2016 MANHATTAN EXPERIENCE FINALS JUDGE: Jacques Bezuidenhout

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Bar Partner – Plumpjack Group & Newly opened Forgery Bar SF.

Jacques recently joined the Plumpjack group as a partner, with a focus on creating and launching their first ever cocktail-focused projects. In May of 2015 The Forgery, the first of these bars was opened in San Francisco’s SoMa district. The next opening is eagerly anticipated and is slated to open in February 2016. Prior to this Jacques was the Bar, Cocktail & Spirit Specialist for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ overseeing the company’s individual and national spirits menus as well as consulting on bar concepts at over 70 restaurants and bars throughout the country. Jacques has also been selected to sit on the Board of Advisors for Liquor.com and is the National Brand Ambassador for Partida Tequila. South African native Jacques Bezuidenhout began bartending there nearly 20 years ago and continued to do so in London and in San Francisco where he relocated in 1998. He has been voted Best Bartender in San Francisco by Anthony Dias Blue and is a judge in Ultimate Spirits Competition run by Paul Pacult and has also judged in the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Under the direction of Bezuidenhout and Julio Bermejo, the acclaimed Tres Agaves in San Francisco won the “Spirits Restaurant of the Year” award from Santé magazine in 2006. He also helped launch the San Francisco chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, one of the nation’s most active chapters, and has served as a brand ambassador for Plymouth Gin and Partida Tequila. In recognition of his work, he was named best American brand ambassador at the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.
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