August 15, 2012

At the risk of misleading you and coming off sounding very booze and NYC centric, this letter from the Editor opens with the random stream of consciousness thought that NYC in August has always been the month devoid of therapists (because they’re all on vacation) and, if there was ever a time to want someone to talk things through with, this post-Tales of the Cocktail month is the time.

No, I’m not having issues with my alcohol consumption but I am thinking about how much others consume and the impact it has on their personal life and professional growth. Nor am I distraught with personal challenges, but I know that others are; some intensely personal and some precipitated by business moves. Tales of the Cocktail is always a time for a one-two punch of business planning and business reflection. This year, something else entered into the mix, and that’s a sense of appreciation.

Prior to Tales kicking off Pernod Ricard sent out a note asking all attending Tales to drink responsibly; to appreciate the fact that the business trip before us was better suited to be a marathon than a sprint. How many of you appreciated their words and took them to heart? Do you share my appreciation for the life we lead, being fortunate to focus our careers on the hospitality industry? Have you taken time lately to show your appreciation for people like Ann Tuennerman and Lesley Townsend who have built spirited cocktail events such as Tales of the Cocktail and Manhattan Cocktail Classic, guys like Lee Schrager of the South Beach and Aspen Food & Wine events, not to mention the folks toiling behind the scenes at these and other thriving food & beverage events around the country that offer us the chance to us to embrace and study the subject that makes us tick and do it in the bosom of those we hold dear? How DO you express appreciation for those colleagues you’re in the trenches with every day?

Every day is, for any of you reading this, an opportunity to ask yourself those questions and shape your business practices and personal life accordingly. While unfortunate tragedy struck the spirits industry over the last couple of months, ending some promising young professionals’ lives, I’m hoping that their passing will serve to make us all take a moment to look around at what we do and who we do it with and give thanks that we’re still able to pursue our dreams. Their marked absence from our community should also serve to remind us that every day is another opportunity to do something right and treat others the way we’d like to be treated; hospitably.

London’s sense of hospitality is worth emulating as they got through the Olympics with hardly a significant black eye marring the games (though that electric baby in the opening ceremony was a little creepy). Their gracious hospitality can serve as a great reminder that fun and professionalism can go hand in hand. Sometimes fun is more top of mind and that’s fine – you’ll find a perfect example of just how much foodie fun one can have in England in our story Culinary World Champions (

There are many champions out there; brands like Pierre Ferrand which won the best new product category at the Tales of the Cocktail Awards and Lillet Rose which was up in the same category (and we’ve featured here –, folks like Joaquin Simo who is taking his Best American Bartender award and putting it on the shelf in his own new venture (see a bit on him here:, and managers who know when to have their employees’ backs ( . Want to be a champ too? Make sure you’ve got just the right photo to win you your next job (see tips here:

Enjoy the end of August, survive the dog days of summer, and plan, like we are, to take a moment to take stock of what’s around you and maximize its potential for the future.

Thank you, as always, for being part of INSIDE F&B!