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29 December 2004
“An Autumn Evening in New York with Very Special Friends”
New York, NY – In typical “who’s who,” New York City
tradition, the Thirteenth Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates “An Autumn Evening
in New York with Very Special Friends” at the posh New York Athletic Club on 16
November wowed the 200 fortunate few admitted to the FTA spectacular finale
celebration of Excellence Awards that signaled the finish of the 2004 New York
International Hotel & Restaurant Show.
The guests (Including the following: Owners, c.e.o.’s and
operational directors of world-renowned hotel and restaurant chains; industry
press; and FTA wine, beer, spirits and industry partners) were boldly announced
in style by an English gentleman complete with morning suit, silk top hat and
ceremonial mace as they were received in the historic 9th Floor
After the guests were led to dinner in the Ballroom and
warmly welcomed by Michael Charlton, President & CEO, Michael Batterberry,
Co-Founding Editor & Co-Publisher, Food Arts introduced George Vizer, Vice
President of Food & Beverage, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts-North America, who led the
assembled through a tasting of thirteen of the best wine values from Australia
and New Zealand that he had brought back with him from his personal tour the
past March, which was chronicled in the November issue of Food Arts. Then
Master of Ceremonies John Mauk Hilliard summoned everyone to be upstanding for
the presentation of the colors and a fife and drum presentation by New York’s
legendary Veteran Corps of Artillery.
After prayers by Reformed, Episcopal, Jewish and Buddhist
priests, the evening proceeded with 12 Loyalty Toasts, given by many
distinguished Consul Generals, Society Presidents and dignitaries in attendance.
Then it was onward for the presentation of the Tibbitts
Hospitality Awards for Excellence. Michael Charlton recognized Raymond Vineyard
& Cellar with the 2004 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as a Supplier, which
was accepted by Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Steve Turrini. The
2004 FTA Hospitality Award for Excellence as an Operator was presented to M.P.S.
Puri, General Manager, The Setai South Beach & Vice President, The Americas for
GHM Hotels by Joseph McInerney, President, American Hotel & Lodging Association.
The inaugural 2004 FTA Hospitality Award for Lifetime
Excellence was presented to Kenneth Hill, Director, Uno Restaurant Holdings
Corp. by Steven Anderson, President & CEO, National Restaurant Association. All
three Award recipients were presented scholarship certificates in their names in
the amount of $5,000.00 each at Johnson & Wales University for deserving
students studying the Culinary Arts by Dick Brush, Dean of the Hospitality
College, Johnson & Wales University.
Harriet Lembeck, famed New York senior wine educator,
skillfully paired the wines and spoke to the guests as to how she arrived at
Jean-Charles Boisset, President Boisset America and one of
the owners of Boisset, the third largest wine group in France led the assembled
in a traditional French party song, which greatly added to the evening’s
authenticity and entertainment value.
Once the colors were retired, the guests bid fond farewells
until the FTA Spring Dinner, which takes place at Tropica in the Met Life
Building on 7 April 2005.
Fred Tibbitts & Associates, led by Partners Michael
Charlton, President & CEO and Fred Tibbitts, Founder and Senior Vice President
of Sale & Marketing, is the pre-eminent global wine and spirits consulting
agency to some of the world’s leading hotel and restaurant groups.
The Company is based in New York.