Turning Tables advocates for equity in the hospitality industry, providing rising Black and Brown hospitality professionals with bar education, hands-on training, mentorship, and social service resources. We engage professionals from every industry segment as mentors, instructors, and collaborators, building a network of committed peers. They collaborate directly with restaurant, hotel, and beverage industry partners to increase the diversity of their teams and inclusivity of their environments.
Touré Folkes is the Founder and Program Director of Turning Tables, a non profit that advocates for equity in the hospitality industry by providing mentorship, educational tools, and platforms for exposure in a system of support for the Black and Brown communities of New Orleans. Born in NYC and shaped by many places along the East Coast and South, Touré now calls New Orleans his home. He holds close to his core principles of equity and belonging in all of his endeavors in the hospitality industry. Having sparked his bartending career in NYC, Touré moved down South and continued his growth in the New Orleans bar community. Touré gives credit to the mentors and elders that have raised him through these many journeys in life.
Cheyenne Serene Denson first joined Turning Tables as a mentor before recently joining as Director of Programs. January 7th marked four years since Cheyenne moved to New Orleans, by way of Chicago. As a member of the team she brings multiple years of service industry experience, currently working at Latitude 29. I’ve spent a lot of time forging my own path for almost a decade in this industry, and now, being able to offer as much insight and knowledge to newcomers is one of my passions. Especially if those newcomers are BIPOC. I am painfully aware how unable I was to access mentors who looked like me as I came up in the industry, which means now I am ecstatic for the opportunity to be a part of a group of mentors and leadership for BIPOC through Turning Tables!”
Roxy Eve Narvaez (she/her) is a hospitality professional based in New Orleans with over a decade’s worth of experience and originates from Puerto Rico. Her formative years were spent in NYC, curating her hospitality strengths for establishments in all styles of service, from fast-casual to fine dining. She gravitated toward the wine world as the focus of her career because, as imparted to her by her mentor, she believes that wine is a passport that transcends spaces and identities. Roxy Eve operates with a vision to make wine education accessible to communities of color regardless of socioeconomic status while pushing the wine industry to be fun and inclusive. She is the co-founder of the Juneteenth Saber Celebration and the wine educator/mentor for Turning Tables NOLA. Roxy’s passion expands beyond wine into the realm of immigration advocacy in the city of New Orleans. In her downtime, she loves to share feminist memes with her friends and listen to Bad Bunny on her porch, preferably with a bottle of bubbly.