The Czech Who Took Manhattan to New York: Marcel Jinoch on Living the American Dream and Seeing Celebrities Every Day!

After a difficult start, he trained after two years and began working for the most successful catering group in the USA, the Tao group, in a very good restaurant in Manhattan, where he became the head bartender. But then came the covid. So he started making videos about mixing drinks and thanks to them, he got to one of the most luxurious restaurants in New York – The Pavilion.

What does a normal working day in a luxury restaurant look like?

I work 60 hours a week and sleep 4-5 hours a day. It’s a lot of physically demanding work. We start three hours before opening to have everything ready. Then we have a bar meeting, all the bartenders get together for 10 minutes and we summarize what to do if we haven’t missed anything. The big event is every day at 4:00 p.m. and lasts 30 minutes, the news is summarized, so we know what’s new in gastronomy, wine and at the bar. He is attended by about 35-40 people + the boss, who will tell us about the lessons of the day before, what we did wrong or what we should do differently.

Read the guest list, we try to get as much information as possible. We pay great attention to VIPs. Most days there are around 20 guests. Thanks to this, we know the history of our country, for example, that he likes to drink gin. Another is someone celebrating a birthday, so we’ll prepare complimentary champagne glasses as a treat, if we know the guest is left-handed, we’ll prepare the cutlery the other way around and so on. Then the bar and restaurant will open and the madhouse will start until around 9pm. In the end, we expect the departure of the last guests around 11 p.m., so around 12:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. I put everything away, I count the money and I go home. We are among the best in terms of food and service. We received 4 stars from Forbes. They have their standards, and if we don’t have 90 points, we won’t get 4* anymore.

Is it difficult to find a job at Le Pavillon restaurant?

Getting to the Pavilion was very difficult. I went for an interview when I saw that Daniel Boulud – the head boss, was looking for people in a newly opened restaurant with an exclusive view. There were three rounds of interviews and 350 other people applied for this position.

Did the videos you made on Instagram help you?

A lot of. I filmed them during covid, when everything was closed. I showed them how to mix the drinks and their story. I had the advantage of having been a bartender in another very good restaurant for two years. And then I made about 30 videos on how to make a drink at home. And they saw that it was probably my passion that I knew about, I was talking about the history of cocktails and, in addition, they saw my mixing technique. So that helped me to reach the 3rd round. This was done by ordering me drinks at the bar. We played such a real scene.

Is your salary different from less luxurious restaurants?

That’s quite a big difference. In this restaurant where I was for two years, we were making enough money, I would say slightly above the average in New York. Well, now I’m about 70% higher. It’s a giant step. I have more than double my average salary in New York, but the cost of living here is enormous.

And what about the nozzle?

My salary is based on that. Tipping is very good. It’s about 20% of sales. When a restaurant earns $50-70,000, the tip is $10-15,000, and it splits into a team of about 30 people. Everyone has their own value, those who deliver food get less than me or the sommelier. Every night we know how much we have earned. In 12 hours I have my salary + dagger.

Do you often serve celebrities?

Jojo’s celebrities often come to us and also a lot of ultra rich people. I took a trip there recently Adrien Brody or Angelina Jolie. We expect in the next few days Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively, because we use his gin for drinks. Many basketball players and hockey players also visit us regularly… Kevin Durant is the biggest basketball superstar here and he comes out often. politicians like Tony Blair. Like the owner of a football club Paris Saint Germainhe had a table for 4 people and another for 7, who was his bodyguard.

And how do they behave, are they nice?

Especially yes, they don’t want to ruin their reputation. May be Ivanka Trump she was extremely nice, probably the nicest guest ever.

Did you speak Czech together?

No, she doesn’t speak Czech, but she understands perfectly because her brother speaks Czech very well.

Armchair waved in red.

What is your next goal?

I want to open my bar. I work hard on it. Maybe that will work. I always said I would open my first bar in New York, but it looks like it will be in Prague eventually. My view is that he will be a Manhattan style barbut definitely not for tourists, but vice versa for local people. I want bars that will go around the world. Never say, okay, I’m done now. My boss Daniel Boulud is a big inspiration for me, he has restaurants in the Bahamas, Palm Beach, Singapore, Tornota, Dubai and this year he will open another in the financial district of NYC and LA.

I already have a potential investor, I don’t want to say who he is yet. But we agree on the concept. If everything goes as planned, I’ll make a drink for you in Prague in a year.

So, are you considering moving to Prague?

Yes, my wife loves Prague, at the same time we would like a second child in a year or two. And in Prague it would be much easier. I have relatives there and it would be easier financially. We have excellent insurance in New York, but we paid $8,000 for giving birth to a son. The woman had to stay in the hospital for an extra day and the price was $27,000. So there are several reasons when it works, so this year we are moving to Prague and I will open a bar in a year.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that you married a model, it’s a very big American dream!

Yeah that’s true but I don’t look up to her so I took her at first now she’s a great mom and wife she’s from a small town family comes first for her . I am very lucky to have met her.

Where did you meet?

How else at the bar (laughs).

We certainly can’t wait for Marcel to make us a drink that American stars can enjoy and thanks for the interview.

Restaurant Facts

Author: Instagram The Pavilion

The Pavilion is located in the ultra-modern One Vanderbilt skyscraper in Manhattan and offers a unique setting with breathtaking views. Owner Daniel Bouludoriginally from Lyon, France, is considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities and one of New York’s most respected chefswhich has been his home since 1982. He is best known for his fine restaurant Daniel on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, but his cuisine continues to grow and expand across the United States, but also in Toronto, Montreal and Dubai.

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