Parker Luthman is a Providence, Rhode Island,–based bartender who heads the cocktail program at the Dean Bar while also shaking things up at the Eddy. His love for cocktail competitions has earned him several titles, including Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience Semi-Finalist (2016), National Espolon Cocktail Fights Finalist (2017), New England Tequila & Rum Festival's Goslings Rum Competition Winner (2018), and Heaven Hill Brands Bartender of the Year National Runner-Up (2019), while his love for the industry as a whole has allowed him to work as a leader at industry-related programs like Tales of the Cocktail, Thirst Boston, and Camp Runamok. While he is very clearly obsessed with cocktails and the beverage industry, you can also find him off the clock devouring a bowl of ramen, swimming laps in the pool, or playing with his two cats, Squid and Gansett.
Mary Palac was born in the Philippines but grew up in the Bay Area. She began working in restaurants at 15 and has been bartending for more than 10 years. She is a founding member and president of the United States Bartenders Guild Silicon Valley and an alumna of the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation (TOTCF) Cocktail Apprentice Program, the BAR 5-Day program at Camp Runamok, and many other industry programs. She was the season 7 Ms. Speed Rack California and the 2019 Barmania champion. In 2019 Mary was named as a Top 10 Nominee for the TOTCF Spirited Awards American Bartender of the Year. You can find her most nights bartending at Paper Plane in San Jose, California.
Caer Maiko, a co-creator of Daijoubu, was born in Santa Monica, California. Caer has been immersed in Japanese culture her whole life: her Japanese mother and LA’s abundance of Japanese food and culture allowed her to connect to the Asian half of her roots. She started bartending in Boston 7 years ago and now works and lives in Austin, running the program at the Eleanor and bartending at the Roosevelt Room. Her bartending accolades include being named Austin’s 2019 Bartender of the Year at CultureMap’s Tastemaker Awards and one of Beverage Media Group’s 2019 Bartenders to Watch. She is a 2-time national champion for Espolon Cocktail Fights, a national finalist of Speed Rack and Chivas Masters, and more. She and her cocktails have been featured on Liquor.com, Punch, Chilled Magazine, The Local Palate, The Bourbon Review, and Martha Stewart Weddings. She has loved Sailor Moon and ramen noodles since before she can remember and cannot wait to go back to Japan.
Sharon Yeung, a co-creator of Daijoubu, was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Her family emigrated from Canton, China, and set down their roots in San Francisco in the 1980s. She is a first-generation American and grew up heavily immersed in Chinese culture and Asian flavors. Sharon has been bartending around the Bay Area for more than 10 years, and has also spent the last 5 years in the craft cocktail world. Since she started at Austin’s Roosevelt Room, she has grown immensely and was quickly promoted to lead bartender and assistant bar manager. She has also been nominated for the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards for Austin Bartender of the Year, was a regional finalist for Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender of 2017, and won Espolon Cocktail Fights Tag Team National Championship with Caer in 2018. She and her cocktails have been featured in Time Out, Chilled Magazine, and Collectif 1806. Her diet consists of mainly rice, noodles, boba tea, and Spam. She makes amazing broth and even better cocktails.