I've Heard.......From Martin Cate!!!

Link: http://www.fraternalorderofmoai.org/news/index.php

In our never-ending search for all the Tiki news that fits (“If it fits – we’ll print it!”), we reached out to one of today’s Tiki Torch Bearers (TTBs) – someone who is a driving force in bringing more and more of the Tiki lifestyle to the hungry masses: Martin Cate! Martin owns Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco – named one of the 50 Greatest Bars on Earth by the Times of London 6 years running, Best American Cocktail Bar in 2016 at the annual Tales of The Cocktail Spirited Awards, and many, many other awards and industry recognitions. In addition, he is the co-owner of Hale Pele in Portland, Oregon, the False Idol in San Diego and a partner at Lost Lake in Chicago. His 2016 book “Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum and the Cult of Tiki” was recently named the 2017 James Beard Media Award for Best Beverage Book. So, let’s face it – the guy is a busy man! That’s why we are so pleased that he was willing to take a few minutes to answer some questions about him, his background, and of course – a very important FOM question. Enjoy!

What is your fondest memory of US popular culture as you were growing up?
(MC): I had a handful of Tiki experiences as a kid, one of which really stuck with me as my first exposure to “dining as experience”. But I suppose like most 70s kids, Star Wars was probably my fondest US pop culture memory.

What was it about Tiki and Polynesian Pop culture that attracted you to it?
(MC): I was entranced by the artwork and the immersive environments. The overall sensation of being in a great Tiki bar- of it being both an escape but also cozy and sheltering. A sense of protection from some imaginary storm, with a comforting cocktail in hand.

How does it feel to have become a ‘celebrity’ around the Tiki / Polynesian Pop / Cocktail culture? Has it changed your life in any way?
(MC): Well, I certainly consider myself very fortunate to have been able to make my passion my profession. I love being able to share my thoughts on rum and exotic cocktails with people at events around the world. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to use my success to further my education at distilleries throughout the Caribbean, and Rebecca and I were both incredibly flattered by all the Tiki people who came to see us on our book tour. (and getting to do a book tour that went to Tiki bars was as good as it sounds!!)

When did you hear about the Fraternal Order of Moai and how do you feel about their charitable work?
(MC): Seems like I remember when the FOM was just getting started and I met a few early members. It’s amazing how much it’s grown, and the scholarship for students from Rapa Nui is a really smart and creative way to give back.

What do see as the future for the interest in Tiki and Polynesian Pop culture – a ‘fad’ that will peak and fade (again), or a trend that will continue to grow in interest and participation?
(MC): I don’t think it will ever be as big as it was in the heyday- there are just too many other entertainment options and diverse interests today. But I like to think that Tiki bars are making a small but welcome comeback to the American landscape, and I’m happy to see more people building their own backyard paradises as well. Life in 2017 certainly demands that you unplug and take some away from it!

Any new plans that you might want to give us a hint about, regarding you and your work?
(MC): Nothing set in stone. Been working on steady improvements on the Cove all year, including much needed additional seating. And we’re coming up on the 5th Anniversary of Hale Pele, so we’ve just launched a new logo and we’ll be pouring a bunch of new décor into the space over the next few months. Yep, a Tiki bar getting more Tiki- isn’t that nice to hear for a change?

And Most Importantly: Pie or No Pie?
(MC): Always pie. Dutch Apple Pie with the streusel topping. Oh yeah.

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