Judged by six of the world’s most famous bartenders and critics, WORLD CLASS was created and developed by Diageo’s Reserve Brands team. It is a global competition to find the best bartender in markets in which Diageo operates. The competition is an integral part of Diageo’s work with pubs, bars and restaurants, where the focus is on educating and empowering bar staff, improving their knowledge, skills and ability to deliver the perfect serve and quality drinks. As a result of both the competition and the training programme, those involved become ambassadors of Diageo brands and advocates for the drinking experience.
Rudy Paoli, managing director of the Diageo Reserve team, said: 'WORLD CLASS is a truly international celebration of the flair, creativity and skill of the bartender and the appreciation of great spirit brands. Erik represents all of this and we would like to congratulate him on this fantastic achievement.'
WORLD CLASS judge Dale DeGroff commented: 'What's most impressive about WORLD CLASS is how every aspect of the craft of bartending is tested by the challenges and judges. You need to be creative, thorough and skilled - it's daunting.'
WORLD CLASS 2010 winner – Erik said 'This is a dream to win such a prestigious award, to be judged by some of my heroes such as Salvatore Calabrese and Dale DeGroff has really inspired me. I’m really excited about the year ahead.'
The WORLD CLASS 2010 final challenge winners were also announced at the same awards ceremony, they were:
WORLD CLASS Gastronomy challenge – Canapés Matching
Winner: Jordi Otero, Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona, Spain
WORLD CLASS Architecture challenge – Market Challenge
Winner: Do-Hwan Eom, The Ritz Bar, The Ritz-Carlton, Seoul, Korea
WORLD CLASS Theatre challenge - Ritual & Cocktail Theatre
Winner: Max La Rocca, Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare Kerry, Ireland
WORLD CLASS Art challenge – Speed & Taste
Winner: Heinz Kaiser, DINO’s American Bar, Vienna, Austria
WORLD CLASS History challenge – Classic Cocktails
Winner: Timo Janse, Door 74, Amsterdam, Netherlands
WORLD CLASS Philosophy challenge – Cocktail Mastery
Winner: Torsten Spuhn, Modern Master Bar and Lounge, Erfut, Germany