Tales of the Cocktail turmoil as founders quit

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One of the bar world’s most influential events, Tales of the Cocktail is in turmoil following bitter accusations and a slew of high profile resignations – including those of its two founders.

Founders Ann and Paul Tuennerman announced over the weekend that they were resigning their roles at Tales of the Cocktail and its parent company, MOJO 911 LLC. This followed the earlier resignation of Colin Asare-appiah, co-chair of the event’s Diversity Council.

Asare-appiah’s resignation was in protest at Ann Tuennerman’s announcement that her husband was to return to Tales following his enforced resignation seven months ago in the wake of the blackface scandal.

In the wake of the fallout from this, Paul Tuennerman was forced to resign and the Tales Diversity Council was established.

Fast-forward to last week and the announcement that Paul Tuennerman was being reinstated, and Asare-appiah announced he was stepping down from the Diversity Council in protest at the way in which it was not even mentioned to the Diversity Council before being actioned. On the Neat Pour website, he accused the Tales owners of doing no more than ‘pay lip-service’ to the council.

It leaves an event that is mired in controversy and acrimony, with bad blood throughout. Many sponsors were rumoured to be considering their participation after the blackface scandal earlier this year, and these latest developments will surely cause more sponsors to consider their position for 2018.

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Imbibe Editorial

With a core team that includes Chris Losh, Julie Sheppard, Laura Foster, Holly Motion and Isabella Sullivan, plus an impressive roster of columnist bartenders, sommeliers and specialist journalists, Imbibe collectively boasts hundreds of years of on-trade drinks industry experience and knowledge.

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