Natalia Akerlund Brings Back Monaco’s Bartending Competition
The owner of Vino Royale Monte Carlo returned to Monaco the competition for the best bartenders.
On February 6, nine bartenders from establishments such as MayaBay, Equivoque, Blue Gin, Neptune, MayaMia, Trinity, and Duke competed to create Monaco’s most innovative cocktail infused with cannabis aromas of Rozoy Picot terpschamp.
A year ago, Natalia started actively working with Monaco’s restaurants, bars, and lounges. She noticed so many young talented bartenders but no events or network to encourage them to show off their skills and learn from each other. She spoke to the chef barman of MayaBay, Jérôme Foures, about the idea of organizing a bartending competition, which he immediately supported. After many months of hard work and planning, the competition finally took place at Trinity.
The jury consisted of Natalia Akerlund of Vino Royale Monte Carlo, Clément Rozoy – the owner and creator of the Rozoy Picot brand; Jérôme Foures of MayaBay; and Fred Laguillonie – barman of Blue Gin and champion of several bartending competitions.
Contestants were evaluated on four criteria: must feel the balanced cannabis flavors of the cocktail, creativity and visual of the cocktail, name of the cocktail, and the presentation or show by the bartender.
For most of the bartenders, it was their first competition, and they felt very nervous. However, they all surprised the jury with the creativity and skills they put into creating their unique cannabis aromas-infused cocktail.
The three winners were awarded. The first ranked winner got a 2-night stay at Les Chalets Fleurs de France in French Alps, accommodating eight people sponsored by Vino Royale Monte Carlo, number two got a luxury gift pack of terpschamp, branded bucket, and glasses sponsored by Rozoy Picot, and the third winner received a voucher from Trinity for dinner for two.
The jury had a tough decision to select the winners, but Jadee Lerouge from MayaBay was unbeatable in all aspects. Second place went to Elia Secci from the luxury rooftop terrace Equivoque, and number three was snatched by Kévin Beaucerf from Blue Gin.
Natalia Akerlund: “I was literally overwhelmed by the popularity and success of the event. We did it! And everyone loved it! Even though there were only three winners, every bartender put their heart and soul into creating the cocktail. I am proud of a single one of them!”
This first competition had more of a professional format, with family, restaurant owners, managers, and staff attending and cheering for their bartenders. However, due to multiple requests and the event’s popularity, the organizers are already considering hosting the next edition for summer, open to local Monaco audiences. Stay tuned by following their Instagram.
Vino Royale Monte Carlo is a family wine and champagne distribution company in Monaco, working with restaurants, bars, nightclubs, event organizers, yachts, and private customers.