Via Voyage Phoenix— “I create work in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional mediums. I work in watercolor, micron pens, acrylic metallics and organic stains. I enjoy the contrasting variations of mediums on cotton watercolor paper. Along with selling my original pieces, I offer my artwork in other mediums such as giclée prints, stickers, temporary tattoos, postcards and greeting cards. In addition to my paintings and illustrations, I also love making ceramics. Most of my work is created with terra cotta stoneware and earthenware.”
Via Carrie Mae— Carrie Mae Rose is currently focusing on building wings out of collected and found agave leaves. She believes we humans are 1/2 animal and 1/2 angel. The wings represent a personal healing transformation of our more spiritual parts, a release and expansion beyond trauma, fear and protection. Rose began working with the Arizona desert-grown agave plant in the 2000 while living in Prescott.
Don Guerra of Barrio Bread is a skilled artisan baker and forward thinking entrepreneur who has worked diligently to develop Barrio Bread, a true neighborhood bakery that showcases the art and science of Don’s passion for baking and his commitment to community. The bakery is dedicated to exceptional quality ARTisan bread, created with centuries-old baking techniques and locally grown heritage grains. Don also works to promote the local food movement, and showcase heritage grains.
Robert is a proud Tucsonan deeply in love with the Sonoran region. He has been studying, exploring, and documenting the region's biological and cultural diversity (often with violin in tow) most of his 32 years. He considers himself a third-generation follower in the footsteps of botanist Howard Scott Gentry, the father of, and still the greatest authority on, Agave study. Finally, Robert is a mezcal disciple. He believes that to drink mezcal is to imbibe the highest expression of Mexican terroir. Indeed, our distinctly Sonoran bacanora and lechuguilla may be considered a love letter to the land where north and south embrace.
Dr. Jonathan Mabry is Director of Community Engagement for the College of Social and Behavioral Science at the University of Arizona. He received his doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. His archaeological investigations have documented new information about the transition to agriculture and development of irrigation in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands during prehistory. He was an early leader in the local and heritage foods movements in southern Arizona, and was co-author with Gary Nabhan and others on the application that obtained designation of Tucson as the first UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in the U.S. He serves as the President of the community-based non-profit organization managing the designation.
Via Spirits of Mexico — Master Mezcalier Khrys Maxwell is a driving force and personality in the world of agave. His work with Fortaleza Tequila has led him to become one of the foremost authorities on agave in the industry. Also an avid educator of industry professionals in Jalisco and Oaxaca, Khrys has traveled to over 50 distilleries studying all aspects of agave production and flavor. His efforts in education and agave advocacy were awarded in 2012 with a DISTINTIVO T by the CRT. Khrys continues to travel the world discussing the emerging agave categories and preservation of this threatened raw material. He remains at the forefront of the agave narrative as an educator and public personality.
Ben Wilder’s research is broadly focused in desert ecology and botany. He is the acting director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill. Wilder also works with Dr. Christopher Scott in the administration of CAZMEX, the Consortium for Arizona-Mexico Arid Environments. Wilder values the incorporation of diverse perspectives and the powerful results made possible via collaboration. In his role as director of the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers, he strives to create opportunities for collaboration across borders and disciplines and a more holistic understanding and appreciation for the Sonoran Desert.
Via 3 Story Media— David Clark has been the lead mixologist at Hotel Congress for over 10 years. He loves it when his customers say, “Make me something.” Like many bartenders, he loves to get to know and be tested by his customers. “I enjoy making things based on what people like,” he says.
Dan is the Director of Bat Conservation International’s Habitat Conservation & Restoration Program and oversees BCI’s new Bats and Agave Restoration Initiative. Dan has more than 30 years of experience working on wildlife and conservation in the U.S., Central America, and Africa and has been with BCI for 20 years, the last 15 focusing on bats and water, rangeland, and forest conservation in the Southwest. Dan was formerly a Forest Service biologist in Arizona, Oregon, and Montana and served as the first director of the Cockscomb Basin Jaguar Preserve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize. He holds a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Montana and a Master’s of Science in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, where he studied bats and seed dispersal in the rainforest canopy of West Africa.
Founder and Director of rezpiral, artisanal mezcal import project that realizes an agave nursery and profit share practice. Alex started rezpiral as a means of creating marketplace inclusion for independent artisans and their traditional spirits traditionally excluded. The project also strives to give importance to economic redistribution, transparency and ecological responsibility in international trade.
Gina Murphy-Darling, the founder and voice of the Mrs. Green’s World platform, has transitioned from a local radio personality in Tucson, Arizona, to a trusted national voice and educator on global sustainability efforts. Through her bi-weekly podcasts, website, trainings and social media network she and her team educate and bring awareness to climate crisis solutions and seek to bridge the divide between urgency and action. Publishing her debut book in February 2015, Your Mother Called(Mother Earth)…You’d better call her back, she is a sought after speaker and green team consultant.
The Founder, Owner and Executive Chef of BOCA Tacos y Tequila on the Historic 4th Avenue in Downtown Tucson, Maria Mazon has built a reputation for channeling her creativity into world-renowned artistic, original tacos and salsas. Born in Tucson Arizona but raised in Navojoa Sonora, she has made her mission, to elevate Mexican cuisine by showcasing what she calls True Mexican. Staying away what people have interpreted as Mexican food in Tucson and the US, just by cooking the way she grew up eating and respecting the beauty of Mexican Gastronomy. Opening Boca was honoring her home town by naming her restaurant after a close beach she grew up going to, Las Bocas, Sonora.
From Délice Network City Lyon, France
I have been bartender for 17 years in Lyon, France. After mixing drinks for a decade I found my inspiration in the London cocktail scene, in the “speakeasies” and the Japanese bar scene. I tend to develop a new original french style: a mix of classicism, elegance and modernism « à la française ». Now, I am the bar owner of a classic cocktail bar called L’ANTIQUAIRE, Lyon where I manage a team of 5 people + L’Officine Bar at Le Grand Réfectoire where I manage a team of 10. I first start bartending in 2002 then I opened the SODA BAR in 2006 with Arnaud Grosset as business partner. Finally in 2010, I decided to have my very own cocktail bar – L’ANTIQUAIRE was born. I started doing bartender competition in 2007. In 2009, I won the famous “Trophées du bar” organized by the worldwide recognized Fernando Castellon. In 2010, I competed in the Grand Prix Bacardi Martini where I ended second. Finally, January 2011, I won the French Legacy Cocktail Competition and then the very first Global Bacardi Legacy in April 2011. From now on I still manage my 2 bars, doing consultancy, train people, work for brands, and travel as much as possible. Beside bartending, I love analog photography, travels, fashion and everything that goes with elegance.
Diego Valencia Domínguez
From Délice Network City Mérida, Mexico.
Originally from Celaya, Guanajuato, Diego relocated to Playa del Carmen where he developed an early appreciation for permaculture, and later, an interest in bar management and mixology.
At Almirante Pech in Playa del Carmen, Diego began his training as a bar back and rapidly transitioned into bartending and mixology. After various years in Playa, he made his way south toward the more relaxed beach town vibes of Tulum.
Diego refined his passion for finely distilled Mexican Mezcal upon arriving in Tulum, where he began to learn the process of production from some of the best Mezcaleros in Mexico.
In 2016, Diego’s commitment to sustainability led him to develop and create a line of 100% organic and biodegradable lemon grass straws, now present in hotels, restaurants, and bars along the Riviera Maya.
He can currently be found studying and developing new techniques and using different ingredients behind the bar at ARCA, where he is continuing to hone his creativity and progressive thinking as Head Bartender.
From Délice Network City Cali, Columbia
Born in Bogotá, Carlos Gaitán has been living in Cali for 15 years now, not only because he fell in love with the city, but because he saw the opportunity of taking mixology to another level in a place where as he says: “there´s room for craft drinks”. Behind the bar, this business manager who decided to leave his profession to devote himself to mixology, manages to make exquisite and surprising cocktails with viche and tomaseca, original drinks from the African-American community in the area. Carlos was named Colombia's ambassador for Campari in 2016 and is well know for making an amazing negroni that has macerated viche with lulo, a fruit that grows in the Valle del Cauca.
From Délice Network City, Brussels, Belgium
Pierre is a French bartender based in Brussels who has been one of the leading forces behind the rise of our local cocktail scene over the last 5 years.
2013-2015: Barman, Le Tigre cocktail bar Brussels 2015-2017:Head Bartender, Green Lab cocktail bar Brussels 2016: Co-Creation of Blend - United Bartenders, Yearly event reuniting Brussels finest bartenders in one place, for one day. 2017-2018 : Co-Creation and organisation of the Brussels Cocktail Week. 2018-present: Owner and bartender, Chez Ta Mère cocktail bar Brussels
Tucson native Aaron DeFeo is most associated with his role as Casino Del Sol Resort’s resident property mixologist, where he ran the beverage program for over six years until leaving at the end of 2017. Most recently, DeFeo moved to Phoenix and joined forces with Bitter & Twisted’s Ross Simon to create Little Rituals, a 70-seat reimagining of the hotel bar concept, boasting sweeping views of the Downtown Phoenix nightlife in a dark, intimate lounge setting perfect for both the business traveler, as well as a local’s night out.
Farm Manager, Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture Born and raised on the Tohono O'odham Nation, Sterling transitioned from a successful rodeo career into farming, and has been educating youth and adults about traditional Tohono O'odham crops and agricultural techniques on and off the Nation to keep the seeds and traditions alive - "this is who we are".
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Ajo Center for Sustainable Agriculture Nina first came to Arizona as a part of her graduated studies in environmental and legal anthropology. When asked by a Hia Ced elder to work with the O'odham youth in Ajo, she embarked on a complicated journey of learning, preserving and honoring the O'odham crops and techniques. "Seeds and foods have always travelled and been incorporated into cultures beyond their origin; but as modern day growers and educators in communities where Native Americans are alive and well we need to put those who have been here for thousands of years into the center of all we do with these crops, or else we risk perpetuating the cycles of colonization."
Maribel Alvarez, Associate Dean for Community Engagement, is an anthropologist, folklorist, writer, and curator. She holds the Jim Griffith Chair in Public Folklore at the Southwest Center and is Associate Research Professor in the School of Anthropology. She founded, and until recently served as executive director, of the Southwest Folklife Alliance, an independent nonprofit affiliated with the University of Arizona. SFA produces the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Folklife Festival in addition to more than 20 other programs connecting heritage practices, artisanal economies, foodways, and traditional arts to community planning and neighborhood-based economic development throughout the region. Last year she was named a Creative Placemaking Fellow at the Herberger Institute at Arizona State University. She recently completed a 6-year term appointment as a Trustee of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. She has been a Fulbright Fellow in Sonora, Mexico and co-launched with her colleague Gary Nabhan the Sabores Sin Fronteras/Flavors Beyond Borders initiative at the University of Arizona. She writes and lectures widely about social theory and the nonprofit sector, Latino cultural production and demographics, US-Mexico borderlands culture and tourism, and applications of traditional knowledge as an asset in community-based initiatives.
Amy Smith is the current manager of Exo, a local coffee shop, event space and bar. She holds a Master's Degree in English and Cultural Studies from Prescott, College and a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Fort Lewis College. She is a former educator (at City High School in Tucson) and has worked in refugee and adult education (Tucson and Portland, Oregon). She has traveled for work in coffee and mezcal in Mexico. She has also traveled and taught in East Africa (Eritrea). Her interests and passions include place-making, Tucson history, music, education, biking, outdoor adventures and hanging out with her five-year old, Alma.