Born and raised in Nashville Tennessee, Kenneth Vanhooser started early in the hospitality industry: slinging drinks in a fast-paced, event driven barbecue restaurant and local music venue on lower Broadway. Upon arriving in the New York cocktail culture scene in 2011, Kenneth honed his craft, delivering well thought-out and executed libations with that same charm and southern hospitality.
Kenneth has had the fortune of working with top-named and Michelin star rated chefs such as Chris Cipollone (both at Tenpenny and now Piora) and Daniel Boulud (Dynex Group) in the comfort of fine dining atmospheres. Kenneth is currently behind the stick here at Piora in the West Village, now the conductor of all things spirit-and-cocktail related.
Having previously worked alongside and under the direction of Shinya Yamao, Kenneth still holds true to the art and techniques of classic Japanese bartending and the signature style that has become Piora’s essence and base for an inventive and seasonal bar program unlike any other. He not only loves a drink in hand, but also combining his love for the art of the bar with his own personal pursuits in fine art printing through an array of printing methods. Kenneth believes his approach to cocktails mirrors that of fine art prints. Sometimes you can create a masterpiece, but you need to be able to reproduce that masterpiece and get it into as many hands as possible in order for others to enjoy your labor of love. Some offerings may only be created in editions and seem only to find their way into select groups; others may only be created for a single person, capturing their personal taste.
“If you can find a way to include art, creation and creativity in everything that you do, you can, and will never be bored.”