Thursday, May 19, 2022 |
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POIPU — RumFire Poipu Beach at Sheraton Kauai Resort is once again on the hunt for Kauai’s Best Bartender.
In the contest’s fourth year, the island’s food and beverage industry professionals have been challenged to showcase original, handcrafted cocktails for the chance to earn the title and the $2,500 grand prize. The runner-up will receive a $1,000 prize.
Over the seven weeks of the single-elimination tournament, contestants will go head-to-head by creating original cocktails featuring locally sourced ingredients and the spirit of the week. A winner will be named Kauai’s Best Bartender in the final round on Nov. 16.
Every Friday evening beginning today, patrons of RumFire Poipu Beach will have the opportunity to taste the contestants’ creations between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. and cast their vote for their favorite cocktail.
Participants will enjoy an 8-ounce portion of each contestant’s locally sourced, handcrafted cocktail for $16. The RumFire culinary team will create a weekly appetizer special as an optional pairing for patrons.
For the first round of the contest today, Kahlani Badeaux of Merriman’s Fish House will compete against Caren Panettzi of Verde utilizing the spirit of the week, rum, as the base of their handcrafted cocktails.
Additional contestants this year include Adam Kurth of Beach House Restaurant, Adam Pompa of Kauai Pasta, Jarrold Tagavilla of Hilton Garden Inn, John Ferguson of The Cabana Bar &Grill, Kilakilapono Youn of Duke’s and Rachel Parker of Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
Prizes will be awarded in two categories each week: the most popular cocktail and the judges’ selection for overall winner. The bartender with the most popular cocktail as determined by the patrons’ votes will receive a cash prize starting at $100 and increasing to $150 in the semifinals.
The overall winner of each week will be determined by a panel of judges, comprised of local restaurateurs and visitor industry professionals.
In addition to receiving a cash prize starting at $200 in the first round and increasing to $400 in the semifinals, the judges’ selection for overall winner will move forward in the contest for the chance to claim the title of Kauai’s Best Bartender and receive the $2,500 grand prize in the final round, scheduled for Nov. 16.
In the 2017 Kauai’s Best Bartender competition, thousands of cocktails were served over the course of the competition. Curren Mizumoto of The Lanai was named the 2017 winner with his original “E Ku‘u Inu” cocktail, a green and pink layered drink created with Koloa White Rum, dry curacao, fresh basil and mint juice, fresh watermelon juice, lavender-infused syrup, fresh lime juice and a pinch of jalapeño.
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