Don't change in the face of adversity: Lauren Mote

New Delhi : Canadian bartender Lauren Mote, who was one of the judges at World Class 2018, has a word of advice for all the aspiring bartenders. She says one should not change in the face of adversity and seize every opportunity to work with those who believe in your skills and abilities.

"Seize every opportunity to work with people who value you for your skills and abilities. Don't change in the face of adversity and don't succumb to the status quo. It'll be tough to rise above, but you have a voice and the ability to command a room, so use the stage wisely. It might take a long time to create an audience, but once you do, make sure you have something powerful to say.

"In our industry, as in many others that are public-facing, it takes a lifetime to build a positive reputation, and just seconds to destroy it. Keep that in mind with each step, each interaction and each decision. Bring those that have helped you along the way into the fold and build an army of strong, powerful professionals - they deserve to be heard, too, he told IANS in an e-mail interview.

The World Class platform, led by the Diageo Reserve portfolio, serves as a platform for the best bartenders in the industry. This year's competition was abundant with well-articulated themes of Signature Concepts and Resourceful Bartender.

The winner Gaurav Dhyani, a bartender of Perch Wine & Coffee Bar, will now compete with the worlds finest bartenders at Diageo's 10th annual Global Diageo World Class Competition that will be held in Berlin in October 2018.

Named the 2015 ‘Bartender of the Year' by both the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards and Diageo World Class Canada, Mote also served as an Associate Director for the Canadian Professional Bartenders Association.

Talking about the common mistakes that people make in bartending, she says it's the assumption that all guests want a 10-minute explanation and an overly complicated cocktail!

"The best bartenders engage with their guests and ask the right questions. Some guests will know exactly what they want and it's important to provide that service. Knowing when and where to flaunt your flair is important, and the correct interpretation of social cues will make for a better guest experience, she said.

Mote also says that on the technical front, bartenders commonly misuse sugar and acid.

"Understanding that sugar is to the bar what salt is to the kitchen is important in our quest for balance, and certainly one must consider acidity and bitterness too. When all the six tastes come together - sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent - it pushes flavours forward and helps create balance. The more bartenders that learn to cook and understand these principles, the better their cocktails will be each and every time," she said.

She says that a bartender is a steward to all things food and beverage culture: tea, coffee, spirits, wine, beer, food and ingredients, flavour and complexity - you name it!

"So, you've got to have an incredible depth and breadth of category knowledge and the ability to communicate this knowledge to your customers with skill and creativity. Being in the customer service industry, you've also got to have top-notch interpersonal skills and a selfless attitude, ultimately putting others needs ahead of your own," she said.