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A Jiggerful of Judgment at El Dorado

Last week, I wrote about serving as a judge for the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. Experiences like these tend to be few and far between. Yet, come tomorrow, I’ll be back in the critic’s saddle, weighing on the virtues (and missteps) of cocktails created by a septet of mixologists at El Dorado Cocktail Lounge’s 2nd annual “Iron Chef-style” (wasn’t I just mentioning Iron Chef?) Bartender Challenge.

With the modern day popularity of cocktails, ranging from adherence to old school sensibilities to throwing traditional techniques and ingredients out in exchange for new wave tools, stabilizers and ingredients, such competitions occur quite often in San Diego. As with anything so widespread and frequent, there are events that offer a great deal of promise and some that barely register above the “eh, whatever” meter.

Being involved with this particular event, I’m glad that those who coordinated selection of the contestants did a good job. The field is comprised of skilled spirit world practitioners who are, for the most part, stirring and shaking in relative obscurity. Places like Noble Experiment, Starlite and Tractor Room are incredible and get plenty of publicity, but if the scene is to advance, others will need to earn time in the spotlight. Given the quality of last year’s iteration of this event (where the aforementioned Noble Experiment’s Anthony Schmidt took top prize), this should provide a terrific stage for such exposure.

I’m not big into resorting to lists, but this one’s worth breaking a few standard rules. The participants for this mixology melee are Sarah Ellis from Jayne’s Gastropub, Garth Flood from Cowboy Star, Dustin Haarstad from URBN, Christian Siglin from Craft & Commerce, Tim Stevens from Prohibition, Steven Tuttle from El Dorado and Levi Walker from Monkey Paw Brewery and Pub. Some competed last year while others are throwing their ‘20’s-era hats into the ring for the first time, making for a fittingly ideal mix.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, representatives from which will be on hand to raffle off items in between rounds. Food and drink specials will be available, making this more than just an opportunity to come out and simultaneously scout out bartender talent and question the abilities of certain judges. The competition will begin at 6 p.m. El Dorado is located Downtown at 1030 Broadway.

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Last week, I wrote about serving as a judge for the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival. Experiences like these tend to be few and far between. Yet, come tomorrow, I’ll be back in the critic’s saddle, weighing on the virtues (and missteps) of cocktails created by a septet of mixologists at El Dorado Cocktail Lounge’s 2nd annual “Iron Chef-style” (wasn’t I just mentioning Iron Chef?) Bartender Challenge.

With the modern day popularity of cocktails, ranging from adherence to old school sensibilities to throwing traditional techniques and ingredients out in exchange for new wave tools, stabilizers and ingredients, such competitions occur quite often in San Diego. As with anything so widespread and frequent, there are events that offer a great deal of promise and some that barely register above the “eh, whatever” meter.

Being involved with this particular event, I’m glad that those who coordinated selection of the contestants did a good job. The field is comprised of skilled spirit world practitioners who are, for the most part, stirring and shaking in relative obscurity. Places like Noble Experiment, Starlite and Tractor Room are incredible and get plenty of publicity, but if the scene is to advance, others will need to earn time in the spotlight. Given the quality of last year’s iteration of this event (where the aforementioned Noble Experiment’s Anthony Schmidt took top prize), this should provide a terrific stage for such exposure.

I’m not big into resorting to lists, but this one’s worth breaking a few standard rules. The participants for this mixology melee are Sarah Ellis from Jayne’s Gastropub, Garth Flood from Cowboy Star, Dustin Haarstad from URBN, Christian Siglin from Craft & Commerce, Tim Stevens from Prohibition, Steven Tuttle from El Dorado and Levi Walker from Monkey Paw Brewery and Pub. Some competed last year while others are throwing their ‘20’s-era hats into the ring for the first time, making for a fittingly ideal mix.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, representatives from which will be on hand to raffle off items in between rounds. Food and drink specials will be available, making this more than just an opportunity to come out and simultaneously scout out bartender talent and question the abilities of certain judges. The competition will begin at 6 p.m. El Dorado is located Downtown at 1030 Broadway.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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