MEET OUR SCHOLARS

Our Female Bartending Scholarship is back for another year! 

After a hugely successful first year we're super excited to be welcoming a new cohort of future female bartending talent. 

With only 8 spaces available on the programme this year the competition was tough! So have a read below to find out more about our final 8...

Priya Shah - Chez Burton

I am a recent graduate in American and Canadian Literature, History and Culture. Passionate about diversity, food and drinks! Creatively inclined, I’ve always been interested in the artistic process behind mixology, having enjoyed many cocktails from around the world and appreciating the level of complexity and detail involved. Although a complete novice, I would love to develop this passion more fully into a career and what a better way to learn about cocktail creation, flavour pairings, and ingredients than from all these amazing mentors. I am so excited to have been selected for this amazing opportunity and to get stuck in!

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

This scholarship seems like the perfect mix of creativity, science and business strategy and I hope to be able to soak up expertise in these areas from industry professionals, equipping myself with the tools and knowledge needed to forge a career path and springboard my career in this industry. I am excited by the scholarship being both a personal and professional development opportunity. I hope to meet like-minded individuals who share similar interests and passions and to build my network. I also love the fact that this scholarship champions female diversity within the industry and I am all about initiatives that enable people with the tools to thrive. Being of South Asian heritage too, I would love to carve out a path within the drinks space that increases both female and Asian representation.

 

Iona Duffy - Mother Mercy

Short, vegetarian, and a bit of a machine. I’m a 22 year old bartender from Huddersfield living in the toon. Fell into bartending by accident whilst studying drama at university. After working at Mother Mercy for almost two years I’ve realised that i still have so much more to learn which is why I’m so excited to be part of this!!

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

I hope to get to meet a lot of amazing people! and hopefully expand my hospitality support network

Kimberly Bilonda-Simon - Served By Kim

My name is Kimberly, but manhole close calls me SBK or Kim.

I’m passionate about Mixology and express myself through my creations. When I move to London, in late 2017, I applied at TGIF’s, with the little self-trained Bartending skills I had. Was certified within 3 months and fast forward, after 1 year 1/2 of hard work and dedication, landed my dream job at the new opening of the Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay in Mayfair. I’ve also collaborated with Havana Club this year! My journey has been tough! Tears, laughter, triple shifts, cuts .. But I’m still in love with what I do! Game nights and dinners are my favourite things to do when I’m free.

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

By the end of the Scholarship, I hope to be the complete Mixologist I thrive to be.

To be at a level, combined with the skills I already have, an inspiration and role model for black girls that want to make it within this ever changing industry.

What I hope to get out are the skills and knowledge I wouldn’t be able to get by myself or anywhere else, from well respected industry icons!

 

Amy Warne - The Botanist 

Currently I'm 33, living and working in Lincoln at The Botanist as a bartender. I've worked in the industry since I was 15 as an extremely quiet kp. With in months I was learning the desert section and then on to grill. The moment I hit 18 and got on the bar to pull my first pint in a small town pub ive never looked back. I get the most satisfaction seeing people smile due to something I've said, done or made for them. I love music and will listen to anything once. My playlist often genre jumps from reggae to swing, dubstep to motown. I love the challenge of balancing flavours to create new combinations and concoctions even if it dont quiet work it was always worth a try dont you think?

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

I love learning anything new to do with the industry so I hope to get as many experiences, and gaining as much knowledge from people who are in or have been im my position.

 

Rebecca Bird - The Pig on the Beach 

I’ve always been interested in drinks & hospitality and after 25 years working in an office I made a career change last year to become a bartender. I didn’t think at 49 I’d get the job but they saw my enthusiasm and that I wanted to learn and I’m so glad I went for it. I gave up drinking for 2 1/2 years and now drink better but less. That’s why I focus a lot on No/Low drinks so I can show people you don’t need to miss out when not drinking or cutting down.

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

I’d like to build on the skills I’ve learnt at The Pig. I’m looking forward to meeting the other female bartenders & sharing experiences. To build my confidence so I can hold my own along side the young male bartenders. Learn how to get people to recognise me as a female who has chosen a career as a bartender and I’m not just working a few hours in a bar to earn a few extra pounds.

 

Frankie Foley - Oakman Group 

Starting as a waitress I quickly fell in love with with world of hospitality. Over the last 4 years I've been General Manager working in a mix of independent pubs and branded. Never satisfied with the status quo I always want to be the best version of myself, learning and developing more.

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

Not only am I excited about the new knowledge this will bring, working with and getting to know other women with a passion for the industry is an incredible opportunity.

Holly Bennetts - The Greenbank Hotel

As the Group Beverage specialist, creating cocktails and discovering new tastes and flavours is my passion. Within my role, I work across The Greenbank and The Alverton hotels, developing seasonal menus for our guests to enjoy.

I’ve been incredibly lucky in that the organisations I work for have supported my passion for drinks by giving me full reign on the cocktails we create. It’s allowed me to gain experience in trying new concepts, products, and flavour pairings. My career highlight’s include achieving the Trencherman’s Best Bar List in 2019, as well as making it through to the Diageo World Class Top 100 in 2020,

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

From this amazing opportunity I hope to develop my knowledge and skills set, then share this with our teams.

Topics I'm excited to focus on include mixology, molecular pairing and gaining more knowledge in creating homemade ingredients.

 

Carys Butler - Revolution Bath 

I’m Carys, I am 22 years old and currently work for Revolution. I’ve had a few bar and pub jobs and I am looking to progress in the industry. I’m working towards a supervisor position at the moment

What do you hope to get out of the scholarship?:

I hope to gain more experience and knowledge of females in the industry and share thoughts and opinions.