Austin Gagnon started his bartending venture in Upstate New York in the spring of 2001. He was trained by a well-known bar owner, Mario Abate, in a local fast-paced college bar called The Eldorado. After completing two years of college and receiving an Associate Degree in Physical Education from HVCC, Austin decided to transfer and finish out his remaining years of college in beautiful Miami, Florida.
While attending Barry University in Miami Shores, Austin put himself through college working in some of the most popular bars in South Florida including Bed, Club Deep, The Fifth, Revolution Live, and the world famous Clevelander hotel on Ocean Drive where he worked as a bartender for six years. Austin has also worked and staffed many sporting events and concerts including games for both the University of Miami and Miami Dolphins football teams, the Miami Marlins, the Miami Heat, and for major concerts such as Bang Music Festival, the world-renowned Ultra Music Festival (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) Calle Ocho, Rock the Bells, and 2009/2010 NFL Tailgate parties for the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl.
Austin graduated from Barry University in 2006, receiving a Bachelors of Science in Psychology. It was at this time that the idea of establishing an Elite Bartending school in a league of its own started to take shape. Austin wanted to share the knowledge, experiences, and skills that he learned in the bar business over the years to others. Austin provides his students with an exceptional education and learning experience to help them in their pursuit to become a successful bartender and excels in mixology and customer satisfaction.
Kevin Gibbons was born in Bristol, England. In 2002, at the age of 18 Kevin started his bartending career. Kevin worked at a local cocktail bar and began his knowledge on mixology and flair. For years, Kevin worked in pubs and bars around England earning money to support his education in performing arts. After graduating from college, Kevin wanted to take his stage career to the bar scene. In 2005, Kevin moved to Spain where he expanded his knowledge on the bar, learned advanced methods and techniques in mixology and flair, and mastered the psychology of bartending. Now well known for his crazy concoctions, Kevin wows his guests with great bottle tricks and satisfies them with fantastic mixology skills, at Off the Hookah Bayside. One of the world’s premiere flair and mixology establishments.
With over nine years working in and managing bars, creating cocktail menus, assisting in opening new locations, and teaching, Kevin brings his education and global knowledge on mixology to Miami Beach, which he offers his talents exclusively to the students of Elite Bartending School.
Amy Northrup grew up in St. Petersburg, FL, and start bartending right out of high school at the age of 18. She landed her first job at a brand new Martini Bar owned by Dan Marino, which became the most popular bar in the area. This ultra high-volume experience helped her to be ready for any job that came her way. After moving around to different hot spots in St. Petersburg, FL, she decided to move to South Florida and expand her bartending career and knowledge on mixology. Amy worked in many well-known venues such asMangos, Lucky Strike Lanes, Karu and Y, The King is Dead, Badrutt’s Place, Casa Casuarina aka the VersaceMansion, and helped open Blade at the Fontainebleau.
Amy is currently working as a Bartender at the world famous Clevelander Hotel on Ocean Drive. With over ten years of experience in high volume night-clubs, restaurants, high-end private events, and even bar management Amy shares knowledge with her students that will help them excel in any bar environment and instills a hands-on education that her students will never forget.
Chad Tocco was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. Chad moved to Miami in early 2001 and stepped foot into the Bartending world, working his first bar shift at the age of 19 at The Allstar Cafe on Ocean Drive, South Beach. Chad's main draw and passion for bartending is and continues to be Working Flair and Mixology. For 13 years Chad has poured drinks at some of the most popular venues on the East Coast of Florida from West Palm Beach to South Beach, dazzling his patrons with fancy bottle tricks, fire acts, and great cocktails. Chad is a professional Flair competitive bartender and has placed in the top three in over 30 flair competitions with several wins under his belt. In Spring 2012 Chad becomes overall points champion at the World Renowned Bartenders Bash Series beating out competitors from all over the US.
Chad currently tends bar at Off the Hookah Bayside and Q Lounge in South Beach among other expert flair bartenders, putting on nightly fire shows and constant entertainment. Chad's passion for bartending translates to how he teaches his students, inspiring them to become the best bartenders they can be.
Those who know of Flair Bartending, know the name Christian Delpech. 19 Time World Flair Champion, and one of the best in the world, Christian continues to work exclusively with Elite Bartending School in development and instruction of our Bartending and Working Flair Programs. Christian started his career inspired by Tom Cruise’s film “Cocktail.” Christian started working in bars at an early age in Argentina but soon realized he needed to move out of his homeland to progress with his talents. In 1998, he moved to Tenerife, Spain, where he started practicing magic. Something that would prove to be very useful in the discipline of developing his flair bartending skills. Christian began practicing and quickly developed a natural talent for Flair Bartending. Soon after he started entering competitions, competing with some of the best Flair Bartenders at the time. After some second place finishes in different competitions, Christian finally got first-place at Florida’s “Quest for the Best”. This win got him an invitation to the most prestigious flair bartending championship: Legends of Bartending, in Las Vegas. Christian conquered the event with new tricks and never-before-seen moves, which earned him a legendary status among flair bartenders and making him a strong influence on newcomers, setting a new bar for aspects such as dexterity, precision, creativity, and showmanship.
Christian is now considered one of the best Flair Bartenders in the world, winning competitions such as Road House London, FBA Pro Tour and Legends of Bartending. Christian moved to Miami Beach after residing for many years in Las Vegas in Spring of 2015 and is currently bartending at the world-renowned Fontainebleau Hotel. Christian is a true pioneer of Flair Bartending, and we are excited to be able to continue to offer his skills to our students and alumni at Elite Bartending School Miami.
Miranda Schmidt grew up in Niagara Falls, New York. After High School Miranda attended College and in 2011 received her Degree in Health and Wellness from Niagara Community College. Miranda quickly landed a job after college helping others in a nursing home as a Kitchen Supervisor. During this time Miranda also pursued her other lifelong passion of cheerleading and coaching, making the professional roster for the 2011-2012 Buffalo Jills Cheerleading Squad. After cheering for the Buffalo Bills for one season, Miranda decided to hang up her pom poms and head South to beautiful Miami Beach, Florida. Miranda’s love of health and wellness, cooking, and being around people quickly led her down the path to Hospitality. In late 2012 within days of moving to Miami Beach, she attended Elite Bartending School, where she exceled in her new craft. Miranda thrived in the program, graduating top of her class, and as one of Elite Bartending Schools best students ever. Miranda quickly landed a high volume bartending job within days of graduating at the famous Automatic Slims. Miranda worked there for over a year, building up her skills and speed behind the bar. After mastering high volume, Miranda was curious to expand her knowledge on Mixology and customer service. Venturing out into the hospitality Mecca that is Miami Beach she fulfilled her next goal by getting hired at the Prestigious Living Room Lounge inside the W Hotel South Beach, serving craft cocktails to Miami’s Elite and Rich and Famous. During this time Miranda also picked up many events for Elite Bartending School, quickly becoming their head bartender for all major events in South Florida. Miranda continues to work many events all over South Florida staffed exclusively by Elite Bartending School, such as the world famous Ultra Music Festival (2014,2015) Fantasy Fest Key West (2014,2015) South Beach Seafood Festival (2014,2015) Cadillac Golf Championship at Triumph National Miami (2014,2015) to name a few. In 2014, Miranda joined the Elite Bartending School’s team of educators and had since taught and prepared hundreds of today's students for the world of bartending. Miranda’s passion for education, teaching and her continued love of bartending stays with her students long after they come through the course.