Thursday May 10, 2018
Roxy’s cocktail champion now global ambassador
inbrief news Provost gets prestigious medal Victoria University of Wellington Provost Professor Wendy Larner has received one of geography’s most prestigious awards, joining an illustrious list of predecessors that includes explorers David Livingstone and Robert Scott and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough. Wendy will receive the Royal Geographical Society’s Victoria Medal for her internationally leading research on globalisation and political economy. The award is given to people who have made an outstanding contribution to geography in research, fieldwork and teaching, policy work, photography, and public engagement. She will be presented with it at the society’s annual general meeting in London next month.
Entries available for Showquest
Roxy Cinema’s chief cocktail maker Ray Letoa with his internationally-acclaimed concoctions: A Deliciousness (left) and an Old Flame, along with his Angostura Cocktail Trophy. PHOTO: Jamie Adams By Jamie Adams
Ray Letoa probably never imagined he would be living the dream – getting paid to travel the world to show the public what he’s best at doing. The Strathmore local is now a brand ambassador in the international cocktail scene after winning the Angostura Cocktail competition in Trinidad and Tobago. Wearing a multi-coloured suit Ray scooped up the 2018 trophy, which came with a US $10,000 prize and the promise of touring up to 175 countries over the next 24 months promoting the Angostura bitters brand. What made the wins all the
more remarkable was that instead of a bar spoon, Ray took the unorthodox approach of using a chopstick for stirring. Contestants had to create two drinks: One with any Angostura rum and one with Amaro di Angostura liqueur, along with either Angostura Aromatic or Orange bitters. Ray’s two cocktails – the chilli-infused ‘Old Flame’ and the aptly-named ‘Deliciousness’ – were designed “to be able to be made by you or anyone else”, which proved to be the deciding factor for the judges. Ray, who works at The Roxy cinema in Miramar, says it was sibling rivalry that led him down his career path. “My older brother Sam is in
hospitality. It was about the little brother trying to copy the big brother.” Ray has been creating cocktails for “three or four years” after starting out in the box office and later the cafe. It wasn’t long before he was assigned to make cocktails as a way to promote the Roxy as more than just a cinema. “No one knew we had a bar here,” he says. Ray became a master of the craft, particularly with the “quintessential” Angostura. “When the competition came up I was so familiar with the product. “I went to the national final and the national finalists went to the international competi-
tion.” Ray says visiting Trinidad and Tobago was a “delicious culture shock”, most notably that oranges grown there were actually green. “No one was allowed to bring their own fruit to it, so if you used an orange that was orange, you were disqualified.” Ray will return to Trinidad in 2020 to crown the next winner but until then he is set to tour a range of countries including Germany, Singapore, Russia and China to promote the brand. However he won’t be giving up his day (and night) job, as he intends to continue serving customers at the Roxy when he isn’t abroad.
Secondary school students can start planning their entries for Showquest, launched on Monday as a Ministry of Education-backed music, dance and drama event that will run in 10 regions, including Wellington, starting in June. Rockquest Promotions, which has 30 years of success with the country’s only live, nationwide school music contest, has worked fast to book venues after winning the contract for an event to replace Stage Challenge just two weeks ago. Entries close on June 20. Schools can enter via the website: www.showquest.nz
Free parenting tips on offer A leading psychologist will offer Wellington parents tips to help them shape their parenting skills for creating the best kind of adults for the future at a free public seminar run by the New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) on May 15. Guest speaker will be Susan Wall, a registered psychologist with a special interest in the influence that childhood experiences and beliefs have on the rest of a person’s life. The NZPsS is offering the free seminar as part of its 50th Jubilee celebrations at Wellington Girls College, Pipitea St, this Tuesday from 5.30pm to 7pm.
SIMON ‘SWAMPY’ MARSH Your Eastern Ward City Councillor
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021 922 196
Cook Strait News 10-05-18