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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:

 

 

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Drink

A Dash of Sass, Spice and Sparkle- New Orleans Bartender Abigail Gullo

We have many reasons to love New Orleans, from the amazing food and architecture to the southern hospitality and good friends and family. It’s our home away from home, and we always find reasons to return as often as we can and look forward to attending the annual Tales of the Cocktail conference each summer (July 20-24 this year)

We enjoy visiting Chef Nina Compton’s Compère Lapin for the Carribbean spiced food and to see the smiling face of Abigail Gullo who tends to her bar and to her customers with the same generous enthusiasm. A transplant from the North, Abigail’s colorful style and charm fit right at home in the Big Easy.

During our interview with Abigail we learned her theatrical training (her college major) has served her well on her current stage, the bar, where she says she’s learned to listen to her customers and read  person’s body language to decide what cocktail to make.

When Abigail’s not behind the bar at Compère Lapin she’s behind her computer screen blogging at www.ryegirlnyc.blogspot.com, petting her dog, Ronnie, and dreaming of singing in a rock-n-roll band.

ABIGAIL GULLO PHOTO
Abigail was recently named Heaven Hill Brands Bartender of the Year, winning $15,000. Now that’s heavenly!

Wednesday, July 13, 2pmEST, on The Connected Table LIVE! on W4CY.  Listen here one the iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.

 

THE CONNECTED TABLE BANNER WITH TIMES

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David Ransom Drink Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

The Secret To Cuban Rum…Made in Panama

When Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, master blender for Havana Club for 35 years, decided to leave Cuba after the sale of the brand to an international spirits conglomerate, it was to Panama that he went. Already having a long history of travel to that country, and having worked in Panama to make his “Cuban style” rum for many years previously, this was a natural choice for Don Pancho. However, it was not with the idea that he would continue to make rum or launch his own brand.

That came later, after he met and became friends with one of Panama’s most distinguished spirits authorities, Carlos Esquivel, a Panamanian who had deep ties to the local spirits industry. Together, they created one of Panama’s, and the rum industry’s, most important resources: Proveedora Internacional de LIcores, S.A. (PILSA) Rums (www.pilsarums.com) a custom distiller whose efforts are behind some of the most important names in the category.

Don Pancho and Carlos Esquivel
Don Pancho and Carlos Esquivel

Now, 20 years after arriving in Panama, Don Pancho and Carlos are releasing his first eponymous effort, Don Pancho Originales rums (www.origenesdonpancho.com), some of which are bottled from reserves dating to when Don Pancho first started making and blending rums in Panama while still living in Cuba.

We met Don Pancho and Carlos Esquivel at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans July 15-19 and tasted both the 8 year ($40/bottle SRP) and the 18 year ($90/bottle SRP). And we learned what makes Cuban rum truly “Cuban”

Don_Pancho_18_Years_Img_1

 

Cuban Style rum, made in Panama. We’ll discuss the process and the story of Don Pancho with Carlos on the July 29th broadcast of The Connected Table LIVE! Tune in at 2pm ET at www.w4cy.com. The show will be rebroadcast on iHeart.com. Link to cut and past and share: www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

Connect:

www.origenesdonpancho.com

www.facebook.com/OrigenesRum

 

Hosts Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple www.theconnectedtable.com
Hosts Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple www.theconnectedtable.com

 

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In the Land of Cocktails with Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin

If you have tuned into our iHeart Radio show, The Connected Table LIVE!, you know that we love New Orleans. Maybe it’s the sweet southern air. Maybe it’s the moist hot humidity. Maybe it’s the iconic food and drink culture. Maybe it’s spirit of the city that conveys “Pleasure is Good.” We consider New Orleans our spiritual- and spirited- home.

Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin
Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin

It there is one name in New Orleans dining that stands heads above others it is “Brennan.” There are several branches of the Brennan family tree running different restaurant operations. Two of our favorite ladies of the Brennan family are Lally Brennan and first cousin Ti Adelaide Martin, who together oversee Commander’ s Palace, Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar at the Loews hotel and Sobou at the W Hotel in the French Quarter, as well as Brennan’s in Houston. Visiting with them is like seeing family.

Mardi Gras Cocktai Commander's Palace
Mardi Gras Cocktai
Commander’s Palace
The Adelaide Swizzle The Swizzle Stick Bar
The Adelaide Swizzle
The Swizzle Stick Bar

 

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans 10 years ago this September, our hearts ached for all our New Orleans friends and family. Lally gamely led David and me through the debris left at Commander’s Palace, and we all envisioned a stronger more defiant city and a sparkling rebuild of the restaurant.

COMMANDERS PALACE GARDEN SHOT

On  March 17, 2007, we were married in Commander’s Palace’s dazzling courtyard. When it was time to promote my first book, Getting Things Off My Chest, Ti and Lally hosted my party at Café Adelaide. Giving back and generously supporting the city, the industry and friends is part of the Brennan family DNA.

family
Dottie Brennan, Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin with family matriarch, Ella Brennan (Wine Spectator Magazine, 2004)

Aside from being multi-talented restaurateurs, Ti and Lally are co-authors of In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures of the Cocktail Chicks.” The Cocktail Chicks are encyclopedic on New Orleans cocktail history and just about everything else in the city’s rich restaurant culture.- post by Melanie Young

IN THE LAND OF COCKTAILS

 

While we’re down in New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, we’ll visit with Ti and Lally July 15 at The Swizzle Stick Bar on the Connected Table LIVE! and hope you’ll take a seat and tune in to www.W4CY.com 2pm EST/1om CST. This show will also be available on demand at iHeart.com and the iHeart App.

Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
The Old Cuban Soubou
The Old Cuban
Soubou
Sazerac Soubou (Photo: Max Cusimano)
Sazerac
Soubou
(Photo: Max Cusimano)
Categories
Drink Events THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Vision Through a Glass – Ann Tuennerman, Tales of the Cocktail

New Orleans has long been considered the birthplace of the cocktail. In fact there is a Museum of Cocktail located in the city.  Eating and drinking is an essential part of New Orleans’ rich culinary culture, from its storied bars and restaurants and iconic Creole and Cajun dishes to the cocktails that were created there: the Sazerac, the Hurricane, the Grasshopper and New Orleans Ramos Gin Fizz.

Sazerac
Sazerac Cocktail (www.liquor.com)

New Orleans is also the birthplace of the largest gathering of people who work in and for the cocktail and bar profession.  Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the international spirits community for five days of what’s now, what’s new and what’s next in bartending.  The city heats up even more in July when the cocktail cognoscenti arrive. This year’s Tales of the Cocktail® takes place July 15-19.

The brains behind Tales of the Cocktail® is Founder Ann Tuennerman. A New Orleans native and marketing pro, she first started organizing walking tours of the city’s fabled bars in 2002. The following year she launched the first Tales of the Cocktail®. The rest is cocktail industry history. This event has grown into a global gathering with international offspring events in cities like Buenos Aires, Vancouver and Mexico City…and more to come.

Ann Tuennerman, Founder, Tales of the Cocktail
Ann Tuennerman, Founder, Tales of the Cocktail

 

David and I first attended Tales in 2008 and we haven’t missed one since. We’ve connected with so wonderful industry people through Tales, all in the spirit of supporting the industry while having an amazingly fun time. Hey! After all it takes place in New Orleans!

David and Melanie with Tom Bulleit, Bulleit Whiskey (2014 TOTC)
David and Melanie with Tom Bulleit, Bulleit Whiskey (2014 TOTC)

Throughout the year Ann and her team organize events like Tales of the Toddy and a Cocktail Film Festival. More recently they created Tales 365, an exclusive membership service providing  bartenders and spirits professionals access to special programs, networking events and distillery tours.

Tales also gives back to support the community who serves the industry. In 2006, Ann and her husband Paul founded the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), which has funded more than half a million dollars in programs to support the hospitality industry through grants, scholarships, cocktail apprenticeships and other programs.

I like to say there are three kinds of people: Those who see the glass half empty; those who see the glass half full and those who seize the opportunity and drink up what’s in the glass. Ann saw opportunity in a glass, drank it up and served more to share with others. – Melanie Young

Ann Tuennerman and Melanie with Sazerac, our Maltese
Ann Tuennerman and Melanie with Sazerac, our Maltese

 

Connect:

www.talesofthecocktail.com

twitter.com/totc

facebook.com/TalesoftheCocktail

instagram.com/tales_of_the_cocktail/

Hear from Ann Tuennerman June 24 on The Connected Table LIVE, 2pmET/1pmCT on W4CY.com, iHeart.com and the iHeart App. Each week we bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Follow  ups on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable

THE CONNECTED TABLE BANNER WITH TIMES