First, fifteen bartenders were selected from all over Japan and they were narrowed down to five. One of them was the local bartender in Nara, Mr. Watanabe and the other four were the bartenders working for the first-class hotels in Tokyo. (image taken from google)
Mr. Watanabe was very effective, especially in the skill test, called Card Draw Challenge. Each of them drew one card with a different theme, and each one had to make the most suitable cocktail following the theme . The given theme to Mr. Watanabe was to help a couple in their twenties. As it was their first date, their conversation was awkward. Mr. Watanabe chose gin based cocktail which was compounded gin with fresh peach juice, black tea and added a little bit mint to cheer up the young couple. His attitude was cool and the color of the cocktail was supreme. He became the winner.
I applauded most heartily. (image taken from google)
But I was resented since the narrator in the program always called Mr.Watanbabe, the local bartender in Nara. The expression "Local" for a bartender sounded me negative since "Local" implies "Rural" in Japanese , so I felt it was impolite to Mr. Watanabe.
Soon I tapped and looked in my compute. His bar is a member's bar-THE SAILING BAR in Sakurai City, Nara. In the menu of his bar, there is no names of cocktails. Because he makes the cocktail which fits his guests the best, judging their feelings or conditions from conversation.
In Asahi Newspaper of November 14th, I found the least expected answer from Mr. Watanabe. It is his stance as a local bartender or his thinking of what is "Local-Rural".
In the newspaper, he says, the rich nature in the rural town has been heightening and inspiring his sensitivity and palate. Also, he has cherished this saying " The local is the international." given by his customers. He has beautifully changed the negative to the positive.
That's why he was selected as the best bartender in Japan, excelling the other first-class bartenders.
The paper also says, twenty four of the most talented and inspirational bartenders were chosen to participate in Diageo World Class which had 9000 entries from the world. He was the ninth in twenty four bartenders representing twenty four countries.
I want to applaud most heartily again.