I (follow/am “friends” with him) (since I’ve met him several times through the Montclair Food & Wine Festival (#MFWF), and so) saw this on Chef Francesco Palmieri’s personal Facebook page. As you can see, I responded to his call, and he replied. Great. (I thought: “I will do him the favor of being a body to make the place look lively, and I will get free food—double-good!”) I went there on time (earlier than scheduled) and asked how I could help. (I had worn black so as to be able to blend into the background; I certainly didn’t want to be interviewed on camera. [No worries, about that—we had a good crowd and the host/producer found some articulate people to talk to.])
Here’s what the scene looked like:
Alexandra with her mother Melody Kettle (the founder & director of #MFWF!), with [my new friend] Doreen Sarcone (Bloomfield Center Alliance), in the left corner. [My old friend] Paul Brewster (from FitzGerald’s 1928, in Glen Ridge) and his wife, in the back. [My new friends] Barbara & Paul Castigila, against the wall. Penwah Phynjuar, at the bar. [My new friend] Diane Biancamano, in the middle, with other good folks.
The chef being interviewed, in a quiet moment, after (he was taped while) cooking all that food.
I apologize, dear readers, that I didn’t get a chance to tell you about this, before it happened [although there was this, almost a year ago, for those paying attention!], (or anything, in May!) but consider this fair warn… advance notice about next year! We were having a lot of meetings to list/line up/nail down all the moving parts/logistics, for three days of tasting, seminars, and dinner. Besides, you’re reading my Facebook, too—with all the ‘selfies’ of me in my tee-shirt, around town—right…?!
Trying to pitch in everywhere I could, I was mostly involved with the check-in process and the general hospitality in the “front of house” again, for (mastermind) Melody Kettle’s second (annual) fabulous events—this time at (places with air conditioning!) the (respected) Montclair Art Museum (which charged us rental fees) and The Manor restaurant (and beautiful catering hall) where the kitchen & dining room spaces were graciously donated by the Knowles family! I also did ad hoc marketing as I walked/bicycled wherever people were; helped coordinate at the (meetings of the) venues; kept the buzz going on social media; set up over 50 tables; was the sponsor-care point-person; assisted the band; moved boxes of dishes and glassware; am keeping the buzz going on social media; etc.
This organization is a governmentally-designated 501(c)3 not-for profit, and the proceeds will be donated to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital; and to several promising culinary students, to further their educations.
We sold out the tickets that were offered, and we’re already outgrowing this year’s spaces! Read about the Grand Tasting at the museum; the Seminar Series; and the Gala Dinner—which was a sit-down affair, with six-courses made by six chefs, with paired wines. See the menu, here, and read about the chefs, here.
I try to be ^^this^^ dynamo’s right-hand man!
“Restaurants from the Inside Out”
Quite the foodie, for a long time,
Steven Shaw talks a lot about how to order
and how to become a regular.
I was asked—by Melody Kettle, the mastermind behind
this ambitious/complex/sophisticated concept
and the execution of it—to manage the registration/check-in process for all of the guests of these two (different) big nights.
(The first one was a tasting expo, with folks walking around
from comestible vendor table to adult-beverage servers, etc.
The second one was a six-course sit-down dinner—
with wine pairings by a local famous sommelier—
by six celebrated local chefs.)
Melody called, asking to speak with “Mr. Hospitality.”
My reputation is well-branded.