Originally hailing from the small town of Milford, Massachusetts, about 35 miles southwest of Boston, Mia Mastroianni now resides in Los Angeles, where she holds down the bar at one of the city’s most exclusive clubs, the Soho House West Hollywood. With her confident and charismatic presence, she has been crafting unique cocktails for several years. Known in the L.A. bar scene as Tall Mia, she appeared in 2012’s “Sh*t People Say to Bartenders” video, which has garnered nearly three million views on YouTube, and beginning in 2012, Mastroianni competed against other female bartenders in Speed Rack, a competition that raises money for the fight against breast cancer. She placed in the top eight in both 2012 and 2013, and in 2014, won for all of Southern California and went on to compete at Nationals.
Formerly of famed Toronto restaurants Playa Cabana and Celestin, bartender and mixologist Alexander Stanojevic knows a thing or two about pairing exquisite cuisine with exceptional cocktails. In early 2014, alongside his father, Chef Goran Stanojevic, he has begun hosting his own pop-up brunches around the city of Toronto.
To learn more about future brunches, add Alexander on Facebook.
What do you enjoy most about doing pop-up brunches?
I love the feeling of being in control of the entire operation. The whole process of creating the menus, experimenting with food and drinks is very fun (and delicious) experience. But the best part of all of it is the end result seeing all your guests having a great time and enjoying the event.
What goes into setting up a pop-up brunch?
Anything you can think of that goes into a normal day at a restaurant — and then some. So there are the basics such as: finding a suitable venue that has the right equipment, research and development for food and drinks, buying all the ingredients, preparing the food, preparing any liquor infusions (which can take weeks), choosing the right music to be played, bringing on a great team to help deliver the event the way you want it to, etc.