Another day, another competition under the belts of Vancouver’s extraordinary bartenders.
To chants of “Back to back!” on Thanksgiving weekend, Chris Enns of the Lobby Bar at the Fairmont Pacific Rim made it into the top-20 round at the Diageo Reserve World Class competition in Berlin. Australia’s Orlando Marzo took home the overall title this year, but Enns made it all the way to number eight in the world, with a trio of Vancouverites cheering him on—last year’s global winner, Kaitlyn Stewart of Royal Dinette, as well as previous World Class Canada winners Lauren Mote and Grant Sceney. “Until next time, friends,” Enns said on Facebook. “May your hearts be filled with love and your glasses filled with World Class cocktails.”
Meanwhile, his colleague Max Curzon-Price from The Botanist upstairs placed third in the world at the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender competition in London, and also won the media challenge. “What a week,” he said. “The MIB National Finals in London was an adventure I will cherish forever.” (See Max’s cocktail, Hay, Hoe, Let’s Grow, here.)
Here at home, Katie Ingram, bar manager for the Toptable Group (including Elisa, the elegant new Yaletown Steakhouse set to open in November), won the Hennessy VS Cocktail Competition in early October. She was inspired by the four elements and how they influence the wood and grapes that come together to create the flavours of Cognac.
A CLASS APART: Since it first launched in 2009, more than 250,000 bartenders have taken part in Diageo Reserve World Class, making it the biggest and most prestigious cocktail competition on the planet. It is now in 60 countries, including, since 2013, Canada. (Of six World Class Canada winners, four have been from Vancouver.) The global winner is considered the world’s best bartender.