A deep career in California's tech industry collided with a love of flavor and food. Event director of Whiskies of the World, Douglas Smith, discovered that whiskey and its ability to pair beautifully with food had an unparalleled allure. This spark for whiskey passion was then ignited. The renowned Whiskies of the World event sells out in Austin and San Francisco regularly and now the amazing exhibition is heading to Houston this Saturday 9/30 for a new leg. Attendees have the pleasure of sipping wonderful spirits from around the globe all in one room. However, it's no easy task to develop and tour this brilliant event. We chat San Francisco, conversations, religion, and more.
As alcohol remains a taboo subject in India, the emergence of Indian whiskies distributed across the globe indicate a change in the times. Michael D'Souza, master distiller for Paul John Whiskey loves to discuss the tropical differences in Goa, India that lend their influence on one of the most intriguing flavor profiles in modern spirits. Working his way through the ranks at PJW, Michael finally found his home blending and distilling an amazing Indian spirit. We chat astrology, whiskey culture, and Catholicism.
Politics, Polynesia, proof, and more. Martin Cate is one of the premiere minds in the Tiki movement. From a flowery shirt to his love of the halcyon beach escape days, his penchant for hosting and rum reaches its apex at San Francisco's Smuggler's Cove. Tiki is not only a cocktail movement but also a cultural one and Martin has captured its essence in his new book "Smuggler's Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki" We chat Depeche Mode, Gin, OFTD origin stories, and more.
Lifetime New Yorker, Stilo Pimentel has built a beautiful career out of his love of aesthetic and fashion. With crime all around and a seemingly small chance of leaving the tough neighborhood of his youth, Stilo used the inspiration of his family and art to build a larger life. Decades later, hospitality has defined so many chapters of his career. But as he finally leaves New York for Florida (in hurricane season) and begins his travels as the ambassador for Banks rum, where will his career take him next? We chat The Police, Wes Anderson, and Employees Only.
A natural caregiver, hospitality talent, and creative mind, USBG Austin's president Alexis Mijares is quickly making a name for herself in the national cocktail community. The Santa Rosa native with a penchant for flavors and fashion textiles came to Austin just a few years ago and has built an impressive resume. Now waiting for the looming Midnight Cowboy menu launch, Alexis set sights on the next cocktail competition and expanding her knowledge of the spirits industry. We chat the Grand Canyon, love, and dissolved friendships.
From early days in Florida to college antics at Texas State University, Olamaie's Erin Ashford epitomizes hospitality and possesses a deep curiosity about people. A familiar tale of a college degree not providing the opportunity that the burgeoning Austin hospitality could. Years later, she's reaching a creative apex and is evolving alongside the Austin cocktail renaissance. We chat Rum, Contigo, biscuits, and more.
French spirits and food are steeped in tradition. The terroir of France has given birth to some of the finest wines, cheeses, and brandies the world has ever seen. However, this deep tradition often lies as an obstacle in the face of innovation and creativity. Francois Thibault leveraged his many years of winemaking, Cognac distilling, and public service to create one of the biggest disruptions in France, Grey Goose Vodka. Made with winter wheat and a sense of rebelliousness, Francois is the ultimate Vodka pioneer. We chat fatherhood, tradition, and pastries.
Hailing from Garland, Texas, hospitality was not the initial path for Grey Goose's Ian Reilly. With a deep interest in experiences, writing, and philosophical thought, Ian pursued his passion for people via the pen on the page. But as his path became clearer, his best work was done behind the bar. His shift into brand work evolved into a deeper connection with the hospitality community and with himself. New to the Grey Goose team, what challenges does Ian see in the market and how will he address them? We talk writing, Gemini's, Francois Thibault, and more....