Following rounds of intense competition and outstanding creativity, Andrew Dickey from The Merchant Hotel, Belfast has been crowned as the winner of the coveted title ‘World Class Irish Bartender of the Year 2016’ at The King’s Inn in Dublin’s city centre. Andrew Dickey will go on to represent Ireland in the World Class Global Final 2016 which will take place in Miami this coming September.
World Class is renowned as the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition, committed to celebrating and elevating the craft of bartending. To discover the next generation of world class bartending talent, some of the most revered names in the industry came to Dublin to judge the competition. Influential chef and co-host of MasterChef UK, John Torode joined the judging panel alongside industry experts Max La Rocca, European World Class Ambassador, Anna Walsh, World Class Ireland Winner 2015 and Ewan Gunn, The global BA for Haig Club.
Synonymous with sophistication and impeccable service, World Class bartenders are constantly pushing the boundaries of contemporary and experimental cocktail culture.
This year, the six finalists were put through their paces more than ever, with complex challenges designed to test them on all aspects of bartending including brand knowledge, precision, sensory, hosting and creativity. Competing alongside Andrew Dickey was Meath native Adam Walsh from Zozimus in Dublin; Croatian born, Ivana Sabljak of House Dublin; Clondalkin born Darren Geraghty who represented The Candlelight Bar in Dundrum, Dublin; Stephanie Shen, bar manager of The Meeting House, Dublin and Alan Petrovic, from Croatia who works as a bartender in KOH Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge in Dublin.
The bartenders competing are encouraged to innovate and experiment using the Diageo Reserve portfolio of the world’s finest spirits – which includes: Ketel One vodka, Cîroc vodka, Ron Zacapa rum, Tanqueray gin, Tanqueray No. TEN gin, Bulleit Bourbon, Don Julio Tequila, Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Blue Label whisky and scotch whisky’s Cardhu, Singleton and Talisker.
Chef and celebrity judge John Torode commented; “It has been amazing to witness the level of passion, creativity and outstanding skill here today. I was particularly impressed by their ability to combine and balance unique flavour profiles – a cocktail is a dish in itself! These bartenders really are world class. Andrew Dickey is a very deserving winner and I wish him the very best of luck in the Global Final in Miami in September.”
Max La Rocca, European World Class Ambassador and judge commented; “Each and every one of the finalists have demonstrated their own unique ability and skill, not to mention passion and great ambition. It is always amazing to see fresh ideas and new talent. Competing in World Class is a great opportunity to help bartenders define and develop their skill set and I am sure that each of the finalists will go on to inspire other bartenders both at home and further afield.”
Speaking at the event, AnnMarie Phillips, On Trade Channel Director of Diageo Ireland commented; “World Class is a fantastic platform that celebrates the skill, creativity and passion of Ireland’s best bartenders. This prestigious competition brings together the best bars, the most talented bartenders and the most exquisite spirits from around the globe. World Class continues to transform fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and it is great to be a part of this movement. It has been an intense but exciting competition and the standard here today has been exceptional. We wish Andrew Dickey the very best of luck at the World Class Global Final.”
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