Southeast Asia Finals- Singapore May 15th & 16th.
Finalists from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia, recently competed to be crowned 2014 World Class Bartender Southeast Asia, and additionally as their country winner and representative at the Global Finals scheduled for July 2014 in Great Britain.
Diageo Reserve World Class first launched in Singapore as a bartender mixology competition to improve the standards of drinks being served and to provide bartenders with solid career opportunities through certified training. In just five years, World Class has grown rapidly to become the biggest and most respected programme in the industry, dedicated to transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture globally.
Ketel One Market Challenge (Ingredients Challenge)
The bartenders were taken to the Tiong Bahru market to purchase fresh produce and ingredients unique to the Asian cuisine. Each were allowed to make one cocktail with the ingredients purchased, pairing them with a pre-determined, limited back bar selection of ingredients. The challenge tested the creativity and spontaneity of the bartenders. Winner: Sarawut Pinpech from Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok.
Johnnie Walker Flavour is King Challenge (Whisky Challenge)
Finalists had to create a cocktail showcasing the flavours of Johnnie Walker Blue Label- making one cocktail to pair with one of the following items – fruits, herbs and spices. The judges awarded marks according to the uniqueness of the ingredient-to-whisky pairing and the expression of the spirit.
Winner: Pongpak Sudthipongse from Why97, Thailand.
Cocktails against the Clock (Speed Challenge)
Each bartender tested for their speed, knowledge and efficiency, in creating a minimum of six cocktails in allotted time of eight minutes. The judges awarded marks for the bartenders’ ability to balance speed with skill, being able to serve multiple, great tasting drinks, and entertaining host.
Winner: Mark Graham Thomas from Bacchanalia, Singapore.
Signature Batch Challenge (Punch Bowl)
Challenge focused on the bartenders’ ability to create signature serves that could be produced en-mass, without compromising on taste and quality. Drinks were served from intricate vessels and garnished just prior to service.
Winner: Peter Chua from 28 Hong Kong Street, Singapore.
Scenes from the competition
South East Asia Bartender of the Year 2014
Double win for Peter Chua- from Singapore bar 28 Hong Kong Street
Singapore World Class Bartender of the Year 2014
SEA World Class Bartender of the Year 2014
Other National Winners
Malaysia: Leow Yinying from Marini’s on 57
Indonesia: I Gusti Salit from WooBar Bali, Indonesia
Thailand: Ronnaporn Kanivichaporn from Roof Hideaway, Thailand
Vietnam: Le Thanh Tung from Chill Sky Bar, Vietnam
Philippines: Joma Riveria from The Curator, Philippines
And inaugural team competition-
Diageo Reserve World Class SEA Country Cup 2014: Singapore
Team: Tom Hogan and Bannie Kang from Anti:dote, Mark Graham Thomas from Bacchanalia; Peter Chua from 28 Hong Kong St
WORLD CLASS Global Finals Facebook Page
DIAGEO BAR ACADEMY website
DIAGEO RESERVE BRANDS more information here
CIROC VODKA* KETEL ONE VODKA * JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD LABEL RESERVE *
TANQUERAY No TEN GIN * THE SINGELTON OF GLEN ORD * RON ZACAPA RUM * DON JULIO TEQUILA
(images courtesy AKA Asia)