The WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year competition is in full swing, testing the 2015 selection of the most talented mixologists on earth. The challenges they are facing as part of the global finals – taking place this week in South Africa – are designed to push them to the very limits of their skill and creativity.
Each of the 55 finalists, representing over 50 countries, are competing in five demanding challenges presided over by a panel of global gurus and WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame champions.
“In order to impress the WORLD CLASS judges, a bartender must exhibit originality, precision, showmanship and the ability to connect with consumers. They will be tested to their limits throughout WORLD CLASS – working under pressure to create not only beautiful drinks, but also memorable experiences. Each year I am astounded and inspired by the level of talent, skill and innovation the participants bring to the competition,” said Spike Marchant, global ambassador for WORLD CLASS.
The week opened with an “Against the Clock” challenge – a high-pressure speed round where competitors prepared a minimum of five cocktails in just 10 minutes to the tune of their own, personal soundtracks. Judges awarded points based on dexterity, creativity and the contestants’ grace under pressure.
The final six bartenders will be annouced tomorrow and will go on to take part in the challenge of challenges, The Cape Town Shakedown, where they will have limited resources and limited time to create their own micro WORLD CLASS pop-up bar. The six will have to draw upon every trick and talent at their disposal to mix the ultimate signature drink – the last obstacle between of the finalists and the title of WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2015.
Once the final scores have been tallied, the winner will be announced on Friday at a grand ceremony at the Cape Town City Hall.
The 2015 Bartender of the Year will become a recognised industry name and a global ambassador of the WORLD CLASS™ programme, travelling the world, educating and inspiring new talent while widening their own knowledge and honing their skills and techniques along the way.
The Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year is the most prestigious event of its kind and aims to elevate the skill and craft of bartending and set global trends and standards in the service industry.
|Australia||Boilermaker House||Jack Sotti|
|Austria||Barracuda Barcatering||Philipp Ernst|
|Brazil||Grupo Vegas||Kennedy Nascimento|
|Bulgaria||By The Way||Dimitar Dimitrov|
|Canada||UVA Wine and Cocktail Bar||Lauren Mote|
|Colombia||Mai Tai Bar||Cesar Acero Sanchez|
|Costa Rica||Hotel Andaz Papagayo||Clark Jimenez Alvarado|
|Czech Republic||L’Fleur Bar||Vítězslav Cirok|
|France||Le Florian||Paul Silvers|
|Greece||Theory Bar and More||Emmanouil Lykiardopoulos|
|GTME||Celebrity Cruises||Santos Mercedes|
|Guatemala||Independiente “Nomada Cocktail”||Marvin Martinez|
|Hong Kong||Quinary||Antonio Lai|
|India||Drinks on MG||Alfonso del Portillo|
|Indian Ocean||Apoteek||Tristan Petit|
|Indonesia||Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali||Ayip Muhammad Dzuhri|
|Italy||Replay the Stage||Francesco Cione|
|Japan||Lamp Bar||Michito Kaneko|
|Kenya||Royal Orchid Hotel||Akash Tomar|
|Lebanon||Central Station||Refaat Ghostine|
|Malaysia||Omakase & Appreciate||Yi Shawn Chong|
|Mexico||Licoreria Limantour||Fernanda Tejada|
|Morocco||Sofitel Royal Bay Agadir (Accor Group)||Brahim Hamouali|
|Netherlands||Door 74||Tess Posthumus|
|New Zealand||Racket Bar||Phillip Spector|
|Panama||Taberna Rasputin||Felix Cuevas|
|Peru||Bottega Dasso||David Romero|
|Poland||El Koktel||Mateusz Szuchnik|
|Portugal||Cinco Lounge||Jose Maria Robertson|
|Puerto Rico||Santaella||Michael Norat|
|Russia||Mendeleev Bar||Evgeny Shashin|
|Singapore||Tess Bar||Steve Leong|
|Slovakia||Gastronomy Group||Filip Navratil|
|South Africa||Molecular Bars||Domenico de Lorenzo|
|South Korea||Speakeasy Mortar||Byungjim Lim|
|Spain||Varsovia Bar||Borja Cortina|
|Sweden||Bar25||Ted Filip Dako|
|Switzerland||Intercontinental Geneva||Olivia Hairay|
|Taiwan||Mandarin Oriental Taipei||Jacko Chang|
|United Arab Emirates||Zuma Restaurants||Mehmet N. Sur|
|United Kingdom||Hawksmoor||Alistair Reynolds|
|United States||Death & Co||Tyson Buhler|
|Vietnam||Urban Kitchen Bar||Duy Tu|
|Western Europe Central Team / Yachting (SS)||Sailing Yacht Marie||Jasmin Rutter|