Aramark has announced Marta Michalewicz as "Barista Champion 2018" after she beat five other competing baristas from Aramark sites across the country. The grand final marked the end of the competitive journey which saw baristas from across the country take part. Living in Dublin, Michalewicz has worked at the AIB Bank Centre since June 2017 and has been a barista since 2015.
Aramark’s National Barista Championship recognises and awards those skilled in the art of coffee preparation. Each finalist created a total of twelve beverages including four espressos, four milk-based drinks and four signature drinks. These were evaluated by a judging panel who marked competitors on skill and taste, as well as overall presentation techniques. The event was sponsored by Bewleys and Hugh Jordan Catering Supplies & Equipment supported with grand prizes for all the finalists.
The judging panel was led by Maria Cassidy, a certified Q Arabica Grader, tea sommelier and national sensory judge. Cassidy was joined by Andrius Valiauga and Wojciech Tysler, both of whom are former Barista championship winners who have represented Ireland in international competitions; and Keara Fitzgerald an expert sensory and technical judge.
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All of the judges were impressed with the high standards displayed throughout the competition. When announcing the winner, they cited Michalewicz’s excellent barista skills who delivered both the best signature drink and milk based drink of the day. The winning beverage was a raspberry infused espresso.
Second place went to Amanda Nieto de Almeida, whose signature coffee was an autumnal plum drop with a handmade syrup of dry plums, water and sugar.
Speaking at the live final Shane Flynn, managing director of Aramark Food Services Ireland, said, “This is a simply brilliant result which shows the flair and attention to detail our baristas have achieved in knowing all about their profession and serving the very best speciality coffees to our customers. To achieve national recognition is a great achievement and all of us at Aramark are very proud of all our brilliant barista finalists.
“We are all absolutely delighted with Marta’s win. It’s a fantastic result which underlines the expertise of our baristas in serving up the very best specialty coffee.”
Ali Hulley, coffee & brand manager at Aramark, added, “As predicted, it was a tough and closely fought competition. The standard was exceptionally high with all of our competitors showcasing the extremely high level of skills and expertise people have come to expect from Aramark. Congratulations to Marta. She absolutely deserves the title of Barista of the Year 2018 and we are extremely proud of her achievement.”
© 2018 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.