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Posts Tagged ‘Grub Street’

Paula Deen’s Comeback Goes Down Smooth Like a Shot of Tequila

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Can we call her a tippler?

We can’t say which lessons Paula Deen learned from her recent “is it racist” scandal, but maintaining a sense of public decorum doesn’t seem to be one of them. That’s OK, though; subtlety has never been her style.

Deen recently made her first post-scandal appearance at the South Beach Wine and Food Festival after securing $100 million for Paula Deen Ventures, which will focus on selling her own material and original content rather than licensing her name and likeness to others.

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Daniel Boulud’s Top PR Chef Opens Her Own Restaurant

Hey there, PR practitioners! What’s your dream job—no, your real dream job?

If your answer was “open a haute cuisine restaurant”, then you should remember the name Georgette Farkas—but first you need to know Daniel Boulud. In case you’ve never eaten out in New York City, Boulud has been The Big Apple’s most celebrated chef in the two decades since he opened his flagship restaurant, Daniel. Since then, his empire has spread as far as London, Singapore and Beijing.

Farkas ran Boulud’s communications and marketing operations for the past 17 years, but all along she aspired to even bigger things in the culinary world. Now Grub Street brings word that she will open her first restaurant, Rôtisserie Georgette, in October.

This is no piecemeal venture; located steps from Central Park, the 90-seat eatery’s menu will be “inspired by memories of meals she enjoyed in France as a child” and specialize in serving classic fowl in its many mouthwatering forms. In order to prepare for this latest career step, Farkas didn’t just recall her childhood. She also:

…visited poultry farms in Amish country…and even bused tables at DBGB to reacquaint herself with the rigors of service (and the importance of comfortable shoes).

So the next time someone asks you whether PR professionals just write emails all day, answer “Rôtisserie Georgette. Google it, bitch.”

*Photo via New York Social Diary

Veteran Food Publicist Says Restaurants Need Better PR Strategies

In the wake of the Groupon collapse, lots of people in the restaurant industry are wondering what’s next. According to PR/food veteran Ellen Malloy, the answer is simple: Instead of focusing on “deals”, restaurants need to take charge of their brands and promotional efforts.

Malloy founded a food-focused PR firm called Restaurant Intelligence Agency in 2007 to help chefs and eateries address the same problems supposedly solved by Groupon–the challenges of connecting to “audiences that matter” and standing out in an extremely crowded field. In an interview with Grub Street Chicago, she explains what that means:

Wowing people who are sitting in your restaurant isn’t marketing strategy, that’s you doing your job. Marketing is what happens once they walk out the door. How are you going to get them back?

The appeal behind Groupon was that restaurants could publicize themselves without paying standard agency fees–the service only collected on sales. But that was also its biggest problem–businesses ran to Groupon because they had no real plan for promoting themselves, and most people who used these “coupons” never became regular customers anyway because they were only interested in getting a “deal”, so revenues remained static.

So what do chefs, restaurant managers and food PR firms need to do?

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Happy 100th Birthday, Julia Child

In case you hadn’t heard, Julia Child–longtime chef, TV fixture and inspiration to every single domestic media goddess who followed in her footsteps (including Martha Stewart and, yes, even Rachael Ray) would have turned 100 this week.

Most of us were too young to watch her in her prime, but she remained active until the ripe young age of 90, and today she stands as a perfect example of one woman who transformed her passion into an enduring brand–Mastering the Art of French Cooking remains a bestseller today, and we don’t think Meryl Streep can take all the credit. Everyone—including the White House’s executive pastry chef—seems to have taken a moment this week to weigh in on the woman who changed not just French cuisine but the art of cooking in general.

Grub Street collects some of the better remembrances here, and this auto-tuned PBS “remix” must be seen to be believed (we can’t quite decide if this is a good thing). As the woman herself said, “Everything in moderation…including moderation.”