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Diageo's World Class Bartender of the Year search begins with bartender semi-finals

Published:  19 January, 2015

Fifty of the UK's top bartenders have been selected to take part in the semi-finals of Diageo's competition to find the best bar talent as part of its Reserve World Class 2015 competition.

 Fifty of the UK's top bartenders have been selected to take part in the semi-finals of Diageo's competition to find the best bar talent as part of its Reserve World Class 2015 competition.

The event, now in to its seventh year, sees Diageo and its judging team of independent spirits and on-trade consultants visit over 400 bars across the UK to find their World Class Bartender of the year. 

The 50 semi-finalists will now take part in what are known as the "Burst One Masterclass" in February, before a second recruitment phase and masterclass takes place in March and April respectively. After which five of most outstanding bartenders from each masterclass will win a place to compete in the UK final to be held in Scotland this summer.

To narrow down which bars to visit, bartenders were asked to send in their ultimate cocktail recipe to the competition website, From there the judges were able to determine which bars to visit and see the bartenders in action.

Here are the top 50 that have been invited to take part in the first semi-finals:

  • Andy Stewart, The Tippling House, Aberdeen
  • Alex Lawrence, Orchid, Aberdeen
  • Leon Back, Rye & Soda, Aberdeen
  • Robert Wood, The Edgbaston Hotel, Birmingham
  • Richard Tring, Red Light, Bristol
  • Joseph Tivey, La Raza, Cambridge          
  • Tommo Quy, Captains Club, Bournemouth  
  • Michael Braun, Panda & Sons, Edinburgh          
  • Timothy Pryde, The Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh
  • Matthew Wakeford, Bar G&V, Edinburgh
  • Jon Hughes, Bramble Bar, Edinburgh
  • Emma Andrew, Heads & Tales Bar, Edinburgh  
  • Michael Cameron, Guy's Restaurant & Bar, Glasgow  
  • Chris Bowker, Gaucho Leeds, Leeds
  • Pedro Paulo, Coburg Bar @ The Connaught, London
  • Maxime Creusot, Steam and Rye, London     
  • Andy Mil, The Cocktail Trading Co., London   
  • Kyle Wilkinson, The Blind Pig, London
  • Bystrik Uko, Oblix, London      
  • Mickael Lenu, Ham Yard Hotel, London         
  • Nathan O'Neill, Dandelyan, London    
  • Davide Colombo, Salvatore at Playboy Club, London
  • Luke Ridge, The Club at the Ivy, London        
  • Dan Berger, Heddon Street Kitchen, London  
  • Filippo Sioni, Oblix, London     
  • Tiago Mira, Lobby bar at One Aldwych, London         
  • Sara Cook, Babylon at the Roof Gardens, London    
  • Casper Scott-Masson, Cecils, London
  • Jamie Cardwell, Coburg Bar @ The Connaught, London      
  • Aaron Masonde, Oblix, London           
  • Giorgio Maggioni, Shochu Lounge, London     
  • Filippo Previero, Mr. Fogg's, London   
  • Matteo Cazzaniga, Quaglino's, London           
  • Ollie Hampton, Roka - Aldwych, London       
  • David Gerrans, The Whip Mayfair, London    
  • Darren Leaney, Dandelyan, London   
  • Troels Knudsen, Mash, London           
  • Julien Pascal, Shochu Lounge, London          
  • Chris Jew, Manchester house, Manchester           
  • Massimo Zitti, Cane & Grain, Manchester 
  • Jamie Jones, Fumo, Manchester       
  • Matthew Soares, Cloud 23, Manchester    
  • Johny Hume, Bonbar, Newcastle
  • Benji Ryde, RYND, Reading   
  • Luca Corradini, American Bar @ Savoy Hotel, London      
  • Will Cox, The Bon Vivant, Edinburgh       
  • Arnaud Chevalier, Worship Street Whistling Shop, London     
  • Harry King, The Library, London
  • Brad Price, The Gatsby Bar, Sheffield  
  • Tim Laferla, Red Bar @ Bam-Bou, London    

 The overall winner of the UK World Class Bartender will be sponsored by Diageo to take part in education events around the world, become a World Class judge and mentor for future events and have the opportunity to create their own cocktail collection book to be released globally.