NRA Announces Finalists of Star of the Bar Competition

After a nationwide search among the best professional and amateur mixologists, the online community has selected six semi-finalists for the third annual Star of the Bar competition.

The signature cocktail creators are now heading to Chicago to demonstrate their skills in a live competition at the 2012 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) on May 6.

The six Star of the Bar semi-finalists are:

·    Rachel Coffey from Ruby Tuesday in Maryville, TN with her Bubbly Spa Cooler
·    Carlos Cuarta from Chicago, IL with his Fiesta Mora
·    Patti Frank from Roots Handmade Pizza in Chicago, IL with her Drunken Flower
·    Trevor Landry from NL Group/Dish Restaurant in Dallas, TX with his Spicy Summer Diablo
·    Liz Pearce from Untitled 111 in Chicago, IL with her Guadalajaran Garden
·    Thomas Phillips from Silver Pig Restaurant Group in Birmingham, MI with his The Green Jacket

“These mixologists have demonstrated creativity and skill to mix, stir and shake up modern, inventive and marketable cocktails, which are integral to the restaurant industry’s ongoing mission to complement menu items, as well as create customer appeal and help drive traffic,” says Jack Crawford, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2012 and President and CEO of Ground Round Independent Owners.

“We wish all the semi-finalists the best of luck in the competition during the 2012 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event.”

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 6.

IWSB attendees will help narrow the field to the top three finalists, who will then advance to the final round of live competition to be judged by Tony Abou-Ganim “The Master Mixologist,” Dale DeGroff “King Cocktail,” and Bravo TV’s Top Chef superstar Fabio Viviani at Restaurants Rock, the official NRA Show and IWSB industry evening celebration.

The winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize. All proceeds from Restaurants Rock will benefit the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s ProStart program.

Competitors submitted videos of themselves perfecting a signature cocktail recipe that prominently featured at least one product from an IWSB exhibitor. Semi-finalists were selected by visitors to the IWSB Website who voted on their favorite video.

Registered IWSB attendees may purchase tickets to Restaurants Rocks for $35 – which will be held Sunday, May 6, 9 p.m. – midnight at LaSalle Power Company. NRA Show 2012 attendees may purchase tickets for $60. Space is limited and tickets are limited to first-come, first-served.

Now celebrating its 5th year, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event—co-located with NRA Show 2012—is the only forum in the world focused exclusively on the role of beverage alcohol in the restaurant and hospitality industry.

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.

The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2012 will be held at its new dates May 5-8, at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The event attracts 58,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues and other growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the Show Website, and find us on Twitter @NRAShow, Facebook, YouTube and our widely read blog Floored!

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 970,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by WTWH Media LLC.