NCF 2019 is proud to welcome a number of internationally recognized guest speakers, providing industry leading knowledge on cocktail trends, recipes, history and more.
Award winning author of Imbibe and Punch, David Wondrich is widely recognized as the leading authority on the history of the cocktail and the spirits that make them. His work has been featured on Conan O’Brien, GQ, Esquire and countless other publications. This year, David will be diving into the prehistory of rum.
See David speak at Polynesian Pop
El Dorado rums have been a bartender favorite for a long time, and as Master Distiller, Shaun has the exciting job of overseeing all aspects of distillation, aging and blending. In addition to having custom designed new stills for their distillery, Shaun has become one of the freshest voices in the world of rum and one voice we’ll be paying close attention to this year.
See Shaun speak at Polynesian Pop
Lucas Payá knows more about sherry than most. From receiving his Sommelier diploma in 2002 to becoming the Wine and Beverage Director for celebrity chef José Andrés in 2008, Lucas’ love and focus for sherry has helped lead the industry and he’s now the U.S National Brand Educator for Lustau. Come learn about the art, passion and nuance of sherry from a true global legend.
See Lucas speak at The Art Deco Party
Entrepreneur and tequila powerhouse Jason Fandrich is the owner of Cuestion Spirits Company who brings us Cuestion Tequila. Jason is also one of the few Americans to hold the title of “Experto Tequilera y Catador de Tequila”, and was awarded this in 2012.
See Jason speak at Apples to Apples
Recognized by Southern Living and Garden & Gun, Crude Bitters & Soda is North Carolina’s first bitters company, and owner Criag Rudewicz will be educating us on his company, his process and the role these hand crafted products play into the world of cocktails!
See Craig speak at Apples to Apples
Back by popular demand is the team from port wine importers Taylor Fladgate. Zach Mazur heads the ambassador program and will be teaching the history and future of the Portuguese fortified wine.
See Zach speak at Apples to Apples
KOVAL produces organic whiskey, liqueurs and specialty spirits in Chicago's first distillery since the mid-1800s. Embracing the grain-to-bottle mentality, each step of the spirit-making process is thoughtfully monitored: beginning with contracting local farmers to grow the grain, to on-site milling and mashing, to finally distilling, bottling, and packaging. Join us as we listen to KOVAL’s Nashville brand ambassador Michael Guido, who will take us through the unique steps that sets this brand apart!
See Michael speak at The Art Deco Party
Cognac vs. Armagnac. This is a question many are asking these days and Heavenly Spirits importer Christine Cooney will guide us through the history, the appellations, the soil, the fruit, the distillation and the aging process of these iconic French brandies. With Christine’s industry leading knowledge, you’ll come away with a clear understanding of the differences between Cognac and Armagnac, their cocktail applications and how they should be served.
See Christine speak at The Art Deco Party