2021 Alumni: Cohort 2

Jeri Guilford

My name is Jeri Guilford and I was born and raised in New Orleans. I joined Turning Tables during its second time around. Learning about beer, wine and spirits changed the game for me. Bartending is an art, a lovely craft. Each glass whether it’s beer, wine, or spirits can tell a story if you take your time and appreciate it. Turning Tables is a safe space that encourages me and lets me know I can do whatever I put my mind to.

Touré and his crew have put me on a solid foundation by giving me an opportunity to take skills I've learned and use them. Bartending is a part of my life, it just feels right. I love interacting with guests and giving them the best experience.

Jeri is currently the Bar Manager for Mosquito Supper Club.

Jorge Rodas

My name is Jorge Miguel Rodas and I am a first-generation New Orleanian/American. My folks came to New Orleans from Honduras and Guatemala and I’ve been here ever since. The majority of my life has been dedicated to the study, and later the teaching, of classical music. My instrument, the viola, is something I hold close to my heart. For a time, it was really the only creative medium I had. Enter #TurningtablesNola, which has introduced a new way of expressing myself through spirits and given me so much knowledge I would otherwise never have gotten. The people I’ve met and the support system I’ve had at Turning Tables feels like an extension my support network. And to all my comrades out there, remember, “We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

Wine Curator: Columns Hotel, The Fives

Kennedy Proffit

Hey, my name is Kennedy AKA Kitty I came to Turning Tables to get a better idea of what bartending is and how I could incorporate something, my love, for learning about spirits and make money out of it. The program opened a whole new world up for me and I learned so much in such a short span of time. It got to the point where it was the end and I felt like I haven’t even scratched the top of the surface of things to learn! This was such a great program!

Hotel Chloe

Jay Deocampo

I'm Jay (they/them). I've worked in the service industry for more than a dozen years. I like wine and sour and bitter things. The experience I had at Turning Tables can't be replicated through years of hard work or through luck. This experience was the aggregate of the years, wisdom, and generosity of hundreds of individuals of diverse backgrounds, who over the last year (2020) felt the loss of their work, and who saw the opportunity to build towards a more equitable and better future. What resulted was a community bonded by that experience and those gifts. Bigger and better things await!

Dovetail, Tell Me Bar

Alana Peck

Hey! I’m Alana and I’m from Pasadena/Altadena, California. I’ve been living in New Orleans for the past 8+ years. I’ve spent the vast majority of my time out here in school and working in the field of education but consistently had an underlying desire to take up bartending as well. Thanks to Turning Tables, I’ve finally been able to tap into the industry and learn more than I’ve ever imagined! I’ve found out that beer isn’t as terrible as I initially thought and that I actually have an affinity for wine. I’ve also learned the history behind spirits, and the art of creating cocktails. I’ve loved every bit of this journey with Turning Tables and particularly enjoy the joy that I have been able to give others from behind the bar!

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Anjle Latiha

Hi! I’m Anjle! I’m a QTBIPOC neurodivergent artist, New Orleans native, and lover of food and beverages. I am honored to have been able to be a part of #TurningTablesNola. I’ve learned so much, and my curiosity has been sparked in so many different directions over the past few months. I am excited to continue to expand my knowledge and experience and to try on different hats in the industry that can marry my interests and use my skills in creative ways. I hope to return to event work and coordination in a safer, more equitable future, and could not ask for a better group of people to be surrounded by when we get there.

James Johnson

Hey Y’all! My name is James! When I am not strumming my guitar or skateboarding around the city, I am the creator/owner/operator of @flowstatejuiceco. My goal is to provide accessible health options that are approachable, hip, and beneficial for all peoples. No stranger to the highs and lows of the service industry, I was able to connect with and be part of #TurningTablesNola after a pop up brunch collaboration. I consider myself to be incredibly lucky to have been blessed with the knowledge and wisdom I have gained from this experience. My mind, as well as palette, have been opened up to so many wonderful tastes, ideas, and opportunities! I’m excited to grow and nurture the relationships I have acquired and find myself smiling at the thought of the future!

Listen Here

Bryan Diaz has been documenting Turning Tables through the stories and voices of alumni. since our pilot year in the Fall of 2020. Follow us through our journey.

Sazerac House Cocktail Competition