Mary Palac was born in the Philippines but grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. At 15 she began working in restaurants 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’s Cocktail Apprentice Program, the BAR 5-Day Program, and many other industry programs. She was the season 7 Ms. Speed Rack California, and a 2-time Barmania champion. Her recipes and knowledge have been featured in several national publications, including Liquor.com, Punch, Saveur, and USA Today. In 2019 Mary was named as a National Top 10 Honoree for American Bartender of the Year through the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, and in 2020 she was named a Top 4 Honoree. She works at Paper Plane in San Jose, California.
Steven Minor is a passionate beverage director who has been in the hospitality industry for more than 20 years and has worked his way up through the ranks in both front and back of the house. He specializes in five star hotel restaurant and bar operations and sophisticated beverage programs. A proud graduate of Florida International University’s School of Business and Hospitality Management and a frequent guest speaker, he is currently overseeing the expansion of the 1 Hotel brands beverage programs, where his stamp of creativity can be found on menus across the hotel’s portfolio, spanning from South Beach to Brooklyn and Los Angeles. In his spare time, Steven can be found making homemade pizza with his daughter, Scarlett, enjoying a nice bottle of Amarone with his wife, Carolina, or, you guessed it, making cocktails at his home bar!
Born in the Republic of Panama, Breanne Rupp has a proud Panamanian family history, going back to 1890, tied to Panama’s independence from Colombia and to the building of the Panama Canal. She moved to Florida as a teenager and later studied fine arts at Flagler College. She moved to San Francisco for 9 years, where her creative pursuits and hospitality career grew in complement. Breanne recently returned to residing in historic St. Augustine, Florida, where she bartends at Boat Drinks, a tropical-nautical seafood restaurant and rum bar. When not at work, she spends her time as an arts educator and at her potter's wheel, screen-printing, doing graphic design projects.