Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: Benton’s


It’s still a buzz seeing something I wrote in print, even 20-odd years on as a journalist. But I’m a perfectionist, so reading my own work can be as frustrating as it is satisfying. In today’s case, it was the realization that I didn’t list all the winners and finalists in my Kansas City Star piece about the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition in August.

Sure, I blogged about it all the day after, but some of those reading the paper might not have been among those who read that entry. So here goes:

1st Valdez Campos, Manifesto/The Rieger, Kansas City

2nd Justin Richardson, The American, Kansas City

3rd Chad George, Demun Oyster Bar, St. Louis

Fan Favorite Tony Beyer, Benton’s Prime Chop House, Kansas City

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Campos Tops 5th GKCBC

The Fifth Annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition had it all: inventive cocktails, impressive bartenders, demanding judges and even burlesque. Much of what I’ve gleaned in recent weeks—including plans for a week-long cocktail extravaganza called Paris of the Plains in 2012—will appear in the Kansas City Star on Sept. 7, but so much more will… Continue Reading

Barrel-aged bliss

Talk about barrel aging, and you’re usually talking about brown spirits like bourbon or Scotch, or just as likely wine. But at Extra Virgin in the Crossroads, it’s all about the cocktails. Manhattans, Negronis and even Sidecars—bartender Berto Santoro’s been making them by the barrel-full. Why? Because barrel aging does much the same thing to… Continue Reading

The GKCBC’s Lucky 13

The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition has announced its Lucky 13—the thirteen bartenders who will on Aug. 21 to compete for the Midwest’s premier bartending title. Of course, it’s not all luck. Each of these pros has already created a unique cocktail; next, they must batch it for the event’s tasting room (which means you,… Continue Reading

At the Bar: Benton’s

I have to start by admitting I’ve never ordered a drink at Benton’s Prime Steakhouse, at the top of the Westin Crown Center. But Tony Beyer, the lounge’s regular (and usually only) bartender, is an enthusiastic and generous guy, though, so I stopped by recently for a chat. Beyer’s no stranger to this business. To… Continue Reading

The Church of Mark

Congrats to Mark Church of Grünauer for topping this year’s Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition. He stirred up The Refined Austrian Cocktail, using Austrian gin and brandy,Kirsch liqueur and homemade aromatic bitters, garnished with a grilled orange slice. I know it was delicious, thanks to the competition’s new tasting room. He must have also done… Continue Reading