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Meet Baron, Bartender Extraordinaire at Paragary’s Midtown!

If you have ever sat at the bar at Paragary’s Midtown or Hock Farm Craft & Provisions, you have probably had the pleasure of being served by bartender extraordinaire, Baron Stelling. Not only is he skilled at coming up with creative concoctions, but his dazzling personality will leave you wanting to ditch a table in the main dining room to keep hanging out with him at the bar! Whether he is entertaining you with his quirky humor, or answering questions about his craft, you will not forget your experience when Baron is behind the bar. Did i mention that he is part of the first place winning bartending team during Sacramento Cocktail Week 2015?
It’s time to find out more about our favorite Tiki loving bartender…

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Q: Where are you from?
A: Sacramento!

Q: What was the first concert you ever attended?
A: 107.9 The End’s Jingle Ball when I was 14. I went for the Goo Goo Dolls and also got Sir Mix-A-Lot out of the deal. It was total magic.

Q: What is your all-time favorite cocktail or dish to cook, eat, or drink?
A: Not sure. However, I have recently been on a braising kick and have been gorging myself on lamb shanks, chicken thighs and short ribs. My life has been nothing short of amazing because of this.

Q: What is the most outrageous dish/cocktail you have ever cooked?
A: Thomas Keller’s French Onion Soup. It took two of us fourteen hours to make. Totally worth it.

Q: How long have you worked for Paragary Restaurant Group? Which location(s)?
A: I have been with the Paragary’s group for around 3 years. I started with the opening of Hock Farm and had the opportunity to come to Paragary’s after the remodel. I have been there ever since.

Q: First job ever?
A: Cold Call Telemarketing. I lasted about 5 weeks, and given their turnover rate, made me one of their senior-most employees.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: I am a sucker for good Mexican food. Carnitas specifically.

Q: What is your favorite cocktail/drink?
A: The Jack Rose: apple brandy, grenadine and lime juice. I originally read about it in Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and it piqued my interest so I made one and it was love at first taste.

Q: If you could add anything to the menu what would it be?
A: A Golden Cadillac. Not only is it delicious and part of our local history (created at Poor Reds in El Dorado), it gives people permission to be nostalgic and remember “the good old days”.

Q: Favorite food-related TV show?
A: The Morgenthaler Method on Small Screen Network. Jeff is foul-mouthed, irreverent and absolutely brilliant. What’s not to love?

Q: Best PRG memory?
A: Summer 2014 running Church Key, our patio bar at Hock Farm. I got to develop and implement an entire Tiki cocktail menu. Looking back on it there are probably a lot of things I should have done differently, but it was the best learning experience I could have asked for at that point in my bartending career.

Q: Indulgences?
A: Rum, Tequila, Cognac, Ice Cream. Usually in that order.

Q: What is your favorite PRG restaurant or bar?
A: Lord Beaverbrooks. It closed before I was even born, but with a name like that how can you not love it?

Q: What cocktail would you recommend to a guest who wants to impress their valentine?
A: An Aperol Spritz. They are light, refreshing and low-alcohol, so you can sip them all evening and not feel worse for it the next morning.