The final kicked off last Tuesday with ice breakers and informal challenges amongst the competitors to build this year’s World Class community. The two-day competition then started heating up on Wednesday with two challenges at Andaz London Liverpool Street’s newly renovated Rake’s Café Bar. The first challenge required competitors to showcase a chosen British ingredient and maximise its flavour by utilising techniques of flavour extraction or manipulation to create a serve using Ketel One Vodka as the base spirit. The second challenge that day asked competitors to create a Singleton whisky serve using inspiration from a chosen country as the story and inspiration for the drink using the idea of exploration, travel and adventure.
The second day of the competition saw competitors take over the buzzing World Class bar at Taste of London for the final challenge – the speed round. Competitors were tasked with making a round of five cocktails in four minutes for the panel of judges – focussing on skill, speed, style and taste. Testing the ability to perform under pressure, each competitor’s five cocktails were drawn from a menu of fifteen bespoke World Class classics – ranging from a Don Julio Blanco Paloma, to a Tanqueray No. TEN Collins, Ketel One Espresso Martini, Bulleit Bourbon Boulevardier and a Johnnie Walker Highball - with competitors free to mix the drinks as they pleased with the ingredients supplied. One of each competitor’s five drinks was also selected by an audience member and bartenders were asked to tailor the drink to them – testing their ability to engage with an audience and demonstrating their hospitality skills.
This year’s judging panel included: Simon Difford (Difford’s Guide), Sandrae Lawrence (The Cocktail Lovers); Simon Webster (BarLife UK); Diageo Reserve GB Brand Ambassadors, Jason Clark, Ali Reynolds, Jenna Ba and Kate Jackson; Diageo Reserve Global Whisky Ambassador Ervin Trykowski; Diageo Reserve GB Bartender of the Year 2018, Daniel Warren and global winner, Orlando Marzo; and Erik Lorincz, World Class Bartender of the Year 2010 and former Head Bartender at the American Bar at The Savoy.
Jack Sotti, World Class GB Brand Ambassador at Diageo Reserve, commented: “From our World Class Studios UK-wide tour which kicked off back in February, to the final speed challenge at Taste of London yesterday – I know Cameron has worked tirelessly on his World Class GB journey, showing extraordinary skill and attention to detail. Not only this, he managed to showcase personality, exceptional presentation skills and how to bring the story behind the serve to life whilst under pressure over an amazing couple of days at the GB final. We’re absolutely delighted to crown Cameron World Class GB Bartender of the Year 2019 and have every faith in a fantastic performance at this year’s Global Final in Glasgow.”
Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender of the Year 2019, Cameron Attfield added: “It’s been an honour to be part of this year’s World Class community and to get the seal of approval from the judges, who are a real inspiration to myself and the wider industry really does mean a lot. The competition has been extremely challenging and a real test from start to finish. I’m over the moon to be crowned this year’s 2019 World Class GB winner. But, it’s not over yet and now my focus will turn to preparing to represent Great Britain in the global final in Glasgow – game on!”
The winner of the GB World Class 2019 Competition wins a prize package consisting of:
• Nationwide exposure and dedicated PR for himself and bar throughout year
• A trip to Glasgow to represent GB 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 year’s competition
• Professional signature serve and profile photo shoot with top industry photographer