Whisky Focus - Diageo Reserve Announce GB World Class Top 20 Finalists

Diageo Reserve Announce 2019 GB World Class Top 20 Finalists

31st May 2019
Diageo Reserve have announced the top 20 finalists who will compete for the coveted title of GB World Class bartender of the year 2019.

Diageo Reserve has announced its 2019 GB World Class Top 20 finalists who will be competing in June for the coveted title of GB World Class bartender of the year 2019. The winner will represent GB in the World Class Global Final hosted in Glasgow in September.

Now in its 11th year, this yearís competition achieved a record number of entries Ė a 50 per cent increase from last yearís GB competition. A panel of expert judges toured the UK earlier this month conducting the competitionís in-bar judging, taste-testing each drink, whittling the top 100 down to 20. Bartenders across the UK were challenged to showcase their skills, creating a ĎTartan Tikií serve infused with unique Scottish flavours using Talisker 10 Year Old, served in a tiki-style tumbler glass.

The two-day final will include a series of challenges taking place at the Andaz Hotelís newly renovated Rakeís Bar and at Taste of London. Challenges on day one will be housed at Rakeís Bar focusing on Diageo Reserve spirits. The World Class bar at Taste of London will host the final challenge of the competition which will be designed to showcase the competitorsí speed and ability to engage with an audience demonstrating their hospitality skills. The 2019 World Class GB winner will then be announced at Taste of London later that evening.

Jack Sotti, GB World Class Ambassador at Diageo Reserve, commented: "Weíre home to such a huge pool of talent here in the UK and weíre proud to be at the heart of this by bringing those who share the same passion for the industry together. Itís fantastic to see the competition thrive year on year and watch our community grow. The number of applicants this year has been astounding, especially considering this is our 11th year.

"It is always amazing to see incredible talent come together each year no matter where you are in the world. Iíve experienced the competition globally but this is the first time I will experience it from a GB perspective. I can confidently say the talent here is globally leading, so I canít wait to see what the competitors have up their sleeves for the GB final. The challenges are designed not only test bartenderís ability to experiment with flavour and to balance a drink, but to showcase personality, exceptional presentation skills and how to bring the story behind the serve to life."

The Diageo Reserve GB World Class Top 20 Bartenders are:

  • Arnaud Volte, The London Edition, London
  • Benji Davies,Little Mercies, London
  • Bryn Lovell, Public, Sheffield
  • Cameron Attfield, Disrepute, London
  • Drew Gray, The Finnieston, Glasgow
  • Elysa McGuire, Below Stairs, Leeds
  • Giancarlo Jesus, Happiness Forgets, London
  • Giovanni Tavano, Kwant, London
  • James Hawkins, Sexy Fish, London
  • Jonathan Arthur, Bramble, Edinburgh
  • Jo Last, Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, London
  • Luke Robinson, Lyaness, London
  • Matthew Galloway, Tigerlily, Edinburgh
  • Max Allison, Scout, London
  • Ryan Sneddon, Lucky Liquor Co, Edinburgh
  • Sean Fennelly, Kimpton Fitzroy London, London
  • Simone Sanna, CUB, London
  • Stevie Kane, CUB, London
  • Thomas Payne, Revolution Cornerhouse, Nottingham
  • Tommy Matthews, The Edgbaston Hotel, Birmingham

The winner of the GB World Class 2019 Competition will win a prize package consisting of:

  • A trip to Glasgow to represent your country in the World Class Global Finals 2019
  • A tour of a selection of key Diageo owned distilleries covering the four corners of Scotland
  • A guest bartending shift at a European city
  • Cocktail Kingdom bar tools and equipment
  • Offers for paid event work with Diageo GB leading up until next yearís competition
  • Nationwide exposure and dedicated PR for the World Class GB Winner and their bar throughout the year
  • Professional signature serve and profile photo shoot with top industry photographer

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