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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

2022 Cocktail Apprentice Program Class

TOTC Announces 2022 Cocktail Apprentice Program Class

by David Klemt

 

Tales of the Cocktail Red Coat apprentices

The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation has announced the 32 members of this year’s Cocktail Apprentice Program, also known as CAP.

For 2022, the CAP apprentices come from seven countries, Washington, D.C., fourteen American states, and Puerto Rico. First launched in 2008, CAP has played host to over 400 apprentices.

These bar professionals are thrown into the organized chaos that is Tales of the Cocktail each year. Well, to be fair, the event likely only feels like chaos to Tales attendees. This gathering of hospitality pros is a precision machine behind the scenes.

Of course, CAP apprentices and veterans are one of the keys to Tales’ success. These bar pros work together to prepare cocktails for for Tales seminars. They also make the many tastings possible. CAP Red and Grey Coats also batch the Dame Hall of Fame and Spirited Awards drinks.

As you’ll see while reviewing the lists below, CAP Red Coats work at some of the world’s premier bars, restaurants, hotels, distilleries, portfolios and brands, and hospitality groups. Moreover, they gain an incredible amount of experience and mentorship from industry veteran Grey, Black, and White Coats.

Valuable Experience

This is, of course, great news for attendees. Many will recognize the names and venues below. And, hey, these apprentices keep the good times flowing at Tales.

But there’s another reason this news is important.

Operators should encourage their bar team stars to apply to be TOTC CAP apprentices each year. The program is open to bartenders, barbacks, and bar managers.

Considering who they’ll meet, work with, and learn from, operators can think of CAP as an investment in their bar team.

In addition to returning to work with a wealth of knowledge and new industry contacts, they’ll be eligible to apply for the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program. Since 2022 CAP Red Coats can apply when applications open next year, it’s reasonable to assume that 2023 Red Coats will be eligible to apply in 2024 for the TOTCF Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program.

So, operators who are serious about furthering their bar team’s careers and helping to mentor them should help them apply for the 2023 Cocktail Apprentice Program.

2022 Red Coats

Below are this year’s 32 CAP Red Coat apprentices. You’ll also find their place of work.

  • Patience AdjeiTwist Night Club and Level Up Lounge (Accra, Ghana, West Africa)
  • Gerald AkinsHamlet and Ghost (Saratoga Springs, NY)
  • Israel Baròn, Casa Prunes (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Tammy Bouma, Bluebird Cocktail Room (Baltimore, MD)
  • Dylan BrentwoodBar Kismet (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada)
  • Napier Bulanan, Viridian (Oakland, CA)
  • Yosue Cordero BadilloFairmont El San Juan Hotel (Carolina, Puerto Rico)
  • Chelsea DeMarkThompson Hotel Savannah (Savannah, GA)
  • Milton DeyaMelinda’s Alley (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Linda DouglasCurly Bartender (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Kai DuartePacifico on the Beach and Down The Hatch (Wailuku, HI)
  • Cody DunavanBreakthru Beverage Virginia (Richmond, VA)
  • Glenn EldridgeROKA (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
  • Tim FrandsenJane Jane (Washington, D.C.)
  • John FryRumba / Inside Passage (Seattle, WA)
  • Delena Humble-FischerGolden Pineapple Craft Lounge (Tempe, AZ)
  • Princess JohnsonAllegory (Washington, D.C.)
  • Maria KimSouthside Parlor (Seoul, South Korea)
  • Sungjoo KooMidnight Rambler (Dallas, TX)
  • Rylen KomeijiHere Kitty Kitty / Zouk Group (Las Vegas, NV)
  • Lars LunstrumThe Black Cypress (Pullman, WA)
  • Jacob MentelPolite Provisions (San Diego, CA)
  • Brian “Vito” MoralesSaso Bistro (Pasadena, CA)
  • Julian Bella RobinsPursuing MS in Hospitality Management at FIU (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • Jomar SantosThe Peacock Lounge Savannah (Savannah, GA)
  • Jeremiah SimmonsSeven Three Distillery (New Orleans, LA)
  • Colin SimpsonThe Aviary (Chicago, IL)
  • Taylor SweeneyBar Shiru (Oakland, CA)
  • Vivi SzalavariUptown Cafe (Bloomington, IN)
  • Irlanda VargasBacal (Mexico City, Mexico)
  • Noor WafaiThe Eddy & Durk’s Bar-B-Q (Providence, RI)
  • Tim WeigelVegas Vickie’s (Las Vegas, NV)

2022 Grey Coats

Identifiable by their grey chef coats, Grey Coats are CAP leaders.

  • Hagay I. AbramovitzImperial Craft Cocktail Bar (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • Justine BockGin & Juice (Bristol, UK)
  • Patrick BragaHappy Accidents (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Fifi BruceBarrel Brothers (Berlin, Germany)
  • Richie DelahoydeLyre’s Non Alcoholic Spirits (Dublin, Ireland) 
  • Amy DunkiBarr Hill and Caledonia Spirits (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Arianna Hone, High West Saloon, Post Office Place (Park City, UT)
  • Renson Malesi, House of Sage Cocktails (Nairobi, Kenya) 
  • Nicholas McCaslin, The Ritz-Carlton Nomad (New York City, NY)
  • Allie Phifer, Cayo Coco Rum Bar and Restaurante (Birmingham, AL)
  • Jessi Pollak, Spoon and Stable (Minneapolis, MN)
  • Eric Scott, Thyme X Table (Bay Village, OH) 
  • Britt Simons, The Eddy (Providence, RI)
  • Joey Smith, Chez Zou (New York City, NY)
  • Sarah Syman, The Dandy Crown (Chicago, IL)
  • Nigal Vann, The Berkshire Room (Chicago, IL)

2022 Black Coats

CAP assistant managers can be identified by their black chef coats.

  • Cam BrownSelf-employed (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Kaleena Goldsworthy-WarnockThe Bitter Bottle and Proof Bar and Incubator (Chattanooga, TN)
  • Alex LermanPearl Street Hospitality (Denver, CO)
  • Samm McCullochRed Wall Distillery (Sedona, AZ)

2022 White Coats

The industry veterans are CAP managers and wear white chef coats.
  • Alexis Belton-TinocoJohnnie Walker/Proof Media Mix (Chicago, IL)
  • Cris DehlaviDiageo Hospitality Partnership (Columbus, OH)
  • John DeragonResy (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Trevor KalliesFreehouse Collective (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
  • Juyoung KangZouk Group at Resorts World Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)

Whenever you come across a Red, Grey, Black or White Coat at Tales, be sure to thank them for all their work. Well, if they don’t have their hands incredibly full. In that case, please get out of their way—they’ve got our drinks!

Image: M.S. Meeuwesen on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

TOTC 2022 Agenda and Tickets Now Live

Tales of the Cocktail 2022 Conference Agenda and Tickets Now Available

by David Klemt

Greetings from NOLA artwork

The time is now to grab your Tales of the Cocktail tickets and plan your trip to New Orleans for the last week of July.

Not only are tickets available for purchase via this link right now, you can also check out the schedule here.

Of particular note is the amount of complimentary programming available to 20th anniversary TOTC attendees.

Free to Attend

Attendees will have access to several activations and workshops that are free to attend.

Beginning Sunday, complimentary programming is available throughout the week. For example, the Day of Service on Sunday, July 24 is free attend and a way to give back.

Also on Sunday, the 11th annual Pig & Punch Volunteer Day of Service. This is another opportunity for those in the industry to do some good in the NOLA community.

The return of Pig & Punch was mentioned by an excited Lola Thomas on episode 72 of the Bar Hacks podcast.

On Monday, all attendees can attend the keynote address; Diversity Distilled Career Fair; the Welcome to Wellness! therapeutic stretch and self-massage session; and “#FromTheBarToTheFarm” sustainability workshop.

There are several more workshops—such as “Safe Bars: Crafting a New Culture of Safety and Respect” and the immersive “Mind Full” experience—that are free to attend on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Incredible Activations

More reasons to plan your trip around an action-packed Sunday? Speed Rack Redemption, the National Tequila Day Pool Party at the Royal Sonesta, and Ode to the Bowl.

The rest of the week is absolutely packed. From workshops to seminars, cocktail tours to tasting rooms, and all manner of activations, parties, and events in between, the 20th anniversary celebration of Tales of the Cocktail will be an experience to remember.

On the subject of cocktail tours, there are eight such experiences available during this year’s Tales. For example, attendees can register and secure tickets for Hunting Down the Sazerac, Downriver: Bars Beyond the French Quarter, the Big Gay Bar Tour, and Bourbon Street and How it Got that Way.

Learn More

To be honest, there’s simply too much going on at this year’s TOTC to list here. The sheer number of workshops, seminars, and activations must be checked out online.

And that’s to say nothing of the industry icons that will be presenting seminars and workshops, and hosting activations and special events.

Simply put, there’s programming for everyone. Health and wellness? Yes. Furthering your career? Absolutely. Perfecting technique and tasting new products? Of course. Business, culture, advocacy, diversity, inclusion, equity… Check, check, check, check, check, check!

We hope to see you at Tales of the Cocktail 2022! Be sure to check out the agenda and grab your tickets today.

Image: mana5280 on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

TOTC Launches New Philanthropic Committee

TOTC Launches New Philanthropic Committee

by David Klemt

New Orleans, Louisiana, architecture in the French Quarter

Continuing their growth and commitment to supporting the spirits and hospitality industries, Tales of the Cocktail announces a new committee.

Formerly known as the Grants Committee, this committee will act as an advisory board to TOTC Foundation. In this capacity, the new Philanthropy & Development Committee will guide decisions regarding the TOTCF’s portfolio of philanthropic endeavors.

In launching the Philanthropy & Development Committee, the TOTCF is responding directly to the needs of the spirits community.

Commitment to Philanthropy

Supporting the industry is a TOTCF cornerstone. This commitment was supercharged when the Solomon Group and Neal Bodenheimer, Jr. took over in 2018.

Upon purchasing the rights, the Solomon family and Bodenheimer, Jr. transformed TOTC into a non-profit. Since then, the organization has developed ways to benefit New Orleans and the spirits and hospitality industries.

One major avenue of support came by way of the TOTCF Grants Committee. Their mission was straightforward and lofty: “to support nascent or existing programs, non-profit organizations, and individuals developing a specific project that will impact the global hospitality community present day and beyond.”

In selecting recipients, the Grants Committee reviewed submissions. Recipients needed to support the TOTCF’s core pillars with a focus on diversity, representation, and inclusivity: Advancement, education, and support.

One such recipient that exemplifies the Grant Committee’s work is Turning Tables. From their website:

“Turning Tables advocates for equity in the hospitality industry by providing mentorship, educational tools, and platforms for exposure in a system of support for the black and brown communities of New Orleans.”

New Name, Bigger Mission

To be clear, the Philanthropy & Development Committee is still offering grants. However, the past two years saw the expansion of the Grants Committee’s mission.

In addition to grants, the committee:

  • provided direct relief to industry professionals;
  • entered into more non-profit partnerships;
  • boosted the number of Beyond the Bar activations;
  • engaged in advocacy and policy efforts;
  • and expanded mental health and wellness capabilities.

Given the evolution of the committee’s work, transforming to the Philanthropy & Development Committee better communicates the mission.

“I’m really excited about this new era of the committee,” says Philanthropy & Development Committee co-chair Kellie Thorn. “While grant-giving will still be a focus, we will now have the opportunity to diversify the way that we serve the drinks community as well as continue to provide thoughtful insight to the Foundation about our industry.”

Continental Drift and Drift Kitchen owner Eric Bennett co-chairs the committee alongside consultant and educator Thorn. The eleven current committee members are:

  • Tiffanie Barriere
  • Chris Cabrera
  • Claudia Cabrera
  • Samuel Jimenez
  • Nandini Khaund
  • Yisell Muxo
  • Lisa Nguyen
  • Chris Patino
  • Vivian Pei
  • Kelsey Ramage
  • Morgan Schick

To learn more about the Philanthropy & Development Committee, click here.

Image: Aya Salman on Unsplash

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