World Class Act: Tim Philips Raises the Bar in Rio
One week ago Tim Philips was just another bartender, albeit an extremely talented one. Now he’s officially the best in the world.
We were at the Diageo Reserve World Class Global Finals in Rio last week as Philips and 38 other bartending talents shook, stirred, threw, rolled and poured in front of an esteemed judging panel, including Salvatore Calabrese, Gaz Regan, Dale DeGroff, Peter Dorelli, Hidetsugo Ueno, and the first ever World Class winner, Aristotelis Papadopoulos.
Boy, was it a nail-biting four days. As well as mixing up blinding cocktails our contenders had to impress the panel with their hosting skills, product knowledge, creativity, banter and flair while completing an array of challenges.
We saw them create two cocktails inspired by the tropics in the Tropical Journey round; show off a signature cocktail and bottle serve using Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky or Zacapa 23 rum in the Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong challenge; there was even a written test where their knowledge of spirits and cocktails were put to the test.
And that’s just the half of it. After two days, the 39 were whittled down to 16, then 10 and finally, in front of an audience that included Christina Hendricks, George Lamb, a posse of Brazilian drummers and almost naked carnival dancers, Philips from Hemmesphere Bar in Australia was named Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2012.
It was an extremely well deserved win. Only a crazy creative genius would contemplate serving up a ‘Hot Toddy Australia’ from a bag in a microwave (with ‘tinnies’ for the judges on the side), or take the trouble and time to craft a limerick to accompany their Signature Special. Like the judges, we were blown away with his passion, skill and creativity – he truly is the epitome of World Class.
Congratulations to Tim and all the contestants for treating us to a spectacular event last week – each and every one of them completely raised the bar. And a special shout-out to our own Andy Mil from the London Cocktail Club who did himself and Team GB proud by getting through to the final 10, winning the Food Matching challenge and putting on a fantastic show in all of his rounds.
Diageo Reserve World Class 2012 Global Winner:
Tim Philips, Hemmesphere, Australia
Latin America & Caribbean Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2012: Stephon Scott, On Deck Pub, Tradewinds Hotel, Trinidad & Tobago
Asia Pacific Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2012:
Kae Yin, Marsalis, Taiwan
Western Europe Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2012:
Fjalar Goud, Vesper Bar, Nederlands
Rest of the World: Jimmy Barrat, Zuma, United Arab Emirates
Final Challenge Winners
Retro Chic: Varia Dellalian, Varia Dellalian, Lebanon
Tropical Journey: Jimmy Barrat, Zuma, Dubai
Food Matching: Andy Mil, London Cocktail Club, Great Britain
Cocktail Mastery: Olivier Jacobs, Jigger’s, Belgium
Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong: Giuseppe Santamaria, Ohla Boutique Bar, Spain
Rio Street Market: Dennis Zoppi, Smile Tree, Italy
Cocktails Against the Clock: Shigeki Yoshida, Cerulean Tower Toyku Hotel, Japan
Signature Special: Kae Yin, Marsalis, Taiwan