Industry Insiders: Dushan Zaric, Keeper of the Trade

Dushan Zaric, partner to Jason Kosmas in Employees Only and Macao Trading Company, on his interplanetary aspirations, love of some quality futbol, and the bad kind of mixology.

How would you describe yourself? I like to believe that I am a fully developed, grown-up professional bartender, keeper of the trade.

Where do you go out? I like Blue Ribbon on Sullivan Street in SoHo for cooking and serving with the heart for all these years. I visit Ali’s Kebab Cafe in Astoria, because Ali is a genius and a true culinary giant. I eat anything he puts in front of me. Smith & Mills in TriBeCa for a humble reminder about what authentic New York places should be about.

Who do you admire in your industry? Dale DeGroff, for passing on the trade to me and inspiring me to think outside of the box. And Keith McNally, for teaching me how a successful restaurant operation should be run.

Name one positive trend that you see in the hospitality industry. Great chefs recognizing the importance of a serious bar and beverage program that can stand up to their cuisine and fulfill the experience of their guests.

Negative trend? Molecular mixology.

What is something that people might not know about you? I dream of being the first bartender in space. I just need to solve the physics of mixing and serving cocktails in zero G.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the office? Watch a live soccer match with 100,000 other screaming lunatics.

What are you doing tonight? Working behind the bar at Employees Only.

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