Zahra Bates had humble beginnings in the beverage industry, in fact she had to beg to be let behind the bar. Learning how to make drinks and provide a quality experience at the Bar Marmont was what got her chasing the cocktail from Jamaica to Cuba and ultimately to London in 2001. She honed her skills in London for 5years, back when it was called “the best cocktail city in the world” by The New York Times. Working at The Long Bar and ThePurple Bar at The Sanderson Hotel, two of London’s most illustrious hotel bars, was her introduction to the marriage of the cocktail and the kitchen.Upon returning to Los Angeles she spent 5 years fine tuning her culinary cocktail ideology at the illustrious Providence restaurant. During that time she was featured on both the Cooking Channel and the Food Network for her culinary cocktail creations. Zahra went on to co-foundArt Beyond the Glass, now in its fifth year, which is considered to be the definitive event in Los Angeles. (http://www.artbeyondtheglass.com/)This nonprofit event focuses on all of the arts that can be created in and beyond the glass by local bartenders to strengthen the community in which they live. Believing that you are only as strong as the people around you is the guiding principle of this project. Never being one to rest when“somewhere something incredible is waiting to be known,” she embarked on a bar stage tour. Working for free but being paid in knowledge formed a deep respect for the critical thought process of team development, cocktail structure and venue dogma. This profound love, respect and sense of honor for this industry is what drew her to the Beam Suntory team.