Blog Viewer

Meet Your 2021 World Class Southwest Regional Finalists

By Lisa McMillan posted 03-08-2021 16:59

  

Meet Your 2021 World Class Mentors and Judges


The World Class Community continues to stay committed and connected through innovative ways of bringing teams together, including designated mentors and judges! These individuals provide support to the World Class Community, focusing on camaraderie and networking so intrinsic to the
World Class experience.

To learn more about the World Class Mentors and Judges for 2021 USBG World Class sponsored by DIAGEO Virtual, CLICK HERE!
 







2021 USBG World Class sponsored by DIAGEO Virtual season is in full swing! The competitors are fiercely preparing for the Regional Competition taking place virtually March 29th through April 1st. There, the finalists will be competing via a virtual platform for the opportunity to advance to the National Competition on April 6th.


We invited the Southwest regional finalists to tell us a little about themselves and their experiences with World Class. 


:: Southwest Region::

PATRICK ABALOS

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

Houston is a diverse city of many talented bartenders who working towards a common goal. With hard work and dedication, anything is possible. World Class is a great way to showcase your market and bring light to it.

What are the top trends you are seeing in drinks right now?

Low ABV and Highballs are all the rage. This one is not a new trend but up use is another one. We plan to do this at Night Shift.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

Jerry Thomas. I would probably make a punch and sit down to have a conversation with him. Nothing like a good conversation over a punch bowl with friends.


JOSH BEARDEN

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

The Houston bartending community has an attitude of always wanting to better themselves deeply embedded in its culture. Not only that, but the support that we each give each other to achieve our goals is second to none. That kind of community gives people the confidence they need to step out side their comfort zones and push themselves like they never have before.

What are the top trends you are seeing in drinks right now?

LOW-ABV and Zero-Proof cocktails. I hope to see more and more bars having some kind of focus on this. I love this trend because it is focused on DRINKING RESPONSIBLY (which has been a topic neglected for far too long). These drinks can serve as a gentle reminder that we need to be mindful of the influence of alcohol and the negative impacts it can have on us if we over-indulge. Additionally, with Zero-Proof cocktails we can begin to include people that abstain from alcohol completely and share with them our unique artistic abilities.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

Anthony Bourdain, because I miss him. I feel like I have a lot in common with him and he could help me put things into perspective. And yes, I know how that sounds.



BEN CARRINGTON

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

The Denver beverage community has grown so much since I landed here almost 10 years ago. I've gotten to enter a good amount of competitions and I thought it was time to throw my hat into the World Class ring with a few of my good friends!

If you were stranded on a desert island with only ONE Diageo Reserve Spirit what would it be and why?

Talisker, one of the highest age statements, because if I'm going to be the king of the island I might as well drink like it. Scotchity, Scotchity, Scotch.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

Everyone is going to say Anthony Bourdain, and they wouldn't be wrong. So Guy Fieri so I can hear him say my cocktail was a "One way ticket to flavor town!" and I'd probably make him my favorite rift on a Trinadad Sour.


CHANEL GODWIN-MCMAKEN

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

My team mates and friends have encouraged me to enter World Class with continuous support.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only ONE Diageo Reserve Spirit what would it be and why?
I would want Ketel One Botanicals Grapefruit and Rose by my side if i was stranded on an island because it would go perfectly with anything tropical.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

I would make Julia Childs a French 75

CORY MENDONCA

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

The bartending and beverage industry community in Las Vegas, and the USBGLV, are always hugely supportive of one another in any opportunities to showcase the cities' bartending talent and cocktail culture. With such a strong sense of constructive competitive spirit and support, and the emphasis on rooting for the city as a whole as opposed to an individual competitor, it makes the decision to enter such a contest, even of the magnitude and intensity of World Class, much more appealing, knowing that you're never going it alone.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only ONE Diageo Reserve Spirit what would it be and why?

I would probably choose the Ketel One original vodka, as I feel it would be the most versatile in an environment where I wouldn't have much background on what else I might encounter to serve/mix along with it, and, if in a pinch, it may be the most appropriate for non drinking medicinal applications as well, keeping that whole survival thing in mind.

What are the top trends you are seeing in drinks right now?

Love it or hate it... Aroma and/or flavor bubbles floated onto the tops of cocktails seems to be picking up quite a bit of steam.. Outside of that specifically, anything hyper visual, interactive, or intimately engaging seems to be the mode du jour, with the goal being to infuse a visit to the bar with a unique, memorable experience.


JIMMY PEDERSON


How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

My community in Phoenix is small but fierce, loving, supportive and above all just wonderful people. I want to represent my community in World Class.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only ONE Diageo Reserve Spirit what would it be and why?

Bulleit Bourbon would be my go to. I'm a bourbon guy and that's all there is to it.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

Julia Childs kick started my love of food and drink before I can even remember. I would love to just listen to her talk about food while we sip on classic manhattans. She was warm, passionate and always funny.


CESAR PEREZ II

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

My local community is very competitive. We inspire each other to always learn, innovate, and elevate the craft for our city to create cocktails and experiences that are at a World Class level, rather than settle for "good enough".

If you were stranded on a desert island with only ONE Diageo Reserve Spirit what would it be and why?

Tanqueray No. Ten. I'd need a delicious and recognizable spirit to help me bribe my way onto passerby ships. If its a Navy ship, they know good gin.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

Anthony Bourdain. Later in life he appeared to appreciate cultural significance and flavor over technique and technobabble. I would love to have served him any of my "Chuceño" cocktails that demonstrate the importance of ancestral flavors in Borderland cuisine.


BRYAN PIERZGA

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

It was my friends and fellow USBG members that pushed me to start entering competitions, starting with local and then moving into national/international. They saw that I had the skill and ability to progress to a level capable of doing well.

What are the top trends you are seeing in drinks right now?

Tanqueray 10. Assuming it's a hot desert island, the refreshing citrus notes would be delightfully refreshing. Also, if there is any kind of local vegetation or food sources I feel like it would be easier to find complementary flavors with the wide amount of botanicals in gin. Lastly, it's high proof and good for sterilizing tools, cuts, and keeping infections at bay if need be.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?
Tough call. I think at this moment Anthony Bourdain. I'd love to just hear about life. Good, bad, ugly, tough, and beautiful. He called the negroni a perfect drink. If we were inside somewhere I'd want to make him the classic negroni and then variants. If we were outside in a tropical location then I would go with Daiquiris. Keep it simple and just converse over proven delicious drinks.


GREGORY RODRIQUEZ

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

It is encouraging to see the passion that our community in Las Vegas has for competitions like World Class, we want to showcase the hospitality and energy that Las Vegas offers to the millions of guest we get every year.

What are the top trends you are seeing in drinks right now?
Clarified Milk Punch and Smoked cocktails are a big trend in Las Vegas, i would want to see more shrubs making more cocktail menus.

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

I want to make Hunter S. Thompson a Jagerrita, Because he loved Margaritas and i can see him with a inquisitive look and nodding yes too me as he ponders, "why would anybody put jager in a Margarita?".

 

TOBIAS STEEVES

How has your community inspired you to enter World Class?

Without a doubt the greatest source of inspiration for me has been the encouragement, belief, and vision within my family, whose support and love for learning have driven my passion for quality and excellence in everything I do. This desire for quality and knowledge is further promoted by my close-knit local hospitality community and USBG chapter, and the support and education I received from friends, fellow libation enthusiasts, and professionals led me to enter this prestigious competition-and I am humbled to have made it this far even as I am excited about what comes next...

If you were stranded on a desert island with only ONE Diageo Reserve Spirit what would it be and why?
On a desert island, with only the odd coconut floating by, the spirit I would want is Ron Zacapa XO rum (allowing me to concoct modified Painkillers as long as the coconuts continued to show up). Of course, it would have to be an endless supply of rum on the island, so as to never give me reason to utter those dreaded words of Jack Sparrow, "Why is the rum gone?"

If you could make a cocktail for any celebrity chef or bartender (living or dead) who would it be and what would you make them?

One of my favorite chefs is Alton Brown, whose show "Good Eats" constituted one of my best-loved cooking shows growing up and whose education-focused and entertaining personality has been inspirational to my own personal and professional growth. The one cocktail that I would make for him would be a Negroni, for it is the quintessential, balanced cocktail in the lore of libation craftsmanship and arguably the ideal drink for a man like Alton who seeks quality, perfection, and a little bit of flair.


#wordclassus
#usbg
#Diageo

Stay tuned for more highlights on the competitors by region, more news about the virtual competitions, and an announcement of the 2021 Bartender of the Year!

0 comments
26 views

Permalink