Patrick Abalos started his career in hospitality in 2006. It was then that he found out his passion was food and beverage at a small restaurant in his hometown of Silver City, New Mexico. Patrick’s background started off in the back of the house. He has worked with James Beard Nominated Chef Rob Connoley and Chef Maurice Zeck, CEC AAC HOGC.
It was during his tenure under their tutelage that Patrick honed his skills with developing unique and innovative dishes. He has also completed at both the state and national levels placing in the top tiers with the ProStart Program both in Culinary and Restaurant Management sections of competitions. After contemplating attending Culinary school, he went on to get his degree in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management at New Mexico State University. From there, Patrick moved out to Florida to work with Loews Hotels at Universal Orlando as part of the corporate management trainee program. He shifted gears and went front of the house management (while still maintaining his culinary background) then ended up behind a bar as beverage manager.
He has worked at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, and The Westin at The Woodlands. Patrick has opened one hotel and is now helping open a new restaurant in the Houston market. He has overseen the development of entire property beverage programs including securing, on the first try, the Wine Spectator Award for the property master wine list and being awarded bar of the year in the Woodlands, Texas. He is a member and education chair of the Houston USBG chapter and heavily involved in the competitive bartending scene, most recently USBG World Class Sponsored by Diageo.
When it comes to building a beverage program, Patrick’s philosophy is simple; “Fresh and Unique makes a difference. All of our cocktails use only the freshest ingredient we can get and each has its own unique story. It is like building a dish in the kitchen. You have to highlight the ingredient to show their full flavor”. He goes on to say, “When I start to develop/design WBSC (Wine, Beer, Spirit, Cocktail) programs, I want our guests to have an experience when they are here in our bars. Each spirit/liquor/beer is like a person, they all have their own story to tell and it is our job to tell them. People should never be afraid to try something new.”
In Patrick’s freetime, you can find him studying for certifications, reading a new book dealing with anything alcohol related, drinking some wine, or playing with cocktail recipes. He enjoys spending time with his family/friends, listening to music, working out and cooking (when he can).