Dragos Axinte, founder of Novo Fogo Cachaca is the prototypical entrepreneur. He's part inventor, part creative, and wholly health focused. For much of his life he spent time in communist Romania, from which his family ultimately left to venture to the states. Landing in LA, Dragos and his father continued the family trade, soldering. This mechanical aptitude transformed into multiple patents and ultimately the opportunity to start a new business. A curious affection for Brazil aimed the project towards Cachaca and now many marks later, Dragos travels to help people find health and great cane sips. We talk cancer, patents, the classics, and more.
With too many accomplishments to name, Daniel de Oliveira, or simply DDO, has traveled the world making a wonderful name for himself. After years behind the bars of Chicago, a shift to brand work has opened up countless doors. From Leblon cachaca, and most recently Jägermeister, DDO entertains and charms the industry. But with all the traveling and jet setting, where does the time to balance one's personal life come into the mix. We chat GNR, politics, love, and more.
Leaving academia has been the best decision yet for Teeling Whiskey's Kevin Hurley. The Dublin native has not only been at the helm of Ireland's cocktail resurgence, but he's quickly become one of the world's foremost authorities on Irish Whiskey. With such a creative lens of distillation, Kevin travels the world sharing the delicious labels of Teeling Whiskey. We chat sports, architecture, health, and how delicious the Teeling Single Malt is.
Most people don't realize that Thiene, Italy is a town known for innovation and entreprenurial endeavors. For Gra'it Grappa's Luca Fabris, this rich food/tech/and idea incubator set the foundation for the future. After traveling the world consulting and handling finances for many companies, Luca found his rich Italian heritage converging with the emerging cocktail world around him. Years later, the beautiful Gra'it Grappa was introduced to the world. A beautiful blend of crispness, floral essence, and light-handed grape flavor, Luca hopes to redefine the "less than stellar" notions about Grappa in the states. We talk Italy, accounting, and food.
From casual beer sipping to home brewing in small quantities, Ben Sabin has used his passion for beer in combination with a degree in communications to found the project Friends and Allies Brewing. These first few months of operation present a health challenge and a logistical keg-stacking one. What does Friends and Allies bring to the world of branding and Austin brewing? Their keen focus on flavor and aesthetic up the bar of standards in the brewing community. We chat history, Houston, and the recent Tullamore D.E.W. brewery collaboration.
Once a brewery tour guide, always a brewery tour guide. Tullamore D.E.W.'s Jane Maher is a touring monster. With the 2017 installment of D.E.W. and a Brew, Jane is traveling the US pairing Tully with the finest brews in the land. Whether it's a 12 year, 18, overproof, or the trusty standard Tullamore D.E.W., a nuanced boilermaker pairing is sweeping the states in over 60 US stops. From her small town Irish upbringing, to studies in architecture, how does Jane like the ambassador life and how is that memoir coming along? We talk the Southwest, rest, and hosting.
Zahra Bates of Courvoisier embraces all of the charm the world has to offer. From LA to London, she pays homage to the classics of literature and philosophy. Starting as a shy book worm, Zahra's now decorated career in hospitality has created a gregarious and cheery friend of the industry. Where will the next love of art and culture take her? We chat Minerva, Cognac, France, and more...
Minding his studies as an athletic South African kid, Jono Marcus followed in the footsteps of many. He pursued a straight and arrow path in the banking industry. But the interest in people, places, and the larger world drove him to pursue a green card lottery that transported him to America. Struggling to connect in LA, a great friend became the conduit between Jono and the distribution world. Years later, Jono now travels the Southwest sharing the delicious native spirit of America,Brandy, for Copper and Kings; the burgeoning Kentucky Brandy distillery. We chat Hollywood, Elon Musk, grapes, and more.
From a rich creative upbringing in the theater world of Nimes, France, Camille Ralph Vidal has split her artistic and business-minded personality into distinct tracks. After a career cleansing trek into the hospitality industry of Australia, her life was forever changed. Learning to speak English, learning the foundations of cocktail composition, and learning how to find her path in this cocktail renaissance collided into a chance meeting with late St-Germain founder Rob Cooper. Years later, Camille is known as Madame St Germain: the ultimate host. Beyond the travels and education, she's also found the time to write a book expressing her innate hosting nature. "How to Drink French Fluently: A Guide to Joie de Vivre with St-Germain Cocktails" We chat health, Instagram, and more.
An early coastal life in Cancun set an amazing precedent for Montelobos and Ancho Reyes' ambassador Camille Austin. Her interest of nature, people, and terroir began to percolate as she established her intense work ethic in the burgeoning Miami cocktail scene. A key competition further catapulted Camille into the limelight and her reputation as a brilliant mind in hospitality continued to expand. After an influential move to NYC, Mezcal ultimately changed her whole career. We chat seafood, salt, and the new Ancho Reyes Verde that hits Texas THIS week.
It's hard to say where Han Shan started his career in this hospitality industry. But suffice it to say, his rich background in art, music, and activism painted a perilous journey to get here. From Tibet to the Middle East, the winding road led Han to an interesting contest for brand ambassadorship. After a successful online campaign utilizing his knowledge of the world, film, and spirits, Han is now the national figure for Hudson Whiskey; the craft pioneer distillery that now has affirmed it's place in the narrative of modern whiskey. Who is Han Shan and where did he truly come from? We chat DC punk, Tibet, and Hudson Manhattan Rye whiskey.
Where is ambition and drive created? Is it innate, or imbued by those closest to us? For Bacardi's Gabe Cardarella, the people around him have driven him to greatness. From early days in promotion to tour managing members of Jackass in Mexico, Gabe has strategically made himself the key innovator in every industry he's entered. Now as a jet setting whiskey expert spreading the deliciousness of Dewar's, Gabe tries to craft unique experiences for the vast fans of Whisky. We chat truffles, on the spot questions, and relationships.
"Food Editor" is one of the most coveted positions in this modern food renaissance and for Austin Chronicle's Brandon Watson, it's both a blessing & a curse. Starting in small town Texas, and traversing through white collar jobs, Brandon parlayed a recurring lunch date into something bigger: Food Writer! Personal health issues, and many quasi-hip restaurants later, where is Austin's food scene going? We chat lights, Barflys, and health.
Erin Wade is a case study in ambition and learning. What started as an interest in Science turned into a Harvard English degree. Unexpectedly, this road dove into fashion and then completely mutated into the most meaningful chapter yet....farming. Erin's connection to the earth and people inspired her to craft a restaurant concept that embodied quality and health. A short time later, her breadth of talents converged and Vinaigrette was born. A celebratory year after she opened her Austin location, we chat Subway, Bastrop, degrees, and more....
In an exploration of love, sex, spirituality, and politics, this second chat with Tomas Estes explores the cerebral aspects of this living legend. How does love betray and free us? How is this modern era of segregation unfolding in stark contrast to the 60's? Where is the narrative of the world headed? Wherever the path goes it will be fraught with love and fear.
Tomas Estes has dove head first into every annal the world has had to offer. From many successful restaurants to the globally lauded Tequila Ocho, he has remained transparent and open to every opportunity in this life. This is the first of two chats with the worldly "Dali Lama" of Tequila. His achievements and impact on the world of hospitality will be forever felt. We chat Peter Fonda, fatherhood, and wrestling.
Robin Nance of Auchentoshan Single Malt Whisky could be considered a modern Whisky icon, but she has lived a few other lives before this one. At a young age, Robin was drawn to photography both behind and in front of the lens. This artistic spirit drove her to travel the world and ultimately end up in LA to pursue acting. Many stand up comedy sketches and auditions later, Robin entered the hospitality industry full time. With an emerging penchant for Single Malt, Robin's turn to the brand side was inevitable. We talk Flashdance, San Antonio, and being outspoken about your beliefs.
The road to spirits is often an unpredictable one, and as a predilection towards research turned its focus to distilleries, Dr. Nicholas Morgan's relationship with Scotch began. 26 years later, Dr. Nick is now one of the world's esteemed experts of Scotch serving as Diego's Head of Whisky Outreach. From an aspiring guitarist in Oxfordshire to a singular protagonist for Scotch whisky against Bourbon on one fateful night in Austin, TX, life has led to many exciting roads. Dr. Nick continues to be the epitome of class and transparency as he continues to educate the world about Scotch with a guitar strapped to his back. We talk Bowie, Brexit, and trouble similarities between the UK/US.
Cheech Marin is known for his comedy, wit, and unforgettable voice. But most people don't know that his career in the spirits industry has just begun with Trés Papalotes Mezcal. Cheech has clearly been a pioneer in the promulgation of Mexicano art and culture, but the path to Mezcal has been a fateful one. We sip, chat, and crack jokes about a few orange figureheads.
Like many shining personalities in this industry, music is an underlying theme and motivator. For Del Maguey's Evan Meeker, the fiddling road brought him to Mezcal. A creative upbringing in Colorado intersected with multiple hospitality jobs and the spark was then ignited. From behind the bar, to distribution, Evan's career has dipped into many facets of this industry, but has now dived in the culturally rich world of Mezcal. We chat Carnegie Hall, agave, and age.
2 teachers, 2 different paths. Bryan Winslow and Tim Bullock started in completely different areas with completely different interests, but a serendipitous meeting whilst working at Austin Beerworks spawned a beautiful working relationship. With style, nuance, and a wide creative lens, St. Elmo Brewing Company was born. The south Austin destination pairs great beers, ambiance, and delicious food with a bit of Tim/Bryan's down-to-earthness mixed in. We chat Daft Punk, Spain, and feuds.
Sometimes small town living causes a lust for culture that is rarely paralleled. Jeff Young has traveled the world seeking anything and everything in the wake of leaving Alabama. A love of detail and science matched perfectly with an interest in beer. Seeking brewing opportunities and a way to express his counterculture perspective, Jeff entered the brewing incubator Black Star Co-Op and developed a penchant for sour. As the relationships and knowledge accrued, Blue Owl Brewery was born some time thereafter. We chat sour, Scotland, and whiskey.
With so many great seminars and events happening at this year's San Antonio Cocktail Conference, it can quickly get overwhelming. In chronological order, here are a few of my favorites. Agave love, Bowie-dedication, and great whiskey talks...
All the details are contained below, don't forget to RSVP (when applicable)!
Remembering Bowie- Presented by Pioneer Spirits
312 Pearl Pkwy #2107, San Antonio, TX 78215
Lots of great brands, but how's about try an El Diablo with Wahaka Mezcal?
Seminar- The 5 W's of Drinking
Seminar- The Art of Pairing
3 - 4:15
Downstairs at the Esquire Tavern
155 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Drink some Fortaleza still strength and talk mustaches with Guillermo Sauza
Martine After Dark
The Last Word
229 E Houston St #10, San Antonio, TX 78205
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Play with the monkey and try any delicious complimentary cocktail with this elegant Honeysuckle liqueur
Seminar- Tequila: From The Inside Out
Seminar- The Martini and the Discerning Palette
Seminar- How NOT to Create Your Next Mezcal Brand
Chairman's Rum Time
Downstairs at the Esquire Tavern
155 E Commerce St, San Antonio, TX 78205
Try this new delicious rum entry in Texas. I'm hearing it's on a whole new level.
Evening Mischief #1
Wu-Tang Over Everythang
102 9th St, San Antonio, TX 78215
Willie G's and Campari spin the vinyl and pour some Glenfiddich cocktails. It'll be off the ______
Evening Mischief #2
Gin & Juice Vol II
The Last Word
229 E Houston St #10, San Antonio, TX 78205
Guest bartenders make things slang. Travis Tober at the helm.
2720 McCullough Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
RSVP to email@example.com
Coffee, bites, and booze. A delicate way to close an epic week.
Chicago native Eric Rosentreter has imbibed all things whiskey and art. A creative force with mixed media and possessing an exceptionally discerning palette for spirits, Eric has seen all annals of the hospitality industry. But perhaps the most career defining chapter was at Chicago's whiskey haven, Delilah's, where he learned the foundational tricks of the trade. Always deconstructing and shifting in the duality of his creative heart, Eric now enters the next phase of his career with Redemption Whiskey. We chat selling out, Rye, Joe Strummer, and the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.
Check out Eric's seminar
JANUARY 14, 2017 | 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM | $45.00
EMBASSY SUITES RIVERWALK DOWNTOWN
To read more and buy tickets, click here.
The wanderlust hit Geraldine's Lucas Felak at a very young age. Tending bar in Germany in his teens and growing up in rural Pennsylvania, Lucas has the prototypical hospitality DNA. Although, his additional pursuit of academic enlightenment makes him the perfect weapon. As love brought him to Austin, the best chapter yet started to unfold. Lucas has established himself as an expert on whiskey and an emerging mentor to the industry. We chat age, degrees, and dead distilleries.
Catch Lucas at his San Antonio Cocktail Conference seminar
Cocktail DIY: Mixologist Tips of the Trade
JANUARY 14, 2017 | 11:30 AM - 12:45 PM
Get tickets here