Alice Innocenti beat eight finalists to secure the title of Lexington’s 2018 BariStar of the Year last night.
Lexington, Elior’s London foodservice business, held the annual coffee competition at Coca Cola’s London office, where finalists were challenged to show their creativity by producing an innovative signature coffee drink.
Innocenti (pictured, centre), a general assistant, won over the judges with her Twin Peaks-inspired cherry latte.
Her prize was an Illy Francis Francis X7.1 expresso coffee maker, while Khaled Rachedi won the second prize of a UCC chemex with filters and coffee. The third prize of a Union coffee hamper was won jointly by Andre Perim and Valentina Mucaria.
The judging panel included Lexington’s chief executive Mike Sunley; chef director Rob Kirby; Lexington barista and author Kamil Kamieniecki; last year’s BariStar winner Artur Kukuryk; founder of Change Please Cemal Ezel; and coffee roaster and blogger Celeste Wong.
Innocenti said: “In everything I do I want to do a great job. The idea came from Twin Peaks – in the show they drink coffee with cherry pie.”
Sunley described Innocenti’s signature drink was fun but also simple: “a cup of coffee that is perfect in both taste and visually”.
Kirby said: “Alice’s coffee was amazing, I loved the cherries on top. There was warmth to it, froth to it, and it was really well balanced. And we could push it across the business very easily.”
The full list of finalists included:
• Alice Innocenti, general assistant
• Noemi Elod, general assistant
• Natalia Bukowska, barista
• Valentina Mucaria, club manager
• Bruno Agostino, hospitality assistant
• Khaled Rachedi, team leader
• Luca La Posta, general assistant
• Andre Perim, barista
• Damjan Galev, barista