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Wear + where: Hadi Ktiri and Tales of the Cocktail 

Bartender, Sazerac Bar

What led you to the hospitality industry? I grew up in Southern California in a household that traveled and entertained continuously. ... My dad is Moroccan, so we'd go to visit my grandmother there often, and I can remember her cooking these huge traditional meals for 10 people or more — all by hand, all by herself, all at the age of about 70. So, in a way the hospitality business has always felt natural to me, because I don't see it as being about the food and drink, but about the people.

What's it like to be a bartender in New Orleans? It's kind of like you're watching a television show you get to participate in, or, to quote [Arnaud's French 75 Bar legend] Chris Hannah, "New Orleans is like a play." Everyone has their role — including myself as bartender — and somehow it all comes together to make New Orleans what it is. ... I like that I have access to a lot of different people and ideas, and that I get to take care of people for a living.

What's the craziest thing that's ever happened to you at work? Once while I was still bartending at French 75, Robert De Niro came in. (Another) bartender, apparently a huge De Niro fan, froze, panicked and just couldn't bring himself to (approach him). So I got to serve Robert De Niro, who promptly and very directly requested a Hendrick's martini shaken up with a cucumber. My star-struck co-worker was confused by such an un-macho order, to say the least.

Tell us about your writing and photography. My mother is an English professor and my father (is) a photographer. ... I still remember my father's advice: "When you look through the lens, if you can't see that frame hanging on your wall, don't snap." That's something I've carried with me.

What influences your sense of style? I've always been a preppy dresser, but working at French 75 where the uniform is a white tux, I learned to tie a bow tie, and have since built my look around (bow ties). (They keep) things clean and simple.

What events are you looking forward to during Tales of the Cocktail? I'll be at The Sazerac Bar working all six days, but in between the mayhem I usually try to go to tasting rooms as well as one or two of the big parties thrown by Absolut [Spirit Co.] or William Grant & Sons [Distillers].

What are you wearing? I appreciate men who make it a point to dress like men, so I always opt for chinos, a button down (shirt), a blazer and bow tie when I'm going out. Here, my pants are by Ledbury (at George Bass), my shirt is from Banana Republic, my blazer is from H&M and my watch is a Seiko Diver.


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