If you’ve been following the bartending scene, you’d know that one of the highest awards in the industry is Diageo World Class. The name isn’t just overblown marketing fluff. We’ve never met a bad bartender who won World Class. For that matter, we’ve not even met a good one- they’re all exceptional.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we’ve been following the progress of the competition with great interest since it started earlier this year. This past week, it finally culminated in a 8 man finals round at the new Capital at Zouk.
A Star is Born
Unlike last year, only two bartenders were chosen this year. The Singapore winner, and the runner up, who will both be representing Singapore at the World Class Asia Pacific Boot Camp held in Bangkok. The two finalists, Sin Kim Shin and Jayden Ong, both of the Jigger and Pony family, emerged from the crucible triumphant. Over four (!) exacting rounds of competition, they beat 60 other contenders to emerge at the top of the heap. There is certainly no fluke here.
At the last, it was Sin Kim Shin who emerged as the Singaporean champion. Receiving the laurels (actually a sombrero) of victory from last year’s champion Boo Jing Heng, himself a Jigger and Pony alumnus, Kim was the very visage of radiant victory. This is his second outing, having also made top 4 in last year’s Singapore World Class.
For his part, Kim remains humble. “I’m so excited to be representing Singapore on the global stage. World Class has given me the opportunity to meet some incredible bartenders and masters of this craft – it’s a continuous learning journey for me and I hope to do my country proud.”
Both Kim and Jayden will be going to the World Class Asia Pacific Boot Camp. There, they will run a Bruce Lee-esque gauntlet of training sessions to sharpen their skills for the Global Finals. During the boot camp, the duo will compete with other country winners to become the “Asian Cup winner” and represent the region at the Global Finals in Mexico City.
We wish them all the best!
While the spotlight is definitely on Kim and Jayden, the other 6 bartenders who made the finals are no slouches either. We’d like to take a moment to recognise them here through a short selection of photos.
Adam Bursik (The Library)- Top 4
Jerrold Khoo (Flagship) – Top 4
Kim Juseng (Ritz Carlton) – Top 8
Jimmy Lian (Redtail) – Top 8
Julian Serna (Lo & Behold) – Top 8
Kino Soh (Highball) – Top 8
And last but not least…
We’d like to also take a moment to show our appreciation for Diageo for promoting the growth of bartenders in Singapore. It might not seem like much, but the spirit of competition keeps standards high and drives unrelenting improvement. This all adds up to better drinks, for the rest of us, of course.