Irving Gonzalez is originally from Aguascalientes, Mexico, but currently lives in Tijuana. He has always had an interest in cocktails and began bartending at his friends’ parties at a young age for a little extra money. He went to culinary school with hopes to be a chef, but after working in a few kitchens, found out he didn’t love the job. He loved experimenting, learning about new ingredients and enjoyed being a part of the creative process, but he also loved interacting with people, telling stories and hearing stories. He moved out of the kitchen to the front of the house and began bartending at Ultramarino in Ensenada. From there, he became the bar manager at Distrito barra publica and created his own beer program. During an interview at Encuentro Guadalupe, Irving met our head mixologist, Frankie Thaheld while he was doing some work with Chef Flor Franco. They hit it off and Irving helped run the Snake Oil Cocktail Co. bar program at Encuentro Guadalupe. In 2015, Irving began managing the bar program The Westgate Hotel San Diego. He competed in the first binational cocktail competition in Tijuana and won first place for a tropical coconut oil-infused turmeric vodka cocktail called Such Panache. In back to back years, Irving competed in the world’s largest tiki convention, Tiki Oasis and won third place two years in a row. Additionally, Irving won second place at a cocktail competition at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. Additionally, he has been teaching at the Culinary School in Tijuana for the last two years. Irving brings his creativity, experimentation and vast knowledge of cocktails to the Snake Oil team once again, as Mixologist.