What's In Your Fridge: Danielle Tatarin

What’s in Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz Ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6 cubic-foot refrigerators.

On the grill

Danielle Tatarin

Who are you

If we were doing the writing, we’d describe award-winning bartender Danielle Tatarin as the completely styling general manager of Vancouver’s magnificent Keefer Bar, as well as the president and CEO of the Designer Cocktail Company. But just as we’ll never out-do her with a cocktail shaker, we’re not going to top what she whipped up when we asked her to describe herself. In her own words, then: “Nothing in particular I can think of that you don't already know... Aspiring distiller, award-winning shower singer, intermediate-level Spanish speaker, lover of cocktails and spirits, odd-occasion burlesque performer, dog lover, antique hunter, two-stepper, trail trekker, yoga practiser, salad hacker, rock 'n' roller, Ukrainian and Metis blood, businesswoman, abstract painter, bottled blonde, green-eyed, life-long bartender!”

First concert

Green Day, Edmonton, Alberta, July 9, 1994  I was 14, tall, lanky, thin like Twiggy, wore jeans that were too baggy, and a shirt that was too small. I went with my cousin without our parents and we squeezed our way through the mosh pit right up to the front row. I lodged myself right up to the bars at the front so that I was only feet away from the stage. It was amazing, I remember at one point Billie Joe drank a beer and then sprayed it into the crowd and everyone went nuts... I couldn't move because I was getting so squished up against the railing but I loved it. It was rock that seemed to speak to me­—different than country music, soul, or old-school rock I had grown up listening to with my parents. After the concert was over my cousin and I walked out wondering what the hell just happened—our first concert was epic and I even had bruises on my ribs to prove it. The next day at volleyball practice was particularly painful.

Life-changing concert

Sasquatch at the Gorge 2007  Björk, Beastie Boys, Arcade Fire, Manu Chao, Interpol, Spoon... The lineup was amazing. The setting unreal. The sound epic. I saw so many artists I loved, and enjoyed hearing new artists in the amazing Gorge. I had been to the Gorge before, but this concert, I had this moment when Björk was playing "Declare Independence"... I felt that song, it lit a fire in me, and now thinking back, that was a pivotal moment where it seemed like the vibrations of the universe came together to create that moment. I was there to experience it: the song. That concert was just what I needed at that point in my life.  The song in particular is controversial to many, but for me it is a song about freedom from yourself and the walls you put up. Every time I hear it I will remember dancing on the hill, wind blowing in my hair, and actually feeling free.

Top three records

Rolling Stones Hot Rocks  I turned “Paint It Black” up real loud the first time I had a stereo in my room when I was barely a teenager. I love this album.  

Paul Simon Graceland  My mom used to listen to this album and we would always have a sing-along.  The album came out when I was six and I remember listening to it with my mom and memorizing all the words, dancing around and singing to it, feeling like I was hearing the world. As a little girl living in Alberta, those South African deep voices, tribal rhythms, and eclectic sound stood out to me. I still sing along to this album today and know all the words by heart.

The Naked and Famous In Rolling Waves  Good friend and fellow Bartender Gez at the Keefer Bar is friends with the drummer, Jesse, since they were boys. Every time they come in to town, a Keefer crew goes to the concerts and then we hang with the band at the Keefer afterwards until the wee hours of the morning. The album is one of my favourites, not just because I've got to know the band over the last couple years or because we have a signed copy tucked away in the belly of a display case at the bar, but because the first time I heard the songs, when they played at the Vogue, I was mesmerized.  

All-time favourite video

Michael Jackson “Thriller”  I remember being scared to watch it when I was younger. What's not to love about this video?!

What's in your fridge

Simple syrups  I always have a plethora of miscellaneous simple syrups in one section. I cook with them, make drinks with them—what can I say, I'm a bartender! Last time I moved, my fridge box was mostly syrups, fortified wines, and a couple of bottles of hot sauce.

Bottled cocktails  In addition to the syrup section of my fridge, I always have some sort of bottled cocktail going, sometimes some small single serves, and right now I have two large, multiportion ones. They are perfect if I have friends over or just want one drink after work and don't want to do anything but pour it over ice. Blackberry Bitter cocktail: equal parts gin, Martini Bianco, and Campari in a jar filled with blackberries. Super delicious!

Fruits and veggies  I love my fruits and vegetables, and am addicted to big salads. The combinations are always different—one of my faves is papaya, purple cabbage, green onions, kale, and, of course, citrus! Add some Polish mayo, a bit of balsalmic vinegar, and pepper, and I'm in heaven. 

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