Rakesh Kyathsandra Murali, one of our bartenders on board the Queen Mary 2, was recently invited as a VIP Guest for Calvados Nouvelle Vogue Bartender’s Competition 2019 in Normandy. Here’s how he went from bar waiter in hotels to this prestigious bar tending event…

I started as a bar waiter on Queen Mary 2 back in December 2016. Before that my inspiration for getting involved in bar work was the movie, Cocktail. After watching this I started working as a casual bar waiter in a Hotel Park Plaza hotel and ended up working the bars of some of the best night clubs in Bangalore. I even won a few awards in India’s Food & Beverage magazine back in 2013 and best mixologist in Micro Breweries, Bangalore.

I then got the chance to work for Cunard. Having passed my interview to be a bartender there weren’t enough positions available so instead I went back to being a bar waiter. The opportunity to work with Cunard was too great so I grabbed the opportunity! It’s been a wonderful journey since then with Queen Mary 2 and after 3 successful contracts I had the opportunity to get in to the bar and show my skills.

I then heard that there was a Bartender’s competition coming up and I had support from a few different people across Carnival UK who gave me the opportunity to take part. Although it had been two and a half years since I’d been in the bar I used my flair for bar tending and mixology to create a new recipe. My first try was a mixture of Calvados, Galiano and Cointreau which the team weren’t quite happy with. My second attempt combined Calvados, Chartreuse, sour apple, fresh pineapple, lime juice and Hibiscus and I was told to ‘go for it’. This cocktail took me through to win ‘Maritime Branch Winner’ which meant I was then invited as a VIP guest to Calvados Nouvelle Vogue Bartender’s competition for 2019!

You can find out about more about Rakesh’s cocktail here.

This has been a huge platform for me as I was then introduced to the family that is the International Bartenders Association. I’m so proud to represent the Queen Mary 2 and the support and trust I’ve had from Cunard has been overwhelming – I really appreciate it.

This has led to lots of great opportunities for me including a cocktail I introduced, called Sérénité, becoming the official cocktail for the Gala Reception Cocktail party. I’ve even been asked to be part of a jury panel for the Professional Bartenders Competition.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Cunard, Claudia Carrozzi Fleet Head Mixologist, Mateusz Studzinski Bars Manager, Logistics Team UK and CSSI Mumbai for all the support and trust you had in me. I will always continue to give my best and try to make Cunard proud in all my future opportunities.

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1 Comment

  1. Rakesh kyathsandra murali on

    Feeling Proud, Happy, and Blessed.
    I would take this opportunity to thank each and everyone in this, as it’s an greatest moment for me and thinking my future in this will definitely give me a lot of confidence to add and achieve and above all to be a part of this Cunard Family I am Honoured.

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