Ep. 43 Martin Hudak (Sammy Jr. & Maybe Sammy)
Martin Hudak has only been in Australia from 2018, but since then, he has certainly created a big impact on the hospitality bar scene. With venues (co-owned) like Maybe Sammy, Dean & Nancy and Sammy Junior under his belt, it’s clear Martin and the teams are on an unstoppable path to pave the future of what a bar experience can be. Maybe Sammy even hit the 22nd spot, on the Worlds 50 Best Bar list last year and took out the Best Bar in Australasia award. But when you’re resume boasts venues like The Savoy (serving guests like Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin), and you’re winning the International World Coffee Cocktail Championship… you wouldn’t expect anything less.
Martin hails from a small town in Slovakia where he originally grew up with a passion for acting, which his parents said wouldn’t be a good career. He took their advice and turned to hospitality, in particular, bartending. He started by doing a few cocktail comps and began to love it. This passion would take him all around the world where it landed him a spot for the American Bar at the Savoy in December 2014, working under Erik Lorincz. Here, Martin says, he learned everything. Care, attention and what it means to be pushed to the limit. After a few years of refining his craft, he competed in the World Coffee Championships one last time (after trying a few years previously) and took out first place in 2017. That year, the American Bar also took out the best bar in the world.
On the back of that fame Martin came to Australia where he met old friends Andrea Gauldi and Stefano Catino who were running Maybe Frank at the time. When you listen to the chat Martin and I have, he shares the story of how they all met a few years prior, before setting up one of the best bars in Australia which opened in 2018. And the rest is history.
You can hear Stefano’s story on the Roots Podcast too, check out episode 17 while you are here.
Martin recently released his first book Spiritual Coffee, which you can purchase at Sammy Junior or through the links on Martin’s instagram at @martinhudak. Spiritual Coffee celebrates Martin’s love for coffee and cocktails, with a rich history outlining how the two came together, along with plenty of delicious recipes of course. Martin and I did a giveaway competition in the leadup to the episode, which you’ll hear us announce during the conversation. While busy smashing goals with his many venues, and releasing his new exciting book, Martin is also the brand ambassador for Mr. Black Spirits, doing pop ups and lectures on the value of coffee cocktails around the world.
The Roots Hospitality podcast is proudly supported by Sydney Direct Fresh Produce. The fruit and vegetable providore led by Luke Kohler, who has been supplying to Sydney restaurants and venues for more then 20 years and still smashing it out today.
Follow @roots_hospitality on Instagram for the most up to date info on the latest guest, news and soundbites.
Music Intro: Roots Hospitality Theme by Charlie Fester.
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