Meet The Winners | Barista, Waiter, Cocktail Maker Awards 2013

By Phil Swan
19th Dec 2013

After sifting through over 4000 of your votes, last week we announced the 2013 winners of our Barista Waiter Cocktail Maker Awards. This week we sat down with the winners and find out what they love about their job, how their lives have changed since becoming the best in Brisbane, and some of their favourite spots to wine and dine around town.


Ryan Goody | Best Barista | The Gresham

Ryan Goody | Barista Of The Year | BWCM 2013

What do you love about being a barista?
Definitely, getting to drink as much coffee as I want! Also getting to meet the general public who also have a passion for coffee. The service point in cafes and bars really appeals to me, just because of the appreciation factor. I get to make beautiful coffees for people who actually really appreciate it, and enjoy them! That's quite fulfilling; it gives me great job satisfaction!

How long have you been working at The Gresham
Since it opened, the 18th of October, but have been making coffee and bar tending for almost 15 years now.

Why do you think people voted for you in the BWCM Awards?
I did put it out there for the customers and general public who come into The Gresham, to vote for me by having a laptop out, and giving them the choice of voting for me! Also I would hope that they wanted to vote for me, being there new fave barista, and for making their coffee for them. I also said I would stop spitting in there coffee if they voted for me… they agreed... that was a joke!

What's the secret to a great coffee?
You need to be able to make great milk...and have a lot of passion for starters. But also, it's really about a good procedure and following the steps to making coffee. If you have a strict procedure for making it, and follow it every time, it's actually quite easy to make a great coffee. By watching the pour, you can tell if it's going to be a good coffee or not, and if all your other steps are correct and well practiced you can pour consistently great coffee. But you do need passion as well.

Favourite coffee spot?
It would have to be Symposium Cafe in Newstead, on Commercial road! They use an "odyssey project " custom blend, and to tell ya' the truth, I reckon it's the best blend in Brisbane! The baristas there do a great job, and the food is spot on, too!

Favourite place for a drink?
For a beer, it has to be Archive beer bistro in West End. The Bearded Lady is also a top beer spot. For whiskey and heavier stuff I like to frequent Cobbler, and of course my home bar, The Gresham!

What's your biggest indulgence? 
Tough question, as I have so many! Shots of good booze, cars, and my girlfriend would probably be my top 3!

Favourite restaurant?
I'm a bit of a bargain hunter on everything, but love a good feed! My picks are Trang's Vietnamese in West End, also PJ's Steaks, any Sushi Train, and the best vego place in QLD, The Loving Hut in Mt Gravatt.

To the people who voted:
"Thank you all for the kind words and gestures I have received, it's great to feel the love from all the people that voted, and my social network that I appealed to to help me out in the competition, and hopefully they will all keep coming in and supporting The Gresham and my coffee corner. Thank you all again!"

Pat Doran | Best Waiter | Pablo

Pat Doran | Waiter of the Year | BWCM Awards 2013

What do you love about being a waiter?
I love meeting new people, getting to know the regulars, and I love the food and coffee that comes out of Pablo!

How long have you been working at Pablo?
I have been working there for about a year.

Why do you think people voted for you in the BWCM Awards? 
I try to be as friendly as possible whilst at work. I also try to ensure that anybody who I serve gets the best possible service I can. I also try to keep the service as relaxed and professional as possible with my customers. 

What's the secret to good service?
I think the secret to good service is good communication, with both staff and customers, as well as making the customers really enjoy the experience from the moment they step into the cafe to the moment that they leave. I also have a great time at work with the people at Pablo and that makes a difference in the service I think. 

Favourite coffee spot? 
Other than Pablo, probably a place called the Pear Cafe in Highgate Hill.

Favourite place for a drink?
I like a lot of different bars! Some of my favourites include Lock 'n' Load and Scratch Bar.

What's your biggest indulgence?
My biggest indulgence is enjoying a sneaky beer by myself on a hot day, right at midday on the weekend. 

Favourite restaurant?
At the moment I am enjoying The Spaghetti House in West End. The pasta there is tasty!

To the people who voted:
"I would really like to thank everybody that voted for me! It is a great honour to receive this award and I look forward to serving all of you guys in the future as well!"

Matthew Portillo | Best Cocktail Maker | Alfred & Constance

Matthew Portillo | Cocktail Make Of The Year | BWCM Awards 2013

What do you love about being a bartender?
I love being able to be myself and have fun, and I love serving all the beautiful people that come through my Tiki Bar doors. And, of course, I love making banging drinks! 

How long have you been working at Alfred and Constance?
Around 13 months now. I was training with Richard Boccato the "Tiki Godfather" before the doors were open to the public.

Why do you think people voted for you in the BWCM Awards?
I think people voted for me because I take the time and effort to make people feel at home, get to know my regulars, and I believe that I make my drinks tasty and sexy every time.

What's the secret to making a good cocktail?
Great technique, a knowledge of the drink you're making, the right specifications, and of course love and style.

Favorite place for a drink?
At the moment my favorite place to drink is Papa Jack's. Great service, and every time I go there I try to weed out bits of information and learn about new products and cocktails.

Favourite coffee spot?
Fonzie Abbott on Racecourse Road.

What's your biggest indulgence? 
My biggest indulgence is having dinner out at restaurants a couple of times a week.  

Favourite restaurant?
Popolo Italian Kitchen and Bar.

To the people who voted:
"I can't thank everybody enough who voted for me, I didn't know I would get such a good response. It means a lot, and I think that sticking around a venue and caring about your work and drinks will get you recognition!"

Image Credit: Dan Maddock

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