Like the cocktail, Ricky Gomez was born in the Southern city of New Orleans, Louisiana. He first got behind the bar as a hobby and means to make extra spending money. However during a stint in the city's iconic Garden District, Ricky became intrigued with New Orleans's cocktail culture and began learning basic bartending techniques. Following the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, Ricky's culinary passion for great cocktails strengthened with the reopening of New Orleans landmark restaurant, Commander's Palace. There, Ricky learned the importance of fresh ingredients and helped perfect recipes inspired by pre-prohibition era cocktails to pair with the restaurant's seasonal menu.
In the fall of 2008, Ricky set out to enrich his knowledge of cocktails by attending the Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) Educational Program in New York City as a work-study student. While enrolled, Ricky learned from industry leaders such as Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, Andy Seymour, Paul Pacult, Doug Frost and David Wondrich to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the world of cocktails. Upon returning to New Orleans, Ricky got "behind the stick" at Cure, one of the most critically acclaimed cocktail destinations in the country. During his tenure, Ricky harnessed his creativity, style and palette to demonstrate the art of the crafted cocktail through both classic and innovative recipes.
In 2010, Ricky packed his bartools and moved across country to Portland, Oregon. Admiring the Pacific Northwest's passion for culinary excellence, Ricky made the city home and has worked at some of the city's top cocktail establishments including Teardrop Lounge and Riffle NW.
Living by his personal philosophy to "spread the gospel of cocktails," Gomez applied to the USBG and World Class U.S. educational program where he was selected as one of the program's finalists. On June 19, 2012, Ricky traveled to New York City to prove his skills against 20 of the nation's top cocktail talent. Through his success in the program's four challenges, Ricky was named the first ever Diageo World Class U.S. Ambassador and traveled to Rio De Janeiro Brazilwhere he placed fifth overall.