Lebanon’s leading mixologistsgathered on April 1, 2015, to participate in first burst of the Diageo World Class Competition held at Caprice, bringing together talent and taste under the theme “the Fundamentals of Flavor”.Diageo partnered with international and local mixology and hospitality gurus selected as WorldClass Lebanon 2015 judges bringing their exceptional craftsmanship and mixology knowledge to support the industry’s most credible investment in the luxury on trade.
15 contestants from across Lebanon had to create cocktails that accentuate the flavors of Diageo’s luxury portfolio of Reserve Brands. Judges for this first round wereErik Lorencz, head bartender of American Bar at The Savoy Hotel in London and Global Winner of World Class 2010, David Rios, Global World Class Winner 2013, and Chef Maroun Chedid, renown celebrity Lebanese chef and expert in hospitality in the MENA region. Contestants were assessed for theircreative skills, expression of World Class Spirit, cocktail taste and balance, presentation, technique, and cocktail name.
“This unique event allows mixologists to innovate and move beyond traditional drinks and mixology techniquesand really create sensory experiences through some of the world’s most luxurious brands,” explained Lorencz. “The talent displayed here showed impressive potential, which I am eager to see blossom all the way to the finals in South Africa.”
The event concluded with Johnny Mansour, from Junkyard, Ahmad el Saghir, from BistroBar, and Refaat Ghostine, from Central Station, all three winners of this roundwere deemed qualified to compete in the localfinal round in June, where competition will be even more intense, and expectations will enliven the experience for all, as one of them will be crowned Lebanon’s World Class Champion 2015. The winner will also represent Lebanon in South Africa, competing against leading bartenders from around the globe in the 7th annual Diageo Reserve World Class Global Final 2015, the bartending industry’s most prestigious cocktail competition.
ABOUT DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™
DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ is transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and in the home. The industry’s largest, most credible investment in the luxury on trade, it discovers the next generation of bartending talent who set the latest mixology trends and bring these to the best bars worldwide. At the core is an outstanding, global training programme and internationally recognised platform that elevates the craft of the bartender and builds careers in the industry culminating in an annual luxury landmark week where the DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ Bartender of the Year is announced. Launched in 2009, over 15,000 bartenders have been inspired and educated in the craft of mixology using the finest spirits in the DIAGEO RESERVE collection. A partnership and collaboration with gurus, media, partners and owners, DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ is widely recognised as a mark of sophistication and distinction of international fine drinking culture by bartenders and customers alike.