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Thai Finalist Selected for
Rémy Martin’s
Bartender Talent Academy 2022

Written by Mika Apichatsakol

Jan 19, 2023

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Earlier this week on January 16, 2023, members of Thailand’s F&B industry, as well as press and VIP guests, gathered at Villa Frantzén in Yenakart to see which competing bartender will represent Thailand in the final stage of Rémy Martin’s Bartender Talent Academy 2022 in Cognac, France. This is the first time ever for Bangkok and for Thailand to be included in the Rémy Martin brand competition, which typically includes established bar capitals like London and New York—adding to the pressure of the contenders.

Narrowed down from nine to five bartenders after a video submission round, the Thailand finalists who competed on Monday for the ticket to Cognac included “James” Kosil Kamja, representing Sindhorn Kempinski’s Firefly Bar; “Leo” Parom Malakul from Independence Bar; Matteo Cadeddu from Opium Bar; “Ning” Chunyanuch Yodsuwan, who represented BKK Social Club; and Vesper’s “Ploy” Siriwan Sinpan.

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The finalists represented diverse backgrounds, age groups, and personal journeys, though all shining stars of the local industry in their own right. They were judged by a panel of four knowledgeable personalities from hospitality, spirits, and media industries: Christopher Menning, Rémy Martin Thailand’s porfolio brand ambassador; Gabriel Valdés, Villa Frantzén’s bar manager; Lisa Gries, Creative Content Director of Lifestyle Asia Bangkok and Prestige Magazine Thailand; and Sabrina Belletti, head of marketing for Alchemy Thailand.

To compete for selection, bartenders were asked to create a drink incorporating the Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal, a Fine Champagne Cognac, that is their interpretation of the theme “Capture the Moment”. In addition, bartenders were required to us local ingredients and to create a memorable garnish for their drink.

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One by one, the five finalists took to the Villa Frantzen bar on Monday to present live in front of the judges, press, and audience. Each told the story of their concept and choice of ingredients and process while assembling the final product for judges to taste and return with questions. After the final competitor wrapped up her presentation, the judges deliberated in private while guests and anxious bartenders discussed their predictions.

Many canapes and drinks later, the judges returned to announce that Ning from BKK Social Club had won them over with her creation, “The Taste of Terroir”, highlighting the importance of where one comes from. “I may only be 25 years old,” said the bartender in her competition video submission, “but with all the things I’ve been through, I’ve realised that the moment is always better when shared. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that every moment in life—good or bad, sad or happy—is all part of me. The most important thing I never forget is the people I share the moment with, who all help me get through and grow.

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Ning will represent Thailand in world finals in Cognac later this year. As for next year hopefuls, the applications for the Bartender Talent Academy Thailand 2023 will be opening in August, with a live competition round set for November where up to 10 bartenders narrowed down from 30 may contend for the top national spot.

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