Chefs Behind Bars is Back! And the Winner is…

Drinking for a cause. It’s a pretty great concept. Pay some dollas. Drink delicious cocktails. Vote with some more dollas. And bam! You’re not only buzzed, but you’ve also contribute to benefiting No Kid Hungry.

View Looking Down

No Kid Hungry is Share Out Strength’s campaign to end childhood hunger. Find out more about that, and how you can help, by clicking here.

So what does drinking for charity look like? Well, keep on scrolling to find out!

Chefs Behind Bars takes local DC chefs and challenges them to go behind the bar to create and serve up a cocktail. This time around, there were 7 chefs:

Matt Baker | Gravitas
John Critchley| Brine
James Martin| District Supper
Yuki Nakandakari | Ocopa
Liam LaCivita | Bar Civita
Jen Carroll | Requin
Hamilton Johnson | Honeysuckle

Each chef had a different liquor to work with. But what did they make?!

Matt Baker — “Suzy Wong Does DC” = Ginger infused District Vodka, charred pineapple syrup, coconut and lemongrass foam, and thai basil essence

Matt Baker_Gravitas (4)

Matt Baker_Gravitas (2)

John Critchley — “Not Matt Baker’s Gin and Juice” = Barr Hill Gin, blood orange, and grains of paradise

John Critchley_Brine (4)

John Critchley_Brine

James Martin– “Smokey Ash Plume” = Mezcal, blood orange, herb ash foam, basil salt, and fresh basil

James Martin_District Supper (13)

James Martin_District Supper (5)

James Martin_District Supper (3)

Yuki Nakandakari — “Incajito Cocktail” = Pisco, inca kola soda, lemongrass syrup, lime, and fresh mint

Yuki Nakandakari_Ocopa (2)

Yuki Nakandakari_Ocopa (5)

Liam LaCivita — “The Jester Jefferson” = Whistle Pig Rye, calvados, orange juice, ginger beer with speck, caraway smoked paprika salt rim, and smoked pearl onion garnish

Liam La Civita_Bar Civita

Liam La Civita_Bar Civita (5)

Jen Carroll — “Eye of the Storm” = Papa’s Pilar Rum, passion fruit tea, lemon, honey, and orange blossom water

Jen Carroll_Requin (5)

Jen Carroll_Requin (4)

Hamilton Johnson — “Zombie Smoke” = Makers Mark, cocchi americano, solerno blood orange liqueur, lemon juice, smoked tobacco, and bitters

Hamilton Johnson_Honeysuckle (5)

Hamilton Johnson_Honeysuckle (4)

Hamilton Johnson_Honeysuckle (2)

Are you thirsty? Aren’t they beautiful? AND they all tasted as good as they look! My personal favorite was James Martin’s Smokey Ash Plume. The foam and fresh basil added a depth and complexity to the cocktail that I thought stood out. Chef Martin also brought along a variety of his absolutely DELICIOUS baked goods. Think homemade pumpkin poptarts, cinnamon buns, scones…well played sir. The treats, along with the cocktail, were outstanding and, to me, the most memorable.

There was a judge-selected winner as well as a people’s choice award. The industry pros doing the judging were:

Bryan Smith | Prequel
Glendon Hartley | Mixologist
Laura Hayes | Freelance writer
Doron Petersan | Fare Well
Theo Rutherford | Mixologist
Jessica Sidman | Washington City Paper

Judges 4

Four of the six judges– Theo, Glendon, Laura, and Jessica. Missing from the photo: Doron and Bryan.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd they selected….

**Chef John Critchley as the winner!!!**

The people’s choice award went to….

**Chef Matt Baker!!!**

Winners (2)

Congrats, Gentleman, you have proven that your skills go beyond the chefs knife and over to a cocktail shaker!

The event was held in Brick and Mortar at Prequel. Prequel is a restaurant incubator and private event space. I’m talking tons of rotating restaurant pop-ups, cooking classes, wine bar, and Brick and Mortar– the permanent speakeasy. I happen to be an investor in Prequel– you should check it out. It’s real cool.

Brick & Mortar

WOOHOO!! What a great day.

Chefs Behind Bars is a series and I am sure they will continue to have more events like this one. Keep your eyes peeled for tickets to the next one!

Rachel Mastandrea and Tara Sulewski

Guests (5)

Guests (3)

Downstairs chefs