World Class Bartender: Jeff Bell, PDT, USA

by Gaz Regan · Friday, February 21st, 2014 · World Class 2013

At the finals of Diageo Reserve Brand’s World Class Bartender Competition

I witnessed some incredible drinks being made.

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And some of those drinks were made by

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Jeff Bell, PDT, USA

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Jeff Bell began his career in the hospitality industry washing dishes and bussing tables at age 18. Not necessarily enamored with a life elbow-deep in suds and used dishware, Bell eventually found his proper spot in the scene—stepping behind the bar in Seattle at the ripe and legal age of 21, while he completed his philosophy degree at the University of Washington. After graduating in 2007, Bell knew bartending was his calling, and soon packed up and moved to New York City to hone his craft among the best and brightest. He met PDT Mixologist Jim Meehan in 2010 while bartending for Meehan’s wife Valerie at Maialino at the Gramercy Park Hotel. Meehan recognized Bell’s strong work ethic and offered him one shift a week as a barback. Bell jumped at the offer to work at one of the city’s cocktail meccas and pulled a strenuous five nights at Maialino and one at PDT. When a bartending position opened at PDT in the fall 2010, Bell received his due promotion. Since then, he’s fully committed himself to PDT, ultimately working his way up to the role of head bartender. Dropping his ego at the door, Bell puts the customers’ preferences first, crafting vodka, beer, and amaro-driven cocktails with equal care and the skills of a true cocktail craftsman.

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