The Diageo World Class Competition has crowned Canada’s Kaitlyn Stewart the winner of the Global Final. Held in Mexico City, Kaitlyn went head to head with the world’s best bartenders, battling it out in the Lucha Libre ring, to create her best classic cocktail. She also went through the Heat of the Moment challenge, breaking the mould but creating cocktails using the best culinary techniques. During the Mex ECO challenge, Kaitlyn showcased how to create the ultimate eco-friendly cocktail.
The Global Final, saw bartenders gather on Sunday, August 20, with 55 bartenders vying for a place in the elite four to compete for the title. The final was designed to test bartenders on knowledge, creativity, and their mastery of classic and signature serves. Bartenders were able to use spirits from the Diageo range including Johnnie Walker, Ciroc, Ketel One, Tanqueray no. TEN, Zacapa, Bulleit, Don Julio and a collection of single malts.
A big shout out must go to Sydney via Bergamo bartender, Andrea Gualdi of Maybe Frank who made it to the top 4, what a feat! In a year that saw Andrea also jump into DW’s Australia Top 25, he’s definitely one we’re keeping an eye on. Congratulations to Andrea, Stefano and the Maybe Frank crew. Eh la Madonna!
After four days of challenges, Kaitlyn was officially named the winner and along with the title, Kaitlyn now embarks on a year of adventure, travelling the world as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, making killer drinks around globe and judging competitions. She also etches her name on the roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the ninth member of the World Class Hall of Fame.
Kaitlyn, who plies her trade at Royal Dinette in Vancouver said, “I’m so incredibly amazed and shocked to have been named the world’s best bartender. It’s been a gruelling week, taking on the toughest challenges against some of most skilled bartenders I’ve ever met. Participating in the Finals was amazing enough but to finish the week as winner… I’m so delighted! Cocktails are on the up now more than ever and to be at the forefront of that, pushing forward the idea of using better ingredients and better recipes to create even better cocktails is something I’m really passionate about and I’ve loved every moment of this experience.”
This victory further cements Kaitlyn’s legacy in the industry, having previous first place finishes in the Smirnoff Caesar Challenge, winning the second annual Canadian Whisky Competition, as well as taking out the West Coast placement in the Speed Rack Canada bartending competition.
Next year, World Class celebrates its 10th anniversary, holding the Global Final in Berlin, one of the most vibrant cities in the world and cultural hotspots. “Berlin is famous for its diverse nightlife and vibrant bar culture – a perfect place to host our 2018 World Class finals. The streets are lined with cutting-edge bars, all pushing the boundaries of cocktail culture and helping people get more from their drinks. Not just that, the style of the city and its creative and diverse cultural make up, means that it will be a spectacular experience for everyone,” commented Johanna Dalley, World Class Director.