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Jennifer Baum

Features

SUCCESSFUL OR A SELL OUT?

January 1, 2013

Trade Talks looks at branding in the world of the ever changing restaurateur
By Kristen Oliveri

Photo courtesy of Bullfrog & Baum

In a world where you’re nobody until you’re on TV or have become a social media sensation, keeping street cred amongst chef peers while satisfying diners’ need for celebrity chef status that validates and/or enhances their experience in your restaurant(s) is no easy feat.

What is easy is to get lost in the shuffle if you don’t hone your business to create a brand with mass appeal that resonates in the market.

At How to Build Your Brand Without Selling Out at Trade Talks 2012, a program conceived of and hosted by hospitality PR firm Bullfrog & Baum (www.bullfrogandbaum.com), in conjunction with the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival (www.pbfoodwinefest.com), chefs Daniel Boulud, David Burke, Marc Murphy and John Kunkel talked candidly about the world of endorsements, product lines and the dreaded chain restaurant.

Daniel Boulud, co-owner of the Dinex Group and the chef who most recently opened a restaurant in Toronto, is no stranger to building a brand. “One more is always too many,” began Boulud. He explained that his approach to creating a cohesive and recognizable brand was to name all of his restaurants with his name in the title. While his name is front and center when you call for a reservation the reality of any given dining experience is predicated upon the fact that he crafts each one to be chef-driven with each chef he employs to be totally responsible for managing that individual restaurant.

“I am the brand,” he comments. However, while he understands the need for consistent branding in titles and restaurants, Boulud also recognizes that Continue Reading…

Features

Rags to Riches Culinary Tales

October 24, 2012

The truth about overnight success revealed
By Kristen Oliveri

Photo courtesy of Bullfrog and Baum/Solomon Oh

While publicity and success can take many forms, massive media and television attention can change the course of a restaurateurs’ professional path.

Many in the restaurant industry spend years toiling inside their kitchens and pouring over books to pay off endless bills, without ever even entertaining a thought that fame may come knocking on their door. Some within the food and beverage industry, quite frankly, don’t want such attention as their main goal is always to keep their restaurant, bar or hospitality hub in the center spotlight.
Others, who have grown up or are living in the world of food television and a food-centric culture, have experienced immense success in what feels, and looks, like overnight.

At From Zero to Sixty one of the featured seminars for Trade Talks 2012, a program conceived of and hosted by hospitality PR firm Bullfrog & Baum (www.bullfrogandbaum.com) in conjunction with the New York City Wine & Food Festival (www.nycwineandfoodfestival.com), Michael Chernow of the Meatball Shop (www.themeatballshop.com), Ben Sargent, host of Cooking Channel’s Hook, Line and Dinner (www.cookingchanneltv.com/hook-line-dinner), Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff of the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck (www.biggayicecream.com) and Justin Warner of Do or Dine (www.facebook.com/DOorDINE) and the winner of The Next Food Network Star, spoke candidly about how they’ve handled the spotlight.

Warner, perhaps the most candid of the bunch, was originally working as front of house staff in restaurants throughout New York City when he decided to open NY’s Bed-Stuy-based restaurant Do or Dine with friends, and without any formal culinary training. While he has always been a bit of a trendsetter, his relationship with the media from the beginning was quite unconventional. He recounted the story of how he reached out to a food editor of the New York Times to let them know of his restaurant’s opening with a simple Tweet reading: “Yo, we open.” He notes, “The next thing I knew Continue Reading…

Features

TO PR OR NOT TO PR?

October 24, 2012

Who Needs PR? Industry Insiders Weigh In
By Jessica Colley

Photos courtesy of Bullfrog and Baum/Solomon Oh

Gabe Stulman, Eric Ripert, Ryan D'Agostino, Jennifer Baum, Amy Rossetti, Michael Stillman (left to right)

“We live in a world of communication, and within this world, PR is a tool… a strategy for helping us to tell the story of who we are and what we do.” With this statement, Chef/Restaurateur Eric Ripert kicked off a lively debate on the merits of PR in front of a packed crowd at the NYC Wine & Food Festival Trade Talks program conceived and led by hospitality industry PR firm Bullfrog & Baum.

A range of industry insiders joined Bullfrog & Baum President, Jennifer Baum, on the stage in the High Line Room at the Standard Hotel to share their opinions on whether or not restaurants benefit from the services provided by PR firms. Panelists Michael Stillman (Fourth Wall Restaurants owner – www.fourthwallrestaurants.com), Amy Rossetti (Director of PR at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas-www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com), Ryan D’Agostino (Esquire Editor – www.esquire.com), Gabriel Stulman (Little Wisco Restaurant Group owner –www.littlewisco.com), and Chef Eric Ripert voiced their opinions on whether or not to PR; their opinions ranged from strongly for PR to strongly against, all supported by years of experience.

Agreeing with Ripert on believing in the benefits of PR were Rosetti and Stillman. The opposite opinion was held by Gabriel Stulman, who has never used PR and prefers to handle media requests within his company. Stulman connected his success to a “strong base of regulars” and “talking to his customers instead of relying on social media”. In fact, Stulman went on to describe his “disdain for Twitter” and Continue Reading…