We’re venturing to Europe once more for our latest world flair bartender feature to take a look into the flair of Atilla Iskifoglu…we bet you can’t say his last name three times fast!
This Turkey native is definitely one to watch in the upcoming year!
Performer Turned Flair Bartender
Beginning a career as a singer and performer, Atilla is no stranger to the stage. We believe this is likely why he’s so comfortable and fun to watch at competitions. He started flairing professionally in 2000 by competing and traveling internationally to teach flair bartending and mixology. His influence is certainly apparent. Over 800 bartenders in 15 different countries have had the privilege of learning and working with this talented professional.
“Atilla has influenced and inspired thousands of flair bartenders with his unique style, tricks and passion for flair bartending,” said Christian Delpech, former World Champion flair bartender and co-host of FlairLive TV. “The way he performs on stage, his interaction with the crowd, showmanship and ability of taking flair to a different level make him a ‘one of a kind’ flair bartender.”
Obviously a trailblazer, he is one of the first flair bartenders to choreograph his moves to music and one of the first people in Europe to embrace three- and four-object flair. Most European flair bartenders at the time he started had only done two object flair.
We were curious to know if Atilla had any flair bartenders who he really admired.
“I love many styles because they have all been created with different minds,” he said. “I like Sylvan for his creativity; Danilo [Oribe] for his smoothness; Rodrigo [Delpech] for his difficulty; Vladymyr [Buryanov] because he’s fun to watch and entertaining; and Dario [Doimo] for his many linked moves.”
He has competed in over 36 flair competitions and has won over 80% of them, including the honor of earning the 4-time European Flair Champion title. Atilla is most proud, though, of winning the 2001 Roadhouse World Open because it was his first international competition. He later took second in the Roadhouse finals that year, making him second in the world at that time. Quite an accomplishment for a beginning competitor!
He is also grateful for being a 2009 Flair Battle Rome finalist as this is where he was able to execute some of his hardest moves in a competition. You can watch the video from that competition here:
“Atilla has an impressive resume of competition placement over the past decade…and we expect to see him place very well among the top competitors in the world,” said Ken Hall, President of High Spirits Enterprises, former world champion flair bartender and trainer for Walt Disney World and Harrah’s Entertainment.
Attracting the Attention of World Media
With his long list of accomplishments and dedication to training other bartenders, it’s not a surprise that the media took an interest in Atilla as well.
After competing on the TV show Britain’s Got Talent and making it through three rounds, he definitely became the center of attention in the European media. He has appeared on the BBC, ITV twice and served/performed with celebrities such as Madonna and John Travolta.
Below are a few clips of his media appearances.
Britain’s Got Talent:
Compilation of various interviews & media footage:
On top of his successful competitive career, Atilla is also well known in England for owning and promoting his company, Cocktail Masters.
“Not many people appreciate flair bartending in England,” he said. “Because of this, I decided to organise my own company that would offer cocktail parties for the people who really love flair.”
That strategy worked. In less than six months, Atilla organized more than 100 flair events.
“With Cocktail Masters, I was finally able to cater to the people who actually enjoy watching flair,” he said.
However, due to his move to the U.S., Atilla is planning to temporarily shut down the successful event company so he can focus on practicing, competing and working in the U.S.
“In the future, I am definitely thinking of making Cocktail Masters a bigger and better business, so stay tuned,” he said.
Where You Can Find Atilla in 2010
Selected as one of the few flair bartenders to work at Las Vegas’ newest flair bar, Rock & Rita’s inside Circus Circus casino, Atilla is excited to move and work full time in America.
When asked about making the cut after auditions, he said, “I felt so happy and excited, this is the dream of many flair bartenders. And for me, this is a new beginning.”
Rock & Rita’s interview – FlairLive TV (interview is 5:00 minutes into video):
Rock ‘n Rita’s is scheduled to open in June with some of the best flair bartenders known in the industry. To learn more or to schedule your visit, go to http://www.circuscircus.com/dining/rock-rita.aspx.
Atilla’s Dream: Reaching New Heights for Flair
Passion is a word commonly used to describe a professional flair bartender’s interest in flair. However, the word doesn’t do justice to Atilla’s definition of what he feels for flair bartending as a sport…
When I perform flair, it makes me happier than anything else. All I see are my hands…and when I practice bottles and shakers are all I see. The music is all I hear, while the surroundings behind and around me completely disappear. Flair takes me to another world where I can actually feel the high and all the excitement under my skin. It’s something that I could never quit…I can say for me, it’s a lot like making love.
He continued to describe his personal goals for himself which included reaching to the highest flair level possible.
“I want to bring a new vision to flair bartending and create new, original styles. My aim is to practice as hard as I can to achieve this.”
With practicing nearly seven hours each day, we believe Atilla is well within reach of his flair dreams.
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