Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Announces 2019 Dame Hall of Fame® Inductees

Posted on: Jul. 01, 2019 | | By: Gia Vecchio

Dame Hall of Fame® honors women who have made unique and lasting contributions to the global hospitality industry.

NEW ORLEANS, LA, July 1, 2019 – The Tales of Cocktail Foundation and Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (LUPEC) are thrilled to announce the 2019 Dame Hall of Fame® inductees. Established in 2012, The Dame Hall of Fame® is a celebration of women who have made unique and lasting contributions to the global hospitality industry. New this year, the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and LUPEC will recognize the work of three select women in the industry (one national, one international and one Pioneer Award recipient) and induct them into the Dame Hall of Fame®. The Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and LUPEC will induct the newest members of Dame Hall of Fame® , recognize their work and raise a glass to them at a celebratory ceremony held at Arnaud’s on Friday, July 19th as part of the 17th Annual Tales of the Cocktail®.

“A Dame is an inspiring, accomplished woman whose story deserves to be told and someone others aspire to be,” says Caroline Rosen, Executive Director. “Dame Hall of Fame® serves as a continuous mentorship program for not only the members but women in the industry as a whole. We are honored to be able to celebrate our inductees during this year’s Tales of the Cocktail.”

The opening ceremony will take place at 10:30 AM where new members will be inducted and presented Waterford crystal ice buckets. Current Dame Hall of Fame® members will also be in attendance and honor the new members with a toast. The opening ceremony is followed by a cocktail hour beginning at 11:30AM and ticketed luncheon beginning at 12:30PM. The opening ceremony is free and open to the public. Tickets for the luncheon can be purchased HERE.

2019 Dame Hall of Fame® Inductees:

National Inductee: Ezra Star

DRINK Director

Ezra Star began her hospitality journey in the kitchen at the young age of 18. After a few years, Star eventually found her place behind the bar. Star has worked in the restaurant and bar industry for nearly 20 years with overlapping years spent studying biochemistry and public health. The drive to understand and serve people eventually brought Star out of the laboratory and behind the bar. She currently serves as the Bar Manager and Director of the award winning bar Drink in Boston. Star has spent years consulting on numerous bar designs, build-outs and bar training programs across the world. Star also presents at cocktail conferences around the world and has been featured in numerous spirits journals, books and magazines. She has also won and been nominated for numerous awards for bartending, including American Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards® in 2017, 2018, and 2019. She also helped to guide Drink in Boston to many awards and accolades including 2013 Spirited Awards® “World’s Best Bar.”

International Inductee: Carina Soto Velasquez

Paris, France
Partner at Quixotics Projects

Carina grew up in Colombia finishing her early schooling in the city of Medellin. Moved to Paris in 2004. She has been one of the most important influences on the Parisian cocktail scene.

Carina is one of the founders of Quixotic Projects, a Paris-based hospitality company which owns and manages the venues Candelaria that opened in 2011, followed by Glass, Le Mary Celeste, Hero, Les Grands Verres inside the contemporary art museum the Palais de Tokyo and most recently Bar Marilou in New Orleans.

Carina’s extensive knowledge of spirits and cocktails has led her to judge international cocktail competitions as well as hire and train a new generation of Parisian bartenders. She recently won the Havana Club Entrepreneur Award 2019, recognizing her willingness to create and take risks.

She believes in empowering people to be always at their best, honesty and transparency with every level of her team, teamwork, and offering meaningful hospitality experiences.


Robin Nance
Portfolio Trade Engagement Manager
Beam Suntory

Robin, or Nancy to her colleagues at Beam Suntory, is unusual. She reins as the Portfolio Trade Engagement Manager. She earned her bartending chops back when drinks were blue and bartenders aspired to be Tom Cruise, which led her to the role of Director of Operations for Bowery Street Enterprises, a restaurant group in Los Angeles. Opening ten venues over five years she learned everything from conceptualization to construction to day-to-day business.

In May 2011, the jewel in her crown was opening Rosewood Tavern, a scotch, steak & craft beer venue. There her recreational whisky drinking turned into a full-blown passion as Rosewood hand sold its way to becoming the top Auchentoshan & Bowmore account in California that year, bringing her to their attention. Leaving LA for Chicago, drawn to city living and Midwest charm, three months before Morrison Bowmore expanded their Ambassador program was a lucky chance or perhaps fated. Having recently transitioned out of her role as National Ambassador for Auchentoshan Single Malt Whisky, her passion is working with bartenders across the country. Robin took that passion and created the role of Portfolio Trade Engagement Manager for Beam Suntory.

Robin is passionate about honesty, wellness and equity in the food and beverage industry and she often says the things we’re all thinking. Never one to shy away from her own experiences. Her current passion projects include working with Chicago’s City Colleges to develop the US’ first Beverage Management pathway, launching in the fall of 2019.

For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, please visit www.tocstaging.wpengine.com.


About Tales of the Cocktail Foundationrntrn

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. For more information on Tales of the Cocktail, please visit www.tocstaging.wpengine.com

About Tales of the Cocktailrntrn

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 300+ 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.

Media Inquiries:
Gia Vecchio, [email protected], 917.280.5043
Katherine Crawford, [email protected], 404.513.0528

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