Agata Kalicki of Chang’s

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Pomegranate Watermelon Mojito

Chang’s is a new and exciting restaurant joining the Cayman scene. Located in Treasure Island Resort, it specialises in oriental cuisine served in a warm, relaxed atmosphere. One of the biggest assets of Chang’s is its large indoor cocktail bar where patrons can pull up a chair and wind down with a favourite beverage. If you stop by for a tipple, chances are you’ll be served by Agata Kalicki, What’s Hot’s Bartender of the Month.
Agata was born in Poznan, Poland. Her family stayed there until she was seven years old, at which time they moved to (then) West Germany, and finally on to Ontario, Canada to look for a better life.
By the time she was ready to attend college, she had already decided to pursue production design and so applied to and was accepted at a film school where she studied for three years. During this time, she was working part-time in restaurants and wine shops and interning at various theatres and on movie sets. After graduating from college it didn’t take her long to realise that whilst her career choice may have seemed interesting in theory, in reality it could be an extremely tedious job. She spent hours on movie sets sitting around waiting to be called to adjust something minor, only to go back and sit down for another long period of time. Theatre work was more interesting because at least it meant constant involvement, but overall she realised that it could be years before she got to the level where she would have enough clout to make it all worthwhile.
In 2004 she had an opportunity to move to the Cayman Islands. Ready to take a different path in her life, she took the chance and arrived in Grand Cayman in June 2004. Hurricane Ivan hit in September that year and put a lot of businesses out of action, at least for a while. Agata was working at Sunset House at the time, and luckily she and this popular bar were able to weather the storm to come back into full operation in a relatively short period of time.
She remained at Sunset House for six years as a bartender, before taking a dream trip with a friend to Thailand in March of this year. She spent two months on vacation, bringing back with her what she refers to as “a bunch of ugly pants.” Upon her return she found out about a new restaurant being opened by entrepreneurs Neil Bryington and Markus Mueri. Her application went in and she was offered the job of bartender at Chang’s.
Agata likes bartending because it allows her some face-to-face socialising with her customers. Chang’s appeals to her because of its open design, and knowing that her bosses have years of successful experience in the local restaurant trade doesn’t hurt either.