Workshop Kitchen + Bar Bartender Wins Title

Selvarey Emerald Star drink shines above the field

Zane Tessay (right) explains his winning drink to TRIO co-owner and chef Mark Van Laanen during the Aug. 4 "Battle of the 111 Bartender Competition".

Photo by Jim Powers


Zane Tessay's star shone brightly Aug. 4 in Palm Springs.

The Workshop Kitchen + Bar bartender's Selvarey Emerald Star drink recipe was crowned winner of the "Battle of the 111 Bartender Competition" presented by The Saguaro Hotel and Selvarey Rum. The event followed six weeks of head-to-head competitions that narrowed the field to the final six bartenders.

Tessay beat out Greg Austin (Workshop Kitchen & Bar, representing Bootlegger Tiki), Richard Ables (Village Pub), Joe Kwiatkowski (The Purple Room), Garrett Spicher (The Purple Room), and Anthony Bonelli (Hunters).

The judges rated the drinks based on creativity, presentation, the use of Selvarey’s premium Panamanian White or Cacao rums, and overall taste.

The judging panel included JD Cole, general manager of El Jefe and TINTO at the Saguaro; Aidan Demarest, Selvarey Rum Brand ambassador; Caroline Pardilla, Los Angeles magazine; Emily Coleman, The Tasting Panel magazine; Cliff Young, host of "Out to Eat" radio show, and Brian Butler, bartender from Roy Choi's Los Angeles restaurants Sunny Spot and A-Frame.

Tessay was awarded a $1,500 cash prize, a spread in The Tasting Panel magazine, the winning cocktail featured at The Saguaro for the rest of the summer, and an exclusive announcement on Jammin' 99.5 FM.

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VIDEO: Watch the announcement of the "Battle of the 111 Bartender Competition" winner.

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