West Africa’s burgeoning bartending trade is flourishing through a new and unique reality TV show, showcasing the region’s masters of cocktail making. The Barman TV kicked off with over 80 bartenders from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone & Liberia battling it out for the top prize of an all-expenses paid trip to the European Bartender School in London.
Experienced spirit industry professional and TV Presenter, Mark Barrett is The Barman TV’s host. Judges include Caesario de-Mederios, the show’s creator, who is a spirit’s industry professional, and certified wine and spirits educator. Also part of the judges is Lara Rawa, a lawyer, bartender, and founder of Lagos Cocktail Week and Accra-based Chris Beaney, previously the manager of Crazy Homies and Lucky 7 in London, and currently President of the Ghana Bartenders Guild, and manager of Burger and Relish Restaurant and Bar in Osu.
The reality TV series was born out of the idea that Africa needs a platform to develop and jump-up respect for the crafty works bartenders do.
The Barman TV is produced by HA! HA! Media, which focuses on creating original content with unconventional ideas. The co-creator of HA! HA! Media, Chioma Onyenwe, explained: “This we feel will have more success than attempting to enlist African bartenders to international competitions as it does not provide a level playing field. We infused this serious agenda with a little bit of entertainment, nightlife and fashion and the TV show was born”.