Thanks to Symposion I had the chance to meet Stanislav Vadrna over a few drinks at Hotellet here in Stockholm, together with the bar manager Johan Mattsson and Symposion’s Magnus Fagerström. As the global brand ambassador for Nikka Whisky, Vadrna was here on September 13th to judge the Swedish qualifying round of the Perfect Serve Ichi-go Ichi-e competition – of which Andres Basile Leon (Grupp F12) was the winner and will compete at the finals in Paris in November.
The philosophy of the competition, which is held in 12 countries all over Europe, is to create a unique experience from start to finish, something which is very prominent in Japanese bartending. Elegance, accuracy, a sense of detail and complete concentration, leaving nothing to chance – and the addition of a little Aloha.
The competition is divided in four parts, including a training session with Vadrna, and requires knowledge, technique, creativity and excellent service skills – as the drinks are to be made during different simulated bar situations. According to Vadrna, all contestants did really well – but ultimately it was Andres’s performances which impressed the judges the most.
At the end of our conversation, Vadrna said that he had found a deeper meaning of the word bar: Breathe – Appreciate – Relax. As important as it is for bartenders to embrace and use that in their profession, I think it’s also something which can be applied by anyone on any occasion. So, what are you waiting for?