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Here are some notes on this and that and the other thing - including Jamie Socci, Portland Ballet and Doctors Without Borders

COURTESY PHOTO - Portland's Jamie Socci will compete with the world's best in the Most Imaginative Bartender Competition.Top bartender

A Portland woman will compete to be the best bartender in the world, according to the Most Imaginative Bartender Competition.

Jamie Socci, who works at Pepe Le Moko, was one of four bartenders to emerge from the recent regional competition held in Portland. The others: Alex Jump (Denver), Emilio Salehi (San Francisco) and Christian Suzuki (San Franciso).

The competitions are presented by Bombay Sapphire gin. In October, Socci and the 11 other top mixologists from across North America will head to England, home to Bombay Sapphire and its Laverstoke Distillery, for an immersive gin education tour before competing in the finals in February in Chicago.

At regionals, Socci's A Thousand Ships cocktail was named as the region's most imaginative drink based on flavor, appearance, presentation and imagintion.

The recipe, as provided by publicists: 1.5 ounces Bombay Sapphire, 0.75 ounces lemon juice, 0.5 ounces cardamom syrup, 0.25 ounces rhubarb jam, 2 dashes rose water. Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, blend with a hand blender, add ice and shake, double-strain into a rocks glass and add ice, use a peeler to create a rhubarb ribbon, garnish with a loosely twisted rhubarb ribbon and small rosebud.

Ballet stars

The Portland Ballet proudly announced that several dancers have moved on to other opportunities.

They are: Bryn Graham, Portland, The New Ballet, San Jose, Calif.; Lydia Butler, Beaverton, Miami (Fla.) City Ballet School; Elysee Donaghy, Portland, Boston Ballet's academy; Rhiannon Elliott, Portland, Boston Ballet's academy; Rebekah WolfsonKilayko, Beaverton, Ballet Academy East in New York City.

Doctors Without Borders

The international medical humanitarian organization, also known as Medicins Sans Frontieres, will be bringing a special speaker series, "On the Road: A Voice From the Field," to Portland, Thursday, Sept. 19. It's presented by Karen Stewart, a mental health officer who has worked for MSF for 15 years. She'll provide a behind-the-scenes look at field work and life as an aid worker.

The event takes place at Ecotrust, 721 N.W. Ninth Ave., second floor, 6:30 p.m. Thursday. It's free and open to the public.

Greats collaborate

Two established Portland musicians, pianist Tom Grant and bassist Phil Baker of Pink Martini, have collaborated on a new album, "Blue Sapphire." They'll play selections from the album at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Benson Hotel, 309 S.W. Broadway.

They have co-written several pieces throughout the years for Grant's albums. This is their first full album together, and they assembled an all-star lineup that includes singer Valerie Day (Nu Shooz), R&B pop singer Jarrod Lawson, and jazz Grammy Awards finalist Randy Porter.

Mobile hot spot

Bon Appetit has released its list of Top 50 Nominees for America's Best New Restaurants, and it includes food truck Matt's BBQ Tacos, 3207 S.W. Hawthorne Blvd.

UPDATE: Matt's BBQ Tacos was named No. 9 on the Hot 10 by the magazine. For more: bonappetit.com.

It's in the October issue, which hits newsstands Sept. 17.

The Hot 10 chefs will gather in Brooklyn, N.Y., Oct. 19.


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