Kamal Kohli currently working as a bartender at the Town Hall Resturant in this exclusive interview with acadman.in has shared his experiences. Enjoy Reading!

How was your school life at School?

I haven’t had much of schooling. After 10th from Madhya Pradesh Govt School, I ran away to Mumbai because I don’t want to study any further. I started working there in a wine shop.

Why did you leave the school?

Actually, I belong to a very poor family. My parents were a manual labor and they could not afford my further studies. I had to support my family. I knew nothing about hotel Management, hotels, bars, etc. at that point of time.

For the first few days, I stayed on footpaths. I just joined hotel industry because they gave food and accommodation. I worked at the Poison Club for six months in housekeeping department.

Then you moved to Goa?

Yes, I moved to Goa and joined a hotel as a massage guy. I had a roommate, Santosh, who was a bartender at Limelight. He asked me to join the bar. I started my career in the bar as an assistant manager. I worked there for around three years. Then I was moved to its another property Mambos restaurant in Goa. I worked there for some time.

Journey from Commis to Executive Chef: Devesh Dabral, Radisson Hotel – Brunei

Then you moved to Delhi?

Yes, when I came to Delhi I didn’t have enough money. So I had to work at the hotels in Paharganj as room service for a few months. Then I worked in a resturant at Canaught Palace as a bartender and Hukka guide.

Then I got an offer to work from Zook Resturant in Saket. I came to know about bartending competitions there. But as my English was not good, I started to learn it, I could only take part in a competition in 2014 in Bacardi Legacy. There I met people like Santosh Kukreti, Jitender Singh, Prateek Gusain, etc. I learnt a lot from that competition.

I focused all my energy on mixology after that competition. Then I took part in Monkey Shoulder competition and I got selected in Delhi’s top 5 Bartender. I was also selected in top 12 bartender in India at Belvedere’s competition – which my friend Chetan Gangan eventually won.

Currently, I’m working as a head mixologist and take care of three restaurants.

How you met your wife?

I met her on Facebook when I was in Goa. We started chatting. I did not saw her face for around two years. I have just heard her voice. I knew no one in Delhi. I came to Delhi just for her. I had to struggle a lot in Delhi as well. Although I had a 3-year experience in the bar, I had to work in hotels. In the beginning, when I didn’t have the money, I even carried garbage sometimes.  But now everything is going to be okay.

How do you look at the Hospitality industry?

The hotel industry is one of the best industry. It accepts everyone. You can work here even if you don’t have a degree and scale the height of success. You just need some basic skills to excel in this industry.

Where do you see after 5 years?

One day I would like to become like Jitender Singh.