Kentaro Satoh and Grace Tsai placed second and third.
Bartenders from Taiwan and Japan came in top three at this year’s Bacardi Legacy global finals, the second-year running where an Asian bartender has reached the final third.
Kentaro Satoh from Japan and Grace Tsai from Taiwan came in second and third each after Belgian Ran Van Ongevalle, who took home the crown in a competition held in Berlin and live-streamed over all over the world.
“This is a really tough one for all of us,” New York bartender and judge Julie Reiner said in a video when announcing the top three. Reiner also judged in 2016. “I didn’t think it could get any better from what we saw last year.”
The final three were drawn from eight finalists, which included Thailand-based bartender Hideyuki Saito. In Berlin, Asia was also represented by Allen Fang, Davide Boncimino, Pawan Singh Rawat and Orman Bag-ao from China, Singapore, India and Philippines respectively in the semi-finals. Last year’s competition was won by Taiwanese bartender Gn Chan, who was representing the United States.