That most studious of bartending gentlemen, Mr Ryan Chetiyawardana AKA Mr Lyan has recently ended his role as Creative Manager at The Worship Street Whistling Shop bar in East London, where he created arguably one of the most inventive cocktail menus in the world (nominated World’s Best Cocktail menu, Tales of the Cocktail 2012). His first bar – White Lyan – is now open in Hoxton. The first cocktail bar in the world to use no perishables.
His very good name preceded him long before his physical arrival in London thanks to his many outstanding achievements in the service of the world-renowned Bramble in Edinburgh. Ryan is a deeply committed bar professional who has bartended as long as he has been legally permitted, an admirable ten years and counting.
With his mother creating many patisserie delicacies, Ryan grew up from his earliest days in an environment where food and drink was at the heart of the house. Looking to develop his passion for food and flavours, he began his career training as a chef. But he found being tied to the kitchen rather limiting, due to the minimal level of interaction with the actual guests, something that he enjoyed immensely whilst entertaining at home.
During his time doing a BA and MA at Edinburgh University, Ryan found his attention directed to mixing drinks. It was a perfect forum for both entertaining and creating, and one where he could call on his
studies in the humanities (Fine Art) as well as the sciences (Biology and Philosophy). He found he could tailor his creations to individual tastes and whilst experimenting and developed an acute palate and an imaginative creative streak. Ryan went on to win several high profile competitions but the highlight has been winning 2009 UK Bartender of the Year in the Diageo World Class competition. He also won the Market Challenge section of the global competition, judged by the meticulous Ueno San of Bar High Five in Tokyo, placing him in the top 3 overall. He also placed 2nd Globally after being crowned UK Bartender of the Year at the 2012 Havana Club Grand Prix.
Today you will often find Ryan deep in thought behind his bar peering through his spectacles, experimenting with molecular and culinary mixology, a man devoted to his trade. Ryan believes he is influenced by all around him: peers, family, travels, reading and university. One of his great skills is being able to create exactly the right drink for you, dependent on your likes and dislikes and mood. You can follow new developments here, at White Lyan or at www.facebook.com/MrLyan
If you’d like to get in touch with Ryan, send him an email: [email protected]
2012, Havana Club UK bartender of the Year, 2nd Globally 9th Bi-Annual Grand Prix 2010, No3 Gin UK winner
2009, Best El Dorado Rum Cocktail, Theme UK Final
2009, Theme Bartender of the Year UK Grand Finalist, 2nd Overall
2009, Bacardi Dominoes and Daiquiris Winner Scotland
2009, Martin Miller’s Lost and Stolen Winner UK
2009, Global World Class Market Challenge Winner
2009, Reserve Brands World Class Bartender of the Year UK
2009, BarBore Martini, Tanqueray No.Ten Recipe Winner
2008, Grey Goose Dream Bar Design Grand Finalist
2008, Bombay Sapphire Inspiring Creations Grand Finalist
2007, Bacardi Tiki Competition Winner2004, Advanced Bartending and Mixology, Distinction, IPB Bartenders
2003, Award for Excellence, Santa Fe, Birmingham
Vogue, Evening Standard, The Independent, Restaurant Magazine, The Guardian, CLASS Magazine, Imbibe, Square Meal, Spirits Business, Elle, Monocle, Zagat Online and more
Esquire UK, “The Nation’s Best Bartenders”
Channel 4, “Winning UK Bartender Goes Global”
The Scotsman, “Capital Cocktail Barman the Best of the British”
The Spirit World, “Three Storm Flip”
Food & Drink Innovation Network,
“Marco Pierre White Names World Class Bartender”
GQ UK, “Mixing It with the ‘Liquid Chefs’”
The Independent, “Touch of Glass…”