The National Restaurant Association announced Chad Brown of Sacramento’s B-Side as the 2017 Star of the Bar, a national mixology competition hosted by the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants event. In addition to bragging rights as this year’s “Star of the Bar,” 2017 NRA Convention Chair Atour Eyvazian presented Brown with a $5,000 prize for his creation.
The competition was held live at the Main Stage in McCormick Place’s Lakeside Center, and was emceed by Billy Dec, CEO/Founder of Rockit Ranch Productions. The Star of the Bar finals featured an all-star panel of judges, including “World Class Bartender of the Year” Charles Joly; award-winning author and President & Master Mixologist of Creative Cocktail Consultants Brian Van Flandern; and Tony Abou-Ganim, a three-time winning contestant on “Iron Chef America,” and author of the Modern Mixologist.
Brown won with the Bitter Sweet cocktail, made with Armagnac, Kronan Swedish Punsch, Aperol, Cocchi Americano, and a dash of Peychaud's Bitters. As an added flavor element, Brown served the drink with two bites – a candied orange peel and piece of dark chocolate. Brown was one of five finalists from the Regional Star of the Bar Challenge, who created drinks using ice from sponsor Scotsman Ice.
Presented by the National Restaurant Association and United States Bartenders’ Guild, Star of the Bar tasked competitors in five culinary cities—Boston, Chicago, Miami, Austin, and San Francisco—with creating an innovative cocktail for local judges. The five finalists were flown to Chicago to face-off on stage at the Beverage Alcohol for Restaurants event at NRA Show.
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