Meet your World Class Top 5

Meet Your World Class Finalists! Part 2

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. 

What did you learn from the competition this year?

Andie: Don’t break your arm 12 hours before finals! But also that everyone feels the same way that you do, even those who have been in the top 5 before are nervous and shaky. Plus, everyone wants to help.

Lachie: You can never over-prepare or prepare enough. As much as I did which was like 80% of my time, I still wish I had been dedicating more time to it.

Gondz: What keeps me coming back is gaining a new perspective on the industry each year. This year it was learning about this industry and competition from a different viewpoint, speaking to people at Diageo and understanding more about the importance of bars and restaurants to their business.

Rohan: I learned to streamline things and put my best foot forward with the time that you do have. We’re all busy in the industry and I learned to put 100% into something I know I can do well and not bite off more than I could chew. For the 1942 Challenge, what could go wrong did go wrong, so I could have had more preparation with that one.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about entering for the first time/ who has entered before but wants to make it further into the competition?

Andie: Don’t do what you think you should do; do what you care about. When you do things that you’re passionate about you really can't go wrong!

Lachie: Create a support group, of people who are experienced and who will be a sounding board, critique your work and help you push yourself to go from good to great.
Read the rules as well! Answer the questions that are being asked, it's so easy to go too far in the wrong direction and then it's too late.

Gondz: For the first timers: don't think about it, just do it. The worst thing that can happen is you don’t get through and you get a bunch of feedback. Absolutely just enter and give it your all.
For those returning, get as many people as possible; not just industry, to hear about your concept, look at your presentation and taste your drink at every stage. Get your bar manager, a new guest, a regular, your mum, or anyone who’ll try it and give you feedback. It’ll help you broaden your approach and not fall into the trap of making a drink for one specific subset of bartenders or industry.

Rohan: There are a couple of levels to World Class. You see people go crazy on the first round and put so many abstract flavours in the drink and it makes it hard to visualise. Particularly for that first round, do things that make sense on paper. Use the more complex ingredients that you must taste to really “get” for the later rounds (that are conducted in person).

In all, these things can be used for a real community. Ideas should be shared not hoarded. Learn from each other and create a sense of community. If you use creating a community and learning as your first goal whether you make it through to the top 100 or top 5, you’re already benefiting. And enjoy every moment of it.


Download Andie's World Class recipe card here.


Download Rohan's World Class recipe card here.

Read part 1 of the interview here

Our interview with the amazing World Class finalists continues here: