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Drink Events THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Meet Neal Bodenheimer and Meaghan Frank- The Connected Table Live!

Temperance at Tales of the Cocktail

Stress management, yoga and wellness activities are all on the menu for this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, July 17- 22 in New Orleans. As the collective consciousness about mental and physical health,  responsibility to each other and to the community and the #MeToo movement continue to drive the conversation, Tales of the Cocktail has introduced some significant initiatives. They include:

Beyond the Bar: free interactive programming designed to address mental health and physical wellness and its impact on the spirits community. Activities include: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings; yoga and movement classes; health screenings; and discussions surrounding healthy lifestyles, nutrition, addiction, suicide, and stress management.

A collaboration  with Louisiana organization STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) to offer a 24/7 hotline during the festival for all attendees to use if needed and to offer joint programming, free to all attendees, which includes a seminar on HR practices around sexual harassment the industry can discuss and bring back home to their bars and establishments.

Eliminating plastic straws: Given how many straws are used throughout this event with 16,000 people and half a million drinks, doing away with plastic disposable straws is a big move toward supporting this sustainable movement.

There is even a “dry” welcome party, courtesy of William Grant & Sons, who announced they will be “kicking off the week with a spirited, yet spirit-free portfolio party.”  But, of course, throughout the five days there will be plenty of cocktails and seminars to educate industry professionals on every aspect of the business of bar management and the craft of the cocktail. And there will always be revelry because Tales is a huge networking event after all, and it’s the best way for those who serve and those who sell to connect.

 

Tales of the Cocktail’s new logo

 

It’s a transitional year for this beloved industry conference. In February 2018, Tales of the Cocktail was purchased by Neal Bodenheimer, a native New Orleanian and owner of award-winning Cure Nola, in collaboration with The Solomon Group, who has been involved in producing high profile local and international events, including many for Tales of Cocktail such as the Spirited Awards and other brand activations. Neal and the Solomon family have created the 501c3 non-profit Tales of the Cocktail Foundation to advance and support the global hospitality industry. 

We chat with Neal on The Connected Table Live! about his career in the industry and his plans to help steer Tales’ new mission. Here is the link to the show on iHeart.com and free iHeart App.  

Or stream the show below. Neal is the second guest.

Neal Bodenheimer. Photo by Kevin O’Mara

 

New York State’s Father of Vitis Vinifera

New York State is one of the country’s top regions for producing wine in the USA. The Finger Lakes is home to some world-class Rieslings. On this same edition of The Connected Table Live! we visit with Meaghan Frank, fourth generation family member overseeing Dr. Konstantin Frank  the pioneering Finger Lakes, New York, winery.

 

Meaghan Frank

 

Meaghan’s great-grandfather, Konstantin Frank, an immigrant from the Ukraine spoke a handful of languages but not English when he arrived in the USA.  in 1951 He worked briefly as a blueberry picker where he saw the potential for planting vines in New York State. A professor of plant sciences with a Ph.D. in viticulture, he eventually took a position at Cornell University’s Geneva Experiment Station.

At the time, New York State wines were producing wines using local and hybrid grapes only.  Based on his experience in the Ukraine, Dr. Frank was convinced, that, despite New York’s cold weather, delicate Vitis Vinfera grapes could thrive with the proper rootstock. Communicating in French, he delivered the research to back this up and a plan to grow European vinifera in the Northeastern United States.

In 1962, a decade after coming to the USA, Frank established Vinifera Wine Cellars, which quickly earned a reputation for its exceptional Rieslings and its original rootstock plantings became the backbone of New York’s world-class wines.  Today Dr. Konstantin Frank has an extensive portfolio of wine including two made from traditional grapes found in the Republic of Georgia, Rkatisteli (white) and Saperavi (inky red) and a terrific sparkling wine. www.drfrankwines.com

 

Dr Konstantin Franl. pioneering oenologist

Here is the link to the show on iHeart.com and free iHeart App.  

Listen here:

 

 

Categories
INSPIRE RESTAURANTS AND CHEFS

The Food & Beverage Industry Nourishes Souls in Times of Sorrow

It seems like the last several weeks have delivered us one disaster after another starting with Hurricane Harvey in Texas; then Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean and Florida, and now the tragic massacre in Las Vegas. It’s hard to be rah rah about this and that culinary event or new product launch when so many people have died, are displaced or hungry. Hearts are heavy; souls are aching, and we try to be sensitive to it all while going about our daily business.

While politicians talk among themselves to try to work out answers, the nation simmers and questions starting with “Why?” and “How long?” and “How much more can we take of this?”  Congress could take months and years to make decisions. But the food and beverage industry can make a difference in just a few weeks.

Source World Central Kitchen  Website: worldcentralkitchen.org

Leave it to chefs like José Andrés and Jose Enrique to arrange a team to cook thousands of meals for the displaced and hungry in Puerto Rico while the island waits for food supplies to be adequately distributed in hard hit areas.

Leave it to Ti Adelaide Martin, and Alex Brennan- Martin to spearhead a fundraising effort with the Louisiana Restaurant Association and Greater New Orleans Foundation to help hospitality workers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, raising over $160,000. And that amount does not include the nationwide Dineout that took place on October 2  with dozens of restaurants to raise even more funds for this cause.

Leave it to bar community activists like Speed Rack Co-Founder and Bartender Lynnette Marrero, Journalist Jenny Adams, and Alba Huerta, Owner/Operator of Julep in Houston, TX, to rally their colleagues to organize “NYC LOVES TX & FL”  on September 24 to raise over $60,000 for the John Besh Foundation for disaster relief.


These just a few small servings of the large effort this industry does, and continues to do, to help humanity. When tragedy strikes, the food, beverage and hospitality industry cooks up a plan to do something and does not drag its heels. We stir the pot where others cannot. Maybe the Executive Branch could learn a few management trucs from Executive Chefs, Restaurateurs and Bar Owners. Perhaps we need a Commander- in -Chef.