San Diego Spirits Festival Sets the Scene and Challenges San Diego County’s Premier Chefs and Bartenders to Face off in a Unique Beverage and Culinary Shakedown

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The San Diego Spirits Festival is thrilled to announce the top three Teams to its Chef/Bartender Shakedown, the innovative take on food and beverage competition that presented two-person teams, each featuring an acclaimed chef and mixologist, competing to create a signature cocktail and a complementary small plate pairing, in front of the judges who were blown away with three teams who tied for Third Place with Fourth being only one point behind.

Nate Howell Cusp

The Countdown has begun for the 5th San Diego Spirits Festival.

The San Diego Spirits Festival held its premier lead up event to the 5th San Diego Spirits Festival, a ‘Dual Challenge Chef/Bartender Shakedown’ July 28 – 2-6 pm 2013. The Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa was the host for the ultimate chef/bartender shakedown. With one more competition before the festival, the Game is on to find the Top Talent.

The competition was fierce and the teams were cheered on by attendees who enjoyed the samples. San Diego Spirits Festival is thrilled to announce the winning teams who are moving onto the finals of the chef/bartender shakedown which will be held at the Festival on Sunday August 25.

Participating Chefs and Bartenders in order of Placement: (check out the photos)

FIRST PLACE • Roy’s of La Jolla – Chef Charles Andres and Bartender Autumn Justice Point Score 114

SECOND PLACE • Westin San Diego– Executive Chef Anthony Lucido and Bartender Brandon Wise Point Score 109

THIRD PLACE TIE• Marina Kitchen – Aron Schwartz and Bartender Joshua Orr Point Score 108

THIRD PLACE TIE• Cusp – Executive Chef Donald Lockhart and Bartender Nate Howell Point Score 108

THIRD PLACE TIE• Chi Cuisine – Chef Scotty Wagner and Bartender Antonio Gonzales Point Score 108

FOURTH PLACE• L`Auberge Del Mar – Chef Jon Bautista and Bartender Mike Yen Point Score 107

Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa- Executive Chef Pascal Vignau and Bartender Herman Ochoa

Rancho Valencia – Executive Chef Eric Bauer and Bartender Christopher Simmons

Judges: Troy Johnson, Oscar Takahashi, Rich Manning, David Chenelle, Michael Spradley

Sponsoring Brands: Crater Lake Sweet Ginger Vodka, Crater Lake Gin, Pisco Porton, Zephyr Gin, Old Forestor Bourbon, Zu Vodka, Milagro Tequila, Dulce Dorado Tequila.

The San Diego Spirits Festival has embarked on the ultimate quest to find the best talent behind the bars with a series of Cocktail Wars leading up to the Ultimate Battle at the San Diego Spirits Festival in August. Bartenders competed in the first competition at the W Hotel, followed by the battle at Roseville Cozinha. The final of the three part competition will be held August 14 at JSix in the historic Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego.

Four finalists from the J Six Cocktail Wars will join eight from the last two Spirited Events. Qualified Bartenders: • Chris Burmeister – Hiatus Lounge; • Chris Burkett – Cusp Dining & Drinks; • Antonio Gonzalez – The Tavern; • Scott Moises – La Valencia; • Gilbert Marquez – El Carmen; • Daniel Palacios – Lions Share; • Evgeny Anisimov – US Grant; • Mark Goody – Saltbox/Prohibition.

About the San Diego Spirits Festival
The San Diego Spirits Festival is planned for the consumer and industry insider alike – with endless opportunities to learn about all trends in both cocktails and culinary. From under the radar artisan craft spirits to discovering the ‘next big brand’ – the San Diego Spirits Festival offers something for everyone. San Diego Spirits Festival will draw international attention and offers a multi-faceted thrilling event combining the three most important elements to any festivity…Cocktails, Culinary and Culture.

From the prestigious Executive Chef to the Mixologist, the local foodie, and all the way to the novice cocktail enthusiast, the two-day festival promises to delight and excite all who attend.

San Diego Spirits Festival was founded and launched in San Diego in 2009 by Liz Edwards.

San Diego Spirits Festival is a nationally acclaimed celebration of cocktail culture, and is the premiere West coast spirits festival held on the beautiful San Diego bay. With bartender competitions, tastings, seminars and parties, the festival offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity for brands to be supported and gain recognition among San Diego’s cocktail and culinary community and beyond.

Join the San Diego Spirits Festival in its pivotal 5th year -- the year when we are truly reaching a tipping point all around San Diego and the country. The festival will have more attendees than ever. The 2013 San Diego Spirits Festival will exceed all expectations. ‘All-inclusive Tickets’ are now available.

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