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Tales of the Cocktail Tickets, Poppy Tooker’s Drag Brunch and Jazz Fest Food

This year marks the return of Tales of the Cocktail in person and also its 20th anniversary. Here is an excerpt of a press release issued by the organization:

Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) is pleased to announce that the 2022 Tales of the Cocktail® (TOTC) tickets and conference agenda are now available via the Foundation’s website. Commemorating its 20-year anniversary, TOTC will return for an in-person celebration in New Orleans from July 25-29, 2022, and to toast this momentous occasion, TOTC is presenting a curated lineup of seminars, events, and, of course, festivities all in the name of “progress” — the conference’s official 2022 theme.

Attendees can expect TOTC’s signature educational initiatives, including more than 70 unique sessions, seminars and panels, Beyond the Bar activations, the Diversity Distilled Career Fair, Day of Service, Meet the Distillers, an all-new New Orleans Cocktail Tour series, the annual Spirited Awards®, and more. Additionally, TOTC will offer a mix of in-person programming at the official host hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, plus digital programming via the virtual TOTCF platform, allowing guests from near and far to enjoy the conference’s programming.

I’ve written about Tales every year since its inception, and I guess I didn’t realize this would be the 20th year the event’s been held. I also have trouble remembering how old I am, though, so I should not be surprised. It’s a more industry-focused event than most, but there are ample opportunities for those of us not directly involved the business of cocktails to participate, and buying tickets now seems like a pretty good idea if you plan to attend.

My pal Poppy Tooker’s Drag Brunch returns to Tujague’s restaurant on May 29, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There’s a three-course menu that starts with a choice of gumbo or crawfish and corn chowder, a second course of duck hash or barbecue shrimp and grits; dessert is bread pudding and you can have as many mimosas as you like (though presumably if you get completely knockered and start throwing things they’ll cut you off).

That’s in addition to the performance by what Poppy’s website describes as a “bevy of rollicking drag queens.” Sounds like a pretty awesome time, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit CrescentCare, an organization that “provides high quality and culturally humble care to the entire New Orleans community. We are particularly focused on our Greater New Orleans neighbors who come from traditionally medically underserved communities: the service industry, the LGBTQ community, the uninsured and the underinsured, immigrants, and communities of color.”

Did you go to Jazz Fest, and if so, what did you eat? I made it on the second Saturday when a friend offered me a ticket. We had a blast and I got to eat the lamb tagine from Jamilla’s Café, a place I wish I visited more often. I also got to eat some homemade cracklins that were meaty and delicious, though that was pre-fest, at another friend’s home a few blocks away from the Fairgrounds.

I suppose I could have looked for some of the new offerings, but man I love that tagine. Let me know if I missed anything new and noteworthy.


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