Monday March 24 2014

Raising the bar

By Jonathan Adengo

Master Bar Academy (MBA), Africa’s largest bar training programme held their third annual training of bartenders at the Katonga Hall of the Kampala Serena hotel last week.

The event attracted 30 bartenders who were engaged in a one-day training from whom five finalists were selected to compete for the grand prize of Master Bartender. The five finalists were then tasked to pick random cards which bore the type of cocktail they were supposed to prepare which ranged from Mojitos, Cosmopolitan to Jamaican Caribbean cocktail among others. Many fumbled and hustled their way through the exercise that was testing mastery, and entertaining the customers as they awaited their drinks to be served.

Joel Lonjamae, 28 (pictured) from Mythos Greek Tervana and Lounge, Kololo, emerged as Kampala’s Master Bartender He was awarded a $1,000 (about Shs2.5m) cash prize, an iPad loaded with exclusive cocktail apps, and title of Master Bartender.

Lonjamae intends to invest the $1,000 he won in to his small shop in Seeta. He also encouraged his fellow bartenders to enroll into the programme when the opportunity arises to upgrade their skills.
MBA is sponsored by Smirnoff Vodka, run by Uganda Breweries Limited with support from Diageo UK and facilitating instructors from South Africa.