History is chock-full of dynamic duos: Lennon & McCartney, Wozniak & Jobs, Ben & Jerry. In L.A. we rely on several to make our cocktail scene the diverse and trend-setting drink destination that it is. As part of a new series, we asked these celebrated pairs to share their history together.
It’s official, the highly esteemed barman Julian Cox has left the city. But, thankfully, his work with his company Soigné Group and his partnership with Josh Goldman (ink.) will continue. Oh yes, he’ll be back and forth from his new gig with the Lettuce Entertain You restaurant group in Chicago.
Cox and Goldman first worked together back in 2010 at the chef series Test Kitchen but have developed an enduring friendship that translated into a partnership which we all benefit from. Together the duo is responsible for some of L.A.’s most impressive bar programs like Brilliantshine, Acabar, Picca, Sotto, and Belcampo Meat Co. Santa Monica, and they’ve also had a hand in nurturing some of the best bartenders in the city. Even though they have the clout and esteem, they’re two of the most humble guys in the industry.
How did you guys first meet?
Josh: We first met at a friends and family event for Rivera’s opening but we didn’t work together until the first Test Kitchen at what would become Sotto and Picca.
First impressions of each other?
Josh: Julian is a great guy and a consummate professional. He’s very likable and easy to get along with, not a bad bartender either.
Julian: He was inspiring to watch. I remember watching him run dining rooms at Church and State and ink. and I was always a fan of his leadership and attention to detail.
What is it like to work with one another? How do you complement one another?
Josh: I’d say we’re very much the same in certain aspects but polar opposites in others. Our core values align but our outlooks are very different so it has been a great journey learning and growing together.
Julian: It’s a relationship that is totally open creatively. We challenge each other. We keep each other on task and focused. Josh has an incredible ability to raise the bar in anything he touches. It’s always fun to work together with people like this. This works because we both love what we do.
What was the first thing you worked on together?
Josh: Michael Voltaggio’s guest night at Test Kitchen. This was before Michael and I opened ink. and Bill Chait was letting us use the future Picca space to prep for events. Julian was running the bar program downstairs so he’d take a break and come upstairs or I’d go down to the bar.
What was the best thing you created together?
Julian: Definitely Soigné Group.
Josh: I think the best thing that we’ve created together is the culture of Soigné Group. It’s one of love and respect for each other. Knowing that none of us can do it alone. We have each other’s backs. It doesn’t matter if you’re currently working with us or used to, we’re all still family. It’s an attention to detail that we all share, a love of the game and a commitment to making everything soigné as f*ck!