On May 5, 1862, the Mexican Army reigned victorious over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Many Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo by eating food, dancing and sipping margaritas, even if they are unaware of the history of the festivities. However, not all cocktails are equally palatable. Shaking, stirring and mixing drinks is a skilled craft.
Quianne Perrin put a creative spin on a festive day. The owner of Fly Candy Media, and the founder of Taste Prince George’s Food & Wine Festival, organized a spring mixology competition that is a part of a series that will be featured on a stage this summer at Taste Prince George’s. The last edition of the Best in Glass Mixology series featured local mixologists from Prince George’s County, Washington, and the surrounding area.
“We wanted to cover all aspects of celebrating the foodie. The cocktail is a part of that experience as well. Two mixologists are from D.C. One is an independent mixologist. Cadillac Ranch has a mixologist representing them in tonight’s event. The winner and runner up will compete on the stage at Taste Prince George’s in August,” Perrin explained as attendees filled the dimly lit top area of Cadillac Ranch, located at the National Harbor.
Perrin grew up in Largo, Maryland. She has a background in marketing and has been working in media and entertainment for 5 years. Last year was the fifth anniversary of FlyCandy Media which has represented the entertainment, lifestyle and hospitality industries exclusively for years. Although Perrin spent a lot of time in Washington, she remarked that she wanted to have some fun in our backyard for a change.
“There’s tons of things to do here. I just wanted to see if we could do something similar to what you could find in Washington with the young professional crowd, etc. That’s what prompted me to found Taste Prince George’s. I had several clients who fit the mold from a restaurant standpoint and I wanted to get them a larger spotlight and a bigger platform, so it just made sense for us to melt all the things that we love—which is entertainment, food, hospitality and lifestyle— into one event.”
This year, Taste Prince George’s Wine & Food Festival will be held Aug. 23 at Six Flags America in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
“We have three stages of live entertainment all day. The event starts at 2 until 8 p.m. We have local musicians as well as national musicians, although we haven’t announced who the headliner is going to be yet. We will have a national act that we all know and love as well as our local favorites. We have a celebrity stage consisting of chef demonstrations and eating competitions. Yelp is sponsoring a competitive eating challenge, which is yet to determined what that food item will be. We have a culinary collegic that our local hospitality and culinary students will take part in. We also will have an executive collegic, which will be on the executive level. Executive chefs will participate in a culinary challenges live on stage.”
Perrin explained that the forty-four-fourty-four culinary challenge will feature four chefs, four judges, four courses and run for 44 minutes in duration.
“We’re hoping to have at least one of the branches of the military to be represented as executive chef to compete against say the Gaylord or Olde Towne Inn in Upper Marlboro, Md. We have not sent out the official information of the forty-four-fourty-four challenge, but competing on stages and creating 4 courses is the basis for the challenge that day.”
Jo-Jo Valenzuela won the Best In Glass competition held at Cadillac Ranch on Cinco De Mayo.