Orlando Marzo of Lume Restaurant in Melbourne has won the title of Australia’s 2018 Bartender of the Year at the Diageo World Class Australian final.

Marzo beat more than 500 entrants and was awarded the top prize after completing two days of intense workshops and challenges alongside 19 of Australia’s best bartenders.

The final round took place at Fred’s Bar in Paddington and included four live cocktail challenges hosted by industry experts.

Mentors and judges included Michael Madrusan (Milk & Honey, The Everleigh and The Elk Room); Danielle Alvarez (Fred’s); Fenella Kernebone (TedxSydney); Melissa Leong (food writer and TV personality); Kaitlyn Stewart (World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2017) and Krystal Hart (Diageo World Class national ambassador).

The top-20 finalists had to complete four challenges that were each hosted by a mentor or judge. Challenge topics included Think Global, Go Local, The Today Show Challenge, The Speed Round and The 10-Year Challenge.

Marzo will now travel on a trip to Berlin to represent Australia at the global finals to be held in October. He will also embark on a cocktail tour of Europe and visit Diageo distilleries in France and Scotland.

“I’ve met so many great people and made so many great connections during the competition. I’m incredibly proud to call Australia home and I cannot wait to represent you all,” says Marzo.

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