The Head of Bars at Merivale’s Ivy precinct, Adam Dow, was recently named as one of the top three bartenders at this year’s Bacardi Legacy cocktail competition and is aiming to make his Legacy experience go beyond the finals.
This year, with bars all over the world closed because of the pandemic, Bacardi gave each global finalists US$5000 in an ‘El Coco Grant’ to help give something back to the industry. Dow has told The Shout that he is using part of that money to set up a grant aimed at bridging the gap in Australian hospitality.
Named after Adam’s cocktail for the competition, The Golden Rule grant will see $1000 each year for the next two years go towards helping a female in Australia’s hospitality industry further her career.
Adam told The Shout: “This El Coco grant really came out of nowhere from Bacardi and it was a $5000 grant that went to all of the competitors who were competing at Globals as a way of giving back to the industry and giving back to the community.
“I felt like I needed to do something tangible with the money, because I felt like I hadn’t earned it or hadn’t deserved it. And so I thought ‘how can I give some of this back to the industry’, and that’s when I realised that I had to give some of it away, because it just felt like too much money.
“I then thought about how I could support some parts of the industry. Why I chose women in hospitality for the grant, is that over the years I have seen women being passed up for senior roles.
“Yes hospitality is probably more progressive then most industries when it comes to this, but I feel like these is still some work to do.”
He added: “It’s no secret that gender inequality is a topical issue at the moment and some people might see this as a convenient charitable donation, but for me it was more about finding something tangible and trying to help someone in terms of their development.
“So the grant is more about self-development and training rather than being a hardship fund and I am really passionate about hospitality professionals developing themselves, I feel like it’s something that doesn’t happen enough.”
Applications for the grant are now open through The Golden Rule Instagram page and Adam’s own Insta and will close at the end of August. Adam won’t be judging the applications, that will fall to Penny Sippe and Jenna Hemsworth, with Adam telling The Shout: “They are two really influential female figures to have done incredibly well to fight against some of the barriers put up against them.”
And although Adam won’t be judging he did tell The Shout he has an ideal candidate in mind.
“It’s about someone who really wants to take themselves seriously as a hospitality professional, I’d love the winner to be someone who really wants to take what they do seriously.”
The grant is open to hospitality professionals who identify as female and there is more information on The Golden Rule Instagram page.