Australia’s Marzo named World Class 2018 winner

9th October, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

Orlando Marzo of Melbourne restaurant Lûmé has swiped the title of Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2018 following the competition’s global final in Berlin last night.

Orlando Marzo storms to victory in the final of the Diageo World Class 2018 competition

Italian-born Marzo went head-to-head with 56 bartenders from around the world in the four-day final in Berlin, which kicked off on Friday (5 October).

The competitors were whittled down to the final four, which included Marzo, Daniel Warren of Great Britain, Laura Newman of USA, and Gökhan Kuşoğlu of Turkey.

Marzo impressed judges with his sustainable bartending in the Ketel One ‘Better Drinking’ challenge and in the ‘Flavours of a Nation’ round with his “innovative twist” on a Johnnie Walker Black Label Highball.

The Australia-based bartender currently works as the head bartender of Lûmé and has previously worked at Milk in Honey in London’s Soho and Eau de Vie in Melbourne.

For winning, Marzo will travel the world as a Diageo representative, judging cocktail competitions and serving drinks in locations across the globe. He will be the 10th member to join the World Class Hall of Fame.

Marzo said: “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!”

Diageo global cocktailian and World Class judge, Lauren Mote, said: “All the finalists brought their A game, but Orlando really was on another level.

“The Zacapa aperitif he made for the ‘Before and After’ challenge was one of the best I’ve ever tasted and the way he held his nerve in the ‘Cocktail Clash’ finale – for me, that’s the mark of a truly world class bartender.”

Emily Wheldon, global head of World Class, said: “For the 10th anniversary of World Class we were on a mission to make this the biggest and best global finals yet – and it didn’t disappoint!

“Cocktail culture continues to reign, and over the last four days in Berlin, these World Class finalists have set the standard for the year to come.”

Last year, Canadian bartender Kaitlyn Stewart was named Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2017.

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