Find your recipes and restaurants here

Durban mixologist in National Finals

Durban's World Class mixologist to represent KZN in the National Finals.

24 May 2013

 Durban mixologist, Haroon Haffajee, was the winner of the regional final of the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2013 at Luna Rossa earlier this week, in which the city’s best mixologists went head to head to shake their creative blends.

Haffajee, who works at Harvey’s restaurant in Innes Road, Morningside, was crowned the winner of the regional championship and will represent KZN along with runner-up, Steven Saunders also from Harvey’s restaurant, in the national finals of the competition to be held at Durban’s Endless Horizons Hotel later this month in a bid to become South Africa’s WORLD CLASS representative.

Using only the finest liquids and exceptional ingredients, Diageo Reserve’s WORLD CLASS competition has come to be known as the World Cup of the cocktail world.

The South African winner of the national final in Durban will then compete against international winners in July at this year’s international final aboard the luxurious “Azamara Journey” cruise liner as it travels along the coastline of the Mediterranean, stopping at some of the world’s most desirable destinations.

The Cape Town WORLD CLASS regional final included six rounds to find the best of the bar with challenges including cocktail mastery, testing the bartenders’ general bar knowledge, a tropical journey exploring exotic flavours and an exciting retro chic creation, putting a modern day twist on a classic cocktail.

Haroon Haffajee took honours in several of the cocktail challenges and after a grueling afternoon for all the contestants, was crowned the ultimate winner.

“Mixology has progressed to the point that a perfect cocktail should engage all of the guest’s five senses – sight, sound, texture, aroma and of course flavour,” says Haroon.

Since its launch in 2009, WORLD CLASS has enjoyed unprecedented success to become the world's leading, most prestigious luxury drinks training programme and not only elevates the craft of bartending but has become a global leader for setting cocktail trends with winners instantly being propelled into the global limelight.

“It was an exciting regional final and we look forward to seeing Johan compete in the national final against regional winners Ikki Mbelle from Johannesburg and Johan Blaauw from Cape Town,” says Dominic Bothner, Diageo Reserve’s National Category Development Manager.

Elite judges for the WORLD CLASS national final in Durban will include Ryan Duvenage of the Barcode Bar Academy who has been ranked as one of the finest global bartenders, Travis Kuhn of Pure Bar Studios who is an architect of the South African National Flair Champion,  globally renowned culinary genius and recent “Master Chef South Africa” judge, Pete Goffe-Wood, as well as Tim Etherington-Judge, acclaimed global ambassador for Diageo Reserve Brands.   

Find WORLD CLASS South Africa on Facebook:


NEXT ON FOOD24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.