Award-Winning International Bartending Talent Becomes Only Third Woman in 28-year History of Awards to Claim Prestigious Title of Best Behind the Pine
UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar and Cibo Trattoria Bar Manager Sabrine Dhaliwal truly shook things up at the 28th annual Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards last night as she was singled out for the prestigious Bartender of the Year honours in front of a standing-room-only crowd of restaurateurs, chefs and industry peers.
An internationally-acclaimed talent behind the pine and Canadian brand ambassador for Belvedere Vodka, Dhaliwal becomes only the third woman to claim the coveted Best Bartender crown at the award ceremony following her good friend, mentor and former UVA Bar Manager Lauren Mote in 2015 and The Keefer Bar’s Danielle Tatarin in 2012.
“Complexity without being complicated. It’s Sabrine Dhaliwal’s mantra when crafting a drink, and her refined, intellectual approach to cocktails has vaulted her well beyond bartending’s traditional gender imbalance into the local and global spotlight,” stated the magazine in the May edition of the monthly publication. “Dhaliwal has developed an ineffable sense of grace and ease over the course of her career … she brings an elegant sense of balance to her libations that charmed this year’s judges.”
In 2015, Dhaliwal finished on the top shelf at both the Global Belvedere Challenge in London, England — a two-day competition that coincided with World Martini Day and pitted top bartending talents from North America, Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia against one another — as well as the inaugural Vancouver Molinari Sambuca Cocktail Competition.
Originally from the Netherlands, Dhaliwal discovered her passion for the hospitality industry while working summer stints at a resort in Jasper, AB as well as travelling throughout Europe and experiencing the region’s old-world charms firsthand. After coming to Vancouver in 2009 and earning levels 1-3 of her Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) diploma, she helped open Reflections Outdoor Restaurant and Lounge at the Hotel Rosewood Georgia in 2011.
One year later, Dhaliwal added a Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) designation to an already impressive resume while apprenticing under David Wolowidnyk at renowned West Restaurant. In 2015, she took over the reins as bar manager at West before moving to UVA, where she joined fellow global drink-slinging wunderkind and then-Bar Manager Mote as Lead Bartender at the popular downtown watering hole.
“This is an unbelievable honour for me and it is made even more special by the fact that I get to follow in the footsteps of not just Lauren but Danielle as well as the only women who have been singled out as the best by their peers,” said Dhaliwal. “I want to thank not only my entire team at UVA and Cibo but all the mentors, guests and everyone in the industry who have supported me for so many years and at so many amazing establishments.”
The Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards are judged by a panel of leading experts and critics, and handed out at a formal award show at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver. A full list of winners from the 2017 edition of the awards is available at www.vanmag.com.
ABOUT UVA WINE & COCKTAIL BAR | Located within the chic Moda Hotel in the heart of downtown Vancouver, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar has build a long-standing reputation as one of the preeminent wine and cocktail bars not only in the city but across the country. Winner of the prestigious gold medal for Best Wine Bar in the Georgia Straight’s annual Golden Plates Awards from 2010 through ’16, UVA Wine & Cocktail Bar offers and elegant gathering spot for wine and spirit connoisseurs seeking a sanctuary that tempts both eye and palate alike. Pairing Cibo Trattoria’s Italian-inspired cuisine, choice charcuterie and artisanal cheese with an eclectic menu of enticing cocktails, refined wines and import and local craft beers, UVA is a relaxed-yet-cosmopolitan interpretation of an authentic Italian enoteca.
900 Seymour Street, Vancouver BC V6B 0A8 | (604) 632-9560 | www.uvavancouver.com
Hours: Mon – Sun 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.
ABOUT CIBO TRATTORIA | Paying homage to the experience of an authentic Italian trattoria — where simple, rustic food, casual service and good wine goes hand-in-hand — Cibo Trattoria presents an unforgettable dining experience and memorable outing in the heart of downtown Vancouver whether for daily breakfast, lunch or dinner service or weekend brunch. Located in the city’s vibrant theatre and cultural district, Cibo’s cozy and inviting dining room is the perfect spot for any occasion or social gathering — a warm and intimate enclave where guests can relax and enjoy a wide-ranging list of Old- and New-World wines and sample hearty, Italian-inspired dishes and daily specials made from scratch and prepared in a traditional manner that showcases understated elegance on each plate.
900 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 0A8 | (604) 602-9570 | www.cibotrattoria.com
Hours: Mon – Fri: Breakfast 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. | Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Dinner 5 – 10:30 p.m. | Weekends: Brunch 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. | Dinner 5 – 10:30 p.m.