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For me, it’s another way to break the ice, be entertaining, and truly make someone‘s time at the bar enjoyable.

Stepping off State Street on Victoria, authentic Italian cuisine and signature cocktails call out from Trattoria Vittoria and draw us inside. Passing a couple Vespas and ducking under the stone archways, we take a seat on the nearest bar stools. Wednesday is Girls’ Night in my world (Obama is still getting back to me on making it a national weekly holiday), so my best friend has just snatched up the cocktail menu as the bartender glides to our sunny end of the restaurant. An easy, playful grin and eyes that are as genuine and inquisitive as they are fiery top off a warm welcome, complete with first name introductions and handshakes all around. Ivo Peshev is the reason we are tipping back glasses here tonight, and we are certainly not the only ones. Recognized as one of the best bartenders in the western United States, Ivo Peshev has competed in over 100 bartending competitions locally and internationally, taking plenty of top spots, and was recently featured in Nickelback’s “She Keeps Me Up” music video. Born in Bulgaria, he is now a Santa Barbara resident, bartending happy hours at the Trattoria, training fresh faces at the Flair Project Bar Academy, and expanding private event flairtending services that are about to take the central coast by storm. Not to

mention, the man’s beard game is on-point, and his endearing accented charm is just a mighty fine cherry garnish on top for everyone who takes a seat at the Tratt. Working flair is about energy, style, and engagement. Tell us more about what that means as a flair bartender. Working flair is all about getting the customer engaged and amused. It’s a misconception that flair is just juggling — it could be anything from flipping three bottles and making pours more fun to watch to a joke that can get everyone laughing. For me, it’s another way to break the ice, be entertaining, and truly make someone‘s time at the bar enjoyable. Among your other ambitions, why are you a bartender? Where to start? I love the intensity and dynamics of what I do — every day is different and I can never know what to expect. I have had the pleasure of serving and getting to know so many interesting people, including a Nobel Prize winner — being a people person who loves entertaining, that’s a really neat side of my work. And competitive bartending has given me the opportunity to travel, explore, and learn. I’m not gonna lie, it feels good to be complimented on the things you do.

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Santa Barbara Life & Style | June 2015  

Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 6

Santa Barbara Life & Style | June 2015  

Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine | Volume 3 Issue 6

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