Local Bartenders Up the Ante at Diageo Reserve World Class 2014 Semi-finals

Returning to Singapore for the sixth consecutive year (since the global bartending program started in 2009), our local bartenders have done Singapore proud and have gone on to secure three of eight places at Diageo Reserve World Class 2014 National Finals to be held in May. Local bartenders paving the way for a world class ending are Louis Tan of L’Aiglon, Peter Chua of 28 Hong Kong Street, and Mark Graham Thomas of Bacchanalia, who outperformed the highest number of participants ever recorded in the local program. The winner of the National Finals will go on to represent Singapore and compete on a global scale for the title of the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2014.

First place: Louis Tan of L’Aiglon

Louis Tan for Gourmet Adventures

Second place: Peter Chua of 28 Hong Kong Street

Peter Chua - 28 Hong Kong Street (2) for Gourmet Adventures

Third place: Mark Graham Thomas of Bacchanalia

Mark Graham Thomas - Bacchanalia for Gourmet Adventures

The first semi-final was hosted at Bitters and Love, judged by an esteemed panel including guest judge Luca Cinalli from London’s acclaimed Nightjar, with a theme revolving around mid-century Mediterranean mastery. Bartenders were challenged to create cocktails inspired by Mediterranean cuisine through classic 50s and 60s icons such as Bridget Bardot and Jackie O.

Awarded first-place, Louis Tan of L’Aiglon presented ‘The Wolf’s Peach Illusion’, created from Tanqueray No. TEN, cherry tomatoes, lychee liquor, lemon juice, basil syrup and pineapple. The cocktail was described by the judges as being ‘perfectly balanced and well composed, and the flavor of the cherry tomatoes shone through, creating a Mediterranean inspired cocktail that was clean and refreshing on the palate’. Inspired by the historical nickname given to the humble cherry tomato in the 16th Century when the Spanish considered this new fruit to be both evil and poisonous, ‘The Wolf’s Peach’ provided the perfect inspiration for Tan.

The Wolf’s Peach Illusion by Louis Tan, L’Aiglon

Louis Tan - The Wolf's Peach Illusion for Gourmet Adventures

Second-place was awarded to Peter Chua of 28 Hong Kong Street, whose cocktail, ‘Calypso’s Mercy’ was created from a combination of Don Julio Blanco, dry vermouth, a homemade bell pepper and coriander syrup with fresh lime, gomme syrup, and absinthe. It was poured into a glass rimmed with seaweed salt. His inspiration to create ‘Calypso’s Mercy’ stemmed from the sensuality and passion for which the Mediterranean culture is often famed. He impressed the judges with his showmanship and confidence, and went the extra mile 2 during the tasting, requesting that the judges enjoy his drink blindfolded to ignite their senses.

Second place: Peter Chua of 28 Hong Kong Street

Peter Chua - 28 Hong Kong Street for Gourmet Adventures

Calypso’s Mercy by Peter Chua, 28 Hong Kong Street

Peter Chua - Calypso's Mercy for Gourmet Adventures

Second time participant to the World Class programme in Singapore, Mark Graham Thomas head mixologist of Bacchanalia, secured third place with his presentation of ‘Mezes’ (the Greek word for savory). Taking a different perspective on the Mediterranean theme, he opted to showcase a more savory approach, which combined a Tanqueray No. TEN infused emulsion made with two types of truffle and homemade pesto, Tanqueray No. TEN, apple liqueur and lemon juice, along with a feta and Parmesan cheese syrup. Mark was calm, cool and collected in front of the judges, preparing a menu that showcased his drink concept and ingredients. The judges enjoyed his presentation and the balance of salt, sweet and citrus notes in his cocktail was commended.

Third place: Mark Graham Thomas of Bacchanalia

Mark Graham Thomas - Bacchanalia (2) for Gourmet Adventures

Mezes by Mark Graham Thomas, Bacchanalia

Mark Graham Thomas - Mezes for Gourmet Adventures

Diageo Reserve World Class 2014, www.facebook.com/GlobalWorldClassFinals.

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Categories: Alcohol, Bar, Cocktail Bars, Cocktails, Dining, News

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