That's exactly why we love the bartenders - for the fact that they stand behind the counter and magically mix a good mood into the guests' glasses. Far too rarely is it acknowledged that they are the ones who work while we enjoy our end of work. Until the last glass was emptied, often until the early hours of the morning. You can see that this work has an incredibly strong bond with Dietmar Petri and Falco Torini. The two guys we met at their workplace for our second bartender portrait harmonize at least as well as gin and tonic.
But now first the interview, in which you can clearly see that two people have found each other who could hardly complement each other better. And yes, there was a lot to tell...
THE DUKE Destillerie: You two have been THE bar team at the Ory Bar in the five-star Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Munich since October 2018 - how did you get here?
Falco Torini: I studied communication sciences in Vienna from 2011 to 2015, earning a bachelor's degree, and worked in the catering industry alongside school and studies. I stood at the bar for the first time when I was 18 and worked in the bar 3-4 days a week alongside my studies. In May 2016 I won the World Class Austria and in October of the same year I was named “Newcomer of the Year” at the Mixology Bar Awards 2017. From then on there was no turning back. I worked full-time as a bartender and moved from Vienna to Munich in February 2018 for the Ory Bar project.
Dietmar Petri: When I was 14, I did a cooking internship at a brewery inn, but it wasn't good for me at all. I peeled potatoes for four days, got a lot of shit, and realized that I wasn't exactly gifted with talent. But I really liked the whole thing around it. Hosting parties and taking on the role of host was exactly my thing. From 1999 - 2002 I trained as a hotel specialist and then completed several positions with big names in the Munich bar world, including: bar manager at the Anna Hotel, in the Cortiina Bar and in the Bar Reichenbach. There I got to know Charles Schumann better, who often sat at my bar back then. In 2013 I opened the bar concept “Les Fleurs du Mal” at Schumann's as bar manager.
Two very different paths – how did you meet?
Falco: At a workshop at “Les Fleurs du Mal”. Dimi was the bar manager there at the time and hosted the workshop. I held the workshop with 2 other bartenders. (Falco directly searches the photos on his cell phone and finds the magical date: January 18, 2017 )
And when did you work together for the first time?
Dietmar: Of course we knew about each other, but the first time we really talked was when we were sitting here in the hotel, talking about the “Ory” project and the idea was that we might work together in the future.
Falco: We worked together for the first time in the summer of 2018, when the Ory Bar was still under construction and we supported the Herzog team. We mostly hit the outside bar together and of course got to know each other a lot better.
Then we did a pop-up bar together at the Bar Market Munich under the name “Torini & Petri – Aperitif & Geschwätz”. Originally it was only intended for this event, but within a very short time the wildest rumors started circulating and even the Süddeutsche Zeitung called us and asked when we would set up our own business.
Dimi, if you had to describe Falco in one word...
Dietmar: Favorite person! In a very professional way, of course (laughs).
I'm very, very happy that he's here. We get along really well, we exchange ideas a lot and it's just a nice feeling to have him here.
The nice thing is that when I leave a decision to Falco, I always know that he will also decide in my interests. I've never been in a situation where I was annoyed because he made the wrong decision on things. He always has the big picture in mind.
This declaration of love will make your eyes watery. Falco, do you also have a word that best describes your relationship with Dimi?
Falco: The nice thing is that we're both really hyper-emotional and by the time we've had two beers, we always scream our love in each other's faces.
“Gastronomic foster father” best describes Dimi. I orient myself extremely closely to what he does. I have rarely learned so much in such a short time, especially when it comes to dealing with guests and employees. It's fascinating how Dimi deals with situations that have the potential for conflict and are therefore a little more difficult. I observe a lot and always have an ear to see what approach he chooses to solve problems.
Wow, there really is love at the table here... ( After these two emotional answers everyone takes a deep breath ) Now you are very successful behind the bar - what was your dream career as a child?
Dietmar: Cook. My grandmother was a cook and in our family, appreciation for friends and family members was always expressed through hospitality and enjoyment. This had a strong influence on me as a child. I would also have liked to be a toy tester. (laughs)
Falco: Basketball star or rock star, drummer in a rock band. I actually saw myself on a big stage.
As a bartender you have this stage every evening. So you are not that far away from your desire to have children. What do you enjoy most about your work in the catering industry?
Dietmar: I enjoy working with good products, from the selection of spirits to the fruit and the juices. Having this quality around you is very special to me and I am well aware that not every bartender or restaurateur has this privilege. Not to forget how we treat our guests. I like being in the host role
Falco: For me it is the mix of the different areas of activity: mixing, service, hosting, organizing. And especially the team spirit - starting the evening together with the team, preparing everything for the guest and debriefing everything together at the end with an after-work drink. It's the cocktail of everything, the overall concept that makes it.
What is your greatest success so far?
Dietmar (as if shot from a gun): My wife! Without my wife, I wouldn't have been able to do anything I've done so far. She is the strongest support I have and has always supported me in everything. I really owe her a lot.
Falco: Difficult to answer. From a professional point of view, it was certainly the year 2016 with the “World Class” title and the “Mixology Award” as a newcomer. Both have led me to get to know the job and the bar scene, which I really love, even better. If 2016 hadn't happened, I wouldn't have met Dimi & Lukas Motejzik, we would never have talked about the Ory Bar project and we wouldn't be sitting here today like we are right now.
I'm not one to feel hornier than before because of these awards, but they've definitely changed my path.
In private terms it is more difficult to answer the question. Maybe I'm still waiting for a mini Torini to come along at some point.
What couldn't you do without in your life?
Here the two agree again: music. Without music a world would be terribly sad. And spirits of course!
And why is THE DUKE GIN in your backbar?
Dietmar: THE DUKE Gin has many advantages, on the one hand the regionality, which makes it much easier to pick up the guest and what's more from my side: I know Max and Daniel (editor's note: the two founders) from From the beginning, I experienced the entire history of its creation and development up close, which gave me a very personal, almost emotional connection to the product.
Falco: It's just nice to be able to offer guests a local product that is also very well made.
Thank you for the compliment. What is your perfect drink, what always works?
Falco: sparkling wine.
If you had one wish for the bar scene, what would it be?
Falco: Get rid of the attitude: You're only a bartender if you don't have a life; You didn’t work less than 60 hours a week. More work-life balance! And also accept when others live according to the concept. (Dimi nods in agreement.)
Dietmar: Leaving work topics at work and separating one from the other. To actually switch off in your free time and consciously allow yourself some time out.
And a request for the guests?
Dietmar: If you go to a bar or a restaurant, please get involved. Only then do we have the chance to fulfill our role as host and inspire you with our concept.
Falco (agrees): If the guest takes the menu with them when they enter, sits down somewhere independently and immediately announces “Hello, a beer” when the waiter appears, you simply no longer have the opportunity to fulfill your role as host.
Our wish to our guests is therefore: Get involved in the evening – we will take care of you!
Finally, let's talk about it again - what are your craziest gastro stories?
(At first nothing comes to mind and then the anecdotes just flow out of them.)
Dietmar: Someone once forgot a wedding and suddenly there were 80 guests plus the bride and groom in the store wanting to celebrate their wedding.
Another guest once sat in front of the fireplace and stared absorbedly into the flames. There was a designer wooden stool next to him and at some point he took this stool, looked at it and consciously and calmly placed it in the flames. We watched this from the bar and were speechless at first.
Falco wants to start telling a story with a laugh, but is interrupted by Dimi laughing: It's too fresh - you just CAN'T tell it yet!
That's also what makes a good bartender, the healthy mix of silence like a grave and sharing anecdotes. Thank you for the exciting and entertaining conversation!
After this detailed conversation, there was of course a lot of mixing. Dimi and Falco have incorporated their many years of experience into two signature drinks with THE DUKE Munich Dry Gin and LION's Vodka. The result is two recipes that immediately show that there are people behind the counter who know exactly what they are doing and are incredibly sensitive to their work. If you would like to mix two recipes from real professionals, you have the opportunity here. It's definitely worth it.
If you don't dare try the recipes or would simply rather spend a nice evening in a special bar instead of picking up the shaker yourself, you should definitely pay the two guys a visit. Because we believe that not only tourists and travelers should be able to enjoy the fabulous drinks from Dietmar and Falco. Cheers to the bartenders – cheers!