2019 Speakers

  • A

  • Alex Ruas

    An Oslo based designer and entrepreneur passionate about innovation. A former bartender, he has taken his bartending experience and uses it to build the best bars of the future.

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    Alvar Roosima

    Alvar first studied milk and dairy work in Germany after high school. His Ciders have since found their way into Michelin-decorated restaurants, champagne bars and finest hotels globally.

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    Annabel Smith

    Annabel is a freelance beer sommelier and is a trainer, writer, consultant and public speaker to both the beer industry and consumers, under her company name BeerBelle.

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  • Anne McHale MW

    Anne is an award-winning Master of Wine, independent wine consultant and wine educator based in London. She has worked for Mistral Wines, New Zealand Wines and the John Lewis Partnership.

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    Ara Carvallo

    Ara is a respected entrepreneur who has three Master of Science degrees, including one in Environmental Sciences where she pioneered research on sustainability in the drinks industry.

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  • C

  • Charlie Holland

    With nearly 20 years of winemaking experience Charlie has worked in a some of the best wine producing regions around the world including stints in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France and the USA.

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    Charlie Matthews

    Charlie is Opus One’s Export Manager for Europe. Prior to joining Opus One in 2015, he worked with Mähler–Besse, one of Bordeaux’s most historic négociants.

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    Chris Baker

    Chris joined The Benevolent in 2016. He is responsible for helping the Chief Executive to broaden and expand the Benevolent’s individual supporter and corporate partnership schemes.

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  • Christine Parkinson

    Christine created the wine list for Hakkasan in 2001, and became Head of Wine for the group, which includes Michelin-starred restaurants. She recently won the Imbibe 'Industry Legend' award.

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    Claire Warner

    Claire joined the alcohol-free world of Seedlip in January 2018 as Managing Director, New Brands. In 2015, she was awarded Best International Brand Ambassador at Tales of the Cocktail.

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    Clément Robert MS

    Clément has worked as a sommelier and wine buyer for busy brasseries, Michelin-starred restaurants and five stars hotels. He became a Master Sommelier in 2015.

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  • D

  • David Havlik

    David Havlik is a Head Sommelier at Gauthier Soho, one of the pioneers in vegan fine dining revolution. David oversees the running of the wine program with emphasis on organic and vegan wines.

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    David Sheen

    David Sheen, Director of Public Affairs at UKHospitality, specialises in issues regarding tax, business rates, VAT and employment. He has been a vigorous champion of the hospitality sector for over a decade.

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  • F

  • Fergus Fitzgerald

    Head Brewer at Adnams since 2008. Creator of Ghost Ship, now almost 9 years young, and knows more than he would like about the classifications of low and no alcohol beers.

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  • G

  • Gabe Cook

    Gabe hails from the heart of ciderland and has cider running through his veins. He has worked for the last decade for everyone from a traditional cider farm to the world's largest producer.

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    Garrett Oliver

    Garrett is the brewmaster of The Brooklyn Brewery, winner of the 2014 James Beard Award for Outstanding Wine, author of The Brewmaster’s Table, and a foremost authority on beer.

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    Guillaume Le Dorner

    Guillaume, AKA ‘G’, moved to Cognac city in France in 2017 to work on an exciting project: opening the first bar dedicated to Cognac and Cognac cocktails, Bar Luciole.

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  • Guy Sarton du Jonchay

    Guy's background is both French and Argentinean – two great winegrowing countries – predisposing him to become a wine lover. He became the head of Vidal-Fleury in 2008.

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  • H

  • Hannah Lanfear

    Hannah is one of the key Spirits Educators at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust in London and is the founder of The Mixing Class, a company dedicated to education within the drinks industry.

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    Hannah Sharman-Cox

    Hannah started in hospitality at the award-winning members club Milk & Honey, London. She worked alongside Simon Difford from 2007, who encouraged her to start London Cocktail Week.

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    Heidi Bjerkan

    Heidi Bjerkan is the chef de cuisine and owner of Credo Restaurant in Trondheim. She is passionate about raising awareness of local food systems and preserving traditional food cultures.

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  • I

  • Isa Bal MS

    Isa is a consultant Master Sommelier with extensive experience in the hospitality industry. He worked for over 12 years at The Fat Duck, as Group Head Sommelier.

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  • J

  • Jack Wakelin

    Jack has lived and worked in Sheffield for the past six years, five of which have been for the ‘Rockingham Group’, comprising of Public, The Great Gatsby and The Picture House Social.

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    Jacob Briars

    Jacob Briars is one of the leading figures in the global cocktail and spirits community, and the director of advocacy for Bacardi, the world's largest family-owned drinks company.

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    Jaega Wise

    Jaega’s background is in the field of Chemical Engineering. Combining expertise in mathematics, engineering & logistics Jaega leads the brewing team at Wild Card.

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  • James Forbes

    Current chair of The Three Counties Cider & Perry Association, James Forbes founded Little Pomona Orchard & Cidery in 2015 with his wife, Susanna.

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    James Fowler

    James has been in the industry for 18 years. In 2014, he was awarded the UK Diageo World Class Bartender of the year title. He is now the local ambassador for Action Against Hunger.

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    James Simpson MW

    James was the youngest to qualify as a Master of Wine in 1992. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Vintners, was formally theChairman of the WSET Trusteesand is now a non-executive director at Timothy Taylor's brewery.

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  • Jan Konetzki

    Jan started a career in several Michelin star restaurants, culminating in the position as head sommelier at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. He is one of the world’s most exceptional sommeliers.

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    Jane Parkinson

    Jane is an award winning wine journalist, broadcaster and author. She’s the wine expert for BBC1’s weekly show Saturday Kitchen Live and wine editor for Restaurant.

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    Jane Peyton

    Jane is an alcoholic drinks expert, broadcaster, pub expert, writer, public speaker, and founder of the School of Booze. She won several awards including Drinks Educator of the Year.

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  • Jean Trimbach

    Born in 1960, Jean Trimbach 12th generation is the son of Bernard Trimbach brother of Hubert Trimbach, eleventh generation. Jean Trimbach joined the Trimbach company in 1985.

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    Jeremy Scorer

    Spending 15 years as the owner/operator of a small group of pubs in the East Midlands, Jeremy specialises in the development and delivery of skills and training solutions for the hospitality sector.

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    Jim Cathcart

    Jim joined UKHospitality in 2018 to lead UKH’s work across a wide range of issues including digital and online platforms, food regulation, nutrition, alcohol licensing, copyright and the late-night economy.

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  • Jonny Mills

    Jonny co-owns Mills Brewing with partner Genevieve. They make beer with minimal modern intervention, relying on local wild yeast cultures and the influence of nature to ferment.

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    Judith Boyle

    Accredited beer sommelier, chemist and publican Judith Boyle is passionate about drinks. Judith was selected to be a Fáilte Ireland (Irish Tourist Board) food champion.

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  • K

  • Kat Hounsell

    Everyday People is an ongoing supporter of The Benevolent's work and the #NotAlone campaign. Kat Hounsell is a drinks industry veteran and Founder of Everyday People, the business consultancy that helps organisations thrive.

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  • L

  • Lucy Britner

    Lucy has been a drinks journalist for 14yrs. She has held several prominent roles in drinks journalism, including editor of World's 50 Best Bars. Her work has appeared across the industry –from Square Meal to Decanter and Imbibe.

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  • M

  • Mackenzie Paton

    Mackenzie Paton is part of the Ata Rangiclan, growing up on the vineyard and stubbornly ignoring the possibility of ever working in wine. She now holds a diploma in Wine Business and WSET Level 3, and is currently working on the Brand Management team at Liberty Wines in London.

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    Maria Canabal

    Maria Canabal is an award-winning journalist, trends hunter, lecturer and curator who lives in Paris, Madrid and Copenhagen. She writes about food, travel and lifestyle for the world-renowed magazines: MONOCLE, GOURMET, VOGUE Casa, Le Nouvel Observateur and for The world’s 50 Best Restaurants Blog.

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    Mark McCulloch

    Mark is one of the leading Brand, Marketing and Digital minds in Europe. He now runs premium brand and marketing strategy consultancy Supersonic Inc. based in London and Brighton.

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  • Megs Miller

    Megs has spent years travelling the world, working in the best cocktail bars with her passion for agave. She built Comunidad's new bar FAM and is the Global Tahona Society Ambassador.

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    Miguel López

    Miguel López is the Head Coach and Founder of Lab for Fitness. Fully Certified Personal Trainer on Level 2 & 3, FMT Certified Rock Doc by ROCKTAPE, alongside other fitness certifications.

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    Mitch Adams

    Mitch was appointed Operations Manager and Beer Buyer for importer & distributor Euroboozer. With a background working for Mitchells & Butlers Castle group, operating his own rural pub as well as London Brewing Co brewpub The Bull in Highgate. He is also a certified Beer Sommelier.

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  • Monica Berg

    Monica Berg is one of the leading bartenders coming out of Scandinavia and is this year's Imbibe Live Spirits Ambassador. Her work includes Muyu liqueurs and the upcoming bars project Tayēr + Elementary.

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  • N

  • Neil Walker

    Neil Walker is Head of PR & Marketing at the Society of Independent Brewers. He is also a Director of the British Guild of Beer Writers, beer writer and communicator.

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    Nicky Kong

    Nicky Kong holds the advanced qualification in beer from the Beer and Cider Academy and has recently set up a 12 month Manchester cider club which is proving a great success for the resurgence of cider!

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  • P

  • Paolo Tonellotto

    Paolo has worked in F&B for around 20 years. He has been one of Imbibe's personalities of the year. He works with Campari as their Italian Spirits Ambassador for the U.K.

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    Pete Brown

    Pete Brown is a British writer who specialises in making people thirsty. He is the author of eight books, and wrote the annual Cask Report for its first nine years. He was named Beer Writer of the Year in 2009, 2012 and 2016.

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    Peter Richards MW

    Peter Richards is a Master of Wine and TV presenter, familiar to millionsthrough this broadcasting work on the likes of the BBC, Sky One, ESPN, Food Network, BBC radio and beyond.

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  • Pietro Collina

    Pietro has been immersed in the restaurant industry since the age of 16, starting as a chef in Roussillon in London before transitioning to the bar. Firstly by receiving his certified Court of Master Sommelier certificate. In 2014 Pietro joined the NoMad team and in 2018 became East Coast Bar Director of "Make it Nice Hospitality".

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    Pippa Guy

    Pippa has spent the last two years growing with the American bar in The Savoy and receiving many awards along the way. Pippa last year wrote her first cocktail book, “Let’s Get Fizzical” published by DK in November 2018.

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  • R

  • Rishi Malliwal

    During the past eleven years Rishi has started his own law firm and helped numerous entrepreneurs and businesses solve their most important corporate and commercial problems.

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    Robert Wood

    Robert Wood opened his first solo venture Smultronstalle in his adopted home Birmingham in 2016 after opening the award winning 40 St Paul’s & Edgbaston Boutique Hotel.

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    Roger Jones

    Roger is a renowned chef, having held a Michelin Star for 12 years in a row, and owner of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn. Roger founded The Mamba Riedel Decanter Awards.

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  • Rupert Ponsonby

    Rupert is a beer writer, co-founder of The Beer Academy, keenly interested in pairing beers with foods, and attempts to farm Maris Otter barley, wheat, sheep and pigs in the deepest Cotswolds.

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    Ruth Simpson

    Ruth and her husband Charles have been making award winning wines at Domaine de Sainte Rose since 2002. They established Simpsons’ Wine Estate in the North Downs of Kent.

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  • S

  • Sam Caporn MW

    Sam has been in the wine trade for over twenty years and has travelled the world extensively, buying and blending wines. She owns a wine consultancy business – The Mistress of Wine.

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    Sam Wilkin

    Sam is an experienced cheesemonger supplying the high-end restaurant and hotel market. He also produces his own Cellarman Podcast and The Fine Food Podcast for The Guild of Fine Food.

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    Sarah Abbott MW

    Sarah joined the wine trade in 1996. After 10 years working for wine importers, Sarah founded her business, Swirl, in 2006. She is Co-Chair of the International Wine Challenge.

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  • Siobhan Payne

    Siobhan started her career in PR in 2009 working for major drinks brands. When she joined Hannah at diffordsguide.com, they grew London Cocktail Week to its renowned status in the world.

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    Sly Augustin

    Born and bred in Notting Hill, it was almost fate when Sly Augustin became the owner of West London’s acclaimed mid-century tiki community bar, Trailer Happiness in 2012.

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    Stewart Cumming

    Stewart ran pubs around Hampshire and Surrey before returning to Brighton. He's heading up the award winning Curry Leaf Cafe and enjoys the local food and drink scene with his family.

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  • Susan Boyle

    Susan is a writer, storyteller, performer and drinks consultant. She is one half of Two Sisters Brewing. She is also an award winning member of the Guild of Beer Writers.

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  • T

  • Tim Anderson

    Tim Anderson is a chef, restaurateur, author & MasterChef Winner. Tim counts his main influences as his American heritage along with his love for regional Japanese cooking.

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    Tom Oliver

    Tom Oliver is a visionary and custodian of traditions. This year alone has seen Tom win Champion Cidermaker at the Hereford International Cider Competition and Champion Perrymaker at the Royal Bath & West.

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  • W

  • William Rowe

    William Rowe is the founder and CEO of Protein, a business that helps businesses grow. Protein has built a global community of diverse and influential voices from start-ups and scale-ups.

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