Meet Your World Class Finalists! Part 1
Now that the dust has settled after the 2023 World Class Australia finals, and with the winner Eduardo Conde off in Sao Paulo representing Australia, we caught up with our amazing finalists to reflect on the competition. In no order our finalists were:
Creative lead at The Waratah, Sydney.
Venue Manager at trap, Adelaide.
Group Bars Manager Liquid and Larder Group, Sydney.
Business Development Manager of Rudeboy, Hobart.
How many times have you entered World Class?
Andie: This was my first time! And I can’t believe that I got as far as top 5
Lachie: 5 or 6 times haha! I've been bartending for over 10 years, and it kind of blends together
Gondz: The first time I entered was 2015 or 2016 and I've entered pretty consistently since then, excluding the COVID years. So I think that’s about 7 times all up?
Rohan: It's been five times. The first two times were really about learning what to enter, particularly for that first round. The 3rd time I was top 25, the 4th was top 100 and the 5th I was top 5.
Why do you enter?
Andie: When I first started at Savile Row, Tim (Speechly) and Jacob (Cohen) were talking about cocktail comps and when they started talking about World Class and their tone shifted, they made it very clear that World Class was the bell of the ball and would be hugely beneficial for the career growth of those who got involved.
Lachie: Every single time it allows me to challenge myself and grow in my abilities and then this year helped me further develop my persona, and my presentation style for when competing at that level.
Gondz: Initially I just entered because it has clout! Hahah! It’s the biggest competition for cocktails. I’ve always been interested in the creative side of bartending, that’s always been the driver and I don’t think that’s changed over the years. Maybe refined or shifted but it’s never NOT been the driving reason.
Rohan: The Challenge. Creatively, I need something to focus on. World Class is a great one for inspiring us. Two, if you do get down to the pointy end of the competition you get in the green room with people like Eduardo and you get a whole day talking shop. And It's very rare that you get in a room with that calibre of bartender for that amount of time. Inspiration would sum it all up.
What was the best thing about the competition this year?
Andie: The support, from other competitors and mentors in my life. More astonishingly from the people I've looked up to in the industry for some time now, which was mind-blowing!
Lachie: The best thing for me was meeting everyone, getting involved and meeting the people of a similar mindset who want to achieve big things and improve themselves. It's one thing for World Class Studios but when you get to that top 20 or top 5 it’s a whole other level of skill and mindset.
Gondz: It was great to see people I’d competed against previously coming back and seeing how much we’ve all grown and developed, meeting people and reconnecting with them is always sick. The other thing that was great about this year was comparing my last experience competing nationally which was a top 20 and this year being only 5, it was somehow less stressful. We weren’t waiting for as long (between rounds), there were still nerves of course but they were sort of more controlled and manageable. Presenting not only to the 3 judges but also to a small crowd behind them felt a lot more familiar and comfortable.
Rohan: For me it was the inspiration to create Native Connection (check out @nativeconnection), to make those connections and do that learning myself. And to be in the room with all those guys and see what’s going on with the top levels of the country.
Download Gondz World Class recipe card here.
IN THE SKY
Download Lachies World Class recipe card here.
Read part 2 of the interview here
Our interview with the amazing World Class finalists continues here: