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David Lissner
for restaurants

These women will keep you warm this season

DeJorn Huffman of Sable Kitchen & Bar. (Photo: Bols Genever.)

DeJorn Huffman of Sable Kitchen & Bar. (Photo: Bols Genever.)

Lynn House recalls that one time at The Violet Hour two years ago when she was the only woman in a roomful of men.

Usually when that happens it’s a bachelor party, and the only woman in the room is the featured entertainment, but on this particular occasion it was an absinthe tasting event for professional mixologists.

House got a few curious looks and even a couple of “So, what are you doing here?” inquiries from some of the guys and even though it pissed her off she never allowed them to see her stress out. After all, as one of the top bartenders in the city who’s a force to be reckoned with during competitions, she had just as much right to be there as they did.

“I felt like they were all thinking, ‘Who brought their cocktail waitress?'” she says, laughing at the incident today.

As Blackbird’s in-house mixologist, House is part of a small crop of women changing the role of females in the cocktail-making industry.

She has a slender, petite frame (from years of dancing) and an infectious smile, but you won’t find her in scantily clad clothing behind the bar. She’s typically outfitted in slim black pants and a stylish, yet not fussy top.

Same goes for DeJorn Huffman, who’s an ambassador for Bols Genever by day and behind the stick come night at Kimpton’s Sable Kitchen & Bar. It could have easily been a humiliating experience for her when a male patron once pointed to her male counterpart and asked, “Um, can you ask him to make it?” Instead, Huffman looks at the incident as a learning experience and is determined to work to be at the top of her game.

“It has already been proven (by scientific studies) that women have better taste buds than men, so we’re already more ahead in the industry than people think,” says Huffman. “The challenge is that we have to work harder and we always have to look polished if we want to be taken seriously in this industry.”

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