At the recent Manhattan Cocktail Classic, I was invited to attend the Diageo World Class Happy Hour which happened nightly for 3 nights of the Industry Invitational. For the first time, the United States was invited to compete in the international bartending competition. Tanqueray Gin Global Ambassador Angus Winchester and Peter Dorelli of the Savoy London were on hand to explain the contest. They asked American bartenders to participate by submitting a video of themselves. From the submissions, 20 were chosen to compete. The US finals took place this past Tuesday in New York. Portland, OR bartender Ricky Gomez will represent the United States in the World Class competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dorelli will judge that competition along with Salvatore Calabrese and Dale De Groff in July.
At the happy hour, the 2010 World Class winner Erik Lorincz bartended along with other notables including Tony Abou-Ganim (Las Vegas), Sean Kenyon (Denver) and Ezra Pattek (Miami).
There were four themed rounds. The following are the winners:
- Classics with a Twist: Nathan Burdette, Cleveland (judged by Jim Meehan and David Nepove)
- Spice Market: James Menite, Brooklyn (judged by Julie Reiner)
- Food Pairing: Sother Teague, Brooklyn (judged by Steve Olson)
- Ritual Theatre: Steve Schneider, NYC (judged by Tony Abou-Ganim)Overall Winner: Ricky Gomez, Portland
I’m pretty excited for Ricky. I met him at last year’s Portland Cocktail Week and he put on a great show at the Bon Vivants’ Triple Buck competition. Here’s the video. I think he has the showmanship to represent America.
© The Minty // LACocktails.com 2012