Brian Page, who teaches the UKBG Bartender & Cocktail training courses at Westminster Kingsway College, won the Theme magazine National Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution’ to the bar industry.
Brian started his career at the age of sixteen as a pantry boy on board a Tate & Lyle ship going to Jamaica. He progressed to Waiter, Bedroom and then to the position of Bathroom steward, and it was during his time on board ocean liners that he used to help out in the lounges and bars on busy dance nights. This gave him a taste for bar work and on leaving the sea he went to work in bars on the holiday island of Jersey. When he moved to London Brian got an assistant’s job at the (then) newly opened White Elephant Club in Curzon Street and then progressed with other establishments until, at the age of twenty three, he became one of the youngest head bartenders ever with a position at the Empress Restaurant in Berkeley Street.
Brian spent 13 years at the Empress until 1975 when he was offered the position of Bars Manager of the Hotel Intercontinental at Hyde Park Corner. Some years later Brian joined the Cafe de Paris as Beverage Manager and remained there until his retirement.
When asked to take over the UKBG training courses, he jumped at the opportunity. During his career Brian had been trained to be a “trainer” and during his time as President of the UKBG he was appointed the Chairman of the International Bartenders Association’s Education Development Committee. This committee was charged with the task of creating an internationally acceptable and certificated courseto berecognised by all 52 member countries of the IBA.
In 1999 the IBA awarded him the highest honour that it is possible for them to give, the International Angelo Zola award for his services to training and education.
As Brian often says ” I was the luckiest person ever to have a job I loved, I never wanted to do anything else and when it was time to return to work after a few days off I used to rub my hands in glee, work was always a pleasure, never a chore”.