On Monday, some of Ghana’s top bartenders gathered at Movenpick Hotel to compete for the title of Accra’s Master Bartender 2014. Over 100 bartendersentered the competition from across Accra but after several tests, five finalbartenders were picked to compete in an exciting showdown using the finest line of spirits from the Diageo Group/Guinness Ghana Breweries Ltd (GGBL in front of a live audience.
At the end of the competition, Felix Agyei from The View Bar was the last man standing, taking home the grand prize of $1,000, an MBA branded iPad loaded with cocktail apps, as well as a Master Bartender Academy (MBA) cocktail set and Smirnoff branded kit.
His enthusiasm and performance coupled with his behind-the-bar personality seemed to have wowed a panel of expert judges and the crowd. Commenting on his win, Felix said: “It means a lot to me to win Accra’s Master Bartender 2014 because it tells the story of bartenders, that bartending is not just a means to an end, so you just get into a bar and just do something and go. It is a real profession out there, and when you put your mind to it and do more research and listen to industry leaders, you will get there.”
He added “ The MBA training which started from the 101 to brand knowledge, destinations and the personality behind the bar, has really brought my skills to a level where I stand out from people who don’t have that training, wherever I go. So it’s a good thing to be a part of the training and I urge anyone who gets an invitation to be a part of it to take it seriously.”
“The competition was very nerve wrecking, but it was awesome. I didn’t really expect to win because I have only been a bartender for four months and I only decided to enter because a friend took me along. There was really a bunch of experienced guys that were competing for the grand prize so I guess I’m lucky to have won it.
Mark Barrett, Spirits Capability Manager-Africa for Diageo Africa, created the MBA after visiting bars and clubs in Africa and constantly getting bad service. The training programme teaches customer service, the art of bartending, tools of the trade, bartender secrets, drink categories, spirit production, brand knowledge, perfect serves, counterfeit spotting, up selling and importantly responsible serving and will continue to reach bartenders within South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Kenya and Seychelles.
The core aim of the Master Bartender competition is to raise the bar behind the bar. Bringing skills and knowledge to African bartenders, who want to better themselves in their careers and to inspire them to take their jobs as bartendersseriously. The Accra competition was attended by celebrities including Juliet Ibrahim and D-Black with a bartending display from MBA trainer and bartender, Denzel Heath.