, a guest that will leave with an experience and a feeling of being personally taken care of. A memory worthy of retelling to all of their friends and family.
He will be more than happy to tell anyone who is interested about the origins of this cocktail or that elixir, beginning with a detailed genealogy of the perfect martini or perhaps the difference between Bourbon & Tennessee Whiskey, Burgundy or Pinot Noir,
With a prestigious invitation to offer his libations at the infamous ‘James Beard Foundation’, and considered by many to be the best bartender in the South Bay, Blake was featured as ‘Bartender of the Year’ by the Los Angeles Easy Reader in 1997. Over forty years of experience in the hospitality industry, Blake comes to the Shade Hotel of Redondo Beach after a long journey through many fine establishments in Los Angeles like The Daily Grill, in Beverly Hills, Upper Manhattan Lounge in Manhattan Beach, a three year run at Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach, Rock’NFish and Michi in Manhattan Beach, Chez Melange in Redondo Beach and Café Del Rey in Marina Del Rey, as well as quite a few more.
Knowledge, expertise, and professionalism are among Blake’s attributes, specializing in opening new, cutting-edge and modern establishments, with an eye on proper training for the service staff, and the essential and detail oriented set up of an organized and profitable inventory system.
Branching out into consulting for the 21st instruction video &, Blake is available for short or long term arrangements, Blake proves his expertise by being an instructor for Los Angeles’ premier bartending school.
Blake trains the ‘desire’ of your staff to create a memorable experience for each and every one your guests. His guests!
Chez Melange Redondo Beach – Bar Manager
Café Del Rey Marina Del Rey – Beverage Director & Wine Manager
Michi Manhattan Beach– Bar Manager
Flemings El Segundo – Bar Manager
RockNFish Manhattan Beach – Bar Manager
Shade Hotel Manhattan Beach – Beverage Director
RockNFish Laguna Beach – Bar Manager
Upper Manhattan Lounge – Opening Operations Consultant, Bartender
Mangiamo’s Manhattan Beach - Bartender
Daily Grill - Bartender
Marsel Restaurant Terranea Resort, Palos Verdes Estates – Lead Bartender
American Farmhouse Tavern Manhattan Beach – Bar Manager
ABC Bartending Schools Los Angeles – Wine & Spirits Instructor
Elks Lodge # 1378 Redondo Beach - Bartender
Shade Hotel Redondo Beach – Bar Manager, Purchasing Agent, Wine Manager
Blake F. Donaldson