By Stefanie Collins, editor BARS&clubs

The new World Class Ambassador for Australia, Natalie Ng, tells us all about why she has taken on her new role, how World Class changed her bartending career for the better, and why you should enter the 2017 competition.

What are you hoping to achieve in the role?

I’m hoping to be able to make World Class 2017 the best and most memorable to date. I’m extremely excited to announce that we’re rolling out a brand new training platform called World Class Studios. It was only available and a huge hit in the US. I guess you could describe it as a “How to Win a Cocktail Competition" session, but on a whole higher level, unlike anything we have ever seen before in Australia.

I cannot wait to see bartender’s reactions at these World Class Studios, I just sat through the session myself, hosted by John Gakuru, and I was absolutely blown away. These studios also ensure that even if you don’t get into our top 100, you will have definitely learnt to be a more rounded bartender, and that winning drinks are not just about what is in the glass, but about the drinking experience in its entirety.

What are you looking forward to the most?

Getting round to the different states, especially places we don’t get to spend much time at usually like WA or SA and meeting new faces. 
I always love listening and mentoring bartenders through and then seeing their final creations. Oh and of course looking forward to global finals in Mexico City this year.

What do you think World Class can offer to bartenders who enter?

Having been a finalist myself in the past, you will be amazed at what you can achieve. World Class not only pushes you to be better, but you learn so much throughout it. I was quite a nervous person when I was younger, and competitions like World Class made me a more confident person.

But being part of World Class is not just about pushing yourself, it also connects you to likeminded peers. You become part of the World Class family. It is always such a great feeling to witness competitors helping and cheering on each other. Yes it is a competition at the end of the day, but the comradery is second to none.
Why is it important for bartenders to get involved in programs like this?

It puts you on the radar for whatever you might want to accomplish in your career. Bartenders that make it to the top mostly become household and even global names. You will be surprised at yourself, where it might take you and what you can accomplish.

Being a bartender has taken me to some amazing places around the world that I might have never seen before. I don’t think I would have gotten this far in my hospitality career if I didn’t enter comps like World Class, it also led me to meet some very amazing people that helped me along.

What can we expect in the Australian competition this year?

I don’t want to give too much away but expect it to be massive. We want every bartender that is passionate about their craft to enter and see if they have what it takes. Make sure to look out for the World Class Studios, you don’t want to miss out on that.

We are giving away a once in a lifetime trip to some of the most amazing distilleries and places in Scotland, as well as giving our winner all the kit to look the part and set them up for success at the global finals in Mexico City this year.

World Class Australia entries are now open, and will close on 17 March 2017.

To enter, head to and click on ‘enter competition’.

Select Australia as your country of representation then complete the online entry form.

What are you waiting for?

Image credit: Daniel Boud.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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