The 2015 World Class Global Finals wrapped up in Cape Town, South Africa on Friday, September 4th at the iconic Cape Town City Hall where Nelson Mandela made his first public speech after his release.
After four days of extremely competitive challenges, judged by leading figures in the world of bartending, Michito Kaneko from Japan, the owner of The Lamp Bar, was crowned the world’s best bartender at the 2015 Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender competition.
Held for the first time on the continent of Africa, the world’s best 55 bartenders experienced the best sights, tastes and experiences from South Africa’s Gauteng province to Western Cape. In the final ‘Cape Town Shakedown’ challenge, the final six bartenders had to create a pop-up bar to reflect their personality and bartending style in 24 hours.
Michito’s ‘The Travelling Bar Man,’ incorporated the iconic Striding Man of Johnnie Walker into the theme for his bar, maps and treasure chests took bargoers at the picturesque V & A Waterfront on a delicious journey.
Kenyan Finalist Akash Tomar
Kenya’s finalist, Akash Tomar, who is a restaurant manager for Hotel Royal Orchid Azure in Nairobi, surprised his competition with a strong showing despite not working behind a bar in three years.
Tomar’s performance in the Street Food Jam challenge, which was won by Filip Navratil of Slovakia, showcased his experience with pairing food and cocktails. His creation was so well received by the judges that one even asked for seconds.
In the immense time pressure challenge, Against the Clock, which was won by Belgium’s Jurgen Nobels, Tomar eased through the task with poise and accuracy – finishing ten cocktails in less than 9 minutes.
Watch Kenya’s Akash Tomar’s performance at Against the Clock challenge below: