Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

Tag Archives: Ryan Maybee

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 in prize money, not to mention free press and bragging rights.

The event might feel familiar to those who’ve attending the Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition over the past five years. The PoPFest version is again organized by Ryan Maybee of The Rieger/Manifesto, wine and spirits savant Doug Frost and Brandon Cummins, an all-around awesome cocktail dude. It’s again at The Uptown Theater. And there will again be a tasting room and food from local restaurants.

But this year, I promise you, it will be even bigger and better.

Finalists from Kansas City, Colorado, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma will batch their drinks for the tasting room, and then make them onstage for the judges. They’ll also have to prepare a surprise classic cocktail (check out the Top 26 as chosen by Barsmarts) and demonstrate their industry knowledge.

The Farmhouse, Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen, The American Restaurant, Local Pig, Chez Elle Creperie & Coffeehouse, Farm To Market Bread Co. and Gram & Dun are providing food. There will also be live music from Loaded Goat (a local band featuring The Drop’s Eddie Crane), The Late Night Callers and The Grisly Hand and burlesque performances, if you’re into that sorta thing. You get all that for $25, plus one free drink token.

Pernod Ricard USA’s sponsoring this year’s event, so it will be awash in brands like Absolut vodka, Jameson Irish whiskey, Chivas Scotch, Glenlivet single malt, Beefeater and Plymouth gin, Avion tequila and Kahlua liqueur.

Can’t wait to see what these finalists do with all that:

Chris Burmeister, The Goose and Bramble & Hare, Boulder, Colo.

Chris Conatser, Justus Drugstore, Kansas City, Mo. (first place, 2008; third, 2009; second, 2010)

Carol Donovan, Hearty Restaurant, Chicago, Ill.

Phoebe Esmon, Kennett South 2nd, Philadelphia, Pa.

Giovanni Ferlaino, Ludivine, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Liz Pearce, The Drawing Room, Chicago, Ill.

Alberto Santoro, Extra Virgin, Kansas City, Mo. (finalist, 2011)

Matt Seiter, Sanctuaria, St. Louis, Mo. (finalist, 2011)

Travis Stewart, Port Fonda, Kansas City, Mo. (finalist, 2010 and 2011)

Jenn Tosatto, The Rieger Hotel / Manifesto, Kansas City, Mo. (finalist 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011)

Paige Unger, Michael Smith Restaurant, Kansas City, Mo. (finalist 2010 and 2011)

Arturo Vera-Felicie, The Farmhouse, Kansas City, Mo. (finalist 2008; first place, 2009)

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

Of Cognac and Sidecars

I’ve always preferred Cognac in my Sidecars. It’s what my husband used the first time he made one for me, and it’s now hard to settle for plain old brandy. So I was happy when Ryan Maybee showcased the drink during a Cognac tasting hosted by Alexis Ganter of Glazer’s at The Rieger Hotel Grill… Continue Reading

More Manifesto favorites

Deciding which recipes to run with articles is painful at times, and my recent piece in Imbibe! was no different. The magazine’s editors picked the Girl From Cadiz, a Hendrick’s cocktail created by Ryan Maybee to represent Manifesto and The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. It is indeed a delicious drink, good enough to be… 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

Leftover lifespan

I love party leftovers. Especially after parties like The Art of the Cocktail, a fundraiser for Friends of Turning Point on June 24. Ryan Maybee of The Rieger and Manifesto orchestrated six well-crafted cocktails, while  Kansas City Bartenders’ Alliance members served them up. (Special thanks to our celebrity crew: Jenn Tosatto of The Rieger/Manifesto, Travis… Continue Reading

Maybee not in Manhattan after all

MAY 19 UPDATE: When I spoke with Maybee last week, the trip was on. But he canceled it after Howard Hanna, Maybee’s partner in The Rieger/Manifesto, lost a family member. Our condolences to Hanna and his family, and apologies to readers for an off post. Still, pretty cool that Maybee’s in Gaz’s book. A deserved… Continue Reading

Manifesto’s Reopening Captures Trends

I meant to cull through my notes to come up with tidbits that didn’t make it into today’s Kansas City Star article. I really did. But for once, I really feel the best stuff went into the paper. My gracious editor, Jill Silva, didn’t make me cut an inch. So, rather than recap, I’ve just… Continue Reading

At the bar: Manifesto

Yes, Manifesto reopened last month. Yes, I only just went. And yes, it was worth the wait. Little has changed—buzzing the back door entrance, the dark staircase and hallway, even the drinks menu. That last is a happy fact, since there were so many Manifesto creations I’d yet to taste when the bar closed last… Continue Reading

The Rieger, almost live

Kansas City cocktail lovers have been panting for Manifesto to reopen all year. And they’re very, very close, co-owner Ryan Maybee promises. They’re just waiting on Missouri to rubber-stamp their liquor license. But, in the meantime, chef Howard Hannah is set to start serving lunch next week upstairs at The Rieger Hotel & Exchange. Continue Reading