About Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
Tales of the Cocktail Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization, which is the global leader in spirits education and a platform to address issues facing the industry. The mission of the Foundation is to Educate, Advance, and Support the hospitality industry through programs that benefit individuals and organizations in the industry and to make a lasting impact in our host communities.
We believe in the power of education to advance the hospitality industry. TOTCF Programs connect the community to the knowledge of industry leaders and innovators via seminars surrounding spirits history, new craft techniques, business training, an online knowledge base, access to emerging products, and direct mentorship that can change career trajectory and lives.
We are a platform for thought leadership and development of standards around key issues facing our industry. Woven throughout our programs are professional networking and community building opportunities to better connect our diverse, global community. We accelerate the growth of the spirits industry through forward-thinking partnerships and mentorship programs, such as the Cocktail Apprentice Program, to develop the next generation of industry leaders.
We create lasting impact in the communities we serve through financial and promotional support programs geared toward individuals, organizations and communities that define the history and future of the industry. We provide direct resources in areas such as education, healthcare, addiction, sustainability and diversity.
Tales of the Cocktail?
Founded in 2002, Tales of the Cocktail? has grown from an annual walking tour of historic New Orleans cocktail bars to the world’s premier cocktail festival. Each year, the international bar and spirits industry is welcomed to New Orleans for a week of seminars, tastings, networking and special events. With hundreds of opportunities developed specifically for bartenders, distillers and other bar and spirits professionals, Tales of the Cocktail? is the industry’s annual meeting place for the exchange of new ideas, products and techniques. Tales of the Cocktail Foundation also produces Tales on Tour; supports the Cocktail Apprentice Program--an exclusive mentorship program for up-and-coming bartenders; distributes industry focused grants; curates Beyond the Bar programming; produces the Dame Hall of Fame? -- a collection of women who have made unique and lasting contributions to the global hospitality industry; and publishes bartender-focused educational content year-round on TalesoftheCocktail.org.
Tales on Tour
Following successful stops in Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and Edinburgh, Tales on Tour is popping up in Puerto Rico. This four-day festival features renowned bartenders sharing insights during a Day of Education, Beyond the Bar programming (centered on mental health and wellness programming), a Day of Service (community service projects to aid post-hurricane and earthquakes in Puerto Rico), Spirited Dinners, and the organization’s signature Cocktail Apprentice Program as we dive into Old San Juan's cocktail scene by night. Join us in San Juan, Puerto Rico in April 2020 to get a taste of what Tales of the Cocktail? is all about in an unforgettable city.
TOTCF Leadership TOTCF Leadership Team: Neal Bodenheimer, Board of Directors Co-chair; Gary Solomon, Jr., Board of Directors Co-Chair; and Caroline Nabors Rosen, Executive Director.
Gary Solomon Jr., Board Members
A native of New Orleans, Gary Solomon, Jr. has led the development and production of several of the country’s most popular events and attractions. He serves as the Consulting Producer for Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in New Orleans, and was responsible for striking the deal to feature the nationally televised broadcast’s first-ever Central Time Zone countdown. Gary also co-developed the historic Civic Theatre in New Orleans, transforming the city’s oldest theater into a modern, flexible, high-tech event venue. As President and Co-Founder of Solomon Group, he has served as Executive Producer for major events that include the College Football Playoff, ESSENCE Festival, and Katrina 10. Under his leadership, the entertainment design, production and management firm has been listed on the Inc. 5000 as one of America’s fastest-growing private companies for the past four years. Solomon Group creates eye-catching audience experiences for sports leagues and global brands including the NFL (Super Bowl, Draft), NBA (All-Star Weekend), NCAA (Men’s Final Four), NHL (upcoming All-Star Weekend), SXSW and more. He has also overseen the creation of jaw-dropping exhibits and interactive environments for George Washington’s Mount Vernon, The National WWII Museum and the upcoming Sazerac House currently underway. Gary was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30: World’s Coolest Young Entrepreneurs” list, and has been featured in The Atlantic, SUCCESS Magazine, Forbes and USA Today. Gary currently serves on the board of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is the past-Chair of The NOCCA Institute. Since 2011, Gary and Solomon Group have been a part of Tales of the Cocktail and provided production services for the Spirited Awards as well as major brand activations for the world’s premier cocktail festival.
Neal Bodenheimer, Board Member
Neal Bodenheimer is the owner, bartender and restaurateur behind Cure Co., which is comprised of acclaimed bars, Cure and Cane & Table, in New Orleans.