Lock, Stock & Barrel’s Timmy Olajide tipped with Bartender of the Year title

Olajide was hailed an outright winner by all judges with one calling it an "absolute victory"
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 Timmy Olajide at the Caterer ME awards 2018 held at Waldorf Astoria Tha Palm.
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Timmy Olajide at the Caterer ME awards 2018 held at Waldorf Astoria Tha Palm.

Timmy Olajide from Lock, Stock & Barrel, Barsha Heights Dubai - which also won Bar Team of the Year on the night - snapped up the ‘Bartender of the Year’ award at Caterer Middle East Awards 2018.

The event took place on Wednesday, May 9 at the Waldorf Astoria, Dubai Palm Jumeirah and the category, which comprised six nominees, was presented to Olajide by Shelly Speirs, head of bar division for 1765 Gemini.

Ankush Lama, the bartender at Ramusake earned the ‘highly commended’ title for the category.

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During the judges' meeting to shortlist the nominees, for the first time in a long time in any category, there was an outright winner, with every single judge having selected Olajide as the top bartender. One of the judges called it an “absolute victory”.

After receiving the award, Olajide told Caterer Middle East that besides making sure the people he serves are happy, he goes the extra mile to keep key things in check while bartending.

“Be a bartender, you should know about the drink, have the cocktail knowledge and how to talk to people and just to stay calm all the time. When you have a hard guest, you need to calm down and deal with it,” he explained.

Stefania Zamboni, general manager at Lock, Stock & Barrel Barsha Heights, wrote in Olajide’s nomination application that it’s his calm demeanour and even temper that makes him good at his job. “Timmy is our calm and collected bartender who never arrives at work without being perfectly groomed and with a smile on his face. No matter the situation, this boy never loses his temper under pressure and leaves all his guests smiling. Timmy never complains about anything and never have we heard a complaint been made about him! He really is a dream to work with. I can always count on him to deliver and keep customers coming back,” Zamboni wrote.

Besides a cool head and smooth bartending techniques, Solutions Leisure’s Sophie Raynaud said Olajide is a star. "He is also a star performer in terms of tips, consistently earning the biggest tips in the whole team and smashing his own records time and time again,” Raynaud stated.

Sarah Kapusso, bar manager at Lock, Stock & Barrel, commented that Olajide’s commitment and dedication to his job was what struck her the most about the Bartender of the Year: “Timmy has been with us since day one. Hardworking is an understatement to describe him. He loves and lives LSB and because of this, he was promoted from being a bar back to his current role after only three months of being with us."

“He is the prime example of hard work paying off and has grown into one of the most valuable and respected members of the team. Timmy always goes above and beyond and is a true asset in the company,” she added.

This year's awards were supported by: platinum sponsor Emaar Hospitality Group; category sponsors A.Ronai, A&T Group Interiors, Bragard, Precision Refrigeration and TSSC, Pulsar Foodstuff, 1765 Gemini; dessert sponsors EMF, Cacao Barry, Callebaut; photobooth sponsor Mintano by Sketches; social media partner Tint; water sponsor Acqua Panna and San Pellegrino; and beverage sponsors MMI, Campari, Fever Tree, and Skyy Vodka.

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