Food

How About “Valid” Flow of Information for a bona fide Food, Wine and Hospitality “Industry” in North America in 2014?


And Wednesday is here. My days are no longer days or nights. It is dark now and I have been up for several hours, commuted over 30 miles and early for work. I crashed here where I can type a note quickly. Since my new routine allows me to do more than I did which is more than what an average person does, I now have more time to dig into wine. And? I was riding the train and since I am very used to following technology news, I not only have blogs of value that are well-established and efficient hence easy to follow and be informed but also I can use more novel means of acquiring information such as video and audio. I have a Youtube account dedicated to such technology broadcasts which are also part marketing by established news agencies BUT do provide accurate and timely information. I was curious today and tried to add wine into this Youtube just to see the effects. Nothing. The Sommelier affiliations I have? Major wine publications? They barely led anywhere. Even local popular magazines which can have timely info barely have any leads. What does all this mean? They are so primitive or backward?

I like to think they refuse to divulge information unless is being sold. Marketing is a low priority. Local news of value to the wine trade is available in the resources that sell them! The same can be said of others. This is not an article about criticizing such venues but to ask where is one to receive information of value besides Decanter emails? I like to think we are so advanced in 2014 that I can dedicate one of my tablets to technology activities AND acquire a second tablet which may be used daily once or two or three times weekly for the purposes of gathering all incoming leads, news and so on BUT do these sources exist? If I were to take a simple step of acquiring a tablet and installing a RSS reader would I be able to receive whole and valuable (garbage is endless in this business) industry and trade information by adding say 8 to 12 blogs? Logically, I should be able to click my RSS Reader app icon daily as I have done for technology forever on my tablet and flip through the articles of recent that have value and bother to stop and read as much of what gets my attention before moving on! Shouldn’t I? I don’t think so. I think one reason is those who gather and provide news and information as third party are interested in “selling” them and have no interest in “informing” the trade or individuals in trade. I also think the organizations and institutions which are in the relevant businesses are only fronts for powerful people and money in the business until go out of business hence information is not their business nor is “industry.” I like to think that it is a responsibility of major publications to have at least one solid blog that pushes the most needed news AND skips the masses of garbage (that probably are created by them also) from this flow. I also think the bodies that operate in the field “assuming” an industry exists in some form beyond the facade and the businesses pretending ought to have some way of timely publishing their angle of the top or valuable news. Court of Master Sommelier? Wine and Spirit Trust? That is a random throw of the many bodies in business. If there is an industry also in existence there has to be a routine publication including “industry” needed information and news. Decanter is not IT. An entire industry cannot be run by tidbits thrown at us by one magazine. I like to think it is a duty in 2014 for those organizations and institutions which get so much out of this business to run a daily “original” blog of news and information no matter how brief or infrequent as long as is informative and valuable so if there is an “industry” out there and individuals whom are not wrongfully an “industry” structure is in place, what is worth knowing will be available. Two conditions must be met in this pursuit. If information is to be sold which may be necessary, a free version MUST exist or this is not beneficial for an industry and benefits the buyers and sellers only. Secondly, the format is very important or these contents are worthless. Many blogs, publications and sources provide the information but the format and the packaging of information together with all the garbage included in this flow of information make it impossible to make any use of the info. In a way, it would be disturbing to have a solid, clear and collective flow of valuable, accurate and mildly biased information and news of the industry in one place as say a RSS Reader. One step further would be video clips when worthy hence enhancing the value.

There are those who argue no “industry” exists and a bunch of traders with the most money hold everyone from employees to public hostage by their activities and provide “fake” versions of what may be needed from products, organizations, marketing to what you may name so it appears this Special Interest is really a solid, organized and healthy industry of many trained and qualified men, women and organizations doing what a healthy industry does. I agree and disagree but probably is the best description of Food, Wine and Hospitality in United States during the first two decades of 21st century. How about violating this standard? There are enough independent organizations and bodies and persons whom can initiate or clean up what is already available hence making the flow of information practical and useful and we have a new level of organization for what we have in place. It may be a fake “industry” and a solid coalition of businesses with no interest in an “industry” but in financial transactions short and long terms but we can operate another level on top of this by having many “valid” flows of information for the sake of information. An “industry” man or woman would be able to participate and be in tune with the “industry” that fights to exist beyond the controls of “profiteers” and we would in time have some level of organization that functions for more objectives than money changing hands or bank accounts. I think a multi-billion dollar industry needs such a basic level of activities to be flexible through times. People who are on the same page of what is going on in the industry form a group that has effect on the industry. Today, this is only insider experts or those who can “buy” information. A system of “valid” and “current” resources of flowing information would put the majority or large portions of those in the “industry” that is suppressed on the same page hence they have more effect and hopefully the common cause of a healthy “industry” will stand better chance of success against its own troubles.

How about that?

22 Jan 2014 7:30 am Downtown San Francisco, California

Do We Have To Call Names And Pick Fights With Big People? May Be We Do. May Be We Do.


I have had so many blogs. I have been doing my writings via various mobile devices and rarely get a chance to look at the web-based set ups. I have to scroll down my blog lists to find Wine by Cush and write a post. I am using a different user for other blogs on my Android device hence don’t write as much when mobile on this blog. I did start a hidden blog under that user so I can keep journals on wine. That is done on my mobile device but I am too busy to remember this blog when I am mobile for now.

I am at the coffee shop again today. I did not want to to go to campus though is Sunday and I normally go to the library to study. Summer is depressing on campus during the weekends. There is nobody around. The bookstore and other resources are closed. The library is open for four hours and basically deserted. I don’t care to be there today. Fortunately, I have begun using my Chrome book and can study anywhere. That is a blessing BUT today I don’t feel like studying. My roommate leaves next week which is not a problem but I probably won’t see the kid any more except a few times a year at best. I hate to think he will grow up in the great State of California and where we are. This is a shit-hole but we have to say is great. Kids should not grown up in California anywhere except a few places that are controlled closely. They should not go to American public schools at all. That will change in a few years as this country turns around but for now is a trap and an opening to hell. We also had changes at work. Crime is swallowing San Francisco. Our company has been dying and just like the City of San Francisco once was being lost to the 1% when Gavin was kicked out, our company also has used the same salvation. Local East Asian gangs are so secretive that gang members are never tried in court for being gang members. They are charged and tried for single crimes. The Family Associations have expanded power greatly since Ed Lee was knighted by Getty ownership of San Francisco to replace the beleaguered Gavin in exchange for partial ownership of the City. Our company brought its own rescue teams. A big fight ensued between the law and the righteous business. The business lost and have been tossing suspected loyal one by one BUT only to replace them with no-name equals. Tomorrow is the beginning of one such transition. I am more down than up regardless of successes. A troublesome roommate no more but the cost may be bore by a four year old kid indefinitely. An entire layer of criminals and pseudo-criminals gets removed only to be instantly replaced by fresh faces thanks to the criminals who run righteous Southern businesses. We use plan B in both cases to damage control but it is still not happy times.

I was looking at the local newspaper restaurant section. The articles interest me. A long time ago when I was part of this kind of thinking I took many of these people and places and events seriously. Times have changed. I moved on and began new adventures. I learned more and more and more about marketing and promotions. Today, I am more into marketing than the substance of the field. I am in several fields. The paper looks different today. I used to care what the authors said. I used to value gradual changes in the field. I used to do many things. Today, I see the same paper as a completely different publication. The food section is not about food at all. It is pure marketing now. I no longer feel irked how bad the writings of the senior food writer are. They seem fine. They seem okay. They seem great. He markets products, people and places. Who cares the quality of the writing and substance is so low. The names need promotion. That is all there is. I go through item after item and everythings seems fine. They are more than fine. That is what they are supposed to be. The food section is a vehicle for promoting names and whatever else of this market as possible. That is all it is. Advertising disguised as hard core serious food writing. Do I feel bad? No. I think is great. The writing in these pages has never amounted to anything. They are beyond worthless. They have been scarry. Do I feel bad I can see them as promotional pieces and nothing else? No. I do promotions. I am into marketing. The products, services, people, companies and what not I have to deal with and am involved with are what they are. My interests are improved by further marketing. I once aspired to learn to do well in the business. Research says one hour study of a subject makes one a top 5% of the field after three years. I have done more than that in my current field. Has it paid off? I can sell things. I can sell anything in the field. I can write. I can author books. I can publish blogs. I can make videos of such content. I can make a TV show of such content. What is left? Marketing. Promotion. The learning part not only went too well but is too much. What is left for someone or a business that is well developed in the field is marketing, promotions and more marketing. That is the next stage. That is all there is. I don’t think the local paper is such a waste and such a trash because of the absence of substance. I think is great. I have been away from the field for a while. in technical fields one loses 25% of knowledge for every year absent. That is an industry average. Is wine the same? I would say six months of moderate going around and around and I am back on top of all things not just some. Should I continue to learn? Should I build my knowledge and skills? Of course, but where would that take me? I don’t think very far. What would take me places is marketing. It is promotions. It is what the local food section of paper does and pretends to be something else. That is it. Getting names, products, businesses, people into public more and better makes all the difference and our local publications do that well. That is all they do. They deliberately avoid anything else. Industry awards shower these writers and articles. I used to complain how dishonest these national industry awards were. May be they are not. May be we misunderstand what industries are about. May be they are supposed to pretend and get other things done. May be! I really don’t care. At this point, I do what I am to do more and often. Soon I will be fully active in the industry and? I have to do this one and that one and this other one and so on BUT I will be able to get more results. My labors produce and what I was taught produced results however more is needed and may be we have that available. The great popular and trade publications that print nothing of substance but sure print a lot and often have something to offer. They promote and market you well. That may be all they do but they do. I can use that. It is a fortunate thing they serve some purpose for all their shortcomings. And will they be of help? Of course not. They need motivation. They will get it. That is not always a good thing. Years ago, when I was first arriving, the gentlemen at the Department of State would not give me a visa. They were informed by their Israeli partners who i was they said. Soon a few gentlemen from the Department of Army visited them and gave them such a beating that is worth remembering in the annals of our government. I received my visa after the one week delay of course. They were motivated. Will the paper and other media which print nothing of substance but do heavy and hard marketing and promotions while pretending is substance be of help in promotion and marketing I do? I think is fair to assume they will say the Gettys have called and told us who you are and we won’t give you publicity. Okay. How long will the delay be? One week? Two weeks? Motivation is available and will be offered. The paid persons of legal or business standing whom do for the owner class have little status in other circles. That is where motivation comes from should it be needed? Will it be needed? We shall find out. We shall. 28 July 2013

Are You Sure You Want Me To Review This Restaurant? (Short Piece)


It has been months but finally came through. A long long time ago, I signed up for a dining evaluation thing. It was more of a joke. When I was asked in the online form which of their employees had recommended me, I put “George W. Bush.” I was always passed for evaluation and why not? Isn’t this an excuse to feed your friends? Surprise. $30 reimbursement and $25 for reviewing this place? I felt so bad reading it. They don’t know who I am. I am actively arm wrestling with someone at work and heard a story how someone beat him but was gracious enough to tell him afterwards he was a professional arm-wrestler. What if it? I do a little bit of restaurant reviewing too. The top dog in San Francisco is MB (keep him incognito as he likes) and probably one of the top 5 most disliked people in the history of San Francisco for how he operates. I heard a story that when being accused of being strict and a downright bastard, MB claimed he was not that bad and that he knew of this top chef in San Francisco that was stricter and a bigger bastard. A follow up story says the said chef claims he is not that bad at all. There is this guy named Cush that writes stuff about restaurants that a bigger bastard than him and even stricter than him. I could care less and if true, well F both of them. They are both okay if somebody else is nit-pickier. But there is some truth to the story and frankly I think we all have in common is if there is something we don’t like, we won’t let go. That can ruin a happy fake operation. On the other hand, our chef friend as strict as may be gave huge margin of error to some low-level staff I happened to know in his operation so a screw up won’t be written off because of lack of opportunity. It is what he doesn’t like that kills people. The anonymous MB may be the last person who cares yours truly says or does but did acknowledge that independents can have a hard time against the criminal-minded operators out there and happens to have given plenty of 1 and 2 stars to places I happened to clash for professional reasons. It is what he doesn’t like. I guess all bastards are not bastards. They are difficult people but can be fair and understanding. Today when I saw this email I realized how sad it was to ask me to review seriously (and turning a blind eye is not okay as I can when on my own. Ignore and bye bye the $55!) when I AM a little strict with standards. I will never play with any of them even as a joke. That also reminds me I should write a few reviews soon…..

Written on Blackberry Curve WiFi-only Handset

Food Management May 2011 (Reflection)


When I got my first copy of food management I was thinking management. I had read online stuff passively only. It turned out to be a completely different perspective than fine dining and restaurant management. It is more along the lines of Fancy Food Convention. Food that looks good, is packaged nicely and marketed very carefully. Manufacturing is the spirit of this type of eating! Why do I read it? This is food for America. I cannot say I am interested in good food, cooking, exploration and finer aspects of dining and beverage but ignore what the country really devours. I admit it is not a culture shock to flip through but nothing like what we are used to. Food Management is food reality in many ways if you are in food business. Good read too. Not exactly a vehicle for ads only.

My Favorite Restaurant in San Francisco? (Reflection)


I don’t think this is my favorite restaurant. I have never eaten here. I have never been inside. I would call it an eatery but is your typical Chinese buffet restaurant. The inside looks a lot better. What is the point? Restaurant people are usually good at one or more things putting them in business and reallu SUCK at other things. The inside is sort of ok. I bet the food is eatable. The facade is a scary disgrace. Doesn’t bother the owners!!! I bet it does not. That is how restaurant mind works. They really suck at important things. The stuff they know and do count not because they would not be in business to be evaluated without them.

Raj Parr: Parr Selections and some of the wines that inspired them at Ferry Wine Merchant (Tasting #46)


 

I am not surprised that Debbie Zachareas was made wine professional of the year (where did I read that a few years back? and many other honors). Where would the SF wine bar scene would be without her first rate events? Doing flights of their favorite wines on Tuesday nights? There is a lesson to be learned: Good events are what is lacking at the static food and beverage establishments which have to stop and cry about bad business often and regularly. Their only problem is it takes so much to do a first class event and there is such a big difference with the run-of-the-mill stuff everybody does. Here is a good one for you

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Raj Parr: Parr Selections and some of the wines that inspired them
Type:
Party – Bar Night
Date:
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Time:
4:30pm – 7:30pm
Location:
Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
Description
Join us on Wednesday, March 24th, from 4:30-7:30pm, as we welcome special guest Rajat Parr, of Parr Selections and the Mina Group. We are thrilled to have this very special guest and dear friend join us at our Wine Bar for an evening of great wines personally produced by this heralded expert compared with the wines that inspired him to make them. Raj, as his friends call him, was a trained chef before beginning his wine career in San Francisco as an apprentice to Larry Stone at Rubicon. He soon blossomed, taking over the wine list at Fifth Floor, earning a Grand Award there, and then joining Michael Mina as Wine Director of the star chef’s burgeoning empire of stellar restaurants, including Michael Mina and their latest superstar, RN74. He has since branched out to start his own wine company, producing wines to his refined taste from various regions. Tonight we will feature a Chardonnay, a Pinot Noir, and a lovely Syrah paired with the wines that originally inspired Raj to make those particular wines. You will have the chance to compare and contrast the old world wines that served as his muse for the new world wines. Plus, you can discuss first hand what made those wines special in the mind of the man that took that inspiration and turned it into a line up of delicious California wines. Don’t Miss It!

We know you won’t want to miss this opportunity to taste a wonderful range of delicious wines with this wine star and quiz him about all aspects of wine, from his favorites to his selction methods. Learn from a famous sommelier. So come down and help us welcome this charming wine czar, Rajat Parr to Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant.

****AS A SPECIAL FEATURE ALL WINES SERVED ON PRODUCER FLIGHT NIGHT WILL BE ON SALE FOR THAT NIGHT ONLY AT A 15% DISCOUNT TO THOSE WHO PURCHASE A FLIGHT!!!

MARCH MADNESS comes to Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and Oxbow Wine Merchant! We are not immune to this Spring ritual of college basketball zaniness. We will be showing all of the games available on all of the big screen, high-def TV’s at the Ferry Plaza Wine Bar and at our sister store in Napa, Oxbow Wine Merchant. Come on down and join us for a tasty beverage and some game time snacks and enjoy all the thrills that the NCAA Basketball Tournament has to offer! Starting today all the way through to the Championship Game on April 5th. See you there.

 

The featured wines are served as a series of two ounce glasses. If you would like a full glass just ask your bartender. The wines will also be available for retail purchase while supplies last….

The cost of the flight will be $38 and will feature the following six wines served as three pairs for comparison:

2007 Parr Solomon Hills Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County
Retail $45, 5oz. glass $14.50

2006 Domaine Leflaive Macon-Verzé, Burgundy, France
Retail $35, 5oz. glass $12.00

2007 Parr Seven Springs Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Retail $45, 5oz. glass $14.50

2007 Domaine L’Arlot Nuits-St-Georges, 1er Cru, Clos de L’Arlot, Burgundy, France
Retail $75, 5oz. glass $22.00

2007 Parr Purisima Mountain Syrah, Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara County
Retail $45, 5oz. glass $14.50

2006 Yves Gangloff Cote-Rotie La Barbarine, Rhone Valley, France
Retail $88, 5oz. glass $25.25

Hope to see you all there!
Peter, Bo, Jeff, Debbie and the entire Ferry Plaza team.

Also, don’t miss the complete schedule of our highly popular Ferry Plaza Wine Classes in San Francisco, at 6:30 pm in the Ferry Building’s Port Commission Hearing Room.

Click Wine Bar for the complete Wine Bar Event Schedule. Many of our wines are available online at FPWM.com

Join our Wine Club!

For questions, comments:
call (415) 391-9400.

Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
One Ferry Building,
Shop 23
San Francisco, CA 94111

*This post belongs to this week’s edition of Wine by Cush Magazine blog and published early in World of Cush also.

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