When it comes to a relaxing evening at the bar with excellent service and a lovely view, it’s hard to beat Seven Restaurant in The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. There’s something about the comfortable chairs and soft lighting that just washes all your cares away, and a well-mixed drink doesn’t hurt either.
The standards of The Ritz-Carlton are well known, so it should come as no surprise that its Grand Cayman resort employs staff members that are experts in their field. One such expert is master mixologist, Amba Lamb.
Amba was born in Palmerston North, New Zealand and had never thought of a future career in the hospitality industry. No, indeed – she was planning to fix the instruments on her country’s Air Force planes … until the fleet was sold. After studying electronics and electrical technology, she was now at a bit of a loose end.
Luckily, she had been working in a bar while learning all the tech stuff and she really enjoyed it. She decided to see where it could take her and ended up working in bars and hotels in different countries for a number of years, including the U.K. and Canada. She met her future husband in London on her travels, and the two of them came to Cayman in 2014 after a recommendation from a friend in Victoria, British Columbia.
They were only planning to stay for a season, but Amba found herself in a great environment working at The Ritz-Carlton, first at the Periwinkle Restaurant (now Andiamo), and then Seven.
In the last four years, she has gained two sommelier certifications and has won a number of bartending competitions. Her name is definitely known in the local service industry scene.
When asked what she likes about bartending, she says it’s great to be that close to people and get to know them through the course of an evening. She’s also very happy to be working at The Ritz-Carlton. “I have a lot of creative license given to me,” she says, “and I have access to amazing chefs and brilliant minds – it helps me be more creative. There are a lot of people to mentor you here.”
When Amba isn’t mixing drinks, she’s dancing to the tune of her husband’s music, as he’s a mixer in his own right. Fans of the island’s top DJs will know him as DJ Urusai.