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Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year: Karlina wins second leg of Trinidad Wave

20 Apr
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Stephon Scott – judge, Mario Navarro (lead judge, Ron Zacapa Global Brand
Ambassador), Karlina Permell – winner, Jaime Garcia – local brand
Ambassador, Kathryn Gray – A.S. Bryden Diageo Reserve relationship Manager

Karlina Permell emerged the winner of the second wave of the local leg of DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS BARTENDER OF THE YEAR, the world’s largest and most credible mixology competition, recently held at Texas de Brazil Churrascaria, Fiesta Plaza, Movie towne, Port of Spain.

As the competition moved to the second wave of training and competition, local bar tenders were schooled by Ron Zacapa Global Brand Ambassador Mario Navarro for two days. During the sessions, several of the country’s best bar tenders were challenged to create not only tasty cocktails, but to enhance the overall experience for their patrons, all the while encouraging responsible drinking.

Ms. Permell represented Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre in the competition and suitably impressed the judging panel with her cocktails entitled “Zacapa Wake Up Call”, “Zacapa Boost” and “Zacapa Glory”.

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Kester Blake representing Zen Nightclub and Trevon Pascal of Zanzibar tied for second place, while Richard Atkins of Zanzibar came in third with his cocktails “Red Woman”, Passion, Spice and Paradise” and “April Mornings”.

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Scores from this challenge will go towards selecting the local representative to the 2013 Global Final in which over 50 bartenders from around the world will compete for the coveted title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year, which will take place aboard boutique Azamara Club Cruise’s ship, Azamara Journey, from 4th – 9th July 2013.

“This is a great learning experience for us all, I have been really impressed with the level of interest and standard of presentation from the competitors” said Mario Navarro, lead judge. “ Also I noticed that in both the first and second wave ladies emerged the winners, that’s an interesting situation, I am very eager to return to Trinidad for future events in this competition.” he continued.

The third wave of the competition will be held next month with the theme “Hollywood, Bollywood, Hong Kong”, where the focus will be on the art of cocktail presentation and service featuring the brand Johnnie Walker Blue Label with a visit by the Regional Brand Ambassador Arturo Savage.

Follow the competition on Facebook at the ‘Global WORLD CLASS Finals’ page: http://www.facebook.com/globalworldclassfinals and http://www.facebook.com/worldclasstandt

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World Class is BACK!!!

21 Mar

It’s that time of year again when bartenders compete for a spot in the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartenders competition. The finals will take place aboard boutique Azamara Club Cruise’s ship, Azamara Journey, from July 4 to 9.

At the Trinidad and Tobago leg of the first wave which took place at Paprika Restaurant, the ladies took  the lead following an intense two days of training with the Diageo Regional Brand Ambassador, Paulo Figueiredo.

Twenty of this country’s best bartenders, were challenged to present their mixology skills to the judging panel. Tia Hutchings, representing Towne Restaurant and Bar, emerged the winner with her Retro Chic Menu with cocktails entitled Blueberry Spark made with Ciroc Vodka, Watermelon Margarita  followed by her with Tequila don Julio and Dancing Queen made with Ketel One Vodka.

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Tia Hutchings, winner of the first wave at work with her winning cocktail.

Richard Atkins of Zanzibar coped the second place followed by Karlina Permell representing Trinidad Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre in third place.

Scores from this challenge will go towards selecting the local representative to the 2013 Global Final in which over 50 bartenders from around the world will compete for the coveted title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year.

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Last year’s winner Stephon Scott presents a prize to third place winner Karlina Permell.

“The judging panel was thoroughly impressed with the level of competition, the cocktails were well presented and the contenders carefully communicated the details of the brands incorporated as well as the ever important issue of Responsible Drinking.” said Paulo Figueiredo, lead judge. “We can see that this will be another keenly contested year of competition” he continued.

The next wave of the competition will be held in April where the focus will be on the understanding of Tiki culture, tropical ingredients and next-generation tropical drinks featuring the brand Zacapa with a visit by the Regional Brand Ambassador Mario Navarro.

Follow the competition on Facebook at the ‘Global WORLD CLASS Finals’ page: www.facebook.com/globalworldclassfinals and www.facebook.com/worldclasstandt

Mixology made easy with Ketel One

21 Mar
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Invitation to Ketel One tasting.

It looks easy but squeezing a lime with a press takes muscle, a lot of muscle. The Ketel One tasting at the end of the first wave of the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartending Competition gave good insight into what it took to be a mixologist, albeit an amateur one.

Paulo Figueiredo, Diageo Regional Brand Ambassador, walked a group of us journalists through the process. He made it look easy but when it was my table’s turn, there was some collateral damage, namely a broken glass and some wasted lime juice.

Nevertheless, my version of the Ketel One Rickey, which we dubbed the Three Musketeers, made of lime, kiwi, sugar syrup, water, soda and, of course, Ketel One, was declared the best tasting drink there.

There promises to be more tastings when the second wave takes place next month, can’t wait.

Read more about the Ketel One tasting experience here: http://www.metro.co.tt/lifestyle/evening-ketel-one

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Toasting our Three Musketeers creation.

Wine appreciation course at TTHTI

7 Jul

The Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality Training Institute (TTHTI) is running a series of short courses, among them a course in Wine Appreciation.

In this course you can learn the following:

  • Wine discovery and history
  • The growing and harvesting of wine grapes
  • Introduction to champagne
  • Storing and reading of wines
  • Wine and food
  • White wine tasting
  • Red wine tasting
  • French wines

Visit the website for more information. There is also a short course in bar management that you might want to check out.