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Monday, September 25, 2017

Tales of the Cocktail co-founder Ann Tuennerman resigns

Posted By on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 3:05 PM

click to enlarge Ann Tuennerman announced her resignation from Tales of the Cocktail.
  • Ann Tuennerman announced her resignation from Tales of the Cocktail.

Tales of the Cocktail founder Ann Tuennerman and her husband Paul Tuennerman have stepped down from their leadership roles at the organization.

The announcement was made Saturday on the Tales of the Cocktail website. According to the statement, both Ann and Paul Tuennerman are “transitioning away from their roles in producing the world’s renowned cocktail event, Tales of the Cocktail, effective immediately.”

Tales was launched 15 years ago and initially offered tours and seminars to the public and cocktail industry people. It evolved into one of the largest annual events for the alcohol industry for bartenders. The multi-day conference, held each summer in New Orleans, draws bartenders and beverage industry professionals from all over the world for a series of seminars, tastings, product debuts and networking events.

Saturday’s bombshell came a day after the beverage industry website reported Ann Tuennerman’s decision to reinstate her husband to his TOTC position, which he had resigned from seven months prior. This past Carnival, the couple drew criticism following a widely publicized social media post of their participation in the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club parade. Ann Tuennerman was criticized by some for wearing blackface, which is worn by riders both black and white in the annual parade, while Paul Tuennerman was criticized for a comment he made that many deemed racially insensitive.

In an open letter to the Tales community, Ann Tuennerman apologized for the social media post afterwards, and called the action “naive and inconsiderate.”

Saturday’s announcement from the couple said the company that runs Tales of the Cocktail, MOJO911, will be helmed by Melissa Young, who has overseen the event as Director of Operation for the past nine years.

Ann Tuennerman was not immediately available for comment, but stated the following in the release:

"We have devoted our professional careers to the hospitality industry even before the formation of Tales of the Cocktail and the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society. Our goal has always been to create something lasting that can benefit the industry and the people of New Orleans well beyond our years. This allows that to continue.”

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