Leading Lady – Lea Messier

Lea Messier lives in Montreal, QC – originally from Quebec City. Brooklyn NY. She works in hospitality – bartending, craft-cocktails, marketing and events are her specialty. We had a few questions for her – about the past, present and future:

What changes do you hope occur in our industry over the next 3 years? The next 10 years? *
I love to see the concept of “drink less, drink better” explode even more than it has in the past year. Just like food, it is better to enjoy smaller portions of what you like in order to indulge without hurting your health – both physically and mentally. Everything is best when enj in oyed in moderation. We see a lot of people binge-drinking and aggressively partying in our field, and more often than not it leads to a tremendously negative outcome. I feel like it is our duty as representatives in the drinks industry to educate and train our guests, friends and colleagues to drink better, not drink more.

What advice would you give your 16 year old self? *
Don’t try to become something you are not meant to be. Don’t force yourself to be what others want you to be. Be true to who you are, and you’ll end up exactly where you’re meant to be. Trust life, trust that people that do great things, get great things. Work hard, it’s worth it. 

If you could sit and have an open conversation with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be, and why? *
I would love to have a conversation with Billy Joel. I feel like Billy Joel has a song for every single one of my moods – he’s my mood ring! Joel is an amazing musician – he gave us the “Piano Man” and “She’s Always a Woman to Me” – I feel like both songs are super intense once you understand the lyrics. I almost me him once….. but didn’t.

Is there a particular location in the world you’d like very much to visit, and what do you hope to find there? *
I still own family lands in Brittany, France – passed down from my paternal grandparents. I grew up there. Unfortunately, life has been so busy that I haven’t been back since I was 18 years old. I really miss it. The best strawberries, melons and produce in the world. Fresh, daily catch, fish that you’ve got access to, the moment it’s pulled from the ocean – grill it yourself on the beach between folded clothes hangers (my grandparents taught me to cook anything and everything from scratch), with homemade eau-de-vie and good wine.

If you weren’t in the hospitality industry, what would you be doing? *
Marketing and events, always. I worked 4 years in an office (yeah, a 9 to 5 gig) for a coveted Quebecois magazine. It was fun for a time, but it was a dead-end role, a male dominated environment – so much posturing – I needed to grow, and spread my wings! I’ve always been the organizer -from my birthday parties when I was a kid, to prom in high-school. It’s just logical for me to stay in event organization and marketing.

What’s your favourite time and place to have a drink, what are you having, and who are you having it with? *
I LOVE a glass of Champagne at anytime of the day or night. The first drink I always have on my birthday is a glass of Champagne – it’s mandatory.  Beyond this, my favourite drink would be a Manhattan. I keep these moments for special occasions like a night out with my best friends or to test a new cocktail-bar. Having a drink with my best friends, my mother & my aunt in Quebec City at our little private speakeasy in our home is the best moment in the world. It’s a safe place, and always happy place. Then we have a shot of Jäger. When we’re out, I love to order a Manhattan, with a twist – it’s such a simple drink, and gives an opportunity for personality and creativity in the bartender’s interpretation of the classic. 

What’s your ultimate one liner that describes your mission in life *
My grandmother Pierrtte Gagnon told me, “we have the happiness gene. I was born with it, and I passed it along to your mother who gave it to you. The goal in life is to be happy. Keep this in mind always”.

Follow Lea Messier on social media – @leamessierf  @cocktailjedi