Fairmont Dubai's mixologist Joseph Mijares Fairmont Dubai's mixologist Joseph Mijares

Fairmont Dubai’s mixologist Joseph Mijares has bagged the award for Bartender of the Year, sponsored by Nestle, in the 2012 Caterer Middle East Awards.

Mijares faced stiff competition in the category, including from head bartender at Okku, Brett Bell, who was a highly commended nominee.

Also shortlisted were Ferdinand Pancho, shift leader, bars, M-DEK, Media One Hotel Dubai, Venkatesh Sankar, barman, the Meat Company Dubai and Abdi Surahman, bartender, the Cavalli Club, Dubai.

However, Mijares impressed the judging panel, having built up a loyal following wherever he goes. The “master of innovation”, as the judges called him, is known for remembering his guests by face, as well as their cocktail preferences.

Judges said: “He goes above and beyond to further not only his own development but that of those around him, who call him a ‘walking cocktail encyclopedia’.” He was shortlisted at last year’s awards, and has since received a career promotion.

Following his win, Mijares commented: "I was quite nervous but now I’m relaxed – before, my hands were cold with nerves but they’re back to normal. I wasn’t expecting it, as I know what the other competitors do and they’re all really good."

"I'm still trying to absorb it," Mijares added. "I’m still in shock with this, but I’m really really happy with it."


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