May 26, 2009
BC Bartender Earns Top Honours at Giffard Challenge
Wendy McGuiness, of Vancouver's Chambar Belgian Restaurant, has won first place at the 2009 Giffard Challenge in Angers, France. The competition, which took place on Monday May 25, pitted international Mixologists against each other in an improvisational competition featuring Giffard's premium liqueurs.
Wendy is one of the gifted local mixologists who have helped to establish Vancouver's international reputation for excellence in the culinary arts. The Giffard Challenge allowed her to prove her mettle in an international field which included mixologists from France, Germany, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy. The event tests not only competitors' technical skills, but also their creativity and grace under pressure. Participants were required to create an original cocktail recipe using the contents of a "surprise basket" they received one hour prior to the competition. The basket contained the mandatory liqueur for their drink as well as fruits or plants which could be used either in the drink or as a garnish. Competitors had seven minutes to prepare their cocktail in front of the judges. Their cocktails were then judged on presentation as well as taste.
Shaun Layton of George Ultra Lounge also participated in the event, and earned favourable marks from the judges for his performance. Congratulations to Wendy McGuiness on her win at this prestigious event!