Denmark’s best bartender 2016
Ted Dako, former head bartender at Bar25, is a rising star on the Danish bar scene. He has just won the official title of being Denmark’s best bartender with his stunning vodka based cocktail “From Russia with love” and last year he won the Danish finals in the prestigious World Class competition and represented Denmark in the competition against 54 other nations in South Africa. Being only 24 is Ted is powering through the ranks like a bolt of lightning!
And wouldn’t you know; it all starts with a love story… Ted was all set to be a snowboarder. He was working winter seasons in Val Thorens as a bartender to pay his rent when he met his Danish girlfriend. Choosing love Ted moved to Copenhagen. On the first night in the city he met the Swedish bar manager at Bar7 Kajsa Magnusson. Kajsa must have had a nose for talent, because she pretty much hired him for the Bar7 bar crew on the spot despise Ted’s sparse experience. Kajsa trained him herself and as Ted learned quickly, she also paced him to compete.
At this point Ted was new on the scene so no one knew what was coming. He enjoyed competing and especially presenting his creations to people. Aesthetics and presentation is an essential part of enjoying a cocktail and Ted is convinced that “presentation” will be the next differentiator in Copenhagen’s bar scene.
Ted talks about the “emotional tip” which is an integral part of bartending. If you help someone try something they love you get a certain kind of acknowledgement that is really addictive.
“Initially in France, I felt I was partly paid to flirt with girls… In Copenhagen I started seeing what you can actually do with cocktails, and this really got me hooked. I started going to tastings and competitions – and I fell in love with bartending. I could be creative, I could talk to customers and present people to something they’d love. I guess it was this interaction I fell in love with”
Meeting internationally renowned bartenders at the World Class global finals fueled this his love for bartending further. At “world class level”, bartending is not as simple as people might think. Here you compete against career bartenders who come from resourceful families, who have chosen the trade and have a certain amount of professional pride. Most of the participant finalists are over 30 and own their own bars. If you win, you will have made 48 different cocktails and worked your way through 15 different challenges. For this reason participating bartenders are acknowledged in the industry.
After winning the Danish edition of World Class and now officially being “Denmark’s best bartender”, more and more people have been seeking Ted’s expert advice when designing menus, bars and events. So today Ted is running his own consulting business “Dako Consulting“.
With this love for the craft and such talent at this young age… We can’t wait to see what the coming years will bring!