Industry News | April 28, 2013

Finalists Announced in Star of the Bar Competition

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In a nationwide search of professional mixologists to show off their most creative cocktail talents, five of the six semi-finalists were selected by an International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) judges panel.

The sixth was picked by the general public as the “people’s choice” contender through online voting for the fourth annual Star of the Bar competition.

The mixology maestros are now heading to Chicago to demonstrate their skills in a live competition using key ingredient American Harvest Organic Spirit at the 2013 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) on May 19.  



The six Star of the Bar semi-finalists are:

  • Carlos E. Cuartafrom High Proof Chicago in Chicago, with his Rumble in the Yard!
  • Christopher James from The Ryland Inn in Red Bank, New Jersey, with his The Rocket Man
  • Chino Lee from Departure in Portland, Oregon, with his Blueberry Bramble
  • Steve Schneider from Employees Only in New York City, with his The Dean
  • Kim Stodel from Chloe in Santa Monica, California, with his The Beets Knees
  • Art Tierce from Teardrop Lounge/Ransom Winery in Portland, Oregon, with his May Flowers

“Star of the Bar is the mixology competition that drives cocktail innovation, pushing palate boundaries with curious ingredients and unexpected combinations,” says Jeffrey W. Davis, convention chair for NRA Show 2013 and IWSB, and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation.

The competition is judged by both the public and industry peers, allowing mixologists passionate about crafting cocktails their time in the spotlight.

The six semi-finalists will go head to head live on the exhibit floor in front of top food and beverage industry leaders at IWSB on Sunday, May 19.

IWSB attendees will help narrow the field to the top three Star of the Bar finalists, who will then advance to the final live competition with special guest judges, master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim; celebrity chef, personality, and author Anthony Bourdain,; and Todd Richman, corporate mixologist, Sidney Frank Importing Company at Restaurants Rock, the official party of the IWSB and NRA Show.

The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize. 


Registered IWSB and NRA Show attendees may purchase tickets to Restaurants Rocks for $60. It will be held Sunday, May 19, 9 p.m.–midnight at Castle Chicago. Tickets are limited to first-come, first-served.  



Now celebrating its sixth year, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event is co-located within the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held May 18–21 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.

IWSB features domestic and international brewers, distillers, and vintners showcasing hundreds of established and emerging labels; beverage alcohol-focused, industry expert-led education sessions; hands-on demonstrations; dynamic mixology competition; and access to professionally paired menu items from local Chicago restaurants.