WhiskyFest Chicago Speaker
Master of Scotch
This NYC-based Master of Scotch working on The Glenlivet, Aberlour, Longmorn, Scapa, Ballentine’s, and Chivas has worked at some of the best bars on both coasts. He opened famed San Francisco speakeasy Bourbon & Branch, and he’s tended bar at other notable Bay Area spots like Trader Vic’s, Gitane, and Range. On the East Coast, he’s plied his craft at The Nomad Hotel (where he also was on the opening team) and The Tippler.
With his impressive resume, it’s no surprise that this BarSmarts grad has racked up a slew of press and accolades. He was named a Bar Star by the SF Chronicle, won Official cocktail at Tales of the Cocktail, was on the winning bar team for the 2014 James Beard award, and has been featured in publications ranging from the NY Times to USA Today.
Venegas’ industry expertise doesn’t stop at the cocktail shaker – having passed Level 1 for the Court of Master Sommeliers, he knows more than a thing or two about wine. His passion for the spirits world spills over into his personal time. Venegas was one of four first members of the USBG branch in San Francisco, and he’s now an active member in New York. He does find room for his other passions, namely music. He collects LPs and instruments, and soon plans to add a baby grand to his musical menagerie.