Masterchef's John Torode offers 'sage advice' to World Class Irish Bartender of the Year ahead of world final
Masterchef's John Torode has revealed he offered newly crowned World Class Irish Bartender of the Year, Andy Ferreira, some "sage advice" ahead of September's global final.
The TV presenter and restaurateur was in Dublin to judge the final at Zozimus bar this week and says Andy, who hails from Cask restaurant in Cork, is a worthy winner.
“I think the thing about bartending these days is it’s not just about making a drink. It’s about understanding customers, understanding how a bar works, meeting people, having huge amounts of knowledge on the classics and putting your own identity on it without turning into something indescribable.,” he says.
“I think one of the things that’s interesting about Andy is the fact he’s very well travelled, his parents are very well travelled, he’s an advocate for foraging and finding stuff in nature and utilising what’s around him and in season. He survives on natural resources as much as possible and as a result of that his drinks are really special.
“It takes a very special person to win World Class Ireland – they go to Mexico to represent their country and the competition is going to be ferocious.”
Torode gave the Irish hopeful some advice ahead of the final, which will see him compete with hundreds of other talented individuals from all over the world at the final in Mexico in September.
“Andy knows what he’s got to do to make sure he does stand a chance. In any competition you go one place and then the next place – you can’t look back or look at the other ladders or you’ll fall off your own ladder. He knows what to do," reveals John.
“I gave him some sage advice last night. He has the skill and the knowledge and now he has to have the confidence. It will be an arena of 300-400 and there will be lots of confidence and arrogance and lots of egos and that ego has to be able to match up to whatever they’re going to put on.”
Of what it takes to be successful, he says you need to "understand the basics" and build on them.
"I think as a craftsman you’ve got to understand the basics, know the rules before you can break the rules whether you’re bartending, or a brick layer or carpenter," he says.
"The one thing they have in common is they understand the foundation and the building blocks of what they do. Know the basic principles and then you can do what you want.
"That's why Andy is so special because he’s a guy in his 40s, well travelled, done the basics, worked his way up, bought a bar - he knows what to do, how to do interesting stuff for his customers. He’s introducing things as classic ideas with a bit of a move or a shake," he says.
"I’m not talking a Cosmopolitan with a bit of black pudding in it. It would be wrong but people do it. People do the weirdest things with food and drink!"