Tag Archives: Bartending Competition

From Dolphins to Bartenders… How did I get here?!?

After a career as a Director of Training for marine mammals and over 4,000 live shows under my belt, I now find myself as the Director of Training at Canada’s Premier Bartender Training School!  But now instead of a team of dolphins, sea lions, and seals, I work with a team of some of the most incredible instructors I’ve ever met! They spend their time helping others learn to bartend. I spend my time supporting them and the students who are in their classes. Who could have predicted that I would wind up doing this? Certainly not me! The bartender training we provide is the best anyone has to offer and I constantly find myself smiling just because I get to be part of this!

Melanie with Sandi and TeriMel, Bean and T.C.

In 1998, which seems like a lifetime ago, I had the pleasure of working with Gavin MacMillan for the first time.  We both worked at Canada’s Wonderland and we were both ball-busting managers in our respective areas. Little did we know that several years later, Gavin would create a bartending school in Toronto called BartenderOne.  After my career training animals, I went on to be an operations and general manager and then to fundraising and special events management. When the time came and there was an opportunity for me to join this incredible company as the Director of Corporate Events and Training… there was no thought in my mind other than YES!  I didn’t know exactly what I was in for but I knew it was gonna be nothing less than fabulous!

For me, working at BartenderOne is exhausting, in all the right ways.  There is so much going on behind the scenes at any given time and I don’t think anyone would know it if they weren’t told. From planning upcoming classes and workshops, to answering calls with questions and taking registrations, to marking and posting test results, to posting classes online and preparing for class… it never stops. Registrations come in 24 hours a day, the phones ring at all hours and the emails never stop. The instructors are in and out of the office, running errands and commuting between our various training locations. And beyond the time they spend as instructors providing bartender training, they also find time to do special events and to work shifts at their respective bars! At the end of my day I don’t get to work in a bar but instead I go home to my job as a mom and my little bartenders-in-training who are 3 & 6 years old. They practice their flair bartending in the bathtub and as soon as they’re old enough, they’ll be in class and getting ready for flair bartending competitions!

There is never a dull moment here since we also do workshops, private events, corporate events and teambuilding events on top of the bartender training that goes on.  We have instructors traveling around the country doing flair training right now. We have instructors shuttling back and forth from Ottawa to open our newest location there.  Never mind all of the events we are doing!  So even though it may seem like we are just doing this bartending school Toronto type stuff… there is so much more to BartenderOne! I love what I get to be a part of here and the amazing team of people I work with.  Over the next few weeks I am going to share some more of what goes on behind the scenes at BartenderOne including what it’s like to work with this crew of instructors and the entire B1 team.  Andrew, David, Ryan, Krissy, Jeremy, Jay, Jair … even the infamous Gavin! They truly are the best and I’m thrilled to be a part of this team!

Until next time…

Mel

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SuperFlair 2011

The sixth annual SuperFlair flair bartending competition was held in Windsor Ontario, from May 22-24 2011. SuperFlair has been one of the biggest flair bartending competitions in Canada for many years, and this year was no exception. As part of the FBA Pro Tour, there was over $11,000 in cash and prizes up for grabs. With such a large prize pool, SuperFlair always attracts the best flair bartenders from around the world. Past winners have included world champions such as Danilo Oribe from Uruguay, and Christian and Rodrigo Delpech from Argentina.

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Bar Chef Finals Spring 2011

Have you ever tasted a cocktail and thought hmmm I could definitely do a better job myself? Or maybe you have envisioned what you suspected to be delicious mouth-watering cocktails with ingredients one may never normally use in the bar? Six experienced bartenders from Toronto decided to bite the bullet on the evening of May 30th for the spring finals of the International Bartender Certification and each created some masterpieces that tantalised the judges’ taste buds on the night.

IBC Finals Spring 2011

Over the course of five weeks these bartenders attended the BartenderOne IBC course as students and tasted over three hundred different spirits, bitters, liqueurs, sweeteners, infused foams & spirits and alternate types of citrus and cocktails.

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Flair Fiesta

Time again for another Toronto Flair League update.

TFL 9

All of the previous TFL competitions had been held on a Monday or Tuesday, (aka bartenders weekend) so that all flair bartenders could compete. The promoters of the Toronto Flair League have felt some pressure from he general public to host a competition on a Thursday, or Friday night so that the nine to fivers would have an opportunity to witness a flair bartending competition up close.

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Flair Bartending; It was acceptable in the 80′s

After a very successful Toronto Flair League season premiere, the promoters decided that for TFL 8 it would be fitting to couple the event with an eighties party.TFL 2

The idea was that all of the bartenders would create a routine choreographed to any song from the 1980’s.  Also, the background music throughout the evening would be all 80’s, and all competitors, staff and guests were to dress in the fashion of the era.

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Raring to Flair?

Burn baby burn

Burn baby burn

Where do I start?

One of the challenges that people face when learning how to become a flair bartender, is figuring out where to start. People are very eager to start juggling 4 bottles off the start, but that is bit of a stretch. Begin with easy, high impact – low risk moves that you will be able to execute with confidence with a little practice.

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Flair Bartender Profile – Tom Dyer

Tom Dyer

Tom Dyer

BARTENDER PROFILE: TOM DYER
Age: 26 Years Old
Nationality: England:
Lives: LONDON (England)
Bartending: 8 Years
Flairing: 7 Years

Tom Dyer is one of the world’s best and most innovative flair bartenders.

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Do you Dare to Flair?

Flair in action!

Flair in action!

It seems every bar you go to these days, you will see someone throwing bottles in the air, jumping up on the bar, or lighting something on fire. Flair bartending is the term used to describe these actions. It is showmanship mixed with bartending to enhance the guest’s overall experience.

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Does Passion Equal Profit?

Mojito

A little bit of love can go a long way. Care about your drinks! Customers WILL notice, and so will the bank.

A little bit of love can go a long way. Care about your drinks! Customers WILL notice, and so will the bank.

Most managers in the hospitality industry have experienced a diamond in the rough. By this I mean a staff member who just seems to get service, and has that “X factor” we can never seem to put our finger on. Having thought about it a fair amount, I have come to the conclusion that the aforementioned “X factor” is passion. And while many of our staff members are admittedly on a career stopover, I believe that you can ignite this passion. How? By simply articulating the “What’s In It for Me?”

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Flair Bartender Profile- Up close and personal with Behnam Gerami

Name: Behnam Gerami
Nationality: United States
Age: 36
Years Bartending: 12(12 Flair)

I first met Behnam at the Flairco Cup back in 2006. I was always impressed by his style from watching videos of him, but when I watched him perform live, I was blown away. He is truly the roll master!

I recently caught up with Behnam and this is my interview with Behnam Gerami.

Q- When did you get into Flair bartending?
A- I started Flair bartending in 1998. I was working at a TGI Fridays, and they basically forced me to learn Flair, and there was a mandatory in store flair competition.

Q- Did you have a mentor when you first started?
A- My mentor at the time was Leigh Miller. I had a few TGI Fridays videos and he was the man at the time. Very smooth and original.

Q- Where are you currently working?
A- I am not currently working anywhere. I’m always looking for new opportunities.

Q-To date, what is your best Flair moment?
A- One of my best Flair moments was the first time I went to London for Roadhouse. I made the finals in 2004. Also, my first Legends of Bartending is very dear to me.

Q- To date, what is your worst Flair moment?
A- My worst Flair moment? Hmmm…there is no worst moment, but I am very upset about never making the finals at King of the Ring. It was a three day competition and I would always make the semi finals, but never the final round which is a big disappointment for me. It is the only comp that I never made the finals.

Q- What are your plans for the future?
A- My plans are to do a flair movie, or show to help grow Flair bartending. Also, I want to make another Area 51 DVD titled Area 52, so watch out for that!

Q- Other than yourself, who is your favourite Flair bartender?
A- Well I love Flair and many different styles, so my all time favourite Flair bartenders are Nicolas St. Jean, and the Delpech brothers. I love all the guys on Area 51, that’s why they’re on it, but I also love the Polish guys, Tomek and Merek. Danilo, Dyer, Rafa, and Sebastian to name a few. I hope to feature all of them on Area 52!

Q- Do you have a signature cocktail?
A- Well I have many signature cocktail, but one of my favourites is featured on the I Bar menu at the Rio in Las Vegas called “Darkness”.

Q- Do you have a least favourite cocktail?
A- My least favourite would be anything too sweet.

Q- Finally, what is you’re favourite Flair bar?
A- My favourite Flair bar is Carnaval Court. It’s been the best Flair bar for 10 years and it’s only been open for 9 years! I have the best time whenever I go there. Day shift or night shift it doesn’t matter. They’re the best group of guys because they’re more than just bartenders!

Thanks to Behnam for taking the time to do this interview.

We wish you the best of luck in all upcoming competitions and can’t wait for Area 52!

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