First 50 semi-finalists announced for Diageo World Class

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The first 50 semi-finalists in this year’s Diageo Reserve World Class bartender competition have been announced after judges toured bars around the UK.

There were visited at work by Diageo brand ambassadors and judges after submitting cocktail recipes in the first burst of entries in November.

All 50 semi-finalists will be invited to the Burst One Masterclass in February, before a second recruitment burst and masterclass takes place in March and April respectively.

The five most outstanding bartenders from each masterclass will win a place in the UK final held in Scotland this summer.

The semi-finalists are:

• Andy Stewart, The Tippling House, Aberdeen
• Alex Lawrence, Orchid, Aberdeen
• Leon Back, Rye & Soda, Aberdeen
• Robert Wood, The Edgbaston, 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, Edinburgh
• Emma Andrew, Heads & Tales, Edinburgh
• Michael Cameron, Guy’s Restaurant & Bar, Glasgow
• Chris Bowker, Gaucho, Leeds
• Pedro Paulo, Coburg Bar at The Connaught, London
• Maxime Creusot, London Cocktail Club Oxford Circus, 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, Cecil’s, London
• Jamie Cardwell, Coburg Bar at 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 at Savoy Hotel, London
• Will Cox, The Bon Vivant, Edinburgh
• Arnaud Chevalier, Worship Street Whistling Shop, London
• Harry King, The Library, London
• Brad Price, The Great Gatsby, Sheffield
• Tim Laferla, Red Bar at Bam-Bou, London

For this year’s competition, a new website has been launched globally at which is not only for submitting entries and keeping up to date with the competition but also for information on the latest trends and top bar openings around the world.

The bar where the UK winner works will not only benefit from enhanced industry status but, for the first time, will also be awarded a one-off £10,000 marketing fund to create their own, exclusive World Class ritual serve.

The winner of UK World Class Bartender will be taken round the world to educate and inspire new talent. Further boosting their career, they will become a World Class judge and mentor, feature on the World Class TV show, and have the opportunity to create their own cocktail collection book to be released globally.

He or she will travel to Cape Town in September next year alongside the best bartending talent from across the globe to compete for the global title of World Class Bartender of the Year 2015.

Full competition details at

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