This month, we caught up with Paco Calza, General Manager responsible for BCN’s wine list and beverage program!
Born in Galicia, Spain, and raised in Venezuela, Paco Calza moved to Houston in the mid- ’70s and served as waitstaff at D’Amico’s before making a move that would transform the rest of his career. In 1986, Calza was part of the opening team at the original Café Annie. Through the years, Calza rose from waitstaff to front-of-house manager and wine buyer and worked alongside acclaimed Houston chef and James Beard Award winner, Robert Del Grande for 28 years. Calza has enjoyed the busy lifestyle of the hospitality business for more than 30 years!
Why did you decide to include Sherry in your cocktail/bar program?
When opening BCN we gave ourselves the tasks of representing Spain and using top ingredients from Spain. Even going to the extreme of having an exclusively Spanish wine list. We started with a list of Sherries as our main after-dinner drink option and tried to represent every category of the Solera system. Our cocktail program created by Jerry Argüelles is mainly focused on gin and gin-tonics. When layering flavors in our gin tonics, sherry can be an interesting way to add acid or sweetness (depending on the type of sherry) and I also enjoy the nutty characteristics of some of the drier sherries.
What kind of response or feedback have you had for these cocktails?
Most guests are usually instantly taken by the attention to detail in which we try to present our cocktails, but also in the effort to create a balance of flavor. The response is evident in the number of pictures and comments seen on social media. But the ultimate compliment is seeing cocktails sold at every table and in most cases a second or third.
What would you like to see from brand owners in general to support your business?
We are always open to new ideas and recipes from around the world (not just Spain). We love for brands to promote us as well on a global level. But most importantly, any education on the product is greatly appreciated and we find that the best way is to learn directly from the producers.