6 September 2016
Local bartenders cause a stir in major industry competitions
Two talented bartenders from a leading Aberdeen bar are continuing to vie against the best in business in prestigious industry competitions.
Shea Campbell, 26, and Nick Gordon, 24, from Orchid, an award-winning North-east cocktail bar, have been undertaking a range of respected competitions in the UK and US, showcasing their talents to top names in the drinks industry.
Shea was recently crowned the UK number one for Glenfiddich’s inaugural Experimental Bartender competition in London, after pairing up with his sister, Ciara Campbell, a ceramics artist, to impress the judges with creating various ceramic vessels that allow the drinker to explore the flavours and aromas of whisky.
Along with other selected winners from around the globe, Shea is now due to take part in the Glenfiddich Experimental Bartender Academy in November at the Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, where he will be tasked with challenges related to the whisky making process. On the final day of the Academy, the participants will present their ideas to the global judges, with only one idea being chosen to become a reality, supported by Glenfiddich.
Adding to this success, Shea was also named regional winner of the Buffalo Trace Mystery Migration Cocktail Competition just shortly after. The stimulating competition, which took place in Edinburgh, saw entrants solve clues in certain spots around the city to obtain key ingredients for their cocktails. All of the ingredients collected from the ‘migration’ were then used to create show-stopping cocktails, testing Shea’s flexibility and ingenuity.
Proving himself as one of the five lucky winners, Shea bagged himself an all expenses paid trip to the Buffalo Trace distillery in Kentucky.
Shea said: “The past few months have been a whirlwind for me as I’m delighted with winning not one, but two major industry competitions. It really is an honour to represent the UK whilst up against some truly talented people in our line of work.
“I started working at Orchid at the beginning of this year and have learned a lot from my colleagues and fellow bartenders. We all work great together as a team, bouncing ideas off one another to come up with quirky new concepts. There is never a dull moment and I absolutely love what I do.”
Enhancing the bars extraordinary talent even further, Orchid’s general manager, Nick Gordon, was also recently ranked third in the UK for The Ultimate Bartender Championship ran by Monkey Shoulder. Flying to New Orleans as part of the UK’s top five, Nick yet again demonstrated his cocktail making skills to the judges and secured second place in the ultimate competition, standing out amongst 300 entrants from across the UK.
Ben Iravani, managing director of Orchid, said: “We are lucky to have such talented bartenders all working under the same roof. The team at Orchid is an innovative, hardworking and creative team, continually looking for ways to step up the bar’s game.
“It is now proven that customers visiting Orchid are surely in for a treat, being waited on and served cocktails by award-winning bartenders. I’m very proud of Shea and Nick who have done an awesome job in the recent competitions and their talent highlights just how serious we are at what we do, and that our offering is on par with those well-established cocktail bars around the world.”
For more information on Orchid and its cocktail offering, visit www.orchidaberdeen.com.