March 02, 2013

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The man behind Earls cocktails

"New cocktails, modernized fresh and classic cocktails."

In 2008, while working for Daniel Boulud in Vancouver, Cameron was asked to consult on developing Earls craft cocktail program – the goal to blend Earls philosophy of using only fresh ingredients made with passion with popular trends in modern mixology - mirroring the Earls kitchen philosophy of delivering irresistible food and engaging experiences to all their guests. Cam joined Earls as Beverage Director in 2010.  Working alongside Earls Executive Chefs and product development chefs, Cam developed new cocktails and modernized fresh and classic cocktails for a bar program across the restaurant groups 65 locations throughout Canada and the US.  Never one to be too corporate, Earls didn’t want to lose the fun; the slushy Bellini, the blended Margarita’s and Mojito’s their guests loved, so along with the new cocktails Cam took those drinks, piled them high with ice slush, but made sure the lime juice was all daily fresh squeezed, the tequila 100% pure agave Herradura tequila and the flavours pure natural fruit purees.

About Cameron Bogue

A veteran in the hospitality industry, Cameron Bogue began his career in his home town of Portland, Oregon at the Heathman Hotel. In 1998 Cameron moved to Toronto joining Canoe, one of Canada’s most progressive restaurants, where he was trained and mentored by top mixologist Jeff Sansone.  Following the snow, Cameron moved to Whistler, British Columbia, eventually joining Fairmont Hotels as Bar Manager of their iconic lobby lounge. Cam’s career took a back seat when he threw caution to the wind and, along with a few possessions, got on a motorcycle and spent 18 months crossing the Asian Continent from Shanghai to India, Tibet to Nepal, Mount Everest and Katmandu.

Returning to the US he joined Steve Davidovici of Pure Management in Las Vegas, who operated multiple high volume nightclubs, and while there returned to school completing a Hospitality Management Degree. It was there he also discovered cocktail competitions - a passion that led to not only great adventure, but landed him a job of a lifetime, winning a major cocktail competition with Diageo. Competing against over 800 applicants in a Diageo sponsored international event, Cameron’s twist on a Moscow Mule won him a one year contract as creative brand ambassador representing Diageo and developing cocktails for them across the US. It was a challenging and exciting opportunity, with Diageo keeping him on in a permanent position when the contract finished.

Cameron returned to Canada in 2008 to open Daniel Boulud's first Canadian operation, implementing a premier bar program at Boulud’s db Bistro and Lumière restaurants in Vancouver.  The Boulud group eventually brought him back to their headquarters in New York where he helped re-open Café Boulud, as well as Daniel’s first cocktail bar, Bar Pleiades, which received critical acclaim including Bon Appetite’s best new cocktail bar in America. His philosophy of combining seasonal, fresh flavors with classic cocktails and modern techniques has made him well-respected among his peers and he is called upon as a judge in some of the world’s top cocktail and bar competitions. Cameron is a regular presenter on cocktail culture and has made numerous live and broadcast appearances including the Ellen Show and the Today Show.

Today, Cameron develops and maintains both the cocktail program as well as Earls beer program. He has created different regional craft beer programs for Earls restaurants across Canada and the US adding close to 40 craft, micro brewed beers. For Cam, “The opportunity to influence the flavours and consistently deliver high quality cocktails in over 65 restaurants” was a goal he feels he has reached. Now with that foundation of fresh ingredients, classic inspiration, and a flair for originality, Cameron has set the bar high to bring the best of global cocktail culture to Earls diners across North America.

Follow Cam on twitter and instagram at @camboque