RIO DE JANEIRO, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Last week, Stephon Scott, of the On Deck Pub at the Tradewinds Hotel in Trinidad & Tobago, was announced as the 2012 DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Global Final held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"We were truly impressed by Stephon’s performance in Brazil. He is the perfect embodiment of the passion, flare and zest that represents Trinidad & Tobago so well, and we are delighted to call him the 2012 DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year for our region," said Randy Millian, President, DIAGEO Latin America and the Caribbean. "As Latin Americans continue to embrace the cocktail culture, DIAGEO remains committed to growing local talent like Stephon and further establishing bartending as a serious profession."
15,000 bartenders from 50 countries have shaken, stirred and poured their way through national heats, until only the most talented remained to compete over the final four days of WORLD CLASS challenges. Throughout the Global Final, competitors used the luxury spirits from the DIAGEO RESERVE portfolio – KETEL ONE®, CIROC®, TANQUERAY® No.TEN™, DON JULIO®, ZACAPA®, JOHNNIE WALKER® Gold Label™ and JOHNNIE WALKER® Blue Label™ – in WORLD CLASS challenges, testing their ingenuity, skill and knowledge.
This year’s finale featured eight distinct challenges – Tropical Journey, Hollywood-Bollywood-Hong Kong, Cocktail Mastery, Retro Chic, Food Matching, Rio Street Market, Cocktails Against the Clock, and Signature Specials – which were judged by eight internationally renowned bartending experts and industry gurus, including: Arturo Savage, Aristolis Papadopoulos, Steve Olsen, Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Gary Regan, Hidetsugu Ueno and Daniel Estremadoyro.
"It has been an honor to participate in this event and to be judged by some of the most recognized names in the industry," said Scott. "I can’t wait to take home some of the flavors, skills and trends I have seen over the past week in Brazil and introduce them to my fellow bartenders and clientele."
For Scott, bartending is a passion which he has pursued from the time he first entered the industry in 2006. Since that time, he has made his way up the bartending ranks, with the hopes of one day owning his own cocktail lounge and being an inspiration to others in the field.