CHICAGO, May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Restaurant Association crowned Steve Schneider, principle bartender at New York's Employees Only, the 2013 Star of the Bar. The winner of Star of the Bar— a national cocktail competition conducted by the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, and International Wine, Spirits, and Beer Event (IWSB) and sponsored by American Harvest Organic Spirit—was selected in front of a live audience at last night's Restaurants Rock party at Castle Chicago. Judges for the event included Anthony Bourdain, celebrity chef, personality, and culinary author; Todd Richman, corporate mixologist of Sidney Frank Importing Company; and Master Mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim. On top of bragging rights for the year, Schneider walked away with a $5,000 check.
"As the 2013 Star of the Bar, Schneider had the tough job of creating a cocktail live in front of the famously opinionated Anthony Bourdain," said Jeffrey W. Davis, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2013 and IWSB and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation. "While the cocktail competition was tight, Schneider's creativity and perfect execution under pressure were what lead him to take home the Star of the Bar title."
Schneider was one of six finalists flown to Chicago to demonstrate his cocktail on the IWSB show-floor on Sunday, May 19. Three mixologists were chosen by IWSB guests to proceed to the final competition at Restaurants Rock, and Schneider went head to head with Chino Lee of Portland, and Art Tierce of Portland on Sunday night. Schneider shook up his "The Dean" cocktail with American Harvest Organic Spirit and wowed the judges with his addition of grapefruit juice and campari, ultimately winning him the Star of the Bar title.
"I want to thank everyone for their support and for letting me share the stage with them," said Schneider, a former U.S. marine who's been bartending for over 10 years. On top of this win, the New York bartender is currently in the running for America's Best Bartender from Tales of the Cocktail, and will be featured in a new documentary out June 7 titled, "Hey, Bartender." While Schneider is thrilled to have won the title of Star of the Bar, his favorite part of the competition was meeting the other competitors, "I didn't know any of these guys coming in. Now, I have more bartender friends than I can even visit." To see Schneider in action, check out his Star of the Bar submission video here.
Now celebrating its sixth year, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event is co-located within the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. IWSB features domestic and international brewers, distillers, and vintners showcasing hundreds of established and emerging labels, beverage alcohol-focused, industry expert-led education sessions, hands-on demonstrations, dynamic mixology competition, and access to professionally paired menu items from local Chicago restaurants.
The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2013 will be held May 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2013 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event held in conjunction with the NRA Show will take place May 19-20. The events attract 61,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and the event showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and more growth opportunities than any other industry event. For more information, visit the NRA Show and IWSB Websites at Restaurant.org/Show and WineSpiritsBeer.org, and find the NRA Show on Twitter @NRAShow, Facebook, YouTube and its widely read NRA Show Blog.
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 18-21, 2013, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart;) as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit www.restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.
SOURCE National Restaurant Association