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New award mixes up NCRLA 2017 NC Chef Showdown

Tuesday, August 15, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Miranda Kinney
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The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, announces a new award to be distributed during the 2017 NC Chef Showdown. The “Mixologist of the Year” award will be given to the most creative cocktail crafter during the culinary competition.


“We value all types of culinary skills, which is why NCRLA has added ‘Mixologist of the Year’ to the award lineup,” said NCRLA President and CEO Lynn Minges. “Mixology is a culinary art, and one that should be celebrated. Cocktails can bring out unique flavors to enhance plated dishes.”


Six mixologists, representing various areas across the state, will pair with selected distilleries to concoct alcoholic beverages for NC Chef Showdown attendees and judges. Each distillery hand-picked their mixologist representative.


The six selected North Carolina mixologists are:

  • Paul Campbell, Mister Bartender Port City, Wilmington; representing Covington Vodka Distillery
  • Andrew Izreal, Bottle Cap Group, Charlotte; representing TOPO Distillery
  • Amanda Britton, 204 North Kitchen & Cocktails, Charlotte; representing Muddy River Distillery
  • Jesse Cortez, Graybeard Distillery, Durham; representing Graybeard Distillery
  • Bob Peters, the Punch Room at the Ritz Carlton, Charlotte; representing Southern Artisan Spirits
  • Greg Schammel, LaRue Elm, Greensboro; representing Durham Distillery

A panel of three cocktail experts will judge the mixologists’ cocktails on five target points: style, creativity, presentation, originality of the recipe and overall taste. Additional awards to be distributed at the event include 2017 “NCRLA Chef of the Year” and “Pastry Chef of the Year,” as well as “Best Use of a North Carolina Product” and “Most Creative Presentation.” The “People’s Choice” awards are determined by showdown attendees.


The showdown—presented by Got to be NC—is Aug. 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., and coincides with the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo. For additional information or to purchase tickets to the 2017 NC Chef Showdown, visit

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