KELLIE THORN2016 Spirits of Mexico Judge
Kellie Thorn has always been drawn to the hospitality industry. Entering the restaurant industry over sixteen years ago and bartending for the last thirteen, Kellie, born in Atlanta and raised in various cities along the Southern coast, has received considerable critical recognition for her talents and skills. After passing the BarSmarts Advanced Program in 2008 and finding inspiration in the noteworthy beverage programs at neighboring restaurants during her early bartending days, Kellie developed a keen interest in classic cocktails. In 2010, Kellie joined forces with star chef Hugh Acheson to open Empire State South, Acheson’s vibrant reimagination of traditional southern fare, to develop a creative program balanced by a reverent nod to the classics. Her success in this role led her to the position of Beverage Director for all of Acheson’s restaurants in 2013. Kellie is also a BNIC Certified Cognac Educator, passing the certification in Cognac, France in April 2015. Most recently, Kellie participated in and passed the reputed BAR Five Day program in New York. Kellie is very involved in the local community, helping organize annual charity events for Wholesome Wave Georgia and Community Farmer’s Market. When out from behind the bar, Kellie enjoys yoga, traveling, experimenting with cooking new cuisines, and spending time with her son Finnian.