Ken Kodys goes for the gold in the Cocktail World Cup
Ken Kodys is a beast -- and I mean that in the most complimentary way. No, I'm not referring to his size, although he is a large man at 6'6". I mean that creatively he is a beast, and a stone-cold killer in cocktail competitions. Ken is also one of the most energetic bartenders I have ever met. He has many projects in the works, and still finds time to compete and thoroughly enjoy his life outside of work. Perhaps as a result he is one of the most genuine and true people in this wicked business.
Ken Kodys is off to New Zealand for the Cocktail World Cup finals.
Ken recently won the local 42Below Cocktail World Cup finals, and a trip to Miami to compete in the US Finals against our country's top bartenders. In Miami, he took top-three honors and the right to represent the USA in the CWC finals in New Zealand. When he leaves for the land of the Kiwis on September 3, he will become the third Colorado bartender to represent team USA in five years (only New York and California have managed similar feats). Cafe Society last interviewed Ken in October 2009, and the time seemed right to catch up with him again...
Sean Kenyon: I just read your Café Society Behind the Bar interview from October 2009. Besides looking a lot different, what's changed for you in that time? Location? Philosophy? Life outside of work?
Ken Kodys: Oh, mama, what hasn't changed? In 2009 I was 27 and living in Boulder, managing a nightclub. Since then I have had several jobs and each has been a completely different style of venue and each has been amazing for what it was. Root Down was and still is my favorite restaurant in the city, if not the country. Stir cooking school is amazing; I encourage everyone to take a class with Katie. The Breckenridge and Wynkoop breweries' fourteen venues are my current locations as beverage manager, and I am loving my job and the company.
I can't think of a company that sums up "Colorado" better than Breck-Wynkoop. Currently I am helping them re-open Gaetano's, which is so much fun and a bit of a trip with all the history behind that place. I really believe that we are showing that history in the new design; I am really excited about that project. Between Matty Durgin helping and Kyle West managing that bar, it will be killer! I am also still doing my own consulting on the side and I am currently working with the guys moving into the old Samba Room in Larimer Square: 24-hour comfort food with a killer bar program at a really affordable price range....I think it will turn some heads.
As far as my philosophy, I am just hitting my one-year anniversary with my wonderful, sexy wife, Noelle, and I would say that pretty much sums up my philosophy: I love my work and I love my wife. The balancing of the two is something I am working on right now. I would call myself a workaholic, through and through, and once I entered into this relationship I re-evaluated everything. I still work too much to be married, but I have found myself looking forward to days off a lot more.
If I am not working, I am moving around...I can't sit still. I try to play guitar but have the skills of a drunken hobo and a singing voice that would make Bob Dylan sound like opera. I have a huge, yellow '90s decal-ed van that is named Sally and we take her on road trips as much as possible. Noelle, especially, is a truck-stop junk junky!