TONY ABOU-GANIM The Modern Mixologist
Presenting: Negroni Brunch with Tony Sat, June 4, 11:45 am
Tony Abou-Ganim is one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world. He has made dozens of national TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNBC, Fox News and more. Abou-Ganim is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails and Vodka Distilled: The Modern Mixologist on Vodka and Vodka Cocktails. Abou-Ganim also has an instructional DVD, Modern Mixology: Making Great Cocktails at Home, hosted the Fine Living program Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs, and custom-designed line of Modern Mixologist bar tools. Abou-Ganim has also won three Iron Chef America competitions; pairing cocktails with Iron Chef Mario Batali; with Iron Chef Jose Garces and Chef Sean McClain. His books, tools and more at: Modern Mixologist.
Abou-Ganim grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan. His instruction was steeped in classic cocktails, professional barmanship and, later, hand-crafted cocktails. In 1993, he was the opening bartender at Po, Mario Batali’s first restaurant in NYC. Tony later opened Harry Denton’s Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel in San Francisco, and developed his first specialty cocktail menu featuring his original recipes including the Sunsplash, Starlight and his most famous, the Cable Car. In 1998, Abou-Ganim was selected by Steve Wynn to develop the cocktail program at Bellagio Las Vegas. He not only implemented his philosophy of bartending and drink preparation, stressing both quality ingredients and proper technique, but also created several original cocktails for the resorts 22 bars. In 2002 he won the Bacardi Martini World Grand Prix – one of only two Americans to ever win this title.
As one of the National Ambassadors of the U.S. Bartenders Guild, and Associate Member of the Museum of the American Cocktail, http://www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org, Abou-Ganim continues to educate about the history and lore of cocktails. He also operates his own beverage consulting firm specializing in bar staff training, product education and cocktail development.
JP DeLoera, Milagro Tequila Ambassador
Presenting: Hechos En Mexico June 5, 1:30 pm
Unprecedented talent, an extensive knowledge of tequila makes Milagro Tequila Ambassador, Juan Pablo De Loera (JP), an essential asset to the Milagro family. Like Milagro Tequila, JP has roots in Tepatitlan, located in the highlands of the state of Jalisco. In addition to Guadalajara, JP grew up in San Antonio, Texas, one of the most dynamic tequila markets in the world, which has led him to further his career and share his expertise internationally.
In 2008, JP began learning about the world of tequila through agave growers, jimadores and master distillers. His love of tequila led him to meet top bartenders and mixologists from all around the world. Inspired by the talent of his peers and the diversity of tequila in cocktails, JP opened 400 Conejos, a tequila and agave spirits cocktail bar in Guadalajara, Jalisco.
Wanting to continue to share his knowledge on tequila, he became an ambassador with Milagro Tequila in 2012. JP has since trained distributors, consumers, food and beverage teams, aficionados and top mixologists from across the world on tequila origin, production and cocktails. Currently, he works closely with the Texas team to drive Milagro’s on-trade presence through trainings, placements, media and events.
JP joined Milagro Tequila with a wealth of expertise in tequila, having been head of Brand Education & Training for Olmeca Tequila at Pernod Ricard and Brand Education and Public Relations Manager for Partida Tequila. JP received the “Técnico Tequilero” degree jointly from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara (UAG) and the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), the official Tequila governing body. In addition, he holds a Master Taster through the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila, Vino y Mezcal AC as well as a third recognition from Cultura y Capacitación de Tequila.
JP’s expertise has been highlighted at some of the country’s most renowned cocktail events such as San Antonio Cocktail Conference, Tales of the Cocktail, Arizona Cocktail Week, Austin Food & Wine and New Mexico Cocktails & Culture. He has been featured on various media outlets including Telemundo Dallas & Indianapolis, Univision Dallas, Fox KABB San Antonio, CW Dallas, ABC KSAT 12 and San Antonio Express News, to name a few.
JP is fluent in Spanish, English, French and is now working on mastering Chinese, Portuguese and Russian. He currently resides in San Antonio, Texas, and when he isn’t traveling, you can find him visiting contemporary art galleries and listening to jazz music.
Layla Linn, B.A.R. Certified Corporate Mixologist and Account Development Specialist
Presenting: Perfect Pairings: HONEY VARIETALS AND SPIRITS Sunday, June 5, 3 pm
Albuquerque native, Ms. Linn has been working as a beverage professional with over 20 years of hands on experience ~10 years in the restaurant and bar industry working behind the bar, as Beverage Manager, as well as General Manager roles, and now over 10 years within the Supplier Role as Market Manager and most currently, within Alliance Beverage Distributing Company as the Corporate Mixologist and Account Development Specialist. Layla has attended the renowned Beverage Alcohol Resource Program (BAR) and is B.A.R. certified. While studying the history of Spirits, Layla also went through numerous blind tastings as well as identifying and creating drink lists to match account needs. She has also traveled extensively across the world learning the history, allure, distilling process and utilization of all spirits, with a special passion for Tequila. Layla is a beverage expert who teaches Mixology seminars to both industry professionals & bar staff trainings, to Progressive Mixology seminars at exclusive resorts, and In-Home Mixology classes at accounts such as BevMo and Total Wine for beginners with the passion to entertain. Layla serves on the board for Arizona Cocktail Week and is also Advisor for the Phoenix Chapter of the USBG (United States Bartenders Guild). She also serves on the Arizona Restaurant Association Foodist Awards Nominations Guild, is a C.R.T Trained Tequila Expert and a Judge for multiple competitions throughout the country, including Diageo World Class.