Taras Zavalnyuk. Global contests, flowers and industrial alpinism Taras Zavalnyuk. Global contests, flowers and industrial alpinism

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Taras Zavalnyuk. Global contests, flowers and industrial alpinism

Taras Zavalnyuk, Angostura, barman competition winner, Angostura winner, young barman, Four Seasons, DCW Magazine

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Taras Zvzalnyuk has become barman when he was 18. In following 7 years he has taken part in 14 professional contests, won Angostura 2019, has gained a prestigious place at international hotel chain, far not to mention many other considerable achievements. I talked to Taras and found out why alcohol exhausts barman, how to win a contest, what makes him move ahead and whose support is most important. Let’s go! 

Taras Zavalnyuk, Angostura, barman competition winner, Angostura winner, young barman, Four Seasons, DCW Magazine 

Career and Contests

For how long have you been in the profession?

As soon as it has become legal. I mean for me. 7 years ago I was just 18. Everyone said barman needs experience and knowledge. So I started as a waiter, my curiosity and persistence gave a result. I still remember the delight I had after making my first Puss Cafe cocktail!  

First I visited a bar as a guest. It was 5 years ago and that was Daiquiri bar in Saint-Petersburg. I still keep that taste of Honey-Raspberry Smash in my heart! That was the day when I realised my destiny – to work as a barman. Actually I was not accepted from the first time. I had to read a lot before I get behind a bar rаck.  

And when you decided to take part in contests? 

I took this matter consciously a year and a half ago. Not just because everyone does that. 

Which contests did you participate in? 

  • Fly Team 2015;
  • Riga Black Balsam 2017;
  • Jager Liga 2017;
  • World Cocktail Competition 2017;
  • Friends Cocktail Cup 2018;
  • Beluga Signature 2018;
  • Dewar’s Competition 2018;
  • Baltic Bartender Competition 2018;
  • Auchentoshan Mix Different 2018;
  • Friends Cocktail Cup 2018;
  • Riga Black Balsam 2018;
  • Bols Around The World 2019;
  • Diageo Reserved WorldClass Russia 2019;
  • Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2019.

This and last years are really full. What is your purpose? Why do you do all that?

A lot to remember, really! To evolve, be a better version of yourself, to face creative challenges – this is a tool and a chance for me.

What else contests give you but professional upgrade?  

Great number of new friends, fabulous emotions, finding new personal characters, which I had no idea about ever before. Also it gives a push to the bar I work for, and it is very important for me. 

Taras Zavalnyuk, Angostura, barman competition winner, Angostura winner, young barman, Four Seasons, DCW Magazine

Which contest was the most difficult? 

It’s difficult to say. Each competition has its peculiarities. And I think it is not appropriate to compare them. First of all I compete with me myself. Every time it is getting harder and harder. 

Angostura

AGCC has quite inordinate format. I would call it an interview with a couple of creative tasks around cocktail theme. The process of application is overwhelming: video, esse, CV, training course, and making 2 cocktails. All this in short terms in English. You have 7 minutes to perform and manage to tell a lot. 

The other funny point is that I was the smallest among the participants. Bar rack was quite high and I had to stand on my toes. I was even thinking to bring a small stairs! 

Diageo

At Diageo there is a huge amount of work – a real marathon. Preliminary stages, where the best of the best are chosen – a very high degree of competition. The final has 7 different challenges, each aims to perform new side of your proficiency and still you have to preserve your style. 

Bols

Bols was an escape out of comfort zone. Different country, three months of preparations, logistics. I had to serve 500 drinks! 

Taras Zavalnyuk, Angostura, barman competition winner, Angostura winner, young barman, Four Seasons, DCW Magazine

The winner is Taras Zavalnyuk! 

What was special about Angostura? 

A broken glass and lack of lime juice – these are the claims to me myself. Thanks a lot to guys from Cocktailnaya bar, they helped me so much! 

But I am just kidding. 

Of course this contest is remarkable for my VICTORY. This is the first contest of this scale that I won. And that is why it is highly precious for me.

Gorgeous weather, good friends and nice people around, good organisation. That was a wonderful day! 

What would be your highest inspiration for the next global tour level? 

The support of my love. I have no idea, how I could do that without of her… Ann, hi! 

What would you recommend guys who have never taken part in contests? 

I wouldn’t like to classify people to those who have taken part in competitions and who have not. I wouldn’t like to classify people at all. 

And my advice is vaguely plain. Do what you like to do!

Taras Zavalnyuk, Angostura, barman competition winner, Angostura winner, young barman, Four Seasons, DCW Magazine

Source of Power

What is mostly exhausting at your job? 

Alcohol.

Please, explain.

Well, first you have to order it. Than pay for it. Than unload it. Than bring it and register it. Then open, pour, mix, cool and filter. All this is quite exhausting. 

And what do you like most? 

I like most when guests feel better when they leave. 

Source of inspiration

What is your favorite movie? 

I have special relations with cinema. Lately I watch movies seldom. And I can hardly say that I have a strong desire to sit down and watch concrete movie. I remember I was astonished by Thomas Crown Affair (1999). A great shot, groundbreaking actors, play – 12 of 10! There is also a good series I could recommend – “Genius”. A vvvvery enlightening story! 

And what professional book would you recommend? 

I would gladly recommend three: 

  • «In Search of Total Perfection» by Heston Blumenthal – for the great approach to work!
  • «Flavor» by Bob Holmes – I read it now, a number of useful points there!
  • «Fountainhead» by Ayn Rend – it is non-professional only by the first sight.

Whom would you like to meet among bartenders and what would you ask? 

May I talk to everybody? 

Taras Zavalnyuk, Angostura, barman competition winner, Angostura winner, young barman, Four Seasons, DCW Magazine

About dreams

Have you ever thought of a different profession? Or you have a plan to become the king of the world? Or at least own your place? What is your future? 

I started University and barman career at the same time. Graduated as Engineer of Telecommunication Systems. Made video, was a part of industrial alpinist team, seed lawns and planted flowers. But I was never thinking to quit bartending.  

In the nearest future I am planning to grow and evolve together with Four Seasons team. And I would gladly open a family place by the seaside. 

Taras Zavalnyuk, Angostura, barman competition winner, Angostura winner, young barman, Four Seasons, DCW Magazine

Photos: press-office Four Seasons Hotel Lion Palace St. Petersburg, AGSS Russia|facebook.com

This post is also available in: Русский (Russian)


Марго Бор
About

Editor-in-chief. "I believe in signs, destiny and mission. What else would you expect from a girl, whose first words were: “Father, champagne!” Naturally, foundation of the new media about drinking culture in 2015 that transformed into international project “DCW Magazine” in 2018 – is all about celebration. This is a bright self-expression of the authors who share love and deep interest for the topic. This is passion, creativity and daily routine. This is everything for the development of a drinking culture in Russia and the translation of national values and achievements of the local bar industry in the whole world".


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