Many of you in the bartending community will be familiar with Polish bartending legend, Tomek Malek. The only bartender to win the WFA Roadhouse World Championships four times and one half of the impressive flair bartending tandem Tomek and Marek. During his professional career he took part in over 180 competitions in 37 countries winning over 60 of them – he has been a judge, a competitor and an organiser and now we welcome Tomek to the WFA team as our new WFA Grand Slam Coordinator.
Tomek loves bartending in every aspect and particularly enjoys sharing that passion with others. In between running his own bar, The Roots Cocktail Bar in Warsaw, being Head Bartender at the Dom Wódki and running his own flair agency, Flair Factory, we are very lucky to have an experienced bartender such as Tomek taking over from Tom Dyer.
Seeing as Tomek is just getting started in his new role, we though we would sit down with him and get a short but sweet look at what is to come and what to expect…
Tell us about your new role and duties Tomek. What will you be helping people with?
“Essentially I am responsible for all the WFA Grand Slam competitions, this means overseeing all the Grand Slam competitions throughout the year – from start to finish. I will be on board to help the bartenders and organisers of the Grand Slams promote their competition, design the competition so it is the best possible for the competitors, organisers and sponsors. Working with the sponsors will be particularly important as without the sponsors we have no competitions! I think my experience in over 180 flair bartending competitions, as well as some judging over the years, will help a lot when it comes to organising the competitions – I have some ideas where we could look to potentially improve the process. I’ll also be your go to man about WFA Gradings, so if you have any questions on Grand Slams or Gradings – I’m your man!”
Now you have the power Tomek, can we expect to see any changes coming?
“Don’t worry – there aren’t any huge changes planned! There are some things the team have been talking about such as ensuring every Grand Slam has a prize for the Top 3 competitors – we are also looking at how the points are awarded in the Grand Slam Tournament Leaderboard to see if we can make that a bit more competitive and not as reliant on making sure you compete in every Grand Slam in the year. I will be working closely with the Grand Slam organisers particularly on PR and press releases. I’d like to see it that the both the organisers and the winning bartenders have a press release to send out as soon as the Grand Slam is over. I think this is important if we want the press to run more flair bartending results and stories”.
Are you looking forward to your first Grand Slam of the year?
“Yes! Flairmania is very close, the first WFA Grand Slam of the year. I’ll be in Riga with Andy, not judging this year of course. It will be a good day for me to speak with the competitors and the organisers and get to know them in my new role – I am very much looking forward to it. I am officially in the office now however, so if anyone has any questions please just hit me up at Tomek@worldflairassociation.com”