Charlene Rooke, Nominated Educator - Spirits.
Charlene Rooke, the school’s Nominated Educator in Spirits, has been teaching there since 2019 and was among the first Spirits Level 3 educators to be certified internationally in 2020.
She trained as an artisan distiller at Moonshine University in Louisville, KY; holds the Society of Wine Educators’ Certified Specialist of Spirits; is a Whisky Ambassador and a Scotch Malt Whisky Society educator. She received her WSET Wine Level 3 certification in 2018. She has been a recipient of Les Dames d’Escoffier, BC Chapter, scholarships to pursue advanced sensory training in spirits, and is pursuing Cicerone certification.
A career journalist who has held senior editorial and positions at The Globe and Mail, Air Canada’s enRoute, Western Living and other leading publication, she has been the creative lead at three content agencies, most recently as Chief Content Officer and Publisher of BCBusiness for CW Media. Her portfolio of client publications and content includes work for Grey Goose, Labatt, Holt Renfrew, Fairmont Hotels & Resort, Mercedes-Benz, HSBC, PWC and KPMG, among many others.
She is currently the contract Drinks Editor for the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine, which she has worked on for 12 years. Her privileged access, as a travel, business and drinks writer, to beverage alcohol producers and experts has given her unique educational opportunities and insights to share with students.
Charlene is well-known on the Canadian drinks and cocktail scene, as the current Academy Chair, Canada West, for the World’s 50 Best Bars and the Lead Judge of the Canadian Artisan Spirit Competition. She is a frequent speaker and guest at spirits events, festivals and cocktail competitions; leads local craft distillery tours; and frequently conducts private and public spirits tastings, for Legacy Liquor Store and private clients. She is involved in the BC Distilled annual craft spirits festival, as well as the affiliated Artisan Distillers Canada annual conference.
As a top international spirits educator for the WSET, during the pandemic Charlene tutored hundreds of international professionals through the challenging Spirits Level 3 course, including private corporate groups for Breakthru Beverage Group, Southern Glazer’s, Diageo plus countless other global WSET educators.