Justin Park has been selected by the U.S. Bartenders Guild (USBG) to represent the United States in the upcoming International Bartenders’ Association (IBA) World Cocktail Championship in South Africa from September 29th to October 4th, 2014. Park will be competing against the world’s best mixologists, regional winners from IBA guilds from across the globe.
Park was awarded the honor of representing his country at the IBA World Cocktail Championship after his stellar performance at the Shake It Up! Cocktail Competition in Las Vegas in March, where he took home both the highest technical score and overall grand prize. Park beat out a field of the nation’s top 15 bartenders, who were invited to compete in the exclusive contest. Only finalists and winners of national, USBG sanctioned contests in 2013 were eligible for an invitation.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Park has been bartending locally for more than a decade. He is currently the bar manager at the Manifest, a café and bar in Chinatown, Honolulu. Park draws inspiration from the world around him, taking advantage of Honolulu’s unique climate and abundance of fresh island-grown fruits and vegetables, which often feature prominently in his recipes. He said, “Not only is it a privilege to be representing the United States, but also to represent the Hawaii bartending community. The local scene has grown tremendously in recent years and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to show that on a world stage.”
Park’s list of accomplishments include winning the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Cocktail Hawaii 2012, World’s Best Mai Tai 2012 and Technical Champion at the Campari and USBG Apertivo Contest 2013 in Portland, Oregon. In August 2014, he won the Best Garnish category and placed 4th overall at the IBA Pan-American Cocktail Competition in Mexico.