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|There's no competition, if you're better than the rest. Be better.
When speaking of experience in the beverage industry, you can’t find a greater bank of
knowledge than the team of Kyle Branche and Kellie Nicholson. They have a combined
60-year history with resumes that span from coast to coast, including swanky hotel bars,
posh music venues, upscale restaurants, Playboy Clubs, Hollywood's trendiest nightclubs,
landmark sports bars, chic dive bars, New York City bistros, historic event halls, celebrities'
homes and private underground clubs. Between the two of them, they have also held court
behind the bar of over 1,600 private parties.
Bar professionals Kyle Branche and Kellie Nicholson have each served in positions of
management for VIP events, small neighborhood bars, high-volume / high-capacity estab-
lishments and everything in between. Their pairing makes an incredible and rare opportunity
to learn from real pros who thrive on excellence. They can help anyone master the science of
the bar business.
Kyle Branche is a 30-year veteran bartender serving
cocktails in trendy establishments and at private soirees in
the mansions of Los Angeles. Raised on a dairy farm, Kyle
learned the discipline of hard work at an early age. He
began his career in the beverage industry as a barback and
he was quickly promoted to a bartending position where he
used his charm and mixology skills to provide memorable
experiences for guests.
Ever the professional, Kyle has been asked to represent several
acclaimed liquor brands at sponsored events. In addition to a
long list of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, he is a favorite
at the famous Gardenia Room where he has served up his magic
for 25 years. Kyle is also a Certified Bar/Beverage Manager
(CBM) through International Food Service Executives (IFSEA), American Hotel and Motel
Association (AHMA), and Beverage Management Institute (BMI).
Called upon for his expertise, Kyle has contributed to the leading beverage industry
magazines with over 75 published pieces, including the monthly cocktail column "Liquid
Kitchen" in Patterson’s Beverage Journal (now The Tasting Panel), feature cover stories,
contributing articles, and an online multimedia feature story on Cognac with Sante
Magazine, titled "The Sleeping Spirit." Aside from creating 60+ signature cocktails,
his bar line, Cocktail Art Productions, has a catalog of products that includes seven books,
two DVDs, an audio CD Book, cocktail recipe cards, calendars, and postcards.
Kyle co-produced and co-hosted the cocktail shows “Liquid Kitchen” and “Beverage Road,”
in addition to his latest creative endeavor, Life Behind Bars, a 2-book series of stories and
encounters culled from many moons behind the bar, available on Amazon.com.
Kellie Nicholson has been working in restaurants,
bars and nightclubs for the past 30 years. Trained
by the very best in the food/beverage, and hospitality
businesses, including Marriott, Lettuce Entertain
You, and The Levy Restaurants, her experience is
As a bar consultant her expertise is invaluable to
those who have called upon her for assistance in
training management and bar staff, creating mouth-
watering cocktail menus and turning around failing
establishments with success-driven policies.
She has established industry standards with her branded method of instruction, the Master
Code of Mixology™. The bartending and bar management classes that she teaches on
college campuses and online make learning easy and fun, while also being thorough and
comprehensive. As a well-known bartender in Los Angeles, she was respected for her
honesty, attention to detail and high sales. Her popularity with patrons was due to her ability
to make everyone feel like a friend and a guest, instead of a customer.
Serving clientele like Will from the Black-Eyed Peas, David Schwimmer, Jessica Simpson
and Ashton Kutcher is only a small part of her extraordinary career. In management posi-
tions, Nicholson’s implementation of employee sales incentives, strict policies and proce-
dures, and customer service training have been instrumental in the development of a loyal
and dedicated staff. Her leadership and management talents are bankable assets, which
keep her in demand.
Invited to share contributions in SELF Magazine, SqueezeOC Magazine and Santé
Magazine, Kellie is often hired to train bar employees and also consults with bars and
restaurants in many areas of the business, such as hiring and training of staff, price
structures, menus, management, inventory, policies and procedures. She has also
produced talent contests, awarding cash prizes to up-and-coming performers, while
generating revenues for the host bar.
A welcome and engaging speaker, Kellie Nicholson has been a regular guest speaker
at the Glendale College Hospitality program. Besides her career in the bar business,
Kellie conducts self-help workshops, "Find Your Excellence" and “Turn Your Ideas into
Cash” (www.findyourexcellence.com) at community colleges and online.
Creating the Lioness® women’s empowerment movement, she composed a book of
stories titled Tales of the Lioness (available at FindYourExcellence.com or Amazon.com),
written by women who have overcome great obstacles. She also owns two
greeting card businesses, Grandma Gillie's Greetings (www.GrandmaGillie.com),
and Cards With A Heart (www.CardsWithAHeart.com), which raises funds for charity.
More than anything she says what matters most to her is helping others reach their full
potential in all they do.
Kyle Branche Wins Award
Congratulations to instructor Kyle Branche for winning
a spot in the top three of the Beam Suntory Global
Communispace Bartenders Lounge cocktail recipe
competition. The winning vodka-based drink, "Cool
Water", is pictured left. Other winners are a whiskey-
based drink, "The Old Man by the Sea" and a tequila-
based drink, "Long Day in Monterey." The cocktails
will be included on Bonefish's upcoming new menu in
over 200 of the chain's bar & restaurant's in 38 states.