Tag Archives: Bonnie Wilson

Meet Mover and Shaker Bonnie Wilson

DSC03155by Steven Doyle

Now in its eighth year, Bombay Sapphire and GQ Magazine’s “Most Imaginative Bartender” program traveled to over 40 US cities and welcomed more than 3,500 participating bartenders in 2014. With the aim of advancing best-practice bartending, cultivating mixologists’ skills and encouraging their creativity, the “Most Inspired Bartender” program has played a pivotal role in recognizing up-and-coming cocktail cities, as well as strong holds such as New York and Portland.

The local contest which sends the winner on to compete nationally was held this week in Dallas, and the winner of the competition was Bonnie Wilson, the beverage program manager for Frontburner’s Fork It Over Restaurants (The Ranch at Las Colinas, Mexican Sugar, Whiskey Cake, Velvet Taco). As good fortune would have it, we spoke to Ms. Wilson recently and had a spirited conversation in this Q&A.   Continue reading

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Bourbon Dinner at The Ranch in Las Colinas Was Hosted by Drew Mayville

DSC01548by Steven Doyle

This past weekend Bonnie Wilson, who oversees the beverage program at The Ranch in Las Colinas, Whiskey Cake and Mexican Sugar, invited Drew Mayville, Master Blender at Buffalo Trace in for a special evening dining paired with some pretty special bourbons. To start the evening Wilson created a beautiful cocktail to get our palates started, but be there no doubt that the night would be filled with first rate bourbon finished off with one of the fine cigars that the Ranch offers in their large humidor.

Drew Mayville joined Buffalo Trace Distillery in 2004 as Director of Quality, Processing and Blanton Manufacturing Operations. Since he joined the distillery, he has worked hands-on with the award-winning whiskies produced at Buffalo Trace. Mayville regaled the crowd with information on the making and blending of the variety in the Sazerac line up which included Buffalo Trace, Blanton’s, Eagle Rare, Thomas Handy Sazerac Rye, E.H. Taylor Single Barrel and Stagg Jr.    Continue reading

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The Ranch At Las Colinas For A Taste Of Texas

ranchby Steven Doyle

Last week we checked out The Ranch in Las Colinas and looked in on Bonnie Wilson who just made the switch from Whiskey Cake where she had bar duties. Wilson now manages the Front of the House in addition to the bar where she is creating a slew of new cocktails. The restaurant, which is a huge homage to Texas dining, has historically sold more beer and wine, but now is venturing off into to craft cocktails. A welcome addition, to be sure.  Wilson has the talent to carry the bar, along with her very capable staff.

But the Ranch is not just about libations. With chef Grant Morgan at the helm there is plenty being cooked up in the kitchen. Morgan has a fantastic background as chef and has worked in some fine kitchens, including ZaZa’s Dragonfly.  He is a soft spoken and affable guy who enjoys his work, and it shows on each plate.

The Ranch is owned by the same restaurant group behind Whiskey Cake, and numerous other restaurants including Velvet Taco and Twin Peaks, all of which share the talent of corporate chef John Franke.  Continue reading

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CraveRADIO: Meet Chef John Franke and Bonnie Wilson

cr5by Steven Doyle   photos by Robert Bostick

Another week of craveRADIO and this past Sunday we enjoyed chatting with Chef John Franke from Frontburner, the restaurant group that operates Whiskey Cake, Velvet Taco, Ojos Locos, The Ranch In Las Colinas, Twin Peaks and Red Dog Right. Franke works the menus at each of the concepts along with a staff of chefs from each location.

The good chef brought in some tasty bites from Whiskey Cake including some addictive fire roasted shishito peppers, made simply with lemon and sea salt. He also served up a platter of bbq duck wings that were meatier than your average wing. And of course we shared plates of the namesake Whiskey Cake topped with fresh whipped cream.      Continue reading

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Tales of the Cocktail Veteran

IMG_7388by Dorothy Hernandez

Bonnie Wilson had a busy week in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail. The bartender from The Ranch at Las Colinas in Irving arrived last Monday, prepped for the Texas Tailgate on Tuesday, competed in the 21 Cocktail Salute on Thursday and served up drinks with a healthy twist (think spinach, beets, cucumber and booze) at the VeeV Fresh Market outside Hotel Monteleone in the hot sun on Saturday.

With such seminars as Agave Amigos at the festival this year, the three-time Tales veteran backed up the idea that agave is having its moment. As a spirit, it’s blown up in the past couple of years.   Continue reading

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Texas Bartenders Are Bringing It Home From Tales Of The Cocktail

IMG_6999by Dorothy Hernandez

Thursday morning, Bar Smyth’s Omar Yeefoon took the national title of Stoli’s Most Original Bartender, winning over the judges with creative cocktails such as a play on a Manhattan and a deconstructed Moscow Mule, which entailed lime, brown sugar, a shot of vodka and candied sugar on a plate. He competed against four other bartenders from New York, Miami, LA, Dallas and Chicago. Yeefoon took Dallas last month at Candleroom where he went head to head with Cedar Social’s Trina Nishimura and the Dram’s Jason Birt.   Continue reading

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Bonnie Wilson From Whiskey Cake Needs Your Vote

DSC06562by Steven Doyle

With a shaker in one hand and a stirring spoon in the other, the Texas region’s top female bartenders went head-to-head as they competed for industry glory and breast cancer research in the Texas Regional Speed Rack all-female bartending competition, held on Sunday, January 20, 2012, part of the national Speed Rack series.

Karah Carmack of the Esquire Tavern in San Antonio took home the title of Miss Speed Rack Texas, but all is not lost for the runners-up. Today, Speed Rack launches its online Wild Card voting, inviting everyone to cast a ballot for their favorite regional runner-up; the winner will go to the National Finals on Thursday, May 16, in New York City.  Continue reading

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