Meet Your Southwest Regional Finalists!

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Let’s meet our sensational Southwestern Semi-Finalists who who will be moving forward to the Regional World Class Competition. Three Finalists from each region will then go forward to compete at our National Finals.

We invited the finalists to tell us a little about themselves and their experience with World Class:

 

Patrick  Abalos

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What is the best bartending advice you received?

Be yourself, never stop learning, and don't lose sight of your goals.

 

What's the simplest thing you've never mastered?

The double stir. Still working on mastering it


 

Amy Albin

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Following the live or online Bartender Lab: Do you feel that this education helped to advance your skills, or change your mindset when working at your bar?

The online lab helped me tremendously in highlighting some of the more subtle notes when tasting spirits blind. 

 

What is the best bartending advice you received?

"You're always on stage."

 

Do you have any rituals right before competition time?

Earbuds in, playlist on, and solitude.


 

Matthew Barrington

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What is the best bartending advice you received?

The best hospitality advice that was given to me is to approach our industry with the attitude of really pleasing the guest.  Our business is a people business.  If people enjoy their time with you, then you will be successful.  My mentor summed up this approach by instilling the mindset of "The answer is yes, now what is the question" into me early on in my career. 

 

Do you have any rituals right before competition time?

I have to clear my mind of outside noise and become present to the task in front of me.  Just make the best drinks I can for the guests sitting in front of me. 

 

What is the best compliment anyone could give you?

When a guest says my cocktail reminds them of a certain happy time in their life.  I remember one occasion when a bar guest was figuratively transported back to a hunting trip with his friends after tasting a smoke-infused Manhattan at my bar. The look of sheer joy on his face was priceless.


 

Maxwell Berlin

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Do you have any rituals right before competition time?

I like to take my time unpacking, polishing my gear, and prepping my mise. I like to have a calmed mind with plenty of time to prepare. Past that, I usually sacrifice a virgin pineapple for the gods. 

 

What is the best compliment anyone could give you?

Thanks for caring!

 

What's the simplest thing you've never mastered?

Saying hello and goodbye to everybody that walks through that front door. I'm also pretty good at pie eating 


 

Tyler Dunn

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Following the live or online Bartender Lab: Do you feel that this education helped to advance your skills, or change your mindset when working at your bar?

Of course! We're all nerds here.

 

Do you have any rituals right before competition time?

I like the French impressionists to calm me down. Pop on headphones and listen to Debussey or Satie or Ravel, maybe even Copland or Gershwin (American composers) for inspiration and solitude. I come from a family of classical musicians. There's some sort of quiet when hearing something with which you are familiar and enjoy.

 

What is the best compliment anyone could give you?

I am horrible at taking compliments. The nicest thing someone can say is that I am a good person, or they respect my opinion.


  

Mariano Gil

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What is the best bartending advice you received?

Always pay attention to detail, and work with a sense of urgency. That is some of the best advice that I have ever received.  I apply it everyday and it has made a huge difference in the service I provide.

 

Do you have any rituals right before competition time?

I stay up late in my hotel room talking to my loved ones on the phone. We talk about anything and everything not related to competitions. The magnitude of competitiveness that comes with being involved in bartender competitions can drain you emotionally, mentally, and physically. It's good to disconnect from all that and feel normal.The day of, I make sure I wake up early and put in a small workout to get the blood flowing. Then it's back to business.

 

What is the best compliment anyone could give you?

That I'm a good person.  At the end of the day regardless of what I do for a living, this is my ultimate goal.  To live a life I can be proud of and help others along the way.


 

Ryan Goodman

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What is the best compliment anyone could give you?

That they enjoyed their time at my bar!  The goal is for each guest to leave happy, and if they do then I have done my job well.

 

What's the simplest thing you've never mastered?

Listening.  It seems to be a lost skill, as most people these days simply wait for their turn talk.  Actually listening and responding when people are opening up leads to great


 

Alexis Mijares

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What is the best bartending advice you received?

Encourage the growth around you and within you. Colleagues are not your competition. Your only competition is you yesterday.

 

Do you have any rituals right before competition time?

Have a good laugh and try to relax.

 

What is the best compliment anyone could give you?

That I have a lot of personal integrity.


 

Charles Page

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Following the live or online Bartender Lab: Do you feel that this education helped to advance your skills, or change your mindset when working at your bar?

The Bartender Labs absolutely help to advance my education. It's nice to have a resource like this. The majority of bartending is just that- bartending. It's nice to see some resources with great information packaged and ready for me.

 

What is the best bartending advice you received?

The best advice I've ever gotten about bartending is that it can be whatever I want it to be. It can be in a service well where I don't talk to anyone, it can be in a bar where all I do is talk, it can be a summer job, or it can be an experience that captivated me for life. Bartending can be anything I want it to be. I am very grateful to have it in my life.

 

What is the best compliment anyone could give you?

The best compliment that anyone can give is letting me know that I impacted them in a positive way. That's my goal when I wake up in the morning.


 

William Perbellini

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Following the live or online Bartender Lab: Do you feel that this education helped to advance your skills, or change your mindset when working at your bar?

The bartender lab helped me refreshing my knowledge on the spirits. The program offered me the right amount of information to share with my guests at night.

 

What is the best bartending advice you received?

Keep it fresh, keep it simple. Engage with the ingredients and pull out the best flavors from them.

 

Do you have any rituals right before competition time?

I have to take a very deep breath before going in. I treat the judges as my regular guests. I need a good night sleep before the competition


 

Ryan Perry

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Following the live or online Bartender Lab: Do you feel that this education helped to advance your skills, or change your mindset when working at your bar?

Definitely. It made me do some self-evaluation about my strengths and weaknesses behind the bar.

 

What is the best bartending advice you received?

Don't make guests feel embarrassed/bad about what they order (within reason). The heart wants what the heart wants.

 

What's the simplest thing you've never mastered?

Smoothly stirring two cocktails with one hand.

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