Welcome to Front & Center, a series highlighting front of the house professionals in Chicago restaurants. Right now, Audarshia Townsend, the 312 Dining Diva, writes about Blackbird mixologist Lynn House.
It's no secret that Blackbird's Lynn House is one of my favorite people in the biz. I first met the bar star when she was an up-and-coming mixologist at the Drawing Room. Her infectious laugh, genuinely sweet aura and truly inventive concoctions made me want to get to know her better and develop a friendship.
When she was the head bartender at Graham Elliot, that's when I really learned more about her background and was fascinated by how she effortlessly juggled caring for her beautiful little granddaughters and such a demanding bartending career. Lynn is certainly one in a million and one of the most creative minds I've ever encountered.
She's also extremely generous. When I was invited to guest bartend for charity last year at Pops For Champagne, I also had to come up with my own cocktail to serve guests. Lynn selflessly took time out of her hectic schedule to create a unique cocktail recipe for me, and walked me through the steps so I didn't screw it up. Of course I had the backing of Pops' talented bar staff when I was in the weeds, but without Lynn's recipe, I would not have been able to pull off that night. The cocktail, of course, was a huge hit.
Blackbird has been my favorite restaurant in Chicago since it opened in 1998, so when Lynn came aboard a couple of years ago, I literally cried with glee. My favorite chefs cooking my favorite food with my favorite bartender hooking up my favorite cocktails?! Nothing could possibly top this for me.
My biggest thrill is meeting those who are in the industry for the sheer love of it all, and Lynn is certainly one of those people!
—Audarshia Townsend, 312 Dining Diva