Is Tim Philips the best bartender in the lucky country?
The answer to that question is emphatically NO.
This is largely because he is in Thailand this week, drinking vintage Champagne, celebrating a wedding and using the powers bestowed on him as Bartender of the Year to perform feats of magic and intrigue, like changing people’s birthdays.
Despite his geographic challenges this week, Philips is being tipped by many to add to his World Class and Bartender Magazine honours at the upcoming ALIA’s as well.
His is the story of an Aussie battler, who has seen the world and come back home to mark his mark. Well, at least that’s how I’m writing it, by any means. It’s a tale that begins in the inclement city the rest of the world knows as Melbourne.
Like many of Australia’s top talent, Philip’s has a history that includes the Black Pearl and a trip abroad. Milk & Honey in London, a CLASS Bartender of the Year award and a stint in the lofty climes of Chamonix have all honed this man’s talent and approach to making the best drinks experience possible.
The Philip’s family mantelpiece must be beginning to look a little crowded these days, with accolades piling up as this man brings his triple threat bartendering style to bear on both contests and the Australian drinking public.
First of all, this is a man who knows how to turn out a great drink. In terms of both product knowledge and cold, hard technique behind the bar he is a pleasure to watch and even better when the drink he is making gets handed to you.
Secondly, he is a man with platinum chat. Tim can put you at ease, extract your order and bring a smile to even the weariest of faces. Having great chat separates the good from the great, and this man can put the pressure of a contest aside to deliver a stellar performance, be it in front of industry legends in India, or yours truly in the Barshow green room (only slightly less glamorous.)
The third leg of his triple threat is creativity. From Campari fairy floss and edible dirt at World Class, to his work with live animals at the Barshow finals, this x factor just can’t help but shine through.
Philips is not without competition at the top end of Australian bartending by any means. LPC and Chirs Hysted (pictured below) took out the second and third places in this years Bartender Magazine awards. They both bring the triple threat, fashioned in their own indisputable styles to bear in any competitive situation, and their are again a cohort behind them, being inspired to make great drinks and deliver true hospitality.
It is exciting times with guys like this setting the standard.
Tim can be found, either through membership, a well placed bribe or perhaps just some honest outreach at Ivy’s level 6. Any of you who enjoy the simple pleassure of setting up at a bar to experience great drinks and a fantastic time would be well advised to seek out this hidden jewel.
You can also read Tim’s blog, for some unfiltered insight into life behind the stick served at cask strength, or pick up a Maxim magazine, where he also writes.