The Full Story
Kami Kenna is equal parts bartender, distiller, spirits brand owner, tequila tour leader, and forever student of Latin America.
In 2022, Kami received her MA in Food Studies from New York University. Her focus was on heritage beverages from Latin America. Her thesis work, a design thinking project, was centered on Pisco from Peru and culminated in a web-based database dedicated to Pisco, the people who make it, and where they make it.
Kami was drawn to the region through high school Spanish classes and followed the Spanish track to college in Portland, Oregon. In 2009, she participated in the National Student Exchange Program and spent two semesters studying Spanish linguistics and literature at the Inter-American University in Puerto Rico. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, Film Studies, and Caribbean Studies from Portland State University in 2012.
She first came to Mexico as a backpacker in 2009. Five years later, she won a trip to Peru in a bartending competition. On a leap of faith, she quit her job in Portland, sold everything, and has been living between Peru and Mexico ever since.
In Mexico, Kami is the senior tour leader for Experience Agave. She appreciates the Experience Agave approach of highlighting human beings over brands and is dedicated to showing EA guests the importance of supporting small family-owned producers.
In Peru, she worked at an experimental distillery in Cusco as a consultant and became the Assistant Distiller. Kami managed distillation and the formulation of products at Destilería Andina where she studied the infinite possibilities of flavor using post-production methods of maceration, filtration, and barrel aging.
In 2016, she associated with the women-owned and led Peruvian Pisco brand, PiscoLogía. Kami is the sales and marketing manager, project manager, and trade educator for the Panamerican Pisco company.
Kami has consulted for bars, restaurants, distilleries, and CPG brands in New York, Tequila, Jalisco, and Cusco, Peru. Her years of in-depth visits to distilleries and work in them throughout North and South America have left her completely captivated by the people and their products.