Prime Restaurants’ beverage manager and mixologist, Nathan Cameron, has won the prestigious Drinks Ontario Hospitality Award for his work with the franchise system’s casual dining restaurants—including Fionn MacCool’s, Bier Markt, Casey’s Grill Bar and East Side Mario’s—to enhance the profile of alcoholic beverages across the province.
“The award was a real surprise and a tremendous honour,” says Cameron, who was nominated alongside restaurateurs Michael Bonacini, Mark McEwan and Andrew Milne-Allen. “From my first job as a student until now, I have worked in beverage alcohol simply because I loved it. I never expected to receive this kind of recognition.”
Cameron was honoured with the award for his passion and creativity in all aspects of his work. His knowledge of beer, cocktails and wine has influenced beverage menus across all Prime Restaurants and Prime Pubs locations. Many of the franchise system’s offerings stem from Cameron’s travel and training across Canada, the U.S., Belgium, Germany, Austria, England, the Czech Republic and South Africa.
Under Cameron’s guidance, Prime has also introduced the Liquid Academy of Publicans and Bar University, which provide training for Prime Pubs and Casey’s bartenders. The programs bring staff from all restaurants to Toronto for a week of intense training, bonding and fun, which has helped increase employee retention and optimize the customer experience. Cameron has also taken staff training and development further by creating video seminars to share his knowledge with others in the industry.