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Meet the Educator: Esther Medina-Cuesta

Meet the Educator: Esther Medina-Cuesta

Esther Medina-Cuesta started her career in London at the end of 2002, where she discovered a liquid kitchen behind the bar and recognised the potential for a serious profession. She trained at institutions like Lab, The Player and Milk & Honey before managing places like Roast, Novikov and Opium. Since 2010, she has worked internationally with guest shifts, as a speaker and cocktail competition judge. In 2013, she founded EMC Bespoke Hospitality and Beverage Consultancy, creating concepts, menus and cocktails, teaching bartenders worldwide.

Working across Spain with More Than Wines, we’re delighted to welcome Esther Medina-Cuesta onboard as an Approved Course Provider. We caught up with her to learn more about what brought her to the role, what makes her tick and what her world of whisky looks like, quickfire style.

How did you get into spirit education?

I am officially a teacher and studied in Malaga University. I know that knowledge is power so once I started managing bars, it became my role to share the knowledge which I had learnt. In 2015, I became a certified spirits educator.

What do you love about teaching?

Seeing the gratification on someone face when they understand and learn.

What excites you most about EWA?

Keep on learning and spreading the knowledge.

What advice would you give someone wanting to learn more about whisky/get into the whisky industry?

Find a good knowledge source! Study, learn and study more. Smell, touch, taste, experience as much as you can.

Whisky Wisdom: Quick fire questions

First whisky you ever tasted?
One that didn’t make me fall in love with the category…

Best whisky you have ever tasted?
To me, there is not such a thing as a ‘best whisky’. All good Scotch has its place and time. Though I can say that when I had the Ardbeg 1976, it blew my mind away.

Favourite distillery to visit?
I’m lucky to have visited many outstanding distilleries but Bowmore had a special charm for me.

Favourite non-whisky drink?
I have love for all of them! As long as it’s a well-made product.

Favourite whisky and food pairing?
Difficult to say, as whisky can pair with many different foods. I’m more the contrast/enhance type than carrying the flavours. Meaning, with espetos (sardines skewered and cooked over a pit of coals) I would have a fruity Speyside. For the Taiwan Bartenders Week in Taipei I made a cocktail with Kavalan Classic Single Malt, morello cherry, Pimentón de la Vera and peach juice garnished with a nutty shrimp. If at home, chocolate, cheese and cured meats are always a good match.

What person, dead or alive, would you most like to share a dram with?
Paco de Lucía and Sean Connery. Both of them sat at my bar.

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