Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces 2018 CAP Class

Posted on: May. 14, 2018 | | By: TOTC Staff

NEW ORLEANS, LA, May 14, 2018 – The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is excited to announce the 2018 Cocktail Apprentice Program® (CAP) class, sponsored by BarSmarts® and Pernod Ricard USA.

Developed in 2008, the Cocktail Apprentice Program gives 40 accomplished and up-and-coming bartenders the opportunity to learn alongside some of the world’s most respected bartenders and cocktail experts as they work the seminars and large-scale events at Tales. These first-time apprentices will be joined by an experienced group of veteran apprentices, who will use their previous apprentice experience to lead this year’s program. Throughout the festival, apprentices can be identified by the color of their chef coats: white for managers, black for assistant managers, grey for leaders, and red for first-time apprentices.

“BarSmarts and Pernod Ricard are thrilled to have sponsored the Cocktail Apprentice Program at Tales Of The Cocktail since 2014,” said Jamie Gordon, Senior Manager of Brand Advocacy for Pernod Ricard USA. “The CAP has been instrumental in TOTC’s continued success, and we couldn’t be more proud of our relationship with this talented and hardworking team.”

This year’s incoming class of Red Coats hail from 18 states and 10 countries, including Canada, China, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Republic of Korea and U.K. Apprentices were selected through a competitive process that considered recipe submissions, professional experience, and ability to work with a fast-paced, global team. The team was selectively chosen in order to promote global diversity and ensure that a balance exists between newer and more experienced professionals.

“It was really important for us to curate a diverse CAPs class, as representative of cocktail culture on a global scale as possible,” said Neal Bodenheimer, Board Member of Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “It is incredibly rewarding to watch first-timers and veterans alike come together, grow, and rise through the ranks in this program. Further to that point, it is humbling to see how their collective global knowledge enriches the Tales experience on the whole.”

By working directly with seminar presenters, program apprentices hone their skills while simultaneously learning about both the history and future of their craft. After the festival, apprentices are able to apply their new skills to their home and work environments, making the experience of being a CAP member a long-term investment. In addition to technical skills, the valuable professional connections and the team camaraderie fostered during the event have been consistently praised by former members as the most valuable assets the program has given them.

“Being a CAP means going back home to your bar community and teaching and helping those around you to enrich that philosophy,” says Jodi Calderon, Black Coat and Bartender at The Normandie Club. “The CAP program is mentorship, friendship, hard work, and hospitality. That’s why I return every year.”

After Tales concludes, CAP members will be eligible to apply for the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program. Founded by Tales of the Cocktail, the Scholarship Program has annually helped former apprentices pursue further learning opportunities for the past eight years. After undergoing a rigorous selection process, former apprentices are selected to receive funding for a wide variety of projects, from those designed to further their career to those designed with intent to educate the cocktail community.

“The whole CAP experience has been life changing for me. The mentorship, and the international networking that the program provides is like none other. Being from a very small market in Hawaii (and an even smaller market on my island of Maui), I would have never been exposed to what the CAP program has given me,” says Kaʻai Fong, Grey Coat and bartender at Andaz Maui. “This program is all about mentorship and wanting to learn, so you can take it back to your community and market to help it grow. It’s a global family that will always be a part of my life.”
For more information about the CAP, including bios of this year’s team and information on how to apply for next year, please visit www.tocstaging.wpengine.com.

2018 Red Coat Apprentices:

Chanel Adams
Please Don’t Tell in the Mandarin Landmark Oriental
Hong Kong
Josh Allen
Tipple Cocktails
Lancaster, England
Meredith Barry
Vol. 39 in Kimpton’s The Gray Hotel
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Ariel Baum
Zalame ACB
Beer Sheba, Israel
Kayla Bienert
Sun Liquor Lounge and Mezcaleria de Oaxaca
Seattle, Washington, USA
Alexandria (Lexy) Biller
Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company, The Ice Doctor
Gainesville, Florida, USA
Patrick Braga
Paper Plane
San Jose, California, USA
Shannon Brandon
The Roost
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Angie Caballero
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jacopo Castronovo
The Spirit
Milan, Italy
Ty Caudle
The Interval
San Francisco, California, USA
Nicole Cote
Pizzeria Gusto
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Richard Delahoyde
The Vintage Cocktail Club
Dublin, Ireland
Austin Foster
The Diving Elk
Sioux City, Iowa, USA
Megan Fraser
American Whiskey, Monk McGinn’s
New York, New York, USA
Noah Friedman
NoMad LA
Los Angeles, California, USA
Tzvika Furman
Playground at the Marriott New Delhi
New Delhi, India
Steve Groom
Wit’s Inn
New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Nina Handy
Craft & Commerce
San Diego, California, USA
Bomin Kim
Southside Parlor
Seoul, Korea
Themistoklis Kontodimas
Mary Pickford Bar
Athens, Greece
Tabitha Korneich
Curio Bar
Denver, Colorado, USA
Diego Livera
Aviary NYC
New York, New York, USA
Leishla Maldonado
The Eddy
Providence, Rhode Island, USA
Renson Malesi
Js fresh bar Nairobi
Nairobi, Kenya
Natasha Mesa
Deadshot PDX
Portland, Oregon, USA
Jamie Neering
Velveteen Rabbit
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Kevin Nguyen
The Normandie Club/ The Walker Inn
Los Angeles, California, USA
Jessi Pollak
Spoon and Stable
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Yanais Ramos
The Aviary
New York, New York, USA
Elizabeth (Ellie) Rideout
Merchant Tavern
St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
Zulcoralis Rodriguez
The Esquire Tavern
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Sarah Schmitt
Rhine Hall Distillery
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Jeff Seidenstricker
Norseman Distillery
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
Joseph Smith
The NoMad Bar
New York City, New York, USA
Dante Torres
HaiSous Vietnamese Kitchen
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Ian Toste
Lone Star Taco Bar
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Chase Wilhelmsen
Andaz Maui Resort
Kihei, Hawaii, USA
Ryan Williams
Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Melissa Zornes
Nashville, Tennessee, USA

2018 Grey Coat Apprentices (*New Grey Coats):

Hagay Abramovitz*
Tel Aviv, Israel
Alexandra Belton
The Aviary
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Richard Beltzer*
Bad Hunter
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Justine Bock*
Red Light
Bristol, United Kingdom
Cam Brown
Clough Club
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Samantha Casuga*
The Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog
New York City, New York, USA
Jenee Craver*
In The Valley
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Ashley Danford*
Old Glory, Urban Cowboy Public House
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Ka’ai Fong
Andaz Maui
Wailea, Hawaii, USA
Yorgos Gigis
Odori Vermuteria Di Atene, Barflies Mobile Bar Services
Athens, Greece
Kaleena Goldsworthy*
The Bitter Bottle and Flying Squirrel Bar
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Sandeep Hathiramani*
Proof & Co
Hong Kong
Melissa Kim*
The Keep
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Alex Lerman*
The NoMad Hotel
New York City, New York, USA
Jeff Lichtenberger
Extra Virgin
Independence, Missouri, USA
Samantha McCulloch
Small Change
St. Louis, Missouri
Aubry Robinson*
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Stella Snyder*
The Roost
Bloomington, Indiana, USA
Nigal Vann*
The Aviary
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Adil Yamin
William Grant & Sons Portfolio Specialist
Detroit, Michigan, US

2018 Black Coat Apprentices (*New Black Coats):

Jodi Calderon*
The Normandie Club
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Dean Hurst
R&D Hospitality
Tampa, Florida, USA
Jessica Lambert*
Vol.39 & Boleo at The Kimpton Gray Hotel
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Bobby Murphy
Existing Conditions
New York City, New York, USA

2018 White Coat Apprentices (New White Coats):

Cris Dehlavi
M Restaurant
Columbus, Ohio, USA
John Deragon
New York City, New York, USA
A-K Hada*
New York City, New York, USA
Trevor Kallies
Donnelly Group
Vancouver, Canada
Scott Tipton*
The Savoy at 21c Museum Hotel
Kansas City, Missouri, USA


About Tales of the Cocktail
Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail has grown from a small gathering of cocktail lovers into the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year the international spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking events and much more. With 200+ annual events developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques.

About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is an 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 lasting impact in communities that host our events.

Media Inquiries:
Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043

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