Making La Fuerza with Kate Osmillo of OTO

Kate Osmillo, or Katkat as she is affectionately called, has been in the restaurant industry for several years, working as a sous-chef, hostess, barista, and most recently a bartender. She describes her decision to become a barista and bartender as a manifestation of her being a frustrated chef. Due to a collapse in the kitchen some years ago, her doctor deemed the hot environment not compatible with her health. But ever-determined, she got creative and went into the parallel beverage industry.

Osmillo tells us that making bespoke cocktails is not about the creativity of the bartender. “I’m not the one who’s supposed to think of the spirits, the flavors,” she explains, “It depends on the guests, what they prefer.” A former pageant contestant and a towering figure, Osmillo tells us that restaurants would always want to put her front-of-house. But her insistence and persistence led her to becoming one of the few award-winning female bartenders in the local industry. She tells us about the cocktail that made her one of four winners in the first Annual Don Papa Cocktail Competition.

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