OpenTable & Bacardi Bring Guests ‘Back of House’ and Put Diverse Hospitality Talent Front and Center

October 23, 2020

25% of ticket sales of virtual culinary and mixology series support Black and Indigenous American industry members via James Beard Foundation  

Coral Gables, FL, USA, October 22, 2020 – While restaurants and bars continue to face restrictions due to COVID-19, OpenTable, the world’s leading provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), and Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, are bringing culinary and mixology talent to your kitchen (virtually) while providing support to the James Beard Foundation’s effort to provide financial resources for food or beverage businesses that are majority-owned by Black or Indigenous individuals. The companies announced “Back of House,” a series of virtual cooking and cocktail-making events led by a diverse group of chefs and mixologists who represent the best of the varied cuisines and talent across the country. “Back of House” allows attendees to mix cocktails and recreate authentic meals that will showcase the diversity that makes this industry so great alongside all-star chefs in the comfort of their own home. OpenTable and Bacardi have also committed 25% of ticket sales to support the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.

The new Fund is part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to continually lift up the Black and Indigenous business owners in its industry, not just in light of the pandemic, but for good. We are so appreciative of the partnership and support from OpenTable and Bacardi in their Back of House program; it will help deliver grants to deserving recipients in an effort to see these businesses thrive for the long term. Financial resource is that much more impactful when coupled with support from organizations and experts who make themselves available to provide guidance on professional skills.”

Colleen Vincent, James Beard Foundation vice president of community

Inspired by the meals that happen among restaurant teams, Back of House is a unique backstage pass to life behind kitchen doors. The event series digs into the comforting, flavorful meals chefs cook for their dedicated staff. Ticket holders will start the event by learning how to create a craft cocktail with a master mixologist followed by a step-by-step cooking demo for dishes, such as chicken and seafood paella, chicken tikka masala and more, led by a celebrated chef.

The series kicks off on Thursday, October 22nd, with San Diego Chef Claudette Zepeda. Each week, another culinary all-star will teach attendees how to recreate a “family meal” inspired dish, including Douglass Williams of MIDA, Boston; Maneet Chauhan of Chauhan Ale & Masala House, Nashville; Gregory Gourdet of Kann, Portland and Tanya Holland of Brown Sugar Kitchen, Oakland.

Our diners are hungry for new experiences, yet many are unable or uncomfortable dining out right now. We see partnering with Bacardi as the perfect way to connect these all-star chefs with diners – all from the safety of home. The events not only promise a delicious meal, but a memorable way to experience diverse cuisines while also giving back.”

Jessica Jensen, OpenTable CMO

“Back of House” tickets are available exclusively as one of OpenTable’s Experiences, which allows restaurants to highlight offerings beyond their typical menus, through the app or online here. After purchase, attendees will receive an email that includes event details, an ingredients list and more. For more information on Experiences by OpenTable and to learn more about the Back of House event series, go here.

Supporting the hospitality industry during the pandemic has been a priority for Bacardi since lockdowns began earlier in the year. In March, Bacardi announced is #RaiseYourSpirits initiative with a $4M commitment in financial aid and other support to help the people on the frontlines of the industry.

“Partnering with OpenTable is a great way to put the spotlight back on our industry and bring culinary and mixology talents to your home,” says Heidi Vargas, VP, Managing Director for On-Premise at Bacardi North America. “We are especially proud to showcase diverse talent who are bringing their unique flavors and stories to your table, all while creating an opportunity for fans to help support the  James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Investment Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans.”

Upcoming sessions:

Thursday, October 22 at 3pm PST/6pm EST

San Diego’s Chef Claudette Zepeda will prepare her favorite family meal of pineapple tepache beef birria. A Toasted Citrus Highball will be created by mixologist Gabriel Cardarella and will feature DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch whisky.

Thursday, October 29 at 3pm PST/6pm EST

MIDA’s Chef Douglass Williams will prepare a vegetarian Sancocho, a flavorful stew made of potatoes, peeled yucca, green plantain, & carrots. A Bombay Spritz will be created by mixologist  Ryan Wainwright featuring BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin.

Thursday, November 5 at 3pm PST/6pm EST

Chauhan Ale & Masala House’s Chef Maneet Chauhan will prepare her famous Chicken Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice and Naan. A custom cocktail will be created by mixologist Selena Donovan featuring GREY GOOSE® vodka.

Thursday, November 12 at 3pm PST/6pm EST

Kann’s Chef Gregory Gourdet will prepare a chicken and seafood paella. A refreshing hibiscus and lime cocktail featuring PATRÓN® tequila will be mixed by Patron ambassador Stephanie Teslar.

Thursday, November 19 at 3pm PST/6pm EST

Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Chef Tanya Holland’s menu will be revealed shortly. A master mixologist will create a custom BACARDÍ® rum cocktail

About Bacardi USA
Bacardi USA, Inc. is the United States import and distribution arm of family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world. The company boasts a portfolio of some of the most recognized and top-selling spirits brands in the United States including BACARDÍ® rum, GREY GOOSE® vodka, PATRÓN® tequila, DEWAR’S® Blended Scotch Whisky, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® gin, CAZADORES® 100% blue agave tequila, MARTINI vermouth and sparkling wines, the world’s leading vermouth and the world’s favorite Italian sparkling wines, and other leading and emerging brands. Founded more than 158 years ago in Santiago de Cuba, family-owned Bacardi Limited currently employs more than 7,000, operates production facilities in 11 countries, and sells its brands in more than 170 countries. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited. Visit or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram .

About OpenTable
OpenTable, part of Booking Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), powers reservations for the hospitality industry. OpenTable’s software seats more than 1 billion people per year and helps more than 60,000 restaurants, bars, wineries and other venues attract guests, manage capacity, improve operations and maximize revenue.