by BEVERAGE TRADE NETWORK

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The Judges

Arnaud Volte

Bartender, London Edition

I was born in the south west of France, started my professional career working with kids when I was around 16, and ended up in charge of summer camps at 21. I then decided to change my life completely, and wanted to become a bartender. So I went to a school in Thailand, and moved to London. 

My journey didn’t start really well as I couldn’t find any job because of my lack of experience. After a couple of months I finally found a pub that was looking for a barback. After a few hard months of polishing glasses, the place I was working for had a cocktail bar in the basement. I was lucky enough to have a really good bar manager and mentor that taught the basics of service, creations and how to manage a bar. I then moved to a  place called The Distillery on Portobello Road, where I’ve learned a LOT about gin and classics, but also about distillation. I spent a year and a half there, working closely with people like Jake Burger and Del Jones who helped me throughout my journey from bartender to duty manager. 

Then I wanted to focus more on my bartending skills and knew I had still a lot to learn, so moved to The London EDITION Hotel, a luxury lifestyle hotel in Central London. I’ve learned how to provide a luxury service, yet having the chance of being truly myself and focusing on providing the best for our guests. I’ve also got more time for competitions, which I think is really important for your progression as a bartender. I reached the World Class UK finals in 2019, which was an amazing experience. I’m also doing more cocktail masterclasses and teaching people. It is essential to share the knowledge, for example I had the chance to fly to Morocco and teach some amazing bartenders who are passionate about what they do. 

Less than a year ago I found out I had type 1 diabetes, so my lifestyle changed tremendously but the chance of working in a hotel allows me to be able to have “regular” hours. It also changed my way to create cocktails, for instance now I’m focusing a lot more about the natural potential of products and getting the most flavours out of them. Of course keeping the sustainable part in mind. 

At last but not the least, I've founded with two of my French colleagues “The Camarades”, which started at the beginning of the pandemic and aimed to support medical staff from Monaco’s hospital. It is also for us a platform where we can share some delicious cocktails, music and amazing industry friends that support us.