You hunger for short rib braised by a three-star Michelin chef that lets your knife goes untouched. A cabernet selected by one of the world’s 186 Certified Master Sommeliers that changes what risotto means to you, and absinthe expertly prepared to follow today’s selection of scallops.
The credentials of our roster of culinary talent go beyond expert training and esteemed awards. Take a bite, and you’ll know.
Dominique Awad was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She began her career in Food & Beverage as a cocktail server at Delmonico Steakhouse, requiring her to learn every drink and ingredient. A few years later, she transferred to cocktails at Bellagio and participated in several bartending competitions.
Her fascination in creating new drinks and modifying recipes comes from her interests in cooking. Her Grandparent’s owned a restaurant, Angelo's Cornucopia in Syracuse, NY where she learned most of the family recipes and enjoyed reinventing dishes with her own ideas.
While serving cocktails and participating in bartending competitions, Dominique was determined to eventually become a mixologist. After much time and dedication, she was able to transform her passion into her career. Dominique is currently a mixologist at Julian Serrano in ARIA and loves the fun & easy-going clientele.
Dominique’s favorite drinks to make are Caiprinhas and Cucumber Martinis. Her creativity and knowledge of flavor profiles sets her apart from other bartenders and mixologists. Be sure to pay a visit to Julian Serrano and experience her imagination!
Darren West moved to Las Vegas about 17 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA. He realized he was a natural behind the bar when he was 21, working as a bar back at a restaurant. The interaction with new people everyday inspired him to become a bartender.
After moving to Las Vegas, Darren was chosen to be part of the opening team at Bellagio and bartended there for 13 years. Here, he was inspired by Tony Abou-Ganim, “The Modern Mixologist” who elevated bartending to another level. He entered several bartending competitions and traveled around the world to participate. He is a two time USA Champion of the United States Bartenders Guild Competition and represented the United States in the world finals. Darren continues to compete heavily in bartending competitions and prides his trophy case.
In 2009, he was presented with the opportunity to work with Chef Robert Moore at Jean Georges Steakhouse in ARIA and has loved every moment since. If you’re not too sure what to drink, Darren has an answer. Stop in Jean Georges Steakhouse and taste his expertise.
Born and raised in New York City, Manuel Garcia joined the Navy in 1985 where he was stationed in Southern Maryland. He moved to Clear Water Beach, Florida after serving and started bartending in 1989. Soon he became the Beverage Manager for an Interstate Hotel property. Manny moved to Las Vegas in June of 2004 and started work at Excalibur Hotel Casino Las Vegas as a bar back. His hard work was quickly noticed and he was promoted to a bartender three months later. In 2005, he began bartending at the Bellagio where he discovered the art of mixology.
Manny was chosen to represent the USA for the “Cocktail World Cup” in New Zealand in 2006. One of the events he participated in was called “Extreme Cocktail Making” that involved 3 stages. During the first event, he had to create a Cosmopolitan, bungee jump, and serve the cocktail to the judges in a boat while hanging upside town. The second event was called “Helishake”, where he was taken on a helicopter to the highest point of Southern New Zealand to create a cocktail on the mountain and then serve it to the judges on the helicopter. The third event was called “Jet Boating”, which required him to create a cocktail using all unfamiliar ingredients and liquors. The competition was a life changing experience for Manny and taught him about the drink culture and how boundaries are expanded.
Manny joined ARIA’s team in 2009 and can currently be found at View Bar near ARIA’s Main Lobby. Stop in and enjoy a custom cocktail served right side up, with no helicopters involved.