Born into a family of restaurateurs, Jean Trinh of Colombia’s Alquímico has hospitality in his blood. Growing the bar he launched in 2013 as a pop-up into the high-energy, three-storey bricks and mortar venue it is today, Trinh has forged a small empire in Cartagena built on helping everyone he touches. As part of The World’s 50 Best Bars 2022, he is named by his fellow cocktailians as Altos Bartenders’ Bartender – the only peer-voted accolade in the 50 Best programme.
As well as being a purveyor of fine drinks craft, community is at the heart of everything Trinh touches. In March 2020, when his bar was forced to close with little assistance from the Colombian government, he took radical action to protect his staff. He used the coffee farm he had just purchased 900km south of Cartagena to provide sanctuary for 22 of his bartenders and their families. The smallholding came to represent hope and a lifeline for all who travelled there, as the team of bartenders farmed, worked and lived together to survive the pandemic.
While at the farm, Trinh and his team spared little time becoming ambassadors for the bartending community locally, donating daily food packages to those in need, while fully immersing themselves in the local area. They grew crops for the community and rescued indigenous ingredients that were threated with extinction after the Colombian government insisted small farms burn their crops in order to grow corn. In their spare time, they worked with local producers to craft artisan objects for the bar. The Cartagena venue now sings with true Colombian colour, giving heart and authenticity to all who visit it.
Trinh has created a sustainable environment that benefits all. Building strong connections with local communities through direct supply chains and use of historically overlooked ingredients, he has forged an ecosystem that uplifts everyone it touches.
From his clear and focused dedication to hospitality and care, there are few who can match Trinh’s heart, soul and respect for the craft of bartending. He is a worthy winner of the Altos Bartenders’ Bartender Award 2022.
Read the interview with Jean Trinh and watch the video:
Cl. del Colegio #34-24, Cartagena de Indias+57 316 5331932 Visit Jean Trinh's Website Visit Jean Trinh on Instagram
Discover more about the previous award winners