Throughout her career, Madeleine MacDonald has worked to improve the hospitality industry from within. Along with organizing and competing in Speed Rack, an all-female cocktail competition raising funds for breast cancer research, she serves on the board of directors for the non-profit Bartenders Benevolent Fund, which helps hospitality workers with emergency financial needs. In 2017, she helped organize Cocktails and Consent, working with Calgary’s Centre for Sexuality to train industry workers to recognize sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, and intervene as a bystander witnessing it. She recently made this training available for students and is working to have it added to the curriculum.
A one-time cook and server, MacDonald has worked for a number of Calgary bars and restaurants in both front and back-of-house positions.
Looking to build on her skill set, she enrolled in SAIT’s Hospitality Management program, graduating in 2014 and transforming an internship at Calgary’s award-winning Model Milk restaurant into a role as beverage director. She helped open the cocktail bar, Model Citizen, and Model Milk’s sister restaurant, Pigeonhole, before moving to Calcutta Cricket Club, which opened with her as beverage director.
In 2018, she returned to SAIT, bringing her mentorship skills from behind the bar to the classroom. Her work has taken her to France as a Mademoiselle Cointreau winner, Melbourne, Australia through SAIT’s Study Abroad program and she was also invited to stage with the Drink Factory in London, UK where the focus is on molecular mixology.
Awards and achievements:
- Certified specialist of spirits
- Won the Alberta regional all-female Mademoiselle Cointreau bartending competition
- White Hat award winner for beverage specialist in 2018
- winner of numerous cocktail competitions
If I wasn’t doing this: "I’d be running my own bar consulting business, working with new venues to create dynamic cocktail and bar programs."
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