Orlando Marzo, head bartender of South Melbourne fine diner Lûmé, just won Diageo World Class – the world’s most prestigious cocktail competition.
More than 10,000 bartenders entered the competition, and that number was narrowed down to 56 finalists worldwide. Marzo competed in a final round, held in Berlin, against three other bartenders, from the UK, the US and Turkey.
The finalists completed three challenges. The first was to build a drink using a randomly selected spirit, followed by a speed-bartending round. Finally, they were tasked with creating a cocktail using unusual elements.
“All the finalists brought their A game, but Orlando really was on another level,” World Class judge Lauren Mote said in a statement. She went on to say Marzo’s Ron Zacapa rum-based aperitif was one of the best she’s ever tasted, but it was the way Marzo held his nerve in the final that set him apart from his fellow competitors.
Check out Broadsheet’s interview with Marzo, done after he took out the Australian round of the competition in May.