The Savoy in London has appointed Shannon Tebay as head bartender at its world-leading American Bar – its first female head bartender in nearly 100 years.
Shannon will join in August from New York bar Death & Co, also taking on the role of senior mixologist for the hotel. The American Bar, which has been closed because of the pandemic, is due to re-open in September.
She said: “Becoming head bartender at the American Bar is not just the professional opportunity of a lifetime, it’s also an opportunity to continue building the bar’s legacy as a beacon of innovation and quality – in both the way we create our drinks and in how we deliver our service.
“I hope to honour the historical significance of the American Bar and modernise bartending culture within the community at large, championing under-represented perspectives and re-evaluating best practices in order to maximise sustainability.”
Her appointment as the 12th head bartender of the American Bar follows the departure of Maxim Schulte last year. The previous female head bartender at the American Bar was Ada Coleman from 1903 to 1925. Her legacy includes the creation of the classic Hanky Panky cocktail.
Originally from New Mexico, Shannon went to New York City for graduate school in visual arts but found herself enamoured with the world of food and drink.
A former French Culinary Institute student, she has applied her training in the pastry arts to craft cocktails, incorporating various techniques and developing uniquely creative flavour profiles to her lengthy list of original drinks.
Her personal cocktail-writing style is best described as “dynamic minimalism”, defined by left-of-centre combinations that harmonise in unexpected ways.
She has worked in hospitality for a decade and has been at Death & Co for the past seven years, where she rose to the position of head bartender.
Franck Arnold, managing director of The Savoy, said: “We’re really excited to be welcoming Shannon to The Savoy. We admire her vision and her focus on teamwork. We’re looking forward to seeing her reopen the American Bar with a menu that will display her reverence for the bar’s history, and showcase the creativity and talent of the team as a whole.”