Meet Rocky, our new Creative Drinks Manager
The dream job doesn’t exist. Or so we thought. Meet Rachelle ‘Rocky’ Hair, Archie’s new Creative Drinks Manager.
A trailblazer in the Australian hospitality industry, Rocky was the first woman to win Time Out’s Hot Talent Award in 2016 and has been instrumental in breaking down gender divides behind the bar, featuring in several forums about drink consultation, sustainability and gender in the industry.
She’s made her mark with a keen eye for international trends and a no-holds-barred approach to drinks craftsmanship, spending the last three years living abroad, with stints at Harvard and Stone, Gwen, Super Lyan and Dandelyan (the World’s Best Bar 2019) filling her cup. Now, she’s back in Sydney, set to head up our Creative Drinks department in the newly formed role of Creative Drinks Manager, executing the drinks creative underpinning the 1000 plus events Archie Rose will roll out around the country this year.
We sat down with Rocky to hear what a day in the life of Archie Rose’s new Creative Drinks Director really looks like…
I’ve never been a morning person. Growing up, I worked at the local cinema and I’ve never quite gotten used to working during the day. It’s been about ten years since my last day job so I’m still wrapping my head around the swap.
On my way to work, I love listening to The BlindBoy Podcast. I enjoy listening to experts in their field advocate for what they do, learning about different niche ideas around the world – although it’s rarely anything to do with alcohol!
I arrive at the office and get a coffee. I try really hard to only have one a day so that I can taste and sleep well. Working at Archie Rose is the first time I’ve worked in an office full of women. It’s a really foreign concept to me to work with so many. The chat is hilarious and I’m usually having a good laugh by the time I receive my menu briefs.
Once I’ve got my menu briefs, I’ll get into the research side of it. Today, I’m doing menus for a cruise ship, remote outback cabins and a local cultural festival. I’ve got to get a real feel for each location and bar set-up so I might watch Youtube videos of guest experiences or start mood-boarding for a concept. I’ll pick out flavour, colours and branding – it all helps with the execution of the drink.
I’ll set out my menu and drinks ideas and head down to Red Spoon (our Cannery neighbours and local kitchen supply store) and look at any new things they have or I’ll start mucking around with any interesting deliveries I get. I really enjoy the mash-up of the culinary world and drinks, so I often try to incorporate food products and confectionery techniques. I’ll get a lot of deliveries of weird powders and flavours. Everything from liquid smoke to edible colour sprays or new mixers.
After lunch, I’ll head into the bar to start the practical side of my R&D, making and re-testing drinks.
We often have to shoot drinks for clients, so we’ll arrange and create full concepts for photoshoots. Today that means lasers, fake smoke and a lot of pink products. My meetings with suppliers often end up with me in flavour labs, on boats or picking out hybrid vegetables in the garden. Every day and every concept is so different.
After wrapping up in the office, I might stop into Continental Deli for a Bloody Mary. Otherwise, I love to just head home and sit on my balcony to relax with my wife.
Rocky’s Fast Five
Right now I’m listening to…
The BlindBoy Podcast & Labrinth, Sia and Diplo’s song ‘LSD’.
I get my best work done when…
I have an encouraging and humorous team.
A philosophy I live and work by is…
¿Por qué no los dos? Which is essentially – Why not both? I don’t think anything in life should be mutually exclusive and we should always be questioning anything that presents that way.
My productivity hack is…
Keep your workspace clean and write everything down.
Something I wish I knew before I learned the hard way is…
It’s OK to stand up for yourself. I have always struggled with asking for what I need or deserve and it’s still something I have to practice constantly, but it’s so important.
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