The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2016

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april 2016  /  the tasting panel  /  73 contestants set off, going head-to- head with the pairing challenge, and while it was a difficult and competitive challenge, the win- ner was finally announced: Chef Greg Richie, Executive Chef and partner of Orlando's Thornton Park Restaurant Group, which operates Soco Restaurant and Baoery Asian Gastropub, the lone chef among our stable of bartenders, took home the title. "Being the only chef selected to participate in this competition initially had me a bit unnerved," admitted Richie. "These were some of the most talented bartenders and mixologists from around the country! Had this been in a purely mixology-based format, I would've been in a pretty tough spot, but since the competition was about pairing drinks with food, I had a leg to stand on; I do that every day!" For more action-packed photos and recipes, visit our Facebook page! "Craft spirits are making the world of hospitality so much more exciting than in the past," mused Fred Dame, MS. Meet the Contestants Greg Richie, Executive Chef/Partner, Thornton park Restaurant Group, Orlando, FL Favorite John Wayne Movie: The Shootist—the ending was epic! What cocktail or dish would you make for The Duke? Bourbon molasses- glazed hanger steak. What is your philosophy on pairing bourbon with food? Balance. Everything has to play well together. A sip and a bite must continue on seamlessly. Appaloosa ◗ ½ oz. Duke Bourbon ◗ 4 oz. Layer Cake Sauvignon Blanc ◗ ½ oz. simple syrup ◗ ½ oz. lime juice ◗ 2–3 slices ripe jalapeño ◗ Cilantro Gently muddle cilantro, jalapeño and simple syrup, then stir with ice and remaining ingredients. Strain into wine glass and garnish with three slices of jalapeño and a fresh sprig of cilantro. In the white wine pairing chal- lenge, Greg Richie paired Chef Moonen's kanpachi fish tacos with his Appaloosa cocktail. Paired with Chef Moonen's braised beef tongue shepherd's pie, Greg Richie's Red River cocktail. Red River ◗ ¾ oz. Duke Bourbon ◗ 4 oz. Layer Cake Cabernet Sauvignon ◗ ½ oz. sweet vermouth ◗ ½ oz. dry vermouth ◗ ¼ oz. fresh carrot juice ◗ 3–4 dashes celery bitters Stir all ingredients with ice cubes until lightly chilled. Strain into a coupe and serve with skewered pearl onion. WINNER WINNER

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