Kellie Thorn has been in the restaurant industry for nearly twenty years and bartending for the last seventeen. Kellie, born in Atlanta and raised in various cities along the Southern coast, has received considerable critical recognition for her talents and skills. In 2010, Kellie joined forces with star chef Hugh Acheson to open Empire State South, Acheson’s vibrant reimagination of traditional southern fare, to develop a creative program balanced by a reverent nod to the classics. Her success in this role led her to the position of Beverage Director for Acheson’s restaurants in 2013.
Kellie is highly committed to furthering her education in spirits and wine, she has taken and passed the Introductory Course for Court of Sommeliers, participated in and passed the reputed BAR Five Day program in New York and most recently participated in the WSET Level Three Award in Spirits and received a Pass with Distinction. She believes that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, and she has turned her attention to utilizing her knowledge base to educate her peers. Kellie is a BNIC Certified Cognac Educator, passing the Certification in Cognac France in April 2015, as well as a WSET Certified Level Two and Level Three Educator. She has been a panelist for educational seminars at Tales of the Cocktail, Bar Convent Brooklyn, and Bev Con.
Kellie is also very involved in her local community as well as the broader hospitality community. She has served on the Advisory Council for Atlanta Food and Wine, helped to organize annual charity events for Wholesome Wave Georgia and Community Farmer’s Market, and is currently serving on the Grants Committee for the Tales of the Cocktail Foundation
In 2017 she was awarded the Les Dames D’Escoffier Legacy Award, and in 2018 she was named one of Wine Enthusiasts 40 under 40 Tastemakers.