Freelance Food & Drinks Writer

The GKCBC’s Lucky 13

The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition has announced its Lucky 13—the thirteen bartenders who will on Aug. 21 to compete for the Midwest’s premier bartending title. Of course, it’s not all luck. Each of these pros has already created a unique cocktail; next, they must batch it for the event’s tasting room (which means you, assuming you buy a ticket) and prepare it onstage at The Uptown for a panel of judges that includes Dale DeGroff, perhaps one of the most influential cocktail experts in the world. Oh, and they have to make a surprise classic cocktail and answer questions. It’s a lot of pressure. I, for one, can’t wait to see who does it best.

Tony Beyer, Benton’s Prime Chop House, Kansas City

Valdez Campos, Manifesto/The Rieger, Kansas City

Chad George, Demun Oyster Bar, St. Louis

Matthew Herman, Trezo Vino, Leawood

Jason Kimbrel, Tannin Wine Bar, Kansas City

Shannon Ponche, Taste, St. Louis

Justin Richardson, The American, Kansas City

Berto Santoro, Extra Virgin, Kansas City

Matt Seiter, Sanctuaria,  St. Louis

Travis Stewart, Chaz on The Plaza, Kansas City

Jennifer Tosatto, Manifesto/The Rieger, Kansas City

Paige Unger, M&S Grill, Kansas City

Jon Yeager, Watanabe Sushi & Asian Cuisine, Nashville, Tenn.