"Mixology goes beyond just drinks. The flavours are the base, the balance is the key, and the stories are the memories. It is a beautiful thing when these elements come together."
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2016
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- Four Seasons Hotel Toronto; Jack Astor’s; Lavelle; The Keg Steakhouse and Bar
- Newmarket, Ontario, Canada
- Advanced Diploma, American Sign Language – English Interpreter Program, Toronto, Ontario
- English, American Sign Language
Melissa Hart is no stranger to the hospitality industry, and with more than a dozen years of experience in various roles under her belt, she found a love for mixology at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. Starting off in the kitchen at The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, she gained appreciation for the work and dedication that chefs put in daily, before branching into serving and bartending at Lavelle and private residences as an outlet to satisfy her passion of engaging with people. Eventually, she transitioned into management positions at major restaurant chains such as Jack Astor’s, where she honed in on her skills for marketing and event planning. After a few years, she realised a missing element in her management position, so when she was approached to work as a mixologist at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, it was an offer she was thrilled to accept. Fun fact: her first day with Four Seasons was actually on her birthday!
Hart’s pursuit of mixology comes from various aspects of her professional and personal life. She has huge love for culinary arts, and interacting one on one with guests, seeing their expressions and pleasure with flavours. Pairing this with her background working in the back of house, creating beautiful and delicious dishes, she found that mixology gave her the satisfaction of both worlds.
Melissa expresses that the guests she serves daily are her inspiration to her career. “I’m lucky to be able meet people from all over the world and discuss their backgrounds, cultures, and travel experiences. The multiculturalism in Toronto allows me the opportunity to purchase and experience unique ingredients only found in certain parts of the city (Chinatown, Little India, Greek Town etc.) that guests have suggested to me,” says Hart.
She hopes to eventually start a cocktail studio that offers fully accessible cocktail classes held for those who are deaf, blind, or deaf-blind. These classes would be offered in three languages: English, ASL and Tactile Sign language, allowing everyone to use their creative imaginations to taste and test new cocktails.