Tales of the Cocktail founders resign

25 September, 2017

Tales of the Cocktail co-founders Paul and Ann Tuennerman have resigned from their roles with immediate effect.

Melissa Young, director of operations for nine years will take over as president of the cocktail event, which takes place in New Orleans every year.


Paul Tuennerman already resigned earlier this year following racial controversy sparked by the couple wearing black face as part of a Mardi Gras parade tradition.

This led to the formation of the Diversity Council, which aims to increase diversity and inclusiveness within the bar industry. But following Ann Tuennerman’s decision to reinstate her husband Paul, co-chair of the council Colin Asare-appiah publically resigned.

Ann Tuennerman announced her decision to reinstate her husband on 21 September via an email obtained by website Neat Pour, which said: “Paul will not be involved in other aspects of the business, nor will he be a public face of the brand.”

She also told the council that although he has not held a role with Tales of the Cocktail for seven months, Paul is still 50% owner of Mojo 911 LLC, the company which produces Tales.


“In your first action in dealing with the Diversity Council you undermine its very existence as a group that provides you with advice and support to make considerate decisions, said Asare-appiah.

“You didn’t seek the council’s advice on this very sensitivity issue that lies at the very core of why we as a group were established in the first place.

“The establishment of the council feels like lip service to my industry. My first priority is my fellow community and I apologize to all of my fellow council members for dragging you into this situation.”

Four additional council members also told Neat Pour that they plan to resign in the days ahead.


In a statement released on Saturday, 23 September, the Tuennermans announced their resignations.

"We have devoted our professional careers to the hospitality industry even before the formation of Tales of the Cocktail and the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society,” said Ann Tuennerman.

Husband Paul also added: “Our goal has always been to create something lasting that can benefit the industry and the people of New Orleans well beyond our years. This allows that to continue.

“It has been an honor to spend the last fifteen years working within the industry to create something extraordinary.

“While Ann and I have mixed emotions, we are excited about the next chapter in our lives, and look forward to watching the event continue to evolve and flourish.”

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