Let’s face it, we all know what a great initiative Melbourne’s COVID-10 Employee Assistance Directive is, and it appears the judges at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards also recognise its brilliance.
The COVID-19 EAD has received a Philanthropy Recognition at this year’s awards, when the final winners were announced last week – the first round of Spirited Award winners had been revealed earlier in the week.
The COVID-19 EAD was created following the collapse of the hospitality industry after the extended lockdown in Victoria. Volunteers cook, pack and deliver thousands of pre-packaged meals every week.
The initiative was started by bar owners Jason Chan and Henry Le along with private chef Jez Berwick. What started as plan to keep their staff who had been stood down fed, quickly became an outreach program with the mission of the raising spirits of as many unemployed hospitality professionals as they could afford to feed.
COVID-19 EAD Board Member, Iain Ling, told Bars and Clubs that the award was great news and put a much needed smile on the team’s faces.
“We started out just feeding a few staff from some bars around Melbourne when we first went into lockdown one. Now we have sent 45,000 meals and have a whole charity set up and operating feeding those in need and doing it tough in our community,” Ling said.
“We have had massive support from people in the industry lending us kitchens, vans, storage, cooking packing, driving. Our charity partners giving us access to their food banks, allowing us to Auspice with them and so many more who have donated what they could.”
He added: “It’s massively important that we stick together through this and support each other where we can, being separated is hard especially if you live by yourself, our weekly phone calls and drops have really turned into an important moment each week for our clients.
“Hopefully we are getting towards the end of this lock down and we will be able to start rebuilding our industry together soon. Restoring our sense of community safely and responsibly and getting to hang out in our friends venues chatting about all the things we can do next.”
The other Spirited Award winners are:
Philanthropy Recognitions presented by Santa Teresa 1796 Rum
- Hope & Sesame — Guangzhou, China
- Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation — New York, NY
- COVID19 Employee Assistance Directive — Melbourne, Australia
Best American Bar Mentor presented by BarSmarts
- Don Lee
American Bartender of the Year presented by Pernod Ricard
- Kevin Diedrich — Pacific Cocktail Haven, San Francisco, CA
Best International Bar Mentor presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
- Alex Kratena
International Bartender of the Year presented by Martini & Rossi
- Kelsey Ramage — Supernova Ballroom, Toronto, Canada
Pioneer Award presented by Diageo Bar Academy
- Shannon Mustipher
Timeless American presented by Q Mixers
- Angel’s Share — New York, NY
Timeless International presented by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
- Boadas Cocktails — Barcelona, Spain
Helen David Lifetime Achievement presented by William Grant & Sons
- Audrey Saunders
Dame Hall of Fame 2020 Inductees – American Inductee
- Tiffanie Barriere
- Tess Posthumus
Caroline Rosen, Tales of the Cocktail Foundation President said: “Congratulations to this year’s winners.
“In a year that has caused us to all contemplate so much, there is no question that these individuals and establishments are worthy of celebration on a global stage. Their contributions are advancing this industry forward at a much needed time for change and we are honored to have the opportunity to recognise them.”