Tales of the Cocktail announced their Cocktail Apprentice Class of 2019 and Kaleena Goldsworthy, owner of The Bitter Bottle and formerly of Flying Squirrel, has been selected to fill one of 20 spots as a leader (Grey Coat) for the second year in a row.
Ms. Goldsworthy was selected as a first year (Red Coat) apprentice in 2016.
Since 2008, each year the Cocktail Apprentice Program provides 40 accomplished and up-and-coming bartenders the opportunity to learn alongside some of the world’s most respected bartenders and cocktail experts as they work the seminars and large-scale events at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (July 16-21). These first-time apprentices will be joined by an experienced group of veteran apprentices, who will use their previous apprentice experience to lead this year’s program.
Throughout the festival, apprentices can be identified by the color of their chef coats: white for managers, black for assistant managers, grey for leaders, and red for first-time apprentices.
“Each year, the CAP leadership team spends several weeks reading hundreds of hopeful applications, both for returning caps (Grey Coats) as well as 40 new apprentices each year (Red Coats). It is a challenging process, but in the end we are thrilled to both welcome back the returning apprentices, as well as extending a invitation to the CAP family to our 40 new apprentices for Tales of the Cocktail 2019.” - Cris Dehlavi, Trevor Kallies, John Deragon, A-K Hada, Scott Tipton.
This year’s incoming class, known as Red Coats, hail from 17 U.S. states; Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico; and five countries including Canada, Germany, Kenya, Singapore and the U.K.
Apprentices were selected through a competitive process that considered recipe submissions, professional experience, and ability to work with a fast-paced, global team. The team was selectively chosen in order to promote global diversity and ensure that a balance exists between newer and more experienced professionals, said officials.
By working directly with seminar presenters, program apprentices hone their skills while simultaneously learning about both the history and future of their craft. After the festival, apprentices are able to apply their new skills to their home and work environments, making the experience of being a CAP member a long-term investment.
In addition to technical skills, the professional connections and the team camaraderie fostered during the event have been consistently praised by former members as the most valuable assets the program has given them.
“Walking into the back of the house during Tales New Orleans and seeing the group of 69 CAPs, 40 of whom are first-time Red Coats, work together to execute large quantities of incredibly high-caliber cocktails astounds me,” said Neal Bodenheimer, co-chair of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation. “I have immense appreciation and admiration for all that the CAPs do to make our Foundation’s events a success. Their time at Tales is physically exhausting, and it is remarkably fueled by people who continue to give from their hearts and minds to elevate our craft and set a standard internationally for hospitality and service.”
After Tales concludes, CAP members will be eligible to apply for the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program. Founded by Tales of the Cocktail Foundation, the Scholarship Program has annually helped former apprentices pursue further learning opportunities for the past nine years. After undergoing a rigorous selection process, former apprentices are selected to receive funding for a wide variety of projects, from those designed to further their career to those designed with intent to educate the cocktail community.
For more information about the CAP, including bios of this year’s team and information on how to apply for next year (application opens in January 2020), please visit talesofthecocktail.org/participate/cocktail-apprentice-program/.