You Won’t Believe This: Kenyan Bartender Headed to New Orleans for Prestigious Tales of the Cocktail Festival

Article by Whitney Nasanga
Posted: May 24, 2018  

It’s yet another win for Kenya as Renson Malesi, a bartender at J’s Fresh Bar and Kitchen has been nominated to represent the country at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This will be the second straight year where a Kenyan has featured in the event, after Yvonne Wairimu of Pernod Ricard took part in the 2017 edition.

The Cocktail Apprentice Program, which started in 2008, gives 40 accomplished and up-and-coming bartenders the opportunity to learn alongside some of the world’s most respected bartenders and cocktail experts as they work the seminars and large-scale events at Tales.

This year’s first-time apprentices will hail from 18 states and 10 countries, including; Kenya, Canada, China, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Republic of Korea and U.K. The selection process was competitive and various factors were put into consideration such as; recipe submissions, professional experience, and ability to work with a fast-paced, global team.

Upon conclusion of the Tales, CAP members will be eligible to apply for the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Program. This Program which has been in motion for the past eight years, helps former apprentices pursue further learning opportunities. After undergoing a rigorous selection process, former apprentices are selected to receive funding for a wide variety of projects, from those designed to further their career to those designed with intent to educate the cocktail community.


About the author

Whitney Nasanga


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