Adam Dow has continued Australia’s strong showing in the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition, after being named as one of this year’s top three.
In a virtual Grand Final, Adam lost out to Praphakorn Konglee from Thailand whose Out of Sight cocktail took top spot. With the win Thailand became the first to claim the Legacy title two years in a row, and while disappointed not to take top spot, Adam is ensuring his Legacy experience doesn’t end with this year’s competition, after setting up The Golden Rule grant.
Named after Adam’s cocktail for the competition, The Golden Rule grant will see $1000 each year for the next two years go towards helping a female in Australia’s hospitality industry further her career. Adam is using part of the $5000 El Coco Grant, that each Legacy finalist was given by Bacardi, to fund his own initiative.
Adam told Bars and Clubs: “This El Coco grant really came out of nowhere from Bacardi and it was a $5000 grant that went to all of the competitors who were competing at Globals as a way of giving back to the industry and giving back to the community.
“Australia has been more fortunate than most others, and I think a lot of this came from the people at Bacardi getting together and thinking ‘what can we do to really help a lot of the countries that are struggling.
“I used some of the money to help pay for some time and some labour and getting the Yuzu Breezer back to life, paying for some bottles, stickers and stock. But this was $5000 US, so $6500 was transferred straight into my bank account and I felt I had almost cheated it, I thought ‘why have I got this money’.
“So I felt like I needed to do something tangible with the money, because I felt like I hadn’t earned it or hadn’t deserved it. And so I thought ‘how can I give some of this back to the industry, and that’s when I realised that I had to give some of it away, because it just felt like too much money.
“I then thought about how I could support some parts of the industry. Why I chose women in particular, in hospitality for the grant is that over the years I have seen women being passed up for senior roles. Yes hospitality is probably more progressive then most industries when it comes to this, but I feel like these is still some work to do. And as a white, Australian male, living in Cronulla, the most Liberal seat in the country I felt I had to acknowledge some of the privileges and opportunities that I’ve had, and try help bridge the gap.”
He added: “It’s no secret that gender inequality is a topical issue at the moment and some people might see this as a convenient charitable donation, but for me it was more about finding something tangible and trying to help someone in terms of their development.”
“So the grant is more about self-development and training rather than being a hardship fund and I am really passionate about hospitality professionals developing themselves, I feel like it’s something that doesn’t happen enough.
“If you ask most hospitality professionals, and it’s an interview questions that I’ve come to expect, what have you done to develop yourself over the last five years, I’d bet a lot of hospitality professionals wouldn’t have a great answer to that question in terms of structured training.
“Whether it’s doing leadership courses, or completing first aid courses or WSET, whatever it may be, that’s something I am really passionate about. So to hopefully the grant will be able to support someone’s development to help progress their career and bridge that gap.
“So having the grant is $1000 available for two years, and who knows from there what support Bacardi or myself might be able to offer going forward, having it as a tangible investment, a continued investment was more important to me than something that just paid lip service to the issue and moved on after two months.”
Well said Adam.
Applications for the grant are now open through The Golden Rule Instagram page and Adam’s own Insta and will close at the end of August. Adam won’t be judging the applications, that will fall to Penny Sippe and Jenna Hemsworth, with Adam telling Bars and Clubs: “They are two really influential female figures to have done incredibly well to fight against some of the barriers put up against them.”
And although Adam won’t be judging he did tell Bars and Clubs he has an ideal candidate in mind.
“Firstly, there’s a need for the funding sooner rather than later, and it’s not about the challenges that people have faced because that can be quite traumatising for them. I guess it’s about someone who really wants to take themselves seriously as a hospitality professional.
“I’d love the winner to be someone who really wants to take what they do seriously, it’s not about spending their midweeks drinking until 4am, that’s something a lot of other industries don’t do. We often complain that hospitality as an industry we’re underpaid or not taken seriously enough, and the reality is we as an industry contribute to that perception ourselves.”
Adam’s passion for industry and for this grant is tangible when speaking to him, and it’s a great initiative to see and one Bars and Clubs is very happy to support.
Good luck to those industry professionals who identify as female in applying for the grant, there is more information on The Golden Rule Instagram page.