New chapter for Tales

Tales of the Cocktail is now under new ownership bringing to an end a controversial period for the New Orleans festival.

New co-chairs Gary Solomon Jr of the local philanthropic Solomon Family and Cure’s Neal Bodenheimer finalised the purchase from co-founders Anne and Paul Tuennerman, who in 2017 were embroiled in a race row and faced questions as to the legitimacy of Tales' charity status.

Tales of the Cocktail will now transition to becoming a non-profit organisation.

The new board has appointed Caroline Nabors Rosen as the executive director, who has experience running scholarships and non-profit organisations in the hospitality industry.

The new team plans to grow TOTC into a resource that "directly benefits the spirits industry and New Orleans". It has pledged to increase education access, diversity, inclusion while also addressing other issues impacting the industry, including sexual assault and addiction.

The New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society will be rebranded as Tales of the Cocktail Foundation and has committed to giving $250,000 to causes that support the spirits community in its first year.

Following TOTC 2018, a subcommittee of representatives from the spirits and cocktail industry will oversee the donation process.

A statement read: “Over the last two months, co-chairmen Gary Solomon Jr and Neal Bodenheimer have done due diligence listening and visiting those within the spirits community to gather critical feedback needed to breathe new life into TOTC.

“Solomon and Bodenheimer plan to put an emphasis on educational elements throughout the multi-day event in addition to a focus on enhancing the attendee experience, making it more accessible to everyone in the spirits industry with hopes to keep it alive for years to come - not only for the community, but the city of New Orleans as well.”