And this winner is…Mr Charlie Ainsbury
The Australian winner of the world’s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition, Diageo Reserve World Class, was announced on Monday night at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Charlie Ainsbury from Sydney (formerly of Bayswater Brasserie and Eau De Vie) was awarded the crown succeeding more than 280 entrants from across the country.
From humble beginnings six years ago, World Class has grown to become the benchmark of bartending competitions in Australia, uncovering the next generation of homegrown talent including previous winners Tim Philips and Luke Ashton.
The live-format finals were attended by key trade and consumer media, where food created especially by chefs Darren Robertson and Maurice Terzini was served against the backdrop of Bondi Beach to the tune of cocktails being shaken and stirred.
This year, legends of the local and international bar trade and culinary worlds were brought in to help educate and motivate competitors. Alongside Tim Philips and Luke Ashton, global rum guru Ian Burrell, cocktail innovator Ryan Chetiyawardana and local produce hero Darren Robertson of Bronte’s Three Blue Ducks helped bartenders navigate the latest trends of Australian fine drinking.
As for Ainsbury, he is “incredibly honoured and humbled to be selected as this year’s winner of Diageo Reserve World Class”. “It’s been a journey of discovery for me; I’ve learned new techniques at each step to help me earn this title. I’m looking forward to the Global Finals in Great Britain, competing against the industry’s very best to bring the World Class title back to Australia”, he added.
Charlie Ainsbury will now travel the UK for the experience of a lifetime, travelling to Scotland to learn the art of blending at the Johnnie Walker distillery; master the craft of maturation at the George Dickel distillery in Tennessee; hone their knowledge of rum at the Ron Zacapa distillery in Guatemala; and the opportunity to blend their own small-batch rum at the iconic Bundaberg Distilling Company.
He’ll also be competing against bartenders from across the globe battling it out for the Global World Class title. GOOD LUCK CHARLIE!!