Millennium Park | Chicago
From Kentucky Bourbon to Artisan Cocktails, Trudy Thomas brings mixology mastery to Rosebud Restaurants with a unique combination of discipline and creative flair gleaned from diverse experiences. Her 20 year career includes stints in the corporate world as Director of Beverage at JW Marriott Camelback Inn and four years under the chef-driven direction of Wolfgang Puck. This experience, combined with her Kentucky roots and unrelenting love for Bourbon, make Trudy a unique force in the beverage industry. She has a special insight into the bourbon world through her long friendships with bourbon's master distillers. Dubbed the "First Daughter of Bourbon" by Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson, Trudy's passion and expertise for bourbon extends to wine, craft beer and other whimsical cocktails. Few beverage directors can boast mastery in both spirits and wine, and Trudy sets herself apart being certified as both a mixologist and a specialist in wine, which inspired her recipes as consulting mixologist for Yellow Tail's WINE [TAILS]™.
Trudy is a member of the United States Bartending Guild and the 2012 Winner of the VIBE Vista Award for best beverage promotion. She has been featured in the Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Southwest Spirits Magazine, Esquire, Cheers, Night Club and Bar, Chicago Tribune, Aspen Times, Sommelier Journal and Tasting Panel Magazine.
"It's always evolving," she says of the craft. "Balance is key, practice like a chef harmonizing elements in a glass, never sacrifice quality, challenge yourself with new ingredients, and most importantly have a passion for the craft and share that passion with others."
After five years in Arizona she returned back to Chicago and Rosebud Restaurants in 2013 bringing her unique style and wide-reaching expertise to Joe Fish, where the mixology program is an essential component of this next-generation Rosebud Restaurants concept. As the Director of Beverage, Trudy Thomas takes the iconic Chicago chain's beverage program to new levels, with carefully curated wine lists, craft beer selections, and innovative cocktails made with spirits from small-batch and craft distillers.