In conversation with Prateek Gusain who had just come back from Singapore after representing India at 26th Asia Pacific Bartender 2017 Cocktail Competition. The event was hosted by Singapore Bartender Association and it was open for 65 countries around the world. He seemed so fascinated with the happenings at the event and happy at the same time for being the only representative from India.
Describe the event and the management?
As he began describing the event, we could gather that the event was divided into 2 category –a) Creative Cocktail b) flair bartending skills. The judges had to select the best recipe for semi-final and he was proud to announce that Indian recipe was amongst the 11 selected ones. Before the main cocktail competition that was to start from 28th august, International Bartender Association (IBA) presented 9 days Elite Bartender’s Course JWC Asia 2017 that commenced from 20th onwards. Followed by the 3 day event starting with breakfast in the morning from 8-9 everyday .The 1st day was all about introducing the participants about the happenings at the event and working pattern of the coordinating team .They were shown a presentation debrief by the management followed by a warm welcome dinner in the evening. The selection for the semi-finals happened the next day in an open area ‘‘Clarke Quay Singapore”.There was huge gathering ,loads of clapping ,cheering and guests from everywhere. The final round was staged at ‘Holiday Inn’ and only invited guests could come and watch it. All the competitors were given a separate room to get their setup ready. Audience comprised of IBA students, management committee ,hotel staff, guests and the judges. It was indeed a different level of exposure as when things are being performed at a grand level, there comes a sense of responsibility, punctuality and sincerity. This taught him that rules and regulations are equally important in any industry to function appropriately. Mixology is an art and an art needs more of you than just being creative and this is where manners and being responsible for what you do is needed.
Are you satisfied with the results?
Talking about the judges he said ,there were jury of 8 judges. Every cocktail competition has their own rules and regulations on the basis of which the winner has to be decided and thus should not be questioned. For him winning was not the only motto rather learning and becoming capable enough to win is what he desired more. So it turned out to be a good learning experience and the best part was, he could easily tell where he lacked and lost marks. The winner of ‘classic cocktail’ Sayo Toyokawa from Japan somehow managed to inspire him for the better.
How were the winners awarded?
For the creative cocktail category 1st prize winner -Sayo Toyokawa ,Japan was awarded with $500 cash, Champion trophy and a Certificate of Commendation. 1st runner up – Magz Diaz Aquino ,Singapore was awarded with $300 cash ,trophy and certificate of commendation and 2nd runner up- Imelda Imelshine Ng,Hong Kong was awarded with $200 cash ,trophy and certificate of commendation and also some merit awards were given.
Would you like to become a part of something like this again?
He answered by thanking Mr Archit Singhal , the man behind , India bartenders guild -IBG as it wouldn’t have been possible without his efforts. He managed to arrange all the necessary documentation for him in a short period of time and kept him motivated throughout. About his experience at the event he said that this is just the beginning of learning, exposure and exchanging of ideologies which he felt highly obliged to be a part of . He continued by saying that he had already started working on his mistakes to become better . In the end he congratulated all the fellow bartenders to keep going and keep growing and that hopes must be kept alive and burning to make our industry shine .