The smell of tacos filled the air in Liquid Kitty on John Street South, accompanied by the sounds of cheering onlookers. On Oct. 11, chefs Scott Bailey and Dmitry Perov faced off in a themed cocktail competition created and hosted by Mezcal TNT owner and chef Manny Ferreira. The chefs had three timed rounds to create cocktails with a theme or secret ingredient.
Ferreira got the idea for the competition from his knowledge of chefs and their use of ingredients. He said he thinks the idea for Bar Fight is unique and something not seen around Hamilton.
“I’ve always wanted to do something in this city that was different,” Ferreira explained. “I love doing things that are not the norm.”
Bailey won the last two Barfight competitions and was favoured to win against Perov. Bailey owns City Farm Catering and said he thinks the competitions are a great way to network with local chefs.
Bailey said his strategy is to just “see what I’ve got to use, use my skills and have a good time.”
Dmitry Perov is a chef at the Brux House in Hamilton. He has worked with Ferreira in the past and said he likes the creativity involved in competition with colleagues.
“I’ve always been interested in pushing my own limits and seeing what I’m capable of,” Perov said.
Perov said that the competition is friendly and it’s great to see people grow in the culinary industry.
The competition was in three rounds. The first round was elevated mojitos. The second round was based off the film Cast Away, featuring a coconut. The third was a large, pitcher-sized cocktail to be shared among the spectators who then voted on their favourite drink.
By the end of the night the underdog Perov held the title of Bar Fight champion.
Perov grinned as he rubbed his wife’s baby bump.
“There’s no feeling like winning, right?” Perov asked with a grin.