Twelve years ago Diageo Reserve World Class was born, the competition promoted by the English multinational operating in the alcoholic beverages sector Diageo with the aim of rewarding the best bartenders in the world. This year, numerous professionals come from the 57 competing countries - so far there have been over 300,000 - with the aim of winning the title of best bartender in the world for11to world edition. The World Class, born from the intention of exalting good drinking in all its facets in all corners of the earth based on the history of each country, but also to spread new products and techniques, evolves from year to year. In the 2021 Italian edition, where the competition started ten years ago, the theme it is that ofimportance of bees and their slow decline, primarily due to the use of pesticides. To find out more, we spoke with Manuel Cesandri. With a past as a bartender and trainer at multiple schools in the sector - his last experience behind the counter was at the Luna Glam Club as bar manager - in October 2015 he began working in the corporate world, as a brand ambassador for the Campari Group. After a brief period as Ho.re.ca. Specialist for Martini&Rossi, he joined Diageo where he first held the role of Account Executive on Trade and now, since June 2018, of Brand Ambassador Portfolio Central & Southern Italy.
The first phase
“As in previous years, this year's edition also began with the competitors sending their own recipe. This phase ended on December 20, 2020 and the only prerogative was the use of a Johnny Walker or Tanqueray 10” product. The many recipes from the bartenders who sent them arrived online, without the possibility - for now - of having the judges taste their cocktail.
The second phase
“Of the recipes received, those of 50 bartenders were selected – 5 women in total – divided (by geographical area) into groups led by 5 coaches, Patrick Pistolesi, Matteo Di Ienno, Tommaso Colonna, Edoardo Nono and Giovanni Bologna, who had the task of supporting them in the competition". To help them, there were also webinars held by Agostino Perrone of The Connaught, Antonio Parlapiano of Jerry Thomas and Alex Frezza of the Antiquario of Naples. Each of the coaches was in charge of a team, the last of which was represented by the outsiders, bartenders coming from the Diageo Bar Academy training course”. The task of this phase, still online, was to take a quiz on the great classics with multiple choice questions and to prepare - using a tool kit received - a 'Bee Positive' cocktail.
To create the cocktail of the second phase, the brand chosen, due to the eco-sustainability and the zero kilometer philosophy espoused by the company, is Ketel One. The parameters? All ingredients must come from within a 7km radius – similar to that covered by bees – of your café or home, using Ketel One as a base and a minimum of two local ingredients, one of which must be the honey or derivative, also as a garnish, infusion or sweetening part. Around the cocktail, the bartender was also asked to create a community project, similarly to the beehive, to be sent by February 22nd. In this step, which ended at the beginning of March, the winning judge of the 2018 Italian stage Francesco Galdi selected 25 competitors out of 50.
The 25 competitors who move on to the third phase are Andrea Pomo, Luca Granero, Matteo Ciampicali, Manuel Di Cecco and Michele Ferruccio for Team Pistolesi, Gabriele Tammaro, Alessandro Zampieri, Erica Rossi, Marco Dongi, Alberto Corvi and Carolina Senesi for Team Nono , Vincenzo Pagliara Simone Molè and Geanfranco Chavez for Team Bologna, Gabriele Zambelli, Riccardo Cerboneschi, Enzo Russotto and Federico Ercolino for Team Di Ienno and Haneul Lee, Sossio Del Prete, Giacomo Albieri, Edoardo Miotti, Daniele Macvò, Daniele Salviato and Erick Munguia for Team Colonna.
The third phase
In this step the competitors find themselves facing the judges, having their creations, specially sent, tasted for the first time. In addition to a recipe that they will have to send online, they will also have to put themselves to the test before the watchful eyes of an expert jury, who will choose the ten finalists who will reach the Italian final.
The fourth phase
The final act of the Italian edition of the Diageo Reserve World Class will be held on 18-19 April. After a series of challenges, the national winner will be named and will face the other 56 title holders in the world final to be held in Madrid in July. The winner of the latter, in addition to the coveted title of Bartender of the Year 2021, will be given, when possible, the opportunity to experience Diageo brands up close with a tour of Scotland among the company's distilleries.[: ]