Some of the key speakers presenting at this year’s Top Shelf are:
Jeff moved to New York City from the Pacific Northwest in 2007 and began cutting his teeth in the city’s vibrant cocktail scene. Before long he found himself under the tutelage of Jim Meehan, and eventually came to take the reigns of PDT, arguably one of the world’s most famous cocktail bars. Jeff went on to win a number of awards, including being crowned the 2013 Diageo World Class US Bartender of the Year. Since then Jeff has been chewing through pages on his passport, while still overseeing that the highest standards are adhered to at PDT, where he can be found on any given night.
Jim is the author of the award-winning PDT Cocktail Book, named after the legendary New York City cocktail bar that he opened in 2007. A slew of international awards later, including ‘World’s best cocktail bar’ at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in 2009 and the ‘Outstanding bar program award’ from the James Beard Foundation in 2012 – Jim now splits his time between the city and the rolling hills of Portland, Oregon, where he is hard at work on his next book. These days he spends just as much time with a pen in his hand as a cocktail shaker, regularly contributing to a number of publications, as well as developing a cocktail app, a range of high-end bar tools, and even a Bloody Mary spice blend that he co-developed with Lior Sercarz.
Charlotte is Company Mixologist with William Grant & Sons USA. A former UK Bartender of the Year, she has consulted on projects such as the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, and The Dorchester, London. She regularly appears on TV and her cocktail Punch & Judy was named Cocktail of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail 2008 in New Orleans.
Having cut his teeth in Australia’s bar sector, Naren travelled the world training bartenders and consulting, before settling in New York. Under his guidance, Saxon + Parole was crowned World’s Best Restaurant Bar at Tales of the Cocktail in 2013. His latest venture, his own venue Dante, is located in New York’s Greenwich Village.
As Beverage Director of Rockpool Group, Melbourne, David oversees all of the beverage sourcing, purchasing, staff training and the writing of wine lists at Rockpool Bar & Grill, Spice Temple and Rosetta. For three years he was head sommelier at Vue de Monde and is currently the President of Sommeliers Australia so when it comes to all things vinous, this man knows his stuff.
Caroline Childerley is the founder and editor of The Gin Queen, a website devoted to gin. She tastes, reviews, shares recipes and interviews industry movers and shakers. Since the launch in 2013 she has hosted sell-out gin tastings and was published in Alquimie magazine. She loves to share her passion for the juniper juice and the best ways to drink it!
Richard’s beer has been drunk in New York bars, pool halls in Beijing, and English pubs. He founded Young Henrys Brewing Company in 2012, a little brewery with big ideas in the heart of creative Newtown, Sydney. Young Henry’s approach to beer has been centred around the love of music, art and culture collaborating to make unique brews with the likes of You Am I, Big Village Records, Front End Loader, FBi Radio, Smith Journal Magazine and Sydney Living Museums. The brewery has held many showcases of emerging visual artists. The beer itself has a loyal local following and is highly regarded by the critics and punters alike. Richard has been the recipient of over 40 International Medals for his beers and just recently took out the Gold Medal at the JD Wetherspoons International Real Ale Festival in the UK.
Jason began his career in London, working for the likes of Ian Schrager Hotels, before moving to Sydney. His achievements here include the setting up of the groundbreaking Zeta bar, the creation of the pioneering bartender education program Mixxit, and the founding of The Imperial Portfolio of Victorian-era luxury bar devices.
Daniel started his working life as a builder before discovering his true passion – hospitality. His current venture, The Noble Experiment, opened in early 2014 and includes an upstairs cocktail bar, a US-inspired street-level dining area and a 120-seater basement bar. Building great venues and managing terrific teams is Daniels specialty. He knows how to makes guests feel at home and strives to ensure they are having a good time, while guaranteeing terrific food, great drinks and excellent service.
Seb is the owner and manager of Bad Frankie, a bar specialising in Australian craft spirits in Fitzroy, Melbourne and has built an entire bar from the craft spirits produced in Australia. So devoted to the Aussie craft spirits industry the bar doesn’t actually stock any international spirits at all. Seb has been bartending and managing bars for 15 years.
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