Ann Tuennerman resigns from Tales of the Cocktail
The founders of Tales of the Cocktail, Ann and Paul Tuennerman, have stepped down from the company with immediate effect.
Melissa Young, previously director of operations for TOTC, will now lead the event – the world’s largest spirit and cocktail festival, which is held annually in New Orleans – as its president.
“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,” said Ann Tuennerman.
“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.”
Paul Tuennerman added: “It has been an honour to spend the last 15 years working within the industry to create something extraordinary. I am fortunate in that I have had the opportunity to work alongside some amazing bartenders, spirit producers, authors, and educators, from around the globe.
“While Ann and I have mixed emotions, we are excited about the next chapter in our lives, and look forward to watching the event continue to evolve and flourish.”
Paul Tuennerman previously announced his resignation as TOTC’s chief business officer officer in March this year following a row over a ‘blackface’ video of his wife, Ann. A Facebook Live status posted by Ann showed her with a black painted face during a Mardi Gras parade, accompanied by an offensive caption. Both later apologised for the content.
According to Neat Pour, Ann circulated an email last week claiming that Paul had been reinstated at TOTC – though this information has not yet been confirmed.
Ann and Paul Tuennerman have not shared any further details on their departure and have not disclosed what their next projects will be.
Click here to see Ann Tuennerman’s interview with The Spirits Business, published earlier this year.