The world-class bartender has the trophies to prove it.

The World Champ: Kaitlyn Stewart

Bartender, Royal Dinette, Vancouver

Of course Kaitlyn Stewart travelled to Mexico City’s World Class Bartender of the Year competition this past summer with three suitcases stuffed with mixology ingredients—we’d expect nothing less of the cocktail wizard who makes locally sourced ingredients her calling card behind the bar at Vancouver’s Royal Dinette. (The drinks menu there is rife with creative riffs, like the camping-themed Kumbaya, with its cherry cedar bitters and hickory-smoked rye, and the Wind Mule, a coffee-liqueur-infused take on the Moscow Mule.)

So, armed with her homemade shrubs and her collection of B.C.-made spirits, Stewart set off . . . and, no surprise to us, returned home a champion. It’s not her first win on the competition circuit (she’s got victories at the Smirnoff Caesar Challenge, the Canadian Whisky Cocktail Competition and Speed Rack Canada Female Bartending Competition under her belt), though she is the first Canadian to secure the world title. And the 31-year-old bar director now finds herself in the unique position of being the ambassador for Canada’s cocktail scene, an honour that means she’ll be away from her post a lot more this year, travelling the world as a bartending judge. We’re missing her already, but we’ll wait it out at Dinette’s bar in the meantime, with a Stewart creation in hand: what better way to toast our homegrown Cocktail Queen?

2018 Foodies of the Year ▸▸▸