team

Alba Huerta, Owner

Alba Huerta is an award-winning bartender, author, host, and bilingual cocktail educator. Born in Mexico and raised in Texas, Alba is a proud Mexican-American and entrepreneur who boasts a venerable bar pedigree that has taken her craft around the world. Alba’s flagship cocktail bar in Houston, Julep, received the James Beard Award for Outstanding Bar Program in 2022 and was ranked 46th in the 50 Best Bars North America Inaugural List the same year. 

Julep has also been named one of the Top Five Bars in the U.S. by Bon Appetit and was recognized by Esquire as one of the Best Bars in America. It was also a finalist for Best American Cocktail Bar at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited. 

Thrillist selected Alba as one of the Best Bartenders in America. She was inducted to the Tales of the Cocktail Dame Hall of Fame, named Imbibe’s Bartender of the year, and was one of the Houston Chronicle’s 50 Most Fascinating People. Cherry Bombe included her in the Cherry Bombe 100, and Food & Wine selected her as a rising-star female mixologist. 

Her debut cocktail book, Julep, received an International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) award in the Wine, Beer and Spirits Category in 2019.

In 2021, Alba joined the Williams Sonoma Chefs’ Collective and hosts the Williams Sonoma Virtual Beverage Academy, where customers from across the world gather to learn to maximize their at-home bartender skills.

Lexi Paterno, General Manager

Born and raised in Southern California, Lexi Paterno is a graduate from Cal Poly Pomona Collins College. Coincidingly, as a student of Hotel Restaurant Management, Lexi also practiced Mixed Martial Arts to which she attributes lessons of personal growth, humbleness, kindness, patience. She was a member of Club Management Association of America, a chapter of an international organization that mentors and connects management worldwide. 

While pursuing her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, Lexi worked as an assistant general manager at Magnolia House in Pasadena, CA. After 11 years in the hospitality industry, Lexi moved to Houston in 2019 where she was immersed in the Houston food culture while working behind the bar at One Fifth and later at the original location of Georgia James. 

This experience drew her further down the path of craft bartending, spirit knowledge, and Southern hospitality where she eventually joined Julep in her current role as general manager.

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