Friends With Benefits: Gemma Acheson
When it comes to her job, Gemma Acheson has found her happy place. She’s the lead mixologist for the new Boathouse Asian Eatery at Palace Station. After more than a dozen years in the Las Vegas food and beverage industry, and nine years specifically working behind the bar, the U.K. native has found a place she can call home. “I wanted to find a home where I can continue to grow and have some creative outlet in that home,” Acheson said. “It’s become one big happy family.”
She and the rest of the Boathouse team helped launch the concept in Las Vegas (the flagship is in Santa Rosa), and Acheson was tasked to create a cocktail menu that would complement the Asian cuisine. “You need that balance between the cocktails and the food,” she said. “Create something that takes from the food, complements the food and is a nod to the cuisine.” The result is 11 craft cocktails with hints of Asian spice and flavor. “In order to be into creating cocktails you also have to be into food; to me it’s hand-in-hand.”
For Acheson, there is no separation between the kitchen and bar. The entire venue is one continuous entity filled with passionate people who want to entertain guests with the best experience possible, she said.
“I’ve always been in love with the service industry,” Acheson said. “We (at Boathouse) geek out over restaurant stuff. We love the healthy flow of the restaurant—when it’s busy and everything is going, and people are happy and having a good time, and the drinks are great and the food is amazing, you just create an experience for people that they could just not get unless they came to your place, and that is the best part of the whole thing.”