Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: Doug Frost

Pope Pumps it Up at CCVI Food Fight

Chefs are a competitive lot, but it was all friendly competition at last week’s CCVI Food Fight 4. Three of the city’s best gathered on stage at The Guild, cooking to beat the clock, impress a panel of judges and benefit the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired.

Alex Pope of Local Pig topped the event, closely followed by Howard Hanna of The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange and Michael Smith of Michael Smith and Extra Virgin in what co-chair Dolly Wood called the tightest point-spread in the event’s four-year history.

Food Fight 4 Competitors: Tony Glamcevski, Howard Hanna, Jerry Fisher, Alex Pope, Michael Smith and Ryan Sciara
Food Fight 4 chefs with their sous chefs: Tony Glamcevski & Howard Hanna, Jerry Fisher & Alex Pope and Michael Smith & Ryan Sciara

This year’s twist? Help from a trio of untrained sous chefs. Jerry Fisher, a self-described food enthusiast who’s never worked in a professional kitchen, backed up Pope. Hanna’s second was Tony Glamcevski, an industry pro who’s worked at Le Fou Frog and Green Dirt Farm and is now front-of-house at The Rieger. And Ryan Sciara of Cellar Rat Wine Merchants served as Smith’s sous.

If it added tension to the evening, you couldn’t tell. Each duo focused on the job at hand, chopping, frying and roasting as efficiently as possible in their make-shift kitchens. Their task: to prepare three courses in one hour, using ingredients from a grocery bag that included cod, flank steak, black walnuts, piquillo peppers and the like.

They could plan everything in advance but for one factor: a secret ingredient announced by honorary chef and chairman David Crum at the outset of the evening. His pick? Sweet potatoes grown by Thane Palmberg.

“It’s the only thing grown locally that’s available this time of year,” said Crum, general manager of Arrowhead Specialty Meats and Food Fight veteran (he served as sous chef to the late John McClure of Starker’s in 2011 and for Patrick Ryan of Port Fonda in 2012). “They’ve been cellared since last fall, and they’re so tasty.”

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Conatser tops PoPFest Bartending Competition—again

In the weeks leading up to the Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition, much was made of the fact that Chris Conatser of Justus Drugstore placed every time he entered what was formerly known as the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition. And last night he kept the streak alive, taking first place with his Manhattan (in)Verse.… Continue Reading

PoPFest Bartending Competition goes big

There’s nothing like strolling into your favorite bar, takin’ a seat and watching a great bartender go to work. Unless you go to the Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition on Sunday night, where you can see a dozen of the country’s best mix it up on Sunday night as they vie for the $1,750… Continue Reading

Paris of the Plains pops in Kansas City

In 2007, Ryan Maybee and Doug Frost started a little thing called the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition. Well, little in comparison to what that event’s grown into—the Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival. The week-long event’s already underway, and I wrote about it in today’s Kansas City Star (KC’s cocktail culture births Paris of… Continue Reading

Quote of the day: It’s not about muscles

“It’s no longer a boys’ club. It’s not about muscles, it’s about using the tools properly.” This from Charlotte Voisey, who was recently in town teaching Major Brands’ sales staff and managers the finer points of bartending. She should know. Voisey is portfolio ambassador for William Grant USA, which means she’s responsible for promoting everything… Continue Reading

Bartender battle is on!

The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition returns to The Uptown on Aug. 21. A dozen of the region’s best bartenders will battle it out onstage, in front of what has been in years past a happily raucous crowd. Each must prepare an original cocktail for a panel of judges (including Dale DeGroff, aka King Cocktail),… Continue Reading

Meeting Mezcal

Mezcal. I’d read about it, but never given it much thought. Even after Doug Frost opined about its smokey richness back in, oh, 2007 or so. Even after Saveur published a killer article about it in 2009. Even after Ryan Maybee stocked Manifesto’s bar with it, and Beau Williams earned second place with his mezcal-based… 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

GKCBC returns Aug. 29

The 4th Annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition returns to The Uptown Theater on Aug. 29. It’s always fun to see the town’s best bartenders sling drinks onstage, but co-founder Ryan Maybee promises things will be even better this year. Live music in the lounge. Audience vote via text message. Sample tables from local “beverage… Continue Reading