The seminars organized at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen for people in the restaurant business were pretty good, which is nice since I have to write about them for Nation's Restaurant News.
NRN, incidentally, got three plugs during the panels: once when Drew Nieporent expressed frustration that his Tribeca Grill hadn't been inducted into our Fine Dining Hall of Fame, once when USA Today's Jerry Shriver said he read NRN to spot trends, and once by Dana Cowin. She told those who attended the panel about handling national press to pay attention to the local press and the underlings in national media. She said you might have met someone when they started as "an associate editor of Nation's Restaurant News, and now they're running something."
I happened to be sitting at the same table as my former colleague, Erica Duecy, who now is running some things at Fodor's, so of course I pointed to her, as she's the only one I know off the top of my head who used to be an associate editor ("field editor," actually) at NRN and now is running something.
That stuff won't make it into my story on the Classic. I'm afraid the quotes below might not either, so I'm publishing them here:
"You have to be comfortable on the corner of Art and Commerce." -Mario Batali
"I agree with you, but I'm going to disagree because it's more fun for them [pointing to the audience]." -Jose Andres
"Wine's a grocery, not a luxury." -Richard Betts
"I have a passion for selling expensive wines to rich people." -David Lynch
"Maybe it's because I'm in New York and to me everyone's a pain in the ass." -David Lynch
"There's not a lot of you that look great in a dress and can hold a knife." -Michelle Bernstein