Marco Ercolano, from London's Milestone Hotel, was yesterday crowned as the winner of the 2008 Galvin Cup, the competition for mixologists.
Now in its second year, the annual event, which was created by Chris and Jeff Galvin, took place at the Red Bar at London's Grosvenor House hotel. It is divided into two categories, hospitality students from Europe and beyond; and employed bar professionals from five-star hotels and style bars.
Ercolano, who is the barman at Milestone's Stable Bar, beat 33 mixologists from across the UK and Europe to the title. Valerio Arena, head barman at Galvin at Windows and Mirko Falconi from the Lanesborough, came second and third respectively.
Lucy Child from London's Westminster Kingsway College won the student's title and a year's paid work placement at Galvin at Windows.
The Galvin Cup 2008, sponsored by Remy Martin and Piper Heidsieck, saw all contestants create a classic Champagne cocktail as well as an individual creation using Remy Martin.
During a final shake off, four professional finalists were asked to create a cocktail from a secret bag of ingredients, which included gin, pomegranate and elderflower cordial, rhubarb marmalade, apple and pineapple juice, fresh mint and yellow raspberries.
Chris Galvin, chef proprietor of Galvin and Windows, told Caterersearch he was thrilled with the outcome of the competition.
"I'm so amazed with both the number of competitors taking part in this year's Galvin Cup as well as the high quality of the entrants," he said. "We will definitely continue to run the competition as an annual event in the future."
Former England and Chelsea footballer Graeme Le Saux, who is a judge and patron of the competition, added: "It's been a great event but it's not just about the competition and also about the sense of community and people from across the UK and beyond getting together."
By Kerstin Kühn
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