Media Contact: Lori LaDu
April 8, 2004

Fred Tibbitts & Associates Eighth Annual
“A Spring Evening in New York with very, very Special Friends”


New York, NY – In typical “who’s who”, New York City tradition, the Eighth Annual Fred Tibbitts & Associates “A Spring Evening in New York with very, very Special Friends” at the historic Harvard Club of New York dazzled the 114 fortunate few in attendance.  At this FTA spectacular, the highly anticipated 2004 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence were announced.  These Awards will be presented at the FTA Fall Dinner at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

The guests were owners, CEOs, and operational directors of world-renowned hotel and restaurant chains; industry press; and FTA wine, beer and spirits partners.  The entrance of each guest was announced in Royal Court style by an English gentleman (complete with morning suit, silk top hat and ceremonial mace) as they were received at the reception.  After a sampling hour of wines, spirits and beer, the attendees were led to dinner and formally welcomed by hosts Michael Charlton and Fred Tibbitts.  Master of Ceremonies John Mauk Hilliard declared “Gentlemen, Permission to parade the colors!” and with that the guests were treated to a magnificent, patriotic performance by the Veteran Corps of Artillery in the State of New York.

After ecumenical prayers by Dutch Reformed, Jewish Reformed and Buddhist priests, the evening continued with eleven Loyalty Toasts given by many of the distinguished Ambassadors, Consul Generals, Society Presidents, dignitaries and industry V.I.P.’s in attendance.

Finally, Mr. Charlton and Mr. Tibbitts made the much anticipated announcement of the 2004 Tibbitts Hospitality Awards for Excellence.  Michael Charlton recognized Raymond Vineyard & Cellar for the Supplier Award, which will be accepted in November by Walter Raymond, Vice President.  Fred Tibbitts said the 2004 Operator Award will be given to MPS Puri, General Manager, The Setai, South Beach and Vice President, the Americas, GHM.  And finally, Charlton announced that the new FTA Award is for Lifetime Excellence and it will go to Kenneth Hill, Director, Uno Restaurants.

The menu was masterfully paired with the wines being tasted by renowned expert Harriet Lembeck, while the dishes themselves were prepared by the Harvard Club Executive Chef, Angelo Ljubicic.