Aramark Announces Barista Champion
Aramark has named Joanna Tomaszewska its Aramark Ireland Barista Champion, after she beat off stiff competition from four other talented baristas from across Aramark’s Irish sites.
The grand final, which was held in Bewley’s landmark Grafton Street café, marked the end of a highly competitive journey which saw baristas from across the country showcasing their skill and creative flair to secure the coveted title. Winner Joanna, who is from Castlebar, is a full time Barista in Mayo University Hospital.
Aramark’s Barista Championship is an annual competition designed to showcase the talent, passion and expertise that fuels Aramark’s client sites. Forming part of its popular Brew School Programme, the championship recognises and awards those skilled in the art of coffee preparation.
During this year’s exciting final, each competitor was tasked with creating 12 drinks, which included 4 espresso, 4 milk-based beverages and 4 speciality drinks. They were evaluated by a judging panel, who marked competitors on skill and taste, as well as overall presentation technique.
The judging panel was led by renowned coffee artist Elvis Seivijus Matiejunas, sensory judges Wojciech Tysler, Karen Anders, Ali Hulley and Hugh Healy and technical judge Gary Hollywood. Each of the judges remarked on the impressive skill and passion displayed during the final. When announcing the winner, they cited Joanna’s clear passion for coffee as the deciding factor.
Second place went to Ravi Kuma Soniah, while Ewelina Pilch took home third place. Each of the runners-up collected a certificate, as well as prizes generously provided by championship sponsors Bewley’s, Coca Cola and Hugh Jordan.
Speaking after her win Joanna said, “I am absolutely thrilled with this win. This is my second year taking part and I am so proud of the journey I have come on in the last twelve months. For me, the best thing about being a barista is that it gives me the opportunity to express myself through coffee. Coffee is more than an art; for me, it’s a way of life.
“Since I last competed, I feel like I’ve finetuned my skill and grown in confidence as a result. And I’d like to thank Aramark for always supporting me in my training and development because it has made such a difference to my technical ability. I’d also like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Sheena Staunton, my Regional Manager, Catherine Donohoe and all the staff and customers at Mayo University Hospital, who have supported me all the way. This win is for them.”
Catherine Donohoe, General Manager at Mayo University Hospital said “Everyone here at Mayo University Hospital is delighted for Joanna on her well-deserved win. Her dedication to her craft is an inspiration and the progress she’s made in the last year alone is a credit to her dedication, focus and skill. We are all so proud of her and have never doubted she would win - she’s spectacular!”
Shane Flynn, Managing Director, Aramark Food Services Ireland said “We are all absolutely delighted for Joanna on her well-deserved win. Her impeccable talent, creativity and skill has been clearly visible throughout the competition.”
“Each of our finalists impressed today and it really highlights the expertise of our baristas in serving up the very best specialty coffee to our customers. The passion, time and hard work they have dedicated in the months leading up the final has been awe-inspiring, and I couldn’t be prouder of the strong baristas we have throughout Ireland. As a business, we are committed to supporting our team members in their development and this annual competition is a great example of what that commitment looks like in action.” continued Shane.
Ali Hulley, Coffee and Brand Manager, Aramark said “I have loved every second of this year’s competition. It has been so rewarding to watch our wonderful finalists grow in skill and confidence over the months – the talent has been incredible. This event is really special. Not only does it give our baristas the chance to nurture their love for their art, flex their creative muscle and expand their technical skillset, it also gives our fantastic clients and customers the opportunity to support them on their journey. The support for each of our competitors has been lovely – and well deserved.”
“Coffee is at the very heart of our business and what better way is there to celebrate that? Congratulations again to our Barista Champion, Joanna.”