New Orleans bartenders Jill Odom and David Bridgewater are the first recipients of the Flo Woodward Memorial Bartending Scholarship. Odom and Bridgewater will each attend a 12-week beverage management course at New Orleans’ Crescent City School of Bartending, valued at $3,000. Odom is the manager of Pirates Alley Café and Bridgewater is a bartender at Desire Oyster Bar at the Royal Sonesta Hotel. Both have expressed a desire of one day owning their own bars in New Orleans. The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society and the Crescent City School of Bartending partnered to create the scholarship in April 2010 to honor Floria Woodward, a longtime bartender at the Court of Two Sisters.
Gran Gala Triple Orange Liqueur has launched an open challenge for bartenders to create its next signature cocktail, with a grand prize of $5,000 and 11 weekly prizes of iPod Nanos. Weekly prizes will be based on the highest number of online votes each week. However, the grand prize will be based on a variety of criteria: Each entry will receive a total score with a maximum of 100 points awarded, each cocktail will be mixed by a panel of judges and sampled by them and each cocktail will be judged on taste, originality, ease of preparation, presentation and overall appeal, based in part on consumer votes. For all info and submission requirements, go to http://www.thegrangalashakedown.com/About.aspx.
W Boston held its “Top Chef” style “Libation Elimination” this month, with local celebrity judges including cocktail writer Luke O’Neil. Winner Alejandro Alvarez from Stella & Halo took top honors with his Dragon Fly cocktail (pictured with his partner in the event, Jennifer Murphy). Other competitors included Peter Boyd of Franklin Southie/Church, Matt Coughlin of Aquitaine, Domingo Barreres of Market, Sabrina Kershaw of Noir and William “English Bill” Codman of Woodward. Each bartender randomly chose spirits from sponsors Beefeater gin, Zacapa rum, Wild Turkey Kentucky bourbon, Ketel One vodka, Espolon tequila and Skyy Infusions Ginger.
Los Angeles restaurant job site Table20 is running a contest to celebrate the city’s favorite bartenders. Nominate by submitting a bartender’s name, picture, workplace and why your nominee deserves to be crowned the best. Local food and drink bloggers will help in the judging. Go to http://contest.table20.com/ to enter and vote.