Jacob Martin wins the 10th annual contest on the closing night of Vancouver Cocktail Week 2023
Canada’s Best Bartender of 2023 is also a certified cheese professional with a refined palate and remarkable sensory appreciation. Congratulations to Ontario’s Jacob Martin, who won World Class Canada’s big prize at the closing gala of Vancouver Cocktail Week on Saturday night.
In World Class tradition, the trophy’s previous winners raised him on their shoulders in front of a cheering crowd, closing out months of preparation, three intense days of challenges and a hard-fought, high-stress speed-round final.
Those three days saw 10 national finalists converge on Vancouver from right across Canada. They were: from B.C., Kate Chernoff, Harry Tham and Emily Vey; from Alberta, Xavier Alba, Sam Clark, Steven Jorgenson and Adrien Roque; from Ontario, Martin and Benjamin Kingstone; and from Quebec, Daphnee Vary Deshaise.
Four of them—Chernoff, Clark, Martin and Deshaise—made it to the final speed round, with Martin placing first and Clark second.
It was a thrilling finale not just for the competition, but for Vancouver Cocktail Week, presented by The Alchemist. The festival’s second year saw nearly 60 sold-out events across the city, as well as dozens of busy cinq à sept happy hours and the glamorous closing night gala featuring live music, a DJ, food stations and some 40 cocktail stations at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.
Martin now goes on to compete in the global event this September in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The winner of this will be considered the World’s Best Bartender, triumphing over 10,000 competitors from 60 countries to reach the podium.
And all eyes will be on Martin—in the 10 years Canada has been competing in Diageo World Class, this country has consistently placed in the top 12 and is one of only three countries to win the global title more than once. (Vancouver’s Kaitlyn Stewart was named World’s Best Bartender in 2017 and Edmonton’s James Grant in 2021.)
No pressure or anything, but another win sure would be a sweet way to celebrate Canada’s 10th World Class anniversary.
—by Joanne Sasvari