Andrea Gualdi of Maybe Frank, NSW has been crowned DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS’™ 2017 ‘Bartender of the Year’ for Australia. Gualdi competed against 19 of the country’s best bartenders in a series of four intense challenges over two days to claim the coveted title. Each task was judged on innovation, technique, creativity, presentation, storytelling and artistry.
His grand prize will see Gualdi jet off on an all-expenses paid trip to Scotland to experience the home of Johnnie Walker and to Bangkok for the opening of the first Global World Class Bar. In August, he will then head to Mexico City to represent Australia at Diageo’s ninth annual Global DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ competition. “All of my energy will now be going into preparing for the global competition,” said Gualdi. “I want the global win for Australia.”
The challenges were judged by a panel of highly respected industry experts including Paul Carmichael, executive chef of Momofuku Sydney, restaurant critic and Good Food creative director Gemima Cody, restauranteur and owner of Swillhouse Group, Anton Forte, former Global World Class ambassador and beverage director of Ku De Ta Justin Smyth and former World Class competition winners Charlie Ainsbury and Jack Sotti.
David Smith, Managing Director Diageo Australia was extremely impressed with this year’s entrants. “This has been our most competitive year to date,” he said.
“We’ve had more entrants than ever before and we’ve seen exceptional talent, determination and passion from each candidate. Our Top 20 finalists not only represent Australia’s vibrant spirits culture, but are an inspiring reflection of the hospitality industry in this country.”