Posts Tagged ‘The Violet Hour’

JAMES BEARD TURNS 25

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

By Francine Cohen and Victoria Ruvolo

“…showers bring May flowers.” And, the James Beard Awards.

Yes, it’s that time again. Time to see who steps onto the stage at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall to accept the medal that announces to the hospitality industry that he (or she) is at the top of their game.

About a month ago the 2012 James Beard award nominees were announced, leaving the food world all a buzz. And the chatter will last up until late in the evening of May 7th, when the last award has been handed out and the last morsel of food created by the country’s best chefs and the last drop of champagne has been savored by the winners.

In celebrating the 25th anniversary of the foundation, and 23 years of bestowing these awards, it is evident that the James Beard Foundation is as much a winner as any of the stellar culinary and beverage artists who got a nod. James Beard Foundation President, Susan Ungaro, notes, “This year is the 25th anniversary of the foundation. And the 23rd year of the awards. Our awards committee wanted this year’s event to celebrate 25 years of American food at its best and salute the legacy of James Beard. Most notably, after our ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall, the grand tasting will feature chefs from all over the country each creating a recipe from one of James Beard’s cookbooks. He was not only a restaurant advisor/consultant, but also a mentor to a number of great restaurant owners and chefs; many of whom went on to win.”

She continues, “We are really excited about the fact that we’re playing up James Beard’s role in the development of the food world. How prescient he was

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TODAY’S MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE: “DON’T HATE US BECAUSE WE’RE BEAUTIFUL!”

Monday, July 4th, 2011

>Does Bottle Design Complement or Compete with Spirit Quality?
By Kathleen Reynolds, KReyRecommends.com

www.skinnygirlcocktails.com) has warranted disdain from countless spirits professionals – and raked in thousands for its creator. Beyond the media-saturated spokesperson and mass-friendly pricing, there is no denying the level of awareness behind the SkinnyGirl brand, which is clearly represented on every bottle. And it begs the question: when it comes to wine and spirits – do looks really matter?

The short answer? Yes. Of course. A number of bartenders and spirits professionals interviewed insisted looks have little to no bearing on their preferences. Most would opt for austere design if it came with a superior spirit. But they recognize that consumers buy with their eyes. And if it really didn’t matter, companies would not invest in a bottle’s looks or labels. The truth is, a modern meal isn’t complete without creative plating and most imbibers are eyeing bottles like they would book covers or eHarmony photos. They want the spirit to speak to them before the first sip. But there’s a fine line between whetting the palette over-promising on looks while disappointing on taste.

Marketers can go through elaborate measures to ensure their end product is consistent with their brand’s core. For Leblon USA (www.lebloncachaca.com), a premium, small batch cachaça that’s been on the market since 2005, the bottle was designed with an internal mantra in mind, according to Steve Luttman, President and Founder. “We’re always thinking about S.N.T. – sensual, natural, together.” Luttman wants anyone who sees his product to feel they could “travel to Rio in a bottle.” According to him, “When you’re selling spirits, you’re selling a cheap plane ticket.” Everything from the exotic font used, to the mountain landscape in the background, to the carefully-selected lime green colors, is intended to transport a person to Brazil’s famous beaches. The creative process began in Luttman’s mind, and its remnants remain on his office wall five years later to keep him focused. After writing the central concept, Luttman created an idea board and mocked up a basic logo. From there, he consulted with Paul McDowell Design to turn his vision into reality. They tested prototypes with consumers and industry professionals along the way, and have not veered from the initial design since launching five years ago.

How does Luttman know it’s effective? He describes honing his sales pitch and to avoid launching into a hard sell right away. “I just put the bottle on the bar, and it immediately generates a response and starts the conversation. He recognizes that bottle design only goes so far. “Looks just get us in the door. The juice has to speak for itself. If it doesn’t, we’re screwed.”

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