Orlando Marzo, from Melbourne’s acclaimed Lûmé restaurant, has been named the world’s best bartender by the biggest bartending competition on the planet, WORLD CLASS Global Bartender of the Year 2018.
Orlando beat over 10,000 bartenders from every corner of the globe in a competition that spanned five continents, six months, hundreds of challenges and countless cocktails. It culminated in a four-day final, where 56 of the best bartenders in the business battled it out in the global cultural hotspot of Berlin.
Shaking it all the way to the top was no mean feat for this leading bartender, but his winning cocktails well and truly blew the judges away. So how did he do it?
Hard work and an incredibly supportive bar team back home, according to the newly crowned winner. “I can’t believe it!” said Orlando, “Just being here, competing alongside the best bartenders in the world, judged by some of the most iconic names in the business was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but to actually win? I’m still in shock. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing team back home – they’ve cheered me on every step of the way!”
2018 marks the 10th anniversary of WORLD CLASS, and guests at this year’s Finals in Berlin were treated to a show unlike any other. In an eclectic capital known for its cutting-edge bar scene, trends were set, new ground was broken, and the boundaries of mixology were pushed further than ever before. The competition kicked off on Friday 5th October, as dozens of the world’s best mixologists gathered for the biggest event on the bartending calendar. On Monday, after a grueling weekend of challenges, 56 competitors were whittled down to the final four, who put every skill in their bartending arsenal to use in the ‘Cocktail Clash’ grand finale.
Orlando has an incredible year ahead of him – he will have the chance to travel the world as a Diageo representative, making bespoke drinks in exotic and far-flung locations and judging competitions. He will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the 10th member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.