Compass Group hospitality brand Restaurant Associates has celebrated its first ever Barista Championships on 17th February, showcasing perfection at franchised as well as independent coffee brands from across the United Kingdom.
With three levels of award – foundation, intermediate and expert, the championships invite baristas from across the business with different experience sets to enter from independent cafes to chains, including HEJ Coffee to Starbucks showcasing their skills in the 2022 contest.
Set to take place annually moving forward, this year’s panel of judges included:
– James Wise – Coffee Master Champion 2017
– Imogen Davis – Director of Native Restaurant
– Mat Keech – Managing Director of Hej Coffee
– Chris Stern – Managing Director of Stern Consultancy
– Sonia Carvalho – Head of Coffee and Community – Restaurant Associates
The winners of each category included Joao Claudio from Hej winning the foundation level; Alexis Olmedo from Hej Kings Cross winning the intermediate level and Barista trainer Nicolas Menegon winning the expert level.
Sonia Carvalho, Head of Coffee and Community at Restaurant Associated, says, “Community which activates positive change is at the heart of everything we do at Restaurant Associates, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring the coffee community together for this year’s Championships. We hope, through showcasing and sharing skills, our baristas are inspired to continue striving for excellence.”