With the global finals of the Diageo Reserve World Class™ Bartender of the Year competition to be hosted in Cape Town in September (a first for the city and for Africa), South Africa’s brand ambassadors have been announced.
The brand ambassadors will represent the country on the ground and to the world at large whilst also engaging with the public.
“Along with their embodiment of South Africa and Diageo’s spirit of excellence, they bring their personalities and decades of combined experience to the table, encompassing Diageo’s commitment to quality and innovation, while ensuring a direct communication link between brand and public” says Head of Reserve Brands South Africa, Dominic Mearing.
Themselves top bar-tenders and experts in the art of mixology, South Africa’s World Class™ regional ambassadors are Alex Farnell from Gauteng, Haroon Haffajee from KZN and Bradley Jacobs from the Western Cape.
About the Ambassadors
Alex Farnell (Senior Ambassador & Manager – Gauteng)
“Life is all about balance and if you love what you do, you are unstoppable!”
Father and family man Alex has been in the industry for over 14 years and has amassed a wealth of knowledge and know-how tempered by passion and professionalism.
From serving on the front-lines as a bartender to acting behind the scenes as food and drinks manager on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean, Alex draws upon his experiences to be a dynamic and energetic senior Reserve Brand ambassador in Gauteng. His duties include the management and mentorship of current and upcoming regional brand ambassadors.
His meticulous attention to detail and absolute luxury guarantees that the brand’s portfolio and product reach consumers uniquely and effectively.
Haroon Haffajee (KZN)
“A great cocktail is balanced, beautifully presented, showcases the base spirit and should take the guest on a journey of the mind.”
Haroon (known as “H”) has 17-year history in the hospitality sector and a service record spanning four continents (with stints in London, Dubai and the Caribbean). While he cut his teeth working in restaurants, Haroon’s CV also includes jobs in events, catering and promotions.
His dedication to the bar and spirits business is fueled by a thirst for knowledge and new experiences. Haroon placed second in the World Class Cocktail Competition in 2013 and 2014 and believes South Africa will produce a future winner.
Well versed in the craft of luxury products and service, Haroon believes in an evolving cocktail culture with consumers receiving better cocktails made with better spirits by better bartenders in better bars.
Bradley Jacobs (Western Cape)
“I believe that in an ever-changing industry we should always remain students.”
Twelve years in the bar industry – including a management qualification from the Cape Town Hotel School and a five-year tenure at the Cape Grace Hotel’s Bascule Bar – allow Bradley to relate to consumers of all stripes, from newcomers to the world of fine spirits to true aficionados.
Bradley, in his own words, is “consumed by the vast complexity that is whiskey”; he conducts whiskey tastings at Bascule Bar and helps maintain the largest whiskey collection in the southern hemisphere. He has a newfound interest in poker because of its intense strategic elements, while his competitive nature has fed a lifelong love of sport.
He believes that education is never ending, and is always seeking new knowledge for personal and professional gain.
The world’s most prestigious bar-tending programme, the Diageo Reserve World Class™ Bartender of the Year competition is the industry’s most prestigious mixology event and aims to elevate the skill and craft of the bartending profession, setting global trends and standards in the industry.
Brandhouse Beverages (Pty) Ltd was formed on 1 July 2004 as a joint venture between Diageo, Heineken International and Namibia Breweries Ltd. It is South Africa’s leading premium drinks company with an unrivalled portfolio of brands across the spirits, beer and cider categories. These include Johnnie Walker, J&B, Smirnoff, Bell’s, Baileys, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray, Captain Morgan, Amstel, Heineken, Windhoek, Foundry, and Guinness among others.
For more information about brandhouse, its people, and brands visit us at www.brandhouse.co.za.
Celebrating life, every day, everywhere, responsibly.