Celebrating outstanding women, womxn, non-binary, and trans leaders in the hospitality community, Dame Hall of Fame® honors the newest class of inductees
NEW ORLEANS, LA, (September 14, 2021) – Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) and Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) have the distinct pleasure of announcing two of the 2021 Dame Hall of Fame® inductees: Lauren Paylor of Silver Lyan and Focus on Health, and Sandrae Lawrence of The Cocktail Lovers. Established in 2012 as a platform for recognizing the profound accomplishments of women across the global hospitality industry, Dame Hall of Fame® now celebrates women, womxn, non-binary, and trans leaders who have made a unique and lasting contribution to the intersectionality and accessibility of the cocktail community. This year’s outstanding candidates were selected from a pool of 99 qualified, open nominations and voted on by the existing 42 Dames. TOTCF and LUPEC are thrilled to honor the work of, raise a glass to, and welcome the U.S. Inductee presented by Woodford Reserve: Lauren Paylor, the International Inductee presented by Woodford Reserve: Sandrae Lawrence, and the 2021 Pioneer Award Winner presented by The Blend (to be announced at the TOTCF Spirited Awards Ceremony on September 23), into the hallowed group of hospitality leaders and mentors.
“We are honored to invite Lauren Paylor and Sandrae Lawrence to join the Dame Hall of Fame® as two of our 2021 inductees. As outstanding leaders in the hospitality community who have dedicated their time and efforts to better our industry, I can’t think of more deserving recipients of this recognition,” said Eileen Wayner, CEO of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “We look forward to celebrating Lauren and Sandrae at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail celebration, as well as the Pioneer Award Winner to be announced during the Spirited Awards Ceremony. We know they will each be exceptional additions to our esteemed group of Dames.”
To celebrate this year’s U.S. and International inductees, a live, virtual ceremony will be held on September 23 at 3:30 pm via Tales of the Cocktail’s online festival platform. The ceremony is presented by Woodford Reserve with support from Bacardi Spirit Forward, Don Q, Tequila Fortaleza, Laird’s Apple Jack and Three Roll Estate. Open to guests and media, all are invited to digitally attend the event by registering on the TOTC website through the general attendee portal and the media portal. For those who would like to view the festivities following the live ceremony, the induction ceremony will remain on the festival platform for viewers to enjoy at their leisure.
2021 Dame Hall of Fame® Inductees:
U.S. Inductee: Lauren Paylor
Silver Lyan; Focus on Health
Born in the Bronx, “LP” ventured to Washington, D.C. in 2010 to attend nursing school. While attending school she met Derek Brown, the influential D.C. bartender, entrepreneur, and writer. Fascinated by his love for the restaurant industry, LP became an employee of Brown’s Drink Company. There, through intricate training, she established a thorough understanding of service, cocktails, spirits, and wine. As Lead Bartender, she assisted in the success of the establishments by providing staff members with guidance through education. She went on to become an F&B Manager for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants in Washington, D.C. where she was introduced to the world of management. She also worked as the brand ambassador for Seedlip in the Washington, D.C. area. Lauren has competed in Diageo’s World Class US competition and placed in the top four in 2019. Additionally, she holds the title for the Hardy Cognac Legend Competition 2019 and the Cognac Connection Competition 2020.
Lauren is currently the co-founder and owner of Focus On Health, a company focused on health and wellness for food and beverage employees. She is a trainer with the Safe Bars organization, the social media coordinator for Speed Rack, a committee member for the RWCF Fund for Social Justice in Hospitality and a judge for the 2021 L.A. Spirit Awards & the 2021 TAG Global Spirit Award and most recently took on the role of R&D Production Chef at Silver Lyan in the Riggs DC Hotel. Paylor and her cocktails have been featured in publications such as Imbibe Magazine, Consumer Reports, NBC News, Wine Enthusiast, Williams Sonoma Blog, Washington Post, Essence, Southern Living, The Bitter Southerner, Cherry Bombe Drinks, Washington Post, Southwest Airlines Magazine, Thrillist, Eater, and Vine Pair. Lauren has been featured on Beverage Academy by Williams Sonoma and was recently inducted into Bar International – Bar World 100 Most Influential Figures (2021).
“I’m honored to receive this award, but it honestly won’t change anything that I am currently doing. It’s a beautiful thing to be given acknowledgment for the work that you do. My focus is on making a difference. I want to empower individuals to stand up for what they believe is right and provide them with the tools they need to be able to do that. Everything else is secondary,” said Paylor.
International Inductee: Sandrae Lawrence
The Cocktail Lovers
A former lifestyle journalist covering everything from fashion and beauty for The Daily Telegraph to restaurant and theatre reviews for Where London Magazine, Sandrae is one half of The Cocktail Lovers, the eponymous magazine, website, events, and consumer workshops company she runs with her husband Gary Sharpen. Noted for knowing who’s moving and shaking in the cocktail world, The Cocktail Lovers Magazine was voted Best Spirits & Cocktail Publications in the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards 2016 and Sandrae was shortlisted for Best Cocktail and Spirits Writer at Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards in the same year. As born and bred Londoners Sandrae and Gary are proud to have been listed on the London Evening Standard The Progress 1000 – London’s Most Influential People in both 2015 and 2017. As well as publishing The Cocktail Lovers Magazine, their work, opinions, and recipes appear in The Daily Telegraph, London Evening Standard, Time Out, Christie’s International, Ocado, and Delicious magazines, and together and separately, they are regularly asked to judge cocktail competitions around the world. Sandrae is positioned at number 63 in the Bar World 100 list.
“I am extremely honored to be recognized for doing something I love in an industry I am truly passionate about. So much so that I quit my full-time job to pursue writing The Cocktail Lovers – then as a blog which later evolved into a digital and print publication. My husband and I had no idea how we would make money from it but we believed in our business and the people, places, and products we were writing about,” said Lawrence. “Winning this award proves that we were right. I know it also makes my late mum very proud, and who doesn’t want that?”
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ABOUT TALES OF THE COCKTAIL FOUNDATION:
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a non-profit organization that educates, advances and supports the global hospitality industry and creates lasting impact in our host communities. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to tackle issues facing the industry. The pillars of the Foundation are to Educate, Advance and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the community and to make a lasting impact in communities that host our events.
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