On Monday, January 18, members of the local hospitality industry, media, and VIP guests gathered at Villa Frantzén on Yenakart to witness the selection of Thailand's contender in the Rémy Martin Bartender Talent Academy. This is the first time that the global competition, which typically sees applicants from established bar capitals of the world, such as London and New York, has included Bangkok, speaking to the growing reputation of our bars and creative mixologists.
Prior to Monday, nine total contenders were narrowed down to a final five, based on a video submission round. Each were required to come up with an original cocktail incorporating the Rémy Martin 1738 Accord Royal, a fine champagne, under the theme of "Capture the Moment". The final five, representing Firefly Bar at Sindhorn Kempinski, Independence Bar, Opium Bar, Vesper, and BKK Social Club, individually presented their competition drink before a panel of judges and the audience at Villa Frantzén. Judged on their concepts, storytelling, and recipe, as well as other criteria, 25-year-old "Ning" Chunyanunch Yodsuwan from BKK Social Club and her Rémy Martin 1738 cocktail "The Taste of Terroir", an ode to origins, came out on top after long deliberation by the jury.
Speaking about her creation in her video submission, Ning said, "I believe that everything happens for a reason and that every moment in life—good or bad, sad or happy—is all part of me. But the most important thing I never forget is the people I share the moment with, who all help me get through and grow. My concept for my drink was to capture it all, beautifully and uniquely, those hundreds of moments expressed in hundreds of blends, like eaux–de–vie, one unique moment at a time, and uniquely me.”
Presenting "The Taste of Terroir" live in front of judges Gabriel Valdés, Christopher Menning, Sabrina Belletti, and Lisa Gries, Ning displayed confidence and certainty with a clear message about the things that make each of us unique.
The rising star from BKK Social Club will represent Thailand in world finals in Cognac, France later this year, while applications for the Bartender Talent Academy Thailand 2023 will be opening in August, with a live competition round set for November.