Meet Orlando Marzo, Eau de Vie’s head bartender


As told to Sam Bygrave

He’s the head bartender at influential — and successful  — Melbourne bar, Eau de Vie. They’ve taken out awards before — last year they picked up Bar Team of the Year— and we thought it about time that we sat down and had a chat with Mr Orlando Marzo.

I’m from the south east of Italy, from the Apulia region. Hospitality is big in Italy. Five years in hospitality school, and then I moved to Modena — maybe you’ve heard of it? Balsamic vinegar, Ferraris, and Massimo Bottura, an amazing chef.

People were like you’ve got to go to London, you’ve got to go to London. So I moved to London in 2009, the 22nd of November. I remember this because it was my mother’s birthday the day after. [She said,] ”Why didn’t you wait one more day?” She wasn’t very happy — I had to come back after three months to apologise!


London shook me up a little bit, to see how much faster things worked in the bar industry, how professional they were. Hospitality is so big and so important, and it’s such a big city.

It’s such a cosmopolitan city, you’ve got to make a drink for a palate from every part of the world.

I got a job at The Player. I started as a junior bartender — everyone starts there at the Rushmore Group. I proudly became head bartender after seven months, when my head bartender went to go to Milk & Honey [also in the Rushmore Group]. I became the face of The Player for a while — I was the player at The Player.

It’s not like a normal job, it’s a lifestyle. In this industry, like with chefs, you’re never off. You’re not sitting at the computer and then you’re done. The more you search, the more you look — the more you go out, which is good.

You always read, you’re always looking for new products, for new ways, new drinks and fashions, and Australia is an upcoming country — hospitality is so big, and the influence of hospitality in this country, it means a lot. I chose Melbourne because of this.

When I started here [at Eau de Vie Melbourne], I was like — wow. My girlfriend, when she came here she said, you’re going to love it. The guys were blazing, and Greg was using nitro, the atmosphere was good, the music was good, the light was amazing — you know when you feel good. It’s a destination. People come here not just because they pass by, but because they know about it.

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