Five finalists for Diageo’s World Class announced

June 14, 2022
By Ioni Doherty

Five bartenders from around Australia have been named as the finalists for the 2022 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year.

Samuel Cocks (Bar Rogue, Western Australia), Sarah Proietti (Maybe Sammy, NSW ), Nick Tesar (Bar Liberty, Victoria) (pictured above), Eduardo Conde (No.92 GPR, NSW) and Kayla Saito (Black Pearl, Victoria) will compete for the title of 2022 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year. For the first time, the grand final will be hosted in Sydney this September with bartenders from around the world being flown in for the event.

All five Australian finalists were tasked with two challenges: create an original and sustainable highball using Johnnie Walker Black Label Whisky, and create a cocktail using The Singleton with an additional two components inspired by delicatessen culture.

Krystal Hart, Australian World Class Ambassador said, “We’ve been blown away by the skill of all entrants, but the top five really took it to the next level with their creativity, innovation and focus on sustainability. Moving into the final phase, we’re looking for a bartender who stands out by demonstrating truly show-stopping creations.”

The national finals will be held at Shell House in Sydney from Sunday, 3 until Wednesday, 6 July. Mr Cocks, Ms Proietti, Mr Tesar, Mr Conde and Ms Saito will battle it out, competing in three challenges:

The Icons of Sydney:

Celebrating rarity and luxury like only Johnnie Walker Blue Label can, the challenge is to reinvent the “stirred down and brown” classic cocktail in a ritual serve that celebrates Sydney’s rich history and diverse culture.

Speed Round

Next, finalists will go head to head in a speed round showdown with six drinks to make in five minutes, and only receiving the drinks brief one hour prior to the event. Serves will be centred around Johnnie Walker Black Label.

Into the Wild Mystery Box

Taking inspiration from TV favourite Masterchef, finalists will have access to minimal equipment with a small supplementary pantry of ingredients and a mystery box of foraged ingredients to create a Talisker Ritual that embodies the ocean and its maritime qualities.

The winner of the five will be announced live in Sydney on Wednesday, July 6 and will represent Australia on the global stage in September when Australia will host the World Class Global Finals, and Sydney will be the home of the 2022 World Class Cocktail Festival, a week-long celebration spotlighting the best of Australia’s hospitality scene.

For a little over a week in September, The Rocks and surrounding areas including Surry Hills, Bondi and Sydney’s CBD will come to life as some of the nation’s best bars and restaurants curate the most unique and immersive food and drink experiences. More details on this event are to come.

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