Browsing Tag

Doug Frost



May 4, 2013

COPA JEREZ 2013 Deadline Looms – Entries due 5/7/13

Every two years, the bodegas of Jerez, Spain, join together to host the International Copa Jerez Competition, where chef and sommelier teams representing eight nations compete to see who can create the perfect food and Sherry matches.

Submissions are now being accepted from chef and sommelier teams nationwide to earn the right to represent the USA at the International Competition in Jerez, Spain, in October of 2013!

Now in its fifth year, Copa Jerez has become a world-renowned event that crowns the chef / sommelier team who create the best food and Sherry pairings. The competition attracts the best chefs and sommeliers from Spain, the United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, the United States, Denmark, Belgium, and Japan, with each participating country sending their national team to compete at the 5th International Copa Jerez Competition in October of this year.

Participants must be a chef/sommelier team from a working restaurant, who are challenged to create the perfect food and Sherry match for each of three courses — a starter, main course, and dessert. Teams may select any style of Sherry to match with each course, but no more than two wines can be from a single bodega. To enter, teams must submit the name of each dish with a detailed recipe, the specific paired wine, and an in-depth explanation for why the pairing was selected.

During the live finals, an elite judging panel with experience and expertise in Sherry, wine pairing, and the culinary arts, will evaluate the dishes based on presentation, marriage of Sherry and food, and the most articulate description and knowledgeable explanation of the match. Past judges have included Juan Mari Arzak, Juli Soler, Jancis Robinson, MW, Pontus Elofsson, Jordi Roca, Heston Blumenthal, and our own Julian Serrano, Michael Franz, and Doug Frost MS, MW.

Past sommelier /chef teams from the USA, who have competed at the highest level and made us all very proud, include: Seamus Mullen and Roger Kugler of New York, Andy Nusser and Nancy Selzer of New York, Tim Fitzgerald and Curt Hermann from Tulsa, and last year’s US National competition winners and international representatives, from the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Bertrand Bouquin and Tim Baldwin.


For more information about the competition and for the complete rules and regulations please contact Kate Burgess at



August 17, 2011

The 5th Annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition
By Francine Cohen

Kansas City on the radar again this week. Suddenly we’re noticing something magical happening in this Midwestern town from killer restaurants ( to a burgeoning cocktail festival that, on August 21st, marks its fifth year; behold, the 5th Annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition.

Set in the heartland where cattle is as important as cocktails, a whole new drinks fest is on the rise. Though the name belies a single event, don’t be fooled. This is not just some one night wonder competition that’s here and gone. The 5th Annual Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition is a week-long celebration of a lovingly crafted drinks culture that keeps pace with the rest of the country.

Ryan Maybee, the bartender/restaurateur behind Manifesto ( and festival co-founder, shares a bit about his brainchild for his hometown that next year will bear the name Paris of the Plains Cocktail Fest in honor of the nickname bestowed upon Kansas City during the Jazz Age by journalist Edward Morrow. He notes, “We’re branding it next year to indicate that it’s a festival and not just a competition. We think it’s great for Kansas City and for the industry. This year the competition itself will happen Sunday, August 21st; it starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes until 10:00 and throughout the evening food will be served and we’ve got live music and burlesque. But the week of that event – starting the prior Monday – there are going to be cocktail parties and tastings going on all around town. It will actually culminate with the competition.”

The competition features 13 contestants from Kansas City, and nearby cities Continue Reading…



July 21, 2011

Ultimate Beverage Challenge awards double as a sales tool
By Francine Cohen
All photos by Daniel Krieger

WINNING! It’s not just Charlie Sheen’s popular catch phrase (or Giuseppe Gonzalez’s favorite too, if his Facebook page is any indication), but it’s why you enter your brand in competitions. For the guts and the glory. For the admiration from your peers, appreciation from consumers, attention at Tales of the Cocktail ( and a boost in sales. But really, how much glory is there in being the brand that won the double secret probation double gold medal? Why do competitions need “double” medals? One in each category is good enough for the Olympics; and it should be enough for spirit competitions.

That, in part, is why Paul Pacult and his band of merry mixology experts including Jacques Bezuidenhout, Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan, Gaz Regan, Steve Olson, Audrey Saunders, Marcos Tello, David Wondrich, and more boldfaced names you know, love and respect, were hard at work judging cocktails and the spirits that go into them this past spring. In its second year, the Ultimate Beverage Challenge (aka UBC, actually a series of three competitions: Ultimate Spirits, Ultimate Cocktails, Ultimate Wine), continues to lead the way towards enlightened spirits recommendations and turns the competition game on its head. Pacult comments, “I just think it’s simple. When you put together the best mixology, the best cocktailians in the world, authors, journalists, bartenders, and consultants then we set up a situation where not only do we have the leading efforts, we have the methodology. And those two things bring credibility.”

And that credibility, and clarity, is so important. Particularly when you find yourself somewhere like the Publix grocery store on Glades Road in Boca Raton, Florida, awash in a sea of wines and spirits, many of which are proudly displaying neck tags touting their many medals won from some unknown judging body. What do those medals really mean? Is the tennis playing soccer mom who lives in the gated community down the road going to understand what those medals stand for? And why are they valid? Who knows.

It’s a question for the ages. And the skeptical. Pacult notes, “The fact that we don’t give medals really works in our favor. We’re differentiating ourselves from just about all other competitions which issue medals like peanuts at the circus. Continue Reading…



December 27, 2010

Getting to the Heart of Wine
Story and Photos by Seanan Forbes

If you want to find amazing American wines – wines that your competitors don’t have and your patrons will order again and again – then look no further than Kansas City. That’s the location of the Jefferson Cup Invitational. This competition is unique; its founder, Doug Frost, purposefully creates a platform where every American wine-producing region has equal chance to shine. That means you’ll see bottles – exceptional ones, if they’re nominees or winners – you won’t encounter anywhere else.

“Invitational”: the invitations come from Frost, one of three people on the planet to hold both Master of Wine and Master Sommelier. He chooses wines that have proven their excellence. If he hasn’t tasted the specific wines, then he’s had previous vintages. “Importantly,” he says, “it’s about a more level playing field for non-California wines . . . I’m trying to provide a place for Iowa (for instance) to compete fairly against California” or New York or Washington . . . Some years, the winners are surprising.

For the wine industry, having different regions induces improvement across the country – and, Frost notes, “also points out the ones that are really good.”

Frost chooses not only the wines, but also chooses the judges, who are probably more reflective of your guests than those at any other competition. The Jefferson Cup’s judges have been half-female, Frost says, “[For] at least the eight years. I think that’s crucial. I get frustrated by all the wine the competitions where the median age is 65 and there are three women and 34 men . . . It doesn’t make any sense.” This year’s judges included Wayne Belding (a Colorado wine merchant, past chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Laura dePasquale (a Master Sommelier), Continue Reading…



July 15, 2010

Insights into becoming a happier and healthier bartender
By Francine Cohen

You’ve copiously studied recipes from the patron saint of cocktail recipes, Jerry Thomas ; Tony Abou-Ganim, Dale DeGroff, Doug Frost, Steve Olson, Paul Pacult, Julie Reiner, Audrey Saunders, Andy Seymour, and Dave Wondrich, have taught you valuable lessons in technique, ingredients, and tasting and now, at Tales of the Cocktail 2011 it is time to learn how to become the master of your own domain.

This seminar asks: Ever wonder how some nights when you worked so hard – you were at the end of the night physically tired but in good spirits and appeared not to have lost a lot of energy? Remember also the nights when at the end you were not only physically tired and exhausted but also emotionally drained and “heavy?” If you can answer “yes”, even if it’s just for one shift, then you need to be in this room on Saturday afternoon.

Join Dushan Zaric (Employees Only, Macao Trading Company and Aisha Sharpe (Contemporary Cocktails for a journey into yourself that results in better bartending. And a better, more peaceful, productive, and profitable you that you’ll get to after understanding how to look at service as an art, maintain balance and sense of self and, essentially, break down the bartender.

Zaric explains why he’s bringing this seminar to Tales after offering it to bartenders around the world. He says, “There are a lot of bartenders who are very well versed in mixing cocktails, knows history, when it comes to service and help themselves that’s where they are not well equipped, and don’t have the tools.”

He continues, “I’m doing this to make people’s lives easier. It breaks my heart to see Continue Reading…