The 2015 Glenfiddich Future Pioneers winner


The Black Pearl’s Luke Sanderson crowned the 2015 Glenfiddich Future Pioneer

Glenfiddich is proud to announce Luke Sanderson from the Black Pearl in Melbourne with his mentor Orlando Marzo from Dinner by Heston Blumenthal as the winners of the 2015 Glenfiddich Future Pioneers Competition.

The National final took place on Monday October 12, where the five finalists were brought to Sydney and caught seaplanes to one of the city’s hidden gems – Peat’s Bite on the Hawkesbury River to battle it out for the coveted prize.

Launched in 2013, the Glenfiddich Future Pioneers Cocktail Competition is a nationwide search for the best of Australia’s up and coming bartenders who hadn’t previously placed in a national competition.


Each team was charged with creating cocktails for the judging panel made up of their fellow competitors, they were then flown back to Sydney where the winners were announced at a private dinner at Sydney’s iconic Quay restaurant.

As Glenfiddich is a family owned and run business, in the state finals mixologists from around the country were asked to create a Glenfiddich cocktail inspired by a family member. The cocktails had to be one that is an easy to prepare using Glenfiddich 12 Year Old cocktail using no more than four commonly found ingredients, and was prepared for a panel of mentors which included some of Australia’s most respected bar tending talent.

The mentors each selected their favourite cocktail and then worked with the Future Pioneer to create an evolution of their drink using Glenfiddich 14 or 15 Year Old. The creations were judged by their peers and the winning team in each state booked a place in the National final.

Luke Sanderson and Orlando Marzo’s prize includes a trip to the Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland. Hugh Taylor and Martin Lange who finished in second place, will join the Glenfiddich team on a pioneering airboat in Kakadu in early 2016.

The state finalists included:

  • Luke Sanderson and his mentor Orland Marzo from Victoria
  • Hugh Taylor and his mentor Martin Lange, both from the Cobbler in Queensland
  • Christiane Poulos from Raven’s Eye and her mentor Simon McGoram from Henrietta’s in NSW
  • Scotty Kneipp from The Aviary and his mentor Tom Kearney from the Dominion League in WA
  • Darren Leaney from Maybe Mae and his mentor Marcus Motterdam from Haines and Co. in SA.

All cocktails will be put into a recipe book that will be released into the off trade during the New Year.

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