Grape Expectations Bartenders Challenge 2017

19 September 2017


The annual Grape Expectations Bartenders Challenge concluded at Bandos Maldives Resort on 2nd August 2017. The much-hyped event was one of a kind gathering that lasted for two days on the resort. Along with high quality brands such as Giffard, Danzka, Plantation Rum and Real Cocktail Ingredients, the challenge demonstrated the unique skills of top-level bartenders working in the Maldives.high quality brands such as Giffard, Danzka, Plantation Rum and Real Cocktail Ingredients, the challenge demonstrated the unique skills of top-level bartenders working in the Maldives.high quality brands such as Giffard, Danzka, Plantation Rum and Real Cocktail Ingredients, the challenge demonstrated the unique skills of top-level bartenders working in the Maldives.high quality brands such as Giffard, Danzka, Plantation Rum and Real Cocktail Ingredients, the challenge demonstrated the unique skills of top-level bartenders working in the Maldives.
Grand winners of the annual Grape Expectations Bartenders Challenge 2017 1st Overall Champions – Nehemia Caesaro – Bandos Island Resort 2nd Overall Champions – Jun Carloine Custodio Sava – Anantara Dhigu 3rd Overall Champions – Federico Fregoni – Palm Beach Carloine Custodio Sava – Anantara Dhigu 3rd Overall Champions – Federico Fregoni – Palm Beach 

 
Special Awardee Fastest Bartender – Karthik Manjiny – Lily Beach Resort Most Engaging Bartender – Adriel Mendoza – Bandos


 A few Words from Mr. David Chan (Judges Panel)

1. What are your thoughts on the competition?
 Grape Expectations (GE) initiated this competition 4 years ago, to elevate the standard of bartending in the resorts of Maldives. As one of the judges, I am glad to be able to witness the skills and creativity that this competition is presenting and the new heights that its reaching year after year.

 

2. What do you think of the contestants and their cocktails?

 I see that many resorts are participating and supporting their talented bartenders to join the competition with well-thought-out concoctions featuring the richness of ingredients unique to Maldives. And this is good ultimately in the promotion of Maldives exoticism.
 
3. How important do you think is the role of the bartender? 

In his/her social role, a bartender ensures that his/her guests experience an environment that is perfect for them to feeling relax after work. In his/her professional role, a bartender besides mixing popular cocktails, also concoct customized cocktails to suit each guest, so it is indeed a very important role.
 
4. How will this competition improve the standards of Maldives? 

This competition is open to all, whether to compete or to watch, competitors and audience alike will get to learn from the competitive standards that are current. Resorts in Maldives are internationally popular, bartending standards can be improved to world-class level when resorts are exposed to each other standards.

 
5. Can you tell us bit about yourself?

 I have been semi-retired for almost 2 years now. I was the former Vice Principal of the Singapore Hotel And Tourism Education College in Singapore with almost 30 years of teaching experience. I am also serving as Honorary Secretary (General) of the Association of Bartenders & Sommeliers Singapore (ABSS), a training partner of Grape Expectations (GE).
 
6. How can the standards of bartenders in the Maldives be improved even further aside from such competitions?

 Training. That is the most important thing that can be done. 

7. Was it difficult to judge this competition?
 Yes, the standards are higher every year, concoctions are more unique and it is hard to select only the top 3 when many bartenders came with good and creative cocktails.




GRAPE EXPECTATIONS Grape Expectations Pvt Ltd strongly supports “Wine Training” and it is the most active  Approved Program Provider for Wine and Spirit Education Trust certifying more than 100 students annually through 3 levels of training. Grape Expectations Pvt Ltd works with ABSS Singapore, which conducts the companies’ International Bar Association certification-training in the Maldives every year. 
While WSET and Grape Expectations Pvt. Ltd. Training Programs have heavily focused on Wine, four years ago the company decided to expand their training programs and develop a Professional Bar Challenge, providing relevant support and training for participants.

“Barman creations” better known as “mixology cocktails”, is a practice seen only amongst a few Top-Tier resorts of the Maldives. As such, the company employs its own in-house Mixologist, who travels to the resorts to teach the local bartenders the most modern techniques and latest trends in the industry.
A key requisite for Every Barman is to be presentable at all times. Cleanliness is the key requirement on top of good technical and practical knowledge. As a Barman one needs to understand the sequence of preparation, have good knowledge on the use of ingredients and should be able to please even the
most difficult customers. Taste, creativity, presentation, speed, precision executing the recipe etc. All these are characteristics, that should be expected from a Professional Barman. 

The ultimate prize is not just a Trophy, but to be established as ‘the-best-of-the best”.  Every Year the prize is fully sponsored and the winner gains entrance to the Elite bartender JWC-course, lasting 10 days in Singapore, along with students from around the world. 

The Winner of this tournament will represent the Maldives at the Asia Pacific Cocktail Competition to be held in Singapore. Second and Third prize, winners will get a 3 day stay in Singapore and an opportunity to assist the public Asia Pacific Cocktail Competition in ClarkeQuay and the finals at the Gala-Dinner with the best Barmen across Asia.

The profession of a Barman is one that is continuously evolving. Grape Expectations Pvt Ltd wishes to communicate to all professionals in the Maldives, that just standing behind the Bar and having the most well-assorted spirit selection on the shelf is not enough to be called a “Top-Barman”. For the coming year in 2018, the company will be adding a few additional Challenges like Barista or/ Mock-tail preparations and a Flairing category as well. This will surely raise the level of professionalism required to be the “Grape Expectations Bartender Challenge” Champion.