Diageo Reserve World Class Global Finals 2011 Verdict: Japan Has the Best Bartender in the World!

MissMalini , 17 Jul 2011
Manabu Ohtake, Tower's Bar Bellovisto, Japan winner of Diageo Reserve World Class global finals 2011
Manabu Ohtake, Tower's Bar Bellovisto, Japan winner of Diageo Reserve World Class global finals 2011

Sonny Caberwal, Shalini Agarwal, Sujal Shah and MissMalini
Sonny Caberwal, Shalini Agarwal, Sujal Shah and MissMalini

Bar mixologist, Manabu Ohtake, from Tower’s Bar Bellovisto, Japan was crowned Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2011, beating 33 other finalists in the highest accolade of the liquid world!

Even our very own Hemant Kumar Pathak from the Blue Bar, Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi won the award for “classic and vintage drinks with a twist” category and I had a total blast for two days at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi (especially cos some of my Bombay peeps and my sis were there too!) meeting mixologists and fellow journos from all over the world. As always I’ll let the pictures (and video!) do the talking. Suffice to say I had an EPIC time and must commend Diageo for pulling off one of the slickest parties I have ever seen. I guess when you have the best bartenders in the world mixing your drinks it’s hard to go wrong :)

Tell Me More!

From 10,000 to one, over the past eleven months, contenders from the most established and prestigious bars around the globe have been competing in regional heats, each wanting to win a coveted place at the Global Final in New Delhi. Only 34 were selected to go head to head in front of some of the most revered names in the industry – Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Gary Regan, Hidetsugu Ueno and Daniel Estremadoyro. There could be only one ultimate winner. Game on.

Day 1 – World Class Challenges

World Class Global Finals
World Class Global Finals

The whole set up was super impressive, Tarun Tahilliani designed the 6 challenge rooms in the The Imperial Hotel grounds Connaught Pavilion which had several looks through the event and even a mini spice market inside one of the rooms!
Imperial Hotel, Delhi
Imperial Hotel, Delhi
World Class Global Finals
World Class Global Finals
Kaveri Khullar and Tim Etherington-Judge
Kaveri Khullar and Tim Etherington-Judge
Hidestugu Ueno and Spike Merchant
Hidestugu Ueno and Spike Merchant
Tellis Papadopoulos and Erik Lorincz
Tellis Papadopoulos and Erik Lorincz
Cocktails against the Clock
Cocktails against the Clock
Cool Bartender Gear
Cool Bartender Gear
Cool Bartender Gear
Cool Bartender Gear
Theatre & The Stars Challenge Room
Theatre & The Stars Challenge Room

I love that the judge for Theatre & The Stars looked (and acted) a lot like Sean Connery and another judge pointed out that he himself looked like Peter Sellers!
Theatre & The Stars Challenge Room
Theatre & The Stars Challenge Room
Judges Peter Dorelli and Salvatore Calabrese with MissMalini
Judges Peter Dorelli and Salvatore Calabrese with MissMalini

Being a gadget girl myself I love that they had Twitter screen walls everywhere and even had the @WorldClassLive Twitter handle on the access bands, now that’s what I call #geekchic!
Twitter Wall
Twitter Wall
New Media
New Media
Access band
Access band
Gadget Girl
Gadget Girl

Of course the first night was dedicated to Don Julio Tequila and the many (many, many) other ways of drinking it aside from the usual salt and lime… I loved 2009 World Champion Tellis Papadopoulos’ Luxury Drop with a delicious garam masala, coconut, honey and mango accompaniment. I believe they’ve now got a book out with the various ways to drink tequila, got to get me one of those!
Raising the Bar
Raising the Bar

Spike Merchant, Tellis Papadopoulos
Spike Merchant, Tellis Papadopoulos and Mark Bernard
Luxury Drop
Luxury Drop
Kaveri Khullar
Kaveri Khullar
Bar Safari
Bar Safari

For security reasons the official Bar Safari was called off in Delhi but but we braved it anyway, at Rick’s we ran into a familiar face, isn’t he on TV or something? (I mean who else would wear a scarf like that?!) *Lol*
Isn't he on TV?
@ Ricks: Isn't he on TV?
@ Ricks
@ Ricks
MissMalini's Peeps
@ Smoke House: MissMalini's Peeps
@ Diva
@ Diva

Day 2 – Winner Announcement & Finale Party

Fortune Teller Tales
Fortune Teller Tales

Yes, a fortune telling parrot was just one of the many awesome little desi touches to the World Class Global Finale! Fittingly themed with all-things-Indian, much to the delight of all the international guests. With mehendi walis chaat walas, bangles and bindis, dholak guys, rajasthani dancers and photo opps with a real (fully decked out) elephant it had all the trappings of a big fat Indian wedding. Must be a sign :)
Psst! I thought it was hilarious when one guy said, “I’m not posing next to that thing man, I saw what happens on YouTube!”
real live elephant
real live elephant
World Class Global Finals
World Class Global Finals
Press Contingent from Singapore
Swwet Press Contingent from Singapore
MissMalini and Time Etherington-Judge
MissMalini and Time Etherington-Judge

Friendly Peeps!
Friendly Peeps!

I found a whole bunch of like-minded peeps at the party too… from Germany to Singapore press like me who party like me! Yay :)
German Press
German Press
World Class Global Finals
World Class Global Finals
Neelkamal Brar and Mark
Neelkamal Brar and Mark

I even saw my old Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange peeps @addiechinn and @juniorwm which was fab!
Addie Chinn
Addie Chinn

My sister and I even discovered our two new favorite cocktails courtesy the Diageo contestants, Bartenders and Brand managers. My sis loved the Rum Collins (and the Latin America winner who made it for her!) and my new favorite drink has to be the French 75, by my bartender cutie # 1 :) What does it taste like? Just like the a fellow journo described it. Clouds, it tastes like clouds with the sun shining through it.

French 75
French 75
Rum Collins
Rum Collins
Mark Bernard
Mark Bernard

I discovered that Manabu Ohtake doesn’t speak much English but yet somehow knows how to mix your drink to perfection! He was pretty impressive doing cocktails against the clock: Up to 5 drinks in 6 minutes!
and the winner is...
and the winner is…
Global World Class Finale Party
Global World Class Finale Party
Global World Class Finale Party
Global World Class Finale Party
Global World Class Finale Party
Global World Class Finale Party
Mark Bernard
Mark Bernard

And there you have it, the World Class Global Finals come to a wrap for 2011. Congratulations to the winners, cheers for all the yummy-licious cocktails and Team Diageo, from judging to blogging to partying – thanks for taking me along for the ride, see you next year! xoxo
Team Diageo
Team Diageo celebrates!

P.S. Also loved seeing my sister and my nephew Andre, gonna be a babe magnet when he grows up! :)

Andre and MissMalini
Andre and MissMalini

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