The Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition began in 2007 as The Greater Kansas City Bartending Competition, and was formed by KC residents and beverage industry professionals Doug Frost and Ryan Maybee. The motivation and goals were simple and clear: showcase the talent and skill that exists in Kansas City’s bartending community. By emphasizing and encouraging creativity, knowledge of classic cocktails, and use of fresh ingredients and quality spirits, the competition strived to identify the city’s most talented craft bartenders and promote them and their fine establishments. The competition has grown over the last 5 years to include bartenders from all over the country, while still taking place in Kansas City.
The Competition welcomes a guest judge every year, and has seen support from Dale Degroff, aka “King Cocktail”, Aisha Sharpe of Contemporary Cocktails, Inc., and award winning author David Wondrich. Local press has included KC Magazine, The Pitch, Ink, The Kansas City Star, Tastebud, and more. National press has been seen in Esquire Magazine, Cheers, Sante, Imbibe, and Ardent Spirits. In 2010, the Kansas City Bartenders Alliance became an official sponsor and organizer of the competition, further connecting the local bartending community and restaurants. The KCBA has now evolved into an official chapter of the United States Bartender’s Guild.
The event takes place at The Uptown Theater on Sunday, August 24th. In addition to the competition itself, there are tasting tables where guests may sample the competing bartenders’ cocktails, food served by local restaurants, live music and entertainment, and much, much more.