Tales of the Cocktail 2010

I want to record highlights of my apprenticeship at Tales of the Cocktail before the details become too fuzzy. A month ago now, this was an amazing experience for me and I could not have asked to work with a better group of people.

My fine feathered friend

Monday: Sat around a table of strangers at French 75, gulping coffee and waiting for the photo

shoot to begin. Who are all these strange, beautiful people? I sit, listen, and sip.
Tuesday: Wow, these strange, beautiful people ended up being amazing to work and play with, too.
We were all blessed, one by one, by New Orleans’ own Voodoo priestess, Sallie Ann Glassman. We were treated to a lovely ceremony with drumming and given our own gris gris bags.
Note to self: Cafe Amelie is closed on Mondays AND Tuesdays (sorry guys).
The rest of the afternoon was spent going over the game plan with detailed notes for certain seminars and important things to remember. I think I took some notes and may have actually retained some of this information because it certainly came in handy later.
Oh, I don’t have a room at the Monteleone? Dash back home to do a hasty change and pull myself together.
Then we marched to the Foundation Room at the House of Blues to mingle and have a taste of batched cocktails. I really didn’t care what it was as long I got a fabulously feathered martini glass (thanks, Frankie).
Where exactly was dinner? I apparently missed the meal and that was about all I could think about until I saw the Black Pearl perform. Holy SHIT! I mean, Dita’s nice and all, but damn.
This must have been the night we went back to French 75. Jeff confirmed my room at the Royal Sonesta (score). And I crashed.
Wednesday: Bright and early with Frankie C. and Sierra kicking total ass for Fresh Market. What a great start.
I unknowingly stole the staff lunch. Then I found the right room and got some of Rio Mar’s awesome food. Double win.
Finally found the Beefeater party, aerialists, bread pudding, photo booth, double-decker buses, and paced myself quite well, thank you very much. Picked up B for the Hendrick’s party (thanks Billy and Jared), more photos, and delicious libations abound. An entertaining ride back to the FQ and I still have that stack of group photos for everyone, btw.
Thursday: a total blur. I might have had a Caipirinha night cap.
Friday: LADIES ONLY: HANDS ON with TAG aka Senior Shake-Off. We classed up the joint with fried chicken (Billy, you’re a lifesaver).
Then on to a beautiful tasting setup at the RS. Bolted over to Iris for work where I was visited over the course of the evening by Chris & Chad, then Frankie and Company.
Saturday: I finally scored breakfast. I missed the Spirited Awards ceremony due to work, which I deeply regret. I was definitely needed at Iris that evening, but next year….NEXT YEAR.
Sunday: I worked alongside Trader Tiki himself, Blair Reynolds, and Summer, serving up Cumulus Clouds. Then headed off to the Monteleone pool to cool off and blissfully relaxed in our final Happy Hour meeting. I think most of us got at least a little teary-eyed. Then a fantastic liquor-raid which I now regret not being more enthusiastic about. But next year….NEXT YEAR.

What an epic adventure. I would be remiss if I did not record one of my favorite quotes of all time, which is “If you care about cocktails right now, you’re a &^*#$*^ a@%hole.”