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Ordering Chinese food in NYC? HungryPanda want to Help

Ordering Chinese food in NYC? HungryPanda want to Help

Leveraging their industry-leading delivery services, the HungryPanda app seamlessly connects food, people and culture.

HungryPanda goes further with Asian food culture

The ‘Golden Panda Award’ is a symbol of excellence in the global overseas Chinese food industry, setting the highest standard for culinary achievement.

It stands as the world’s exclusive international honor specifically dedicated to recognizing restaurant businesses in the food delivery sector. This prestigious award embodies commitment to promoting and celebrating outstanding achievements in the realm of international Chinese cuisine.

Kitty Liu from HungryPanda

Kitty Lu from HungryPanda

Joe Winger: 

We are here today with Kitty Lu from HungryPanda. 

Help me get to know HungryPanda.co 

Kitty Lu: 

HungryPanda serves a niche market for Asian communities.  We were established in 2017, founded in the UK when our CEO and the founding team were studying in Nottingham University.

The platform was born from a very simple, but compelling need experienced first hand, by the founders as international students, struggling to find authentic Chinese food in the UK. 

From that outset, HungryPanda started to really focus sharply on that particular niche market, tailoring our user experience with Chinese interfaces to overcome culture and language barriers.

That’s how our app got started.  We are very lucky enough to be growing really fast within the past six years. 

Now we expanded into 10 different countries, including: US, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, and Singapore.

Hungry Panda

Joe Winger: 

Different cultures, maybe different ways people use their phones, different apps.

What challenges has HungryPanda faced as you enter the very competitive North America market?

Kitty Lu:

Local regulatory requirements that we need to meet.  Every country, every region has different regulations, and especially with food delivery.  

The U.S. is actually coming out with all the new regulations lately, therefore that’s one of the challenges as well.

Also intense competition from established local and global brands. 

When we entered the North American market, Door Dash, Uber, the giants, had already occupied the mass market.  In the Asian food delivery market, we also have competitors like, Chow Bus and others.

Obviously we were the new brand going to the market. 

Therefore, that’s the main challenge that we faced. But, we were actually quite confident and, lucky enough because we have a very good team structure. All of our team members have experience opening markets in different countries.

So unlike Uber or DoorDash, when they are opening a new market, for example, North American market and Australian market is very different. People have different consumer behavior. But for us the good thing is, although we are in different countries, we are serving the same type of people, which is the  overseas Asian customers, therefore the consumer behavior is rather similar.

Although we have the challenge, it’s easier for us to actually dive in and then adapt in a rapid rhythm.

HungryPanda

HungryPanda

Joe Winger:

Is North America the toughest audience when it comes to regulations?

Kitty Lu: 

With regulations, we’re talking more towards the drivers, how do we protect them?

Obviously there are minimum standards. Because what we call the “gig economy” is still considered a new industry, no matter what part of the world.  

North America, Australia, the UK, all the countries are coming out with new regulations to actually protect this particular industry.

We are all at the same stage, growing from a new industry to a more mature industry.

Joe Winger: 

Your company released a food trends report from 2023.  What’s the biggest takeaway? 

Kitty Lu: 

Consumer interest in the authenticity and quality in food.  

When you talk about Chinese food in North America or  the UK, the first thing you think of is actually Cantonese food because [it] arrived first.

Now we can see all the hot Sichuan hot pots and malatang, all these are more modern and, trendy or more northern cuisine start to really get in the picture. popularity. 

This is something that’s blowing our mind as well.

It’s a strong signal to the food industry to really focus on the authenticity, offering high quality ingredients. This is something I think is actually quite interesting.

Joe Winger: 

Talking about trends, anything was surprising?

Kitty Lu: 

The most popular category is definitely Boba tea.  Now, as.

As we can see the hot pot, stuff actually, coming on top of, all this fried chicken, bubble tea and stuff. That suggests our local consumers start to really adapt into a more authentic flavor Chinese food instead of people always ordering honey chicken, spring side pork. 

They learn to really understand, oh, that’s you know, Chinese people eat in China, they really start to learn and understand and admire about the spice actually in the food.

This is something actually I find quite interesting.

Joe Winger: 

That’s really a big change. 

Based on your 2023 report, any predictions for 2024?

Kitty Lu: 

The rise in the family demands, so AOV ( average order value) keeps growing. Food delivery is not growing accommodating only for one person, two person, but it’s starting to expand, for more towards a family’s demands. 

We can anticipate the age group that actually accepting or keep using the food delivery services actually start to grow and expand as well. 

Also predicting new services for delivery companies. We can actually see the trend that many people start to order.

Pick up orders from the app and you can go straight to the restaurant to pick it up without waiting.  It’s helps you jump the queue.

When you order a pickup it’s actually cheaper than ordering at the shop itself.

Therefore, this is actually one of the trends that we can see. It’s actually start to grow.

Joe Winger: 

How do your users want the experience to go for them?

Kitty Lu:

During the pandemic, everything had to be contactless. Therefore the pickup feature was actually created during that period and blossomed afterwards.

Joe Winger: 

Now you just mentioned the pandemic. Your company learned a lot from that experience, like how much packaging matters. 

Can you talk a little bit more about what you learned about packaging?

Kitty Lu: 

First thing we need to discuss is the difference between Asian food and Western food. 

When it comes to Chinese food, generally it’s very heavy on sauces. Therefore, restaurants have to elevate the packaging standards to ensure the food quality can remain consistent.

When you order Chinese food, you expect it to still be hot, to have the best of flavor. Iit often [comes] with soup and if the packaging is not good, it actually leaks. 

That has always been a challenge that Asian food delivery faces.

China created a new trend with laminate packaging to make sure all the packaging is sealed and kept warm. That helped the whole industry globally to maintain higher standards.

Joe Winger: 

There’s nothing worse than when you get the package to your house and it’s broken,  ripped, it’s spilled.

The superior packaging isn’t about looking pretty necessarily. It’s about keeping your food secure.

Kitty Lu: 

That’s right.  Another thing we have to consider is [being] environmental friendly.

The Chinese food industry has been blamed for using too much plastic to begin with. Therefore, the new packaging uses aluminum.

Joe Winger: 

So your HungryPanda app itself has a lot of features. Can you let’s talk through some of the most popular features?

Kitty Lu: 

Comparing with other apps, one thing we find quite convenient is that on the front page we have a very full restaurant list with tabs: by distance, by popularity, by discounts, by reviews, by delivery times. So it’s very easy for you to access. 

Other apps  have the categories but limited restaurants. 

Joe Winger: 

What’s the best way for an Asian restaurant to make the most of this opportunity of this new food trend?

Kitty Lu:

I think In the age of technology leveraging online platforms for visibility, working with a food delivery platform is definitely one of the ways to help them really engage with consumers.

When we talk about foodies, they are young, they’re always on social media. They’re always online. Therefore, promoting yourself in front of them is very important. 

We use our channels to really promote different restaurants to help them to expand their reach within their comfort zone.

Joe Winger: 

What’s your favorite food? What would you order on your app?

Kitty Lu: 

My favorite food is [the same as] the trend report.  Sichuan malatang.

So that shows the report’s authenticity.  The audience like the food like a real Chinese person.

The reason why I like the malatang is because not only is it delicious, but it’s actually quite healthy as well.

It’s a hot spicy soup, but you put in fresh vegetables, fresh meat, it’s like you’re cooking your own hot pot

And it’s a very balanced and nutritious meal. Flavorful when you put all these different ingredients into one pot of soup. Brings you more flavors and it’s very fast [to make].

Joe Winger: 

What is HungryPanda’s user coverage look like?

Kitty Lu: 

We have about 30 cities covered in the U. S. Obviously, New York, L.A., all major cities itself. I would be more than happy to provide you with the full on city list. We’re in Canada as well and just over 80 cities all around the globe.

Joe Winger: 

For the audience who’s watching and listening right now, what’s the best next step? How can they enjoy this app? 

Kitty Lu: 

If they haven’t downloaded it yet, give it a try.

For new users, we actually have new user vouchers available for them to have a few free deliveries. 

You can order to deliver, you can order to pick up it’s very convenient to use, very simple.  Obviously we have a much wider supply for Asian food.

Therefore, if you are a Asian food lover, you should have HungryPanda on your phone.

 

Tribeca Festival 2024: Kristen Stewart, Jenna Ortega World Premieres, Trey Parker & Matt Stone Doc

Tribeca Festival 2024: Kristen Stewart, Jenna Ortega World Premieres, Trey Parker & Matt Stone Doc

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge” To Open the 23rd Edition of the Festival

World Premieres with Jenna Ortega, Lily Gladstone, Michael Cera, Maya Erskine, Kristen Stewart, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Mike Birbiglia, Neil Patrick Harris, Liza Minelli, and More

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge”, Tribeca 2024

“Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge”, Tribeca 2024

The 23rd edition of the Tribeca Festival is out with its slate of feature films including world premieres starring Kristen Stewart, Lily Gladstone and Jenna Ortega.

Another high-profile title is Saving Casa Bonita, a new documentary about South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone restoring an iconic Colorado restaurant.

Saving Casa Bonita, a new documentary about South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone -- Tribeca 2024

Saving Casa Bonita, a new documentary about South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone — Tribeca 2024

Stewart toplines Sacramento, a road trip comedy directed by Michael Angarano and also starring Michael Cera and Maya Erskine. Jazzy with Gladstone and Jasmine Bearkiller Shangreaux is a companion piece to 2023 indie drama The Unknown Country, in which Gladstone appeared just prior to her Oscar-nominated performance in Killers Of The Flower Moon. Ortega stars in director Tiffany Paulsen’s romantic drama Winter Spring Summer or Fall alongside Marisol Nichols, Percy Hynes White and Adam Rodriguez.

The 2024 Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, today unveiled its features lineup, offering a diverse array of narrative, documentary, and animated films. Scheduled to run from June 5-16 in New York City, this year’s Festival promises a thoughtfully curated program and includes everything from timely documentaries addressing political and social concerns to independent narratives showcasing award-winning actors. Additionally, the opening night event, presented in partnership with OKX and City National Bank, was announced.

Headlining the Talks is Robert De Niro in conversation with French artist JR about continuing the film icon’s family legacy of art through film. The two will also share a sneak peek of an upcoming project. Emmy Award-nominated actor, author, and producer John Stamos will also join for a fireside chat about his New York Times best-seller, “If You Would Have Told Me,” and a discussion about his creative process for performing across various mediums.

Tribeca kicks off on Wednesday, June 5 with the world premiere of Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, an intimate look at the life of the fashion designer and cultural luminary. The film captures Diane von Furstenberg’s impact as a creative icon, who challenged the status quo with the bold inquiry, “Why shouldn’t a woman do what a man can do?” Directed by Tribeca alumni Trish Dalton and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Woman in Charge opens the lineup of features.

The 2024 selection of feature films includes Jazzy with Lily GladstoneDaddio starring Dakota Johnson and Sean PennFirebrand starring Alicia Vikander and Jude LawBrats, directed by Andrew McCarthy, with Demi Moore, Ally Sheedy, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, and Lea ThompsonSacramento, directed by Michael Angarano, starring Michael CeraKristen Stewart, and Maya ErskineWinter Spring Summer or Fall starring Jenna Ortega and Percy Hynes White; and Liza: A Truly Terrific Absolutely True Story with Liza Minelli. Comedic stars are in Group Therapy, including Neil Patrick HarrisMike Birbiglia, and Tig NotaroAll That We Love stars Margaret Cho and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; and Outstanding: A Comedy Revolution features Lily TomlinWanda SykesRosie O’DonnellHannah Gadsby, and Joel Kim Booster.

Music documentaries highlight the boldest voices of each generation with They All Came Out To Montreux with Prince, Sting, Carlos Santana, Aretha Franklin, and Keith RichardsSatisfied about Renée Elise GoldsberryLinda Perry: Let It Die Here with Linda Perry, Dolly Parton, Brandi Carlile, and Christina Aguilera; and Avicii – I’m Tim with Tim ”Avicii” BerglingChris Martin and David GuettaRenée Elise Goldsberry and Linda Perry will be performing following the world premiere of their respective films.

“Each year, the Tribeca Festival reflects our culture, capturing the essence of the present moment. We’re thrilled to showcase our 23rd edition, delving into captivating explorations of artificial intelligence with Demis Hassabis, thought-provoking discussions on the future of democracy, and so much more,” Tribeca Co-Founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal. “Storytelling possesses a remarkable ability to bring us together, offering hope in these challenging times. We eagerly anticipate engaging with audiences on difficult yet timely subjects.”

The 23rd edition of Tribeca reflects our activist roots, to showcase a slate of films that speak to today’s political moment and inform voters ahead of the upcoming election. Hacking Hate, directed by Simon Klose, questions the role of social media in amplifying hate speech and extremism. McVeigh, directed by Mike Ott, portrays right-wing extremism with chilling modern implications. America’s Burning, directed by David Smick and narrated by Michael Douglas, dives into the economic root of hate and division.

At the core of our mission is the belief that art can spark change, particularly in the aftermath of global conflicts. The Cranes Call, directed by Laura Warner, spotlights war crimes investigators for the Clooney Foundation for Justice, led by Amal and George Clooney, as they risk their lives traveling across Ukraine to build cases against Russian soldiers and commanders. Antidote, directed by James Jones, digs into the truth about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s deadly regime. Checkpoint Zoo, directed by Joshua Zeman, documents the daring rescue of thousands of animals trapped behind enemy lines in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As War continues to affect regions like the Middle East and Ukraine, art serves as a powerful reminder of our shared humanity.

“In a year of record high submissions, despite industry-wide challenges, and global tumult, our incredible filmmaking community delivered again with some of the most surprising, inspiring, hilarious, galvanizing, boundary-breaking, and downright entertaining work we’ve had the privilege to feature at the festival,” said Tribeca Festival Director and SVP of Programming Cara Cusumano. “Whether grappling with everything from the crisis of global democracy to the most intimate of human dramas, it was heartening to be reminded of the undeniable power of a great film to illuminate our world.”

For the first time, Tribeca’s signature Viewpoints section of bold original visions and innovative perspectives will be in competition. The interdisciplinary program encompasses U.S. and international films across narrative, documentary, and animation, including the animated feature Boys Go to Jupiter starring Elsie FisherTavi GevinsonJulio Torres, and Sarah Sherman, and the narrative thriller Darkest Miriam with Britt Lower. Documentaries include Champions of the Golden Valley, directed by Ben Sturgulewski, an inspiring sports fable and portrait of people in profound political and social transition, and Searching for Amani, directed by Debra Aroko, a 13-year-old’s dramatic quest to investigate his father’s mysterious murder in one of Kenya’s largest wildlife conservancies.

The final selections were chosen from a record-breaking number of submissions (13,016). This year’s program includes 103 feature films from 114 filmmakers across 48 countries. The lineup comprises 86 world premieres, two international premieres, six North American premieres, and eight New York premieres. Half of the films in competition are directed by women. Additionally, 35% (36) of feature films are directed by BIPOC filmmakers. There are 30 films directed by first-time filmmakers and 25 directors returning to Tribeca with their latest projects.

The Tribeca Festival is curated by Festival Director and SVP of Programming Cara Cusumano, Artistic Director Frédéric Boyer; VP of Shorts Programming Ben Thompson; Senior Programmers Liza Domnitz, Faridah Gbadamosi, Jarod Neece, José F. Rodriguez; Programmers Casey Baron, Jason Gutierrez, Jonathan Penner, and Madison Egan; VP of Games and Immersive Casey Baltes and Immersive Curator Ana Brzezińska; EVP of Artist Relations Nancy Lefkowitz and VP of Artist Relations Meredith Mohr; Curator of Audio Storytelling Davy Gardner; Music Programmer Vincent Cassous; along with a team of associate programmers; supported and inspired by the legendary Paula Weinstein.

The full feature film lineup is detailed below. For more updates on programming follow @Tribeca and #Tribeca2024 on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn.

A Tribeca Membership or 2024 Tribeca Festival passes and ticket packages can be purchased at tribecafilm.com.

ABOUT TRIBECA FESTIVAL
The Tribeca Festival, presented by OKX, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, music, audio storytelling, games, and immersive. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is synonymous with creative expression and entertainment. Tribeca champions emerging and established voices, discovers award-winning talent, curates innovative experiences, and introduces new ideas through exclusive premieres, exhibitions, conversations, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. The annual Tribeca Festival will celebrate its 23rd year from June 5–16, 2024 in New York City.

In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.

ABOUT THE 2024 TRIBECA FESTIVAL PARTNERS
The 2024 Tribeca Festival is presented by OKX and with the support of our partners: AT&T, Audible, Canva, CHANEL, City National Bank, Diageo, Easterseals Disability Services, Indeed, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, NBC4 and Telemundo 47, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, National CineMedia, New York Magazine, Spring Studios New York, The Wall Street Journal, Variety, Vulture and WeTransfer.

OPENING NIGHT GALA
Diane von Furstenberg: Woman in Charge, (United States) – World Premiere. Child of a Holocaust survivor, Princess by marriage, and founder of a fashion empire, the many faces of fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg are revealed in this captivating and glamorous documentary portrait, featuring interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Marc Jacobs, Hillary Rodham Clinton and more. Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Trish Dalton. Produced by Fabiola Beracasa Beckman, Tracy Aftergood, Sean Stuart, Obaid-Chinoy and Dalton. A Hulu Release.

Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler are Romeo + Juliet on Broadway Fall 2024

Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler are Romeo + Juliet on Broadway Fall 2024

Shakespeare’s timeless tragedy now belongs to a new generation on the edge.

Seaview is thrilled to announce that Emmy Award winner Kit Connor (“Heartstopper”) and Golden Globe Award winner Rachel Zegler (Spielberg’s West Side Story) will star in the new Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s ROMEO + JULIET, directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, with music by Grammy Award winner Jack Antonoff and movement by Tony Award winner Sonya Tayeh 

 

“With the presidential election coming up in November,

I felt like making a show this fall that celebrates youth and hope,

and unleashes the anger young people feel about the world they are inheriting.”

Director Sam Gold 

 

Tickets for ROMEO + JULIET will go on sale to the public in May 2024. To sign up for early access and to be the first to receive updates, sign up at www.romeoandjulietnyc.com 

Romeo + Juliet on Broadway

Romeo + Juliet on Broadway

The youth are fucked. Left to their own devices in their parents’ world of violent ends, an impulsive pair of star-crossed lovers hurtle towards their inescapable fate. The intoxicating high of passion quickly descends into a brutal chaos that can only end one way.

 ROMEO + JULIET will open on Broadway in Fall 2024 and will mark the Broadway debuts of Kit Connor, Rachel Zegler and Jack Antonoff, who in February won his third consecutive Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, becoming only the second producer in history to win three years running. More information including theatre, dates, design team and additional casting will be announced at a later date.

ROMEO + JULIET is produced on Broadway by Seaview. 101 Productions, Ltd will serve as general manager. Casting is by Taylor Williams, CSA.

For more information visit www.romeoandjulietnyc.com

Kit Connor as Romeo

Kit Connor (Romeo). Screen International Star of Tomorrow actor Kit Connor landed his first film role aged eight in the lead role of Tom in Warner Bros. Pictures’ Get Santa (2014). Since then, he has had roles in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2018) and The Mercy (2018). Notably, he played Older Reggie in Rocketman (2019), taking on the role of young Elton John. He also appeared in Little Joe (2019) as Joe. Kit is well-known for voicing Pantalaimon in “His Dark Materials” (2019 -2020) and his TV work also includes “War & Peace” (2016). His theatre credits include Welcome Home, Captain Fox! at the Donmar Warehouse and Fanny & Alexander, where he played Alexander at The Old Vic. Kit is best known for his lead role of Nick Nelson in the global hit TV adaptation of Alice Oseman’s “Heartstopper,” with the third season set to launch this October on Netflix. For season 1, Kit won the Children’s and Family Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Performance in 2022 and the RTS Award for Leading Actor Male in 2023. Kit voices a role in The Wild Robot for DreamWorks alongside Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal and Bill Nighy out in September 2024. Kit will also lead the mystery-horror film One of Us and also star in Ace Entertainment’s film A Cuban Girl’s Guide To Tea And Tomorrow opposite Maia Reffico. He will film a leading role in Ray Mendoza and Alex Garland’s new film for A24, Warfare alongside Charles Melton and Joseph Quinn. Kit Connor is represented by Independent Talent Group and WME.

Rachel Zegler as Juliet

Rachel Zegler (Juliet) is a dynamic actress and singer who has already established herself as a trailblazer of her generation. At only 17 years old, Rachel earned the role of María Vasquez for Steven Spielberg’s new adaptation of West Side Story out of 30,000 auditions. The film captured Rachel’s motion picture debut alongside Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose, and earned her an NBR Award for Best Actress along with a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical. Rachel then starred alongside Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, and Lucy Liu in D.C. Comics’ Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the sequel to the successful predecessor, Shazam! She can currently be seen leading the highly anticipated prequel The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes as Lucy Gray Baird, the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, and Hunter Schafer also star. In 2025, Rachel will be seen as Snow White in Disney’s live-action remake of the classic story, making her one of the first Latina actresses to star in a live-action Disney film. Director Marc Webb said, “Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts. Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairy-tale.” She will also be seen in the A24 disaster comedy Y2K, directed by SNL alum Kyle Mooney. In the film penned by Evan Winter, which is set on New Year’s Eve 1999, two high school nobodies decide to crash the last big party before the new millennium. When the clock strikes midnight, the night gets more insane than they ever could have imagined. Rachel stars alongside Mason Gooding, The Kid Laroi and Alicia Silverstone. Rachel has been featured on the covers of Elle, Town & Country, Who What Wear and The Hollywood Reporter and has been profiled by Vogue, Allure, and VMagazine. She is a Forbes “30 Under 30” recipient and has been recognized by Time magazine with inclusion in their Time100Next list, by Variety in their annual “Power of Young Hollywood Impact“ list, and by The Hollywood Reporter with their “Next Generation” list. She was also named one of “Nine Latinx Women in Hollywood Currently Changing the World” by Elle magazine. On Latin representation in entertainment, a subject she is passionate about, Rachel says, “We are not just the quirky side character who occasionally says a word in Spanish, we are the main character.“

Directed by Sam Gold 

Sam Gold (Director). Broadway credits include this season’s An Enemy of the People with Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli, Macbeth with Daniel Craig and Ruth Negga, King Lear with Glenda Jackson, A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Tony Award Nomination), The Glass Menagerie, Fun Home(Tony Award), The Real Thing, The Realistic Joneses, Seminar. Recent credits: Hamlet (The Public Theatre), Othello (New York Theatre Workshop), The Flick (Playwrights Horizons, Barrow Street Theatre, National Theatre; Lucille Lortel Award nomination), The Glass Menagerie(Toneelgroep, Amsterdam), John (Signature Theatre; Obie Award, Lortel and Drama Desk Award nomination), The Village Bike (MCC Theatre), and Uncle Vanya (Soho Repertory Theatre; Drama Desk nomination), among others.

 Music by Jack Antonoff

Jack Antonoff (Music). Described as “anthemic, life affirming pop rock” by the New York Times, Bleachers are fronted by globally celebrated, eleven-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, and producer, Jack Antonoff. Both with Bleachers and as a songwriter and producer, Antonoff, who, in 2021, was credited by the BBC for having “redefined pop music”, has collaborated with the likes of Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, The 1975, Diana Ross, Lorde, St. Vincent, Florence + The Machine, Kevin Abstract and many more. In February 2024, Antonoff won Producer of the Year at the Grammy Awards for an incredible third consecutive year, becoming only the second producer in history to win three years running. Releasing their debut album Strange Desire in 2014, Bleachers have built a huge, passionate following across three studio albums, becoming renowned for their impressive live show and infectious camaraderie. The band’s last album, Take the Sadness Out of Saturday Night took them to new heights, showcasing Antonoff’s immersive songwriting and, as Variety testified, his innate skill at “supersizing personal stories into larger-than-life pop anthems”. Bleachers, the band’s fourth studio album, was released Friday, March 8th, 2024 via Dirty Hit and features singles “Modern Girl,” “Alma Mater,” “Tiny Moves” and “Me Before You.” There’s a rich depth to the band’s sound on Bleachers: it is laid out in bright, soulful technicolor. The album is frontman Antonoff’s distinctly New Jersey take on the bizarre sensory contradictions of modern life, on his position in culture, and on the things he cares about. Sonically, it’s sad, it’s joyful, it’s music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings. There’s something reassuringly touchable and concrete about its sentiment: exist in crazy times but remember what counts.

 

Make this Valentines Day Yummy with 10 Unique Food and Beverage Gift Ideas

Make this Valentines Day Yummy with 10 Unique Food and Beverage Gift Ideas

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we all know the drill — flowers, chocolates, candy, rinse and repeat.

Although a lovely sentiment, it’s not exactly the stuff that legends are made of, right?

So, we dove deep into the web and came up with a list of food and beverage items that say “I love you” in an unconventional and out-of-the-box way.

These gems are not your garden-variety tokens of affection; they’re off-beat, they’re fun, and they scream “Be Mine” in the most deliciously distinctive ways.

From quirky snacks to sippable surprises, here’s our list of

10 unique food & beverage gifts for Valentine’s day

Olive & Cocoa Chocolate Heart Pretzels

Imagine a dozen crunchy pretzels, each smothered in a dreamy mix of milk and white chocolate and then dotted with playful pink hearts.

Both salty and sweet, as most relationships are, these tantalizing treats arrive in a chic, handcrafted wooden crate, tied up with a red ribbon, and just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Trust us, they are the yummiest way to say “I heart you!” 

Visit Olive and Cocoa here 

BareOrganics Ashwagandha Root Powder

Ever heard of Ashwagandha Root?

It’s like nature’s own love boosting superfood – the Ayurvedic secret often dubbed as a ‘natural viagra’ for both ladies and gents. And, it’s not just about cranking up your libido and vitality; it’s also great for knocking down stress and anxiety, which are the usual, and unfortunate romance killers.

Sprinkle some of this 100% USDA Certified Organic magic powder into your daily routine and get ready for a more sumptuous and satisfying sex life.

Visit the Ashwaganha Root

Lou’s Heart Shaped Chocolate Chip Cookie & Heart Shaped Pizza

Double the love straight from the Windy City!

We’re talking about Lou Malnati’s heart-shaped deep dish pizza for two, with your pick of cheesy goodness or savory sausage, paired with a giant heart-shaped chocolate chip cookie. And this cookie isn’t just any cookie – it’s the same recipe used in Lou Malnati’s iconic pizzerias.

It’s like a big hug from Chicago, sent straight to your door this Valentine’s Day. Who can resist that?

Click here for Taste of Chicago

Be My Huckleberry Hand Pies

Get ready to fall hard for these delicious hand pies, bursting with juicy Montana huckleberries and blueberries.

Elle’s Belles country kitchen whips up each small-batch bakes with love, making these some of the tastiest treats you’ll ever devour.

And here’s the kicker — each pie is handcrafted, ensuring your gift is as unique as it is delicious. But remember, all good things take time, and these handmade beauties need 24 hours to bake and package before heading your way.

Click here to check out Huckleberry Hand Pies

Dora’s Heart-Shaped Ravioli for 2

 

Whisk your taste buds to Italy on Valentine’s Day with Nonna Dora’s heart-shaped ravioli, a beloved staple for 25 years at New York City’s I Trulli!

Handcrafted with special Italian flour, these beauties get their charming stripes from beet puree and are filled with creamy Italian ricotta. Boil them up, sauté with butter and sage, and voilà—a romantic dinner to remember.

Behind these gems is “Nonna Dora” Marzovilla, a pasta-making legend for over 70 years, now delighting NYC with her own spot, Nonna Dora’s Pasta Bar. It’s like getting a squeeze from an Italian nonna in every bite! 

Click here for Dora’s Heart-Shaped Ravioli

Jerky Heart

Why settle for the same old same old chocolates in a heart shaped box when you can gift BEEF JERKY instead!

The Man Crates Exclusive Heart Box includes: 1 Dave’s Pepperoni Pork Stick, 1 Dave’s Wine Pork Stick, 1 Dave’s Orange Habanero Pork Stick, 1 Dave’s Honey Bourbon Formed Beef Bit, 1 Dave’s Honey Root Beer Formed Beef Bit, 

1 Dave’s Sesame Ginger Formed Beef Bit, 3 Cajun Beef Sticks, 2 Teriyaki Beef Sticks, and 3 Habanero BBQ Beef Sticks to highly satisfy your most beloved carnivore. 

And, for that extra touch of testosterone, you can have the box “gift wrapped” in red colored duct tape.

Visit Man Crates

Tipsy Bubbly Rose

Yup!  That’s right folks… a phallus shaped bottle of pink sparkling rosé wine for that very special someone. We’ll just leave it right there…

Click here to visit Tipsy Brand

Candied Bacon Bouquet

What better way to say “I love you” than with an elegant bouquet of long-stemmed candied bacon shaped roses. Perfect for anyone who can’t resist the sweet and salty combo of maple syrup and bacon, each rose shaped flower is topped with a red sugar coating to keep those roses a brightly blooming red. 

Visit Bacon Bouquets

Meat Card

Why settle for a Hallmark card when you can have your love note laser engraved on a 4″ x 9″ sheet of meat? 

Manly Man Co. offers customized greetings of 100 characters at max on a 100% edible sheet of savory beef jerky. 

Made to order and vacuum sealed for freshness, it’s the yummiest way to share your affection.

Visit Manly Man Co

Heart-Shaped Tea Bags

Heart-Shaped Tea Bags

Seeking a little romantic tea time with your honey?

Jacqueline Aliotti’s heart-shaped tea bags are the perfect choice to heat things up. Inspired by her childhood in Lyon, France, surrounded by the warmth of her parents’ tea shop, each boxed set includes 5 English Breakfast, 5 Earl Grey, and 5 White Berry tea bags, perfect for sharing a romantic afternoon with your Valentine. 

Visit UnCommon Goods

Charlotte St. Martin To Retire As President Of Broadway League After 18 Years

Charlotte St. Martin To Retire As President Of Broadway League After 18 Years

Charlotte St. Martin, whose 18-year leadership of the Broadway League has included both good times – record-setting revenue – and bad – the historic 18-month Covid shutdown – will step down from her role as President effective February 16.

In its announcement today, the League said St. Martin has “decided to retire” from the organization, but will continue to serve in an advisory capacity for special events through the 2024 Tony Awards.

Jason Laks, The League’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, will serve as Acting President while the Board conducts an official search.

“While there is never a good moment for an executive who has spent a great deal of time in their role to resign, it is the appropriate time for me,” St. Martin said in a statement.

“It is truly the most difficult decision as I love the League, the staff, and of course, the industry that we have supported. I am very proud of our League team and the successes we have shared and know they will continue to provide the League with the highest level of commitment for which they are known. It has been the honor of my career to lead this organization, and I am grateful for all that we have accomplished together.”

During her tenure at The Broadway League, Ms. St. Martin has successfully grown the League and steered the organization through government relations successes, economic shifts, labor challenges and a global pandemic.

Also under her tenure, as the League notes, the trade organization representing theater owners and producers, has created numerous development, mentorship, and educational programs.

In addition to presenting the annual Tony Awards with the American Theatre Wing, the League manages the National High School Musical Theatre Awards.

Prior to joining the League, St. Martin was one of the highest-ranking women in the hospitality industry, holding a variety of positions including Executive Vice President of Operations and Marketing, and President and CEO of Loews Anatole Hotel. She served as Chair of the New York Society of Association Executives and also served as Chair of both Meeting Planners International and the Professional Convention Management Association Foundations.

She currently serves on the board of NYC Tourism+ Conventions. She was named to Grain’s New York Business 2019 Hall of Fame.

In a statement, Kristin Caskey, Current Chair, Board of Governors, The Broadway League, said, “Charlotte’s remarkable leadership over these past 18 years will have a lasting impact on the League and the Broadway industry. She championed many of the League’s remarkable initiatives, including Broadway Bridges and Viva! Broadway, as well as expanded critical programs like the Jimmy Awards and Broadway Membership Fellows, among many others.

“When Broadway shut down for two years during the pandemic,” Caskey continued, “it was under Charlotte’s steadfast leadership that the League helped create the Shuttered Venues Operations Grant and the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit, two vitally important initiatives that ensured the successful return of our industry. We are immensely grateful for her tireless efforts and deep devotion to our community. I know I speak on behalf of our membership when we celebrate her indelible legacy and wish her great happiness in this next chapter.”

The League was founded in 1930, and currently represents more than 700 members from nearly 200 national and international markets including theatre owners and operators, producers, presenters, and general managers as well as suppliers of goods and services to the commercial theatre industry.

92NY presents Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Richard Egarr and Reginald Mobley: Garden of Good & Evil Jan 25 2024

92NY presents Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Richard Egarr and Reginald Mobley: Garden of Good & Evil Jan 25 2024

The 92nd Street Y, New York (92NY), one of New York’s leading cultural venues, presents Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra with Richard Egarr and Reginald Mobley: Garden of Good & Evil on Thursday, January 25, at 7:30 pm at the Kaufmann Concert Hall. Tickets start at $30 and are available at https://www.92ny.org/event/philharmonia-baroque-orchestra.

America’s premier Baroque ensemble joins with music director and harpsichordist Richard Egarr and countertenor Reginald Mobley, bringing their compelling program performed to acclaim in the UK. Centered on the creation story, Garden of Good & Evil pairs Handel arias with modern works for Baroque forces by celebrated composers Errollyn Wallen and Tarik O’Regan – jointly commissioned to write new music exploring an aspect of the Biblical creation story. Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra’s blend of authenticity and innovation and juxtaposition of old and new is beautifully illuminated in this musical examination of the most profound of themes.

Handel, Overture to Orlando

Handel, “Al lampo dell’armi” from Giulio Cesare

Handel, “Orride larve … Chiudetevi miei lumi” from Admeto

Handel, Concerto Grosso in A Minor, Op. 6, No. 4, HWV 322

Errollyn Wallen, The Forms (New York premiere)

Tarik O’Regan, The Golden Measure (New York premiere)

Handel, Concerto Grosso in B-flat Major, Op. 6, No. 7, HWV 325

Handel, “O sacred oracles of truth” from Belshazzar

Handel, “Se in fiorito ameno prato” from Giulio Cesare

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Richard Egarr brings a joyful sense of adventure and a keen, inquiring mind to all his music-making—whether conducting, directing from the keyboard, giving recitals, playing chamber music, or indeed talking about music at every opportunity. After a successful career as Music Director of the Academy of Ancient Music for 15 years, where he succeeded founding director Christopher Hogwood, he joins Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale as Music Director.

Richard also holds responsibilities as Principal Guest Conductor of Residentie Orkest The Hague and Artistic Partner at The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota, after having served as Associate Artist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. As a conductor, Richard straddles the worlds of historically-informed and modern symphonic performance, making him an ideal fit for PBO’s parallel commitments to early and new music. Richard is already well-known to the musicians and patrons of PBO, having guest conducted the orchestra four times since 2012 in both regular season offerings and the PBO SESSIONS series. In addition to his conducting genius, he is a brilliant harpsichordist and is equally skilled on the organ and fortepiano.

Richard is a beloved teacher and has been on the faculty of The Juilliard School for eight years in their Historical Performance division, has conducted major symphonic orchestras such as London Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Center Festival Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and The Philadelphia Orchestra, and regularly gives solo harpsichord recitals at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, the Smithsonian, and elsewhere.

Born in Lincoln, England, Richard trained as a choirboy at York Minster, was organ scholar at Clare College Cambridge, and later studied with Gustav and Marie Leonhardt in Amsterdam, where he makes his home.

Under the musical direction of Richard Egarr in his second season as Music Director, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra & Chorale (PBO) is recognized as “America’s leading historically informed ensemble” (The New York Times). Considered the most versatile ensemble of its kind, and performing on period instruments, PBO presents repertoire ranging from early Baroque to late Romantic, as well as new works and major operatic productions. The ensemble engages audiences through its signature Bay Area series, national and international tours, recordings, commissions, and education programs. Having celebrated its 40th anniversary last year, PBO was founded by Laurette Goldberg and led by Music Director Laureate Nicholas McGegan for the past 35 years. Philharmonia is the largest ensemble of its kind in the United States.

PBO’s musicians are leaders in historical performance and serve on the faculties of The Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Harvard, and Stanford. It welcomes eminent guest artists including mezzo-sopranos Susan Graham and Anne Sofie von Otter, countertenors Anthony Roth Costanzo and Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, violoncellist Steven Isserlis, and maestros Jonathan Cohen and Jeannette Sorrell. PBO enjoys longstanding artistic collaborations with The Juilliard School, the Mark Morris Dance Group, and the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC), and appears regularly at Disney Hall, Lincoln Center, Norfolk Chamber Festival and Tanglewood. In collaboration with Cal Performances in 2017, PBO produced a fully-staged period opera, Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire, and produced a fully-staged, reimagined production of Handel’s Aci, Galatea e Polifemo directed by Christopher Alden and featuring countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, bass-baritone Davóne Tines, and soprano Lauren Snouffer in eight sold out performances in January 2020. “Aci” was named Best Operatic Performance in the Bay Area by San Francisco Classical Voice in 2020. PBO also co-produced “Aci” with National Sawdust in Brooklyn, Cath Brittan and Anthony Roth Costanzo in 2017.

Among the most recorded orchestras in the world, PBO boasts a discography of nearly 50 recordings, including a coveted archival performance of mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson in Berlioz’s Les Nuits D’été, and a GRAMMY®-nominated recording of Haydn symphonies. The orchestra released the world premiere recording of the original version of Rameau’s Le Temple de la Gloire with the unedited libretto by Voltaire in 2018. In 2020, PBO released three groundbreaking recordings: a full collection of commissioned works by Pulitzer Prize winner Caroline Shaw, a selection of arias sung by rising star contralto Avery Amereau, and Handel’s Saul with countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen.

Noted for his ‘shimmering voice’ (BachTrack), GRAMMY-nominated American countertenor Reginald Mobley is globally renowned for his interpretation of baroque, classical and modern repertoire, and leads a prolific career on both sides of the Atlantic.

An advocate for diversity in music and its programming, Reginald became the first ever Programming Consultant for the Handel & Haydn Society following several years of leading H&H in its community engaging Every Voice concerts. He holds the position of Visiting Artist for Diversity Outreach with the Baroque ensemble Apollo’s Fire, and is also leading a research project in the UK funded by the AHRC to uncover music by composers from diverse backgrounds.

His American concert schedule includes solos recitals (New York at the Miller Theatre, Chicago (Collaborative Arts Institute)), concerts with orchestras performing Handel’s Messiah with, this year, the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia and Minnesota orchestras and Carmina Burana with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as regular appearances with the most prestigious baroque ensembles: Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, Early Music Vancouver, Collegium San Diego, Seraphic Fire, to name but a few. Recent and future highlights include his debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood Festival (Andris Nelson), with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and with Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal, conducted by Masaaki Suzuki.

In Europe, Reginald has been invited to perform with Orchester Wiener Akademie, Balthasar Neumann Chor & Ensemble, Freiburger Barockorchester, I Barocchisti, Bach Society in Stuttgart, Holland Baroque Orchestra, Dutch Bach Society, Monteverdi Choir and English baroque soloists, as well as the City of Birmingham Orchestra and the Budapest Festival Orchestra for a series of performances as Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea. He has also engaged in a few projects together with the Academy of Ancient Music in Cambridge, singing the role or Disinganno in Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno and devising a new programme, Sons of England, supported by UKAHRC, which reflects his research under their umbrella, which will be touring in April 2024. Reginald gave a Purcell, Handel and Sancho programme for his solo debut recital in Paris, which he repeated as part of the Bayreuth baroque opera festival in September 2023.

His first solo album with ALPHA Classics was released to great acclaim in June 2023 to coincide with a major series of concerts with pianist Baptiste Trotignon in Paris, York and Liverpool as well as part of both the Aix-en-Provence and BBC PROMS festivals. In addition, Reginald features on several albums with the Monteverdi Choir, Agave Baroque and Stuttgart Bach Society.

Highlights of the 2023/24 Tisch Music Season include:

  • Joshua Redman Group release concert of where are we featuring Gabrielle Cavassa
  • NY premieres of new work by Tyshawn Sorey and COTTON by composer Damien Geter
  • New York concert debuts of the Isidore String Quartet and pianist Tony Siqi Yun
  • Pianist Conrad Tao returns to 92NY as part of the global celebration of Rachmaninoff at 150
  • Ongoing partnerships continue with concerts from the Curtis Institute of Music, the New York Philharmonic, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with special guest artists
  • Art of the Guitar Series with Beijing Guitar Duo, David Russell and Manuel Barrueco
  • 2023/24 Lyrics & Lyricists series celebrating Howard Ashman, Laura Nyro, Stevie Wonder, andSheldon Harnick in a special event led by Ted Sperling honoring the legacy of three-time Tony Award winner, and Broadway legend, Jason Robert Brown, featuring a one-night-only appearance.
  • Expanded American Songbook offerings including exclusive concerts by Audra McDonald, Joshua Henry and Stephanie J. Block

For more information, please visit 92NY.org/Concerts.

NYC Wine: Wine Pro Alan Tardi Hosts Popular NYC Wine Classes: Beyond Bubbles on December 13

Wine Pro Alan Tardi Returns to NYC for Beyond Bubbles Class December 13

Alan Tardi has worked as a chef, a restaurateur, a sommelier, a consultant to some of New York City’s biggest and best fine dining restaurants.  He’s also written for magazines and publications, such as Wine Spectator, Wine and Spirits, Decanter, of course, the New York Times.

This past fall, Alan Tardi taught his very popular Italian Wine class, The Many Faces of Sangiovese.

Today Wine Expert Alan Tardi returns for a conversation about his new Champagne, Prosecco and Lambrusco sparkling wine class Beyond Bubbles on December 13 at New York Wine Studio.

NYC Wine: Wine Pro Alan Tardi Hosts Popular NYC Wine Classes: Beyond Bubbles on December 13

NYC Wine: Wine Pro Alan Tardi Hosts Popular NYC Wine Classes: Beyond Bubbles on December 13

Alan, thank you so much for coming back. You have a new class called Beyond Bubbles.

Can you just give us an idea of Beyond Bubbles about the class itself?

Alan Tardi:  The class is going to take place on December 13th. That’s a Wednesday from 6 – 7:30pm. And the venue is  the New York Wine Studio located at 126 East 38th Street between Park and Lexington, so a couple blocks away from Grand Central Station in New York City.

It’s going to be called Beyond Bubbles. I’m really focusing on three archetypal sparkling wines. Champagne, Lambrusco, Prosecco.

And I have to say Prosecco from the original growing area, Cornigliano Valdiviadene, not the extended one right now.

These are the sparkling wines that, to me, took their own path and they can, in the case of Lambrusco and Prosecco they’re really ancient grape varieties that have been going on for a very long time. 

Champagne, they’ve been making wine for a very long time. But as we’ll talk about, which is really fascinating, they’re adjacent to Burgundy and they’re both in close proximity to Paris where the King and the royal kingdom was. They were very competitive with their wine.

The counts in Champagne and the Dukes in Burgundy. They were really vying for their wine for the favor of the King. But Champagne, like Burgundy, began making it for a long time, hundreds of years, still wines. And when, and that was what they made for a long time.

 

Pouring sparkling wine

In your class Beyond bubbles, can you give us an idea of how many bottles are going to be tasting from and learning about, and maybe one or two that are extra special to you?

Alan Tardi: We’re going to be tasting 10 wines. Three from Lambrusco, a very misunderstood wine.  The grapes for Lambrusco are wild. Prosecco and Champagne.

The class is Beyond Bubbles. Wednesday, December 13th, tickets are on sale. Now it’s coming up very quickly. 

Let’s really dive deep for a second and just get to know champagne’s history.  The whole idea of sparkling wine was an accident.

 

Alan Tardi: Yes. It was originally considered a flub because they were trying to make still wines to be in competition with Burgundy and they were very good at it. The still wines of Champagne were highly regarded.

So it did happen by accident.  What happened is that Champagne is much further North than Burgundy. It’s at the breaking point beyond 45 degrees North where grapes can’t grow anymore. So they had a hard time making wine.  it got very cold after harvest. One of the big customers for champagne was England and they shipped a lot of wine in barrel to England.

They were put into barrels once the fermentation stopped, because it got very cold and then they would ship them to England eventually in the springtime..

Because they finished their fermentation too early because it got cold, the fermentation stopped. Once it got warm again, the ferment: the remaining sugar went to work on the remaining yeast and it created bubbles in a closed container. 

So when people opened up the barrel, it was fizzy.

When that happened in France, people did not like it because it was considered a flaw. England didn’t have a problem with that. 

Eventually the producers said, wow, these people really want to have the bubbly wine. The King of France became very fond of this wine.  So it really took off from there, but it happened in England first. 

 

Talk a little bit about who “The Father of Champagne” was and how he tried to prevent this from happening.

 

Alan Tardi: It’s a really great story. Dom Perignon is considered to be the father of champagne. He was a chef and while he was a monk, he took over as the steward.

The convent had a lot of land given to them as dues to the church. He was managing the winery there in order to sell wine to support the monastery. 

He would select different grapes from different places. He created fractional blending and fractional pressing of the grape so it’s very gentle and soft, which is very important for the development of champagne. But this was a still wine.

He was trying to make a still wine. When it spontaneously started sparkling, he considered it a flaw.  He tried to avoid it with everything that he could possibly do. 

It became extremely popular.

Dom Perignon champagne

He said, “Brothers, I see stars in my glass.” And he was supposed to be blind by that point. 

This whole thing of Don Perignon being the the father of champagne and seeing stars was made up as a marketing ploy by Robert de la Vogue, who was the head of a major champagne house.  So they created this story around it.  It’s a great story. I love it.

I wonder if that’s one of the reasons why champagne does swell during the holidays. When there’s decorations out and it really is a celebration.

Alan Tardi: I think it is. Sparkling wines bring something with them. There’s this effervescence, It’s like shooting stars. When they’re in the glass and you’re, you put them in your palate and they’re tingling and that’s all good.

Once the sparkling version was approved around 1725 by the King, it expanded throughout the world, it was a worldwide phenomenon.

 

You’ve mentioned the words method and process, share more about traditional champagne method?

Alan Tardi:  It is a very stable process. You have to make a base wine. So you ferment grapes. They started sourcing different grape varieties from different areas throughout the extensive Champagne area. They would blend them together to make a decent wine.  That’s the first fermentation.  

Then they add a liqueur, called the tirage in French, it consists of primarily sugar, could be beet sugar or cane sugar; and yeast. 

They’re put in individual bottles and then the bottle is sealed with a crown cap to keep the wine in the bottle.  They would sit in a cellar for a period of time to create the secondary fermentation in a closed container. Like the initial fermentation process where the sugar goes to the yeast that is added to it. That creates a combination of sugar and yeast creates alcohol and carbon dioxide.

The carbon dioxide goes up, the alcohol stays in, and that’s how wine is made. But because [in still wine] it’s in an open container, the carbon dioxide goes out. 

In a closed container [like in sparkling wine], in this case, a bottle, the carbon dioxide that was given off from the second fermentation was trapped inside the bottle. So once you open the bottle, the carbon dioxide would come up and out. And that’s where it comes from. That is what gives it the sparkle. 

In Champagne, their method is known as the Method Champenoise

Pouring sparkling wine at Popular NYC Wine Classes Beyond Bubbles

They carry out the secondary fermentation in a closed bottle. Then, in the third part, they make the method Champenoise. It’s removing the sediment from the wine.  There are many different ways to do it. 

The most important common grapes for sparkling wine are Pinot Noir, Pinot Meurnier, Chardonnay.  But your class reveals “lost grape varieties”.  Tell me more about that.  

Alan Tardi: These were grape varieties, typical of the area, that were used initially, but then people just put them by the side. The most important grape varieties were Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Meunier was used as a workhorse, a filler, but it didn’t have the same identity that that Chardonnay and Pinot Noir had.  Those are the three principal ones. Then [there was] these other varieties.

There’ve been major changes in the past 10 – 15 years in Champagne.  It was driven by the Maison.  Thousands of growers who supplied grapes to the Maison.  Many times they would actually press the grapes, vinify the wine and then send the wine to the Maison.

They produced it for the houses. They didn’t have their own labels.  That changed. A lot of the grower producers started labeling and selling their wine on their own. They got a lot of attention.

Some of these people were very loyal to the old grape varieties that were left on the side – they like Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris – not very rare grape varieties, but people are not aware they are part of the grape varieties of Champagne.

Some people are really trying to promote those because it’s part of their culture. It’s part of their history. 

There’s two others, Petit Mellier and Arban. It brings a whole new aspect to Champagne.

So we’re talking with Alan Tardi. On Wednesday, December 13th he hosts his new class Beyond Bubbles.  One of those bubbles we’re going to be talking about is Prosecco. Frizzanti, Spumanti. Help us understand what these words mean, the region, how it all relates 

Alan Tardi: Prosecco is one of the most misunderstood wines out there. There’s a lot more to it than most people are aware of. It’s not just a base for a Bellini or a cocktail, or just a cheap fix. There’s a lot more going on there than often meets the eye.

It’s a very old wine growing area.  The original area is Conigliano Valdobbiadene. Fifiteen towns that make up the area in the hills just at the foot of the Dolomites in Veneto. They’ve been making wine there for a long time.

I have a feeling that the people who originally planted grape vines there were members of this  Celtic Ligurian tribe that were up in Northern Italy, like in the Botellina and over in Liguria. They have this amazing capacity to plant vines in places where it’s very difficult.

Prosecco is very different from Champagne.  I was living in Italy. I was going to Prosecco a lot because I did a story for Wine and Spirits Magazine about the Cartice area in Val di Biadena.

It blew my mind away. At the same time, I was starting to go to Champagne to research my book and I spent a lot of time there. I was finding a lot of similarities between these two very different wines.

Champagne began as a still wine called Coteaux Champenois.  It had another wine in between. A sparkling wine, but a softer, lower amount of pressure called Cremant de Champagne. 

In Prosecco, the traditional way of making wine was fermenting the wine.  Then, they would put it in a container, either a barrel or a cement tank or in a bottle. The same thing happened. The fermentation would stop prematurely because it got too cold. Then, in the spring, when the temperature rose, the wine would wake up and the sugar would go back to work on whatever yeast was left.

Being in a closed container it would be fizzy. Now, in the bottle. The Italians had no problem with the sediment in the bottle. 

I remember going there in 2013, I heard about this kind of Prosecco where the sediment was left in the bottle and people were a little bit embarrassed to show it. 

This is actually called the Method Ancestral like they did in Limu. 

They left the sediment in the bottle. It was just part of the wine. m In 1895, someone at Vinicultural Research Research Center in Asti named Martinotti, figured out they had a lot of sparkling wines in that area like Moscato.

Martinotti invented a system instead of having to do this process in the bottle, he created a large container with a top under pressure where the second fermentation could take place under pressure and then bottle it from there. It’s called the Martinotti Method that he created and patented in 1895. 

Then 15 years later, in France he applied a sterilizing system.  It’s referred to as the Sharma Method. That is the typical Way to make Prosecco not the traditional way.

Most producers in the area did not advance their methods until after World War II happened.

Mionetto, a very big Prosecco producer, only started using autoclaves in 1987. 

At my tasting in New York on December 13, we’re going to taste three Prosecco’s. One is a still version from a winery called Bortolomeo, one of the most significant wineries of the area

After World War Two, he was very instrumental in creating a small group of producers and protecting their tradition of making wine in the area. 

Now their daughters are running the winery. They’re still making a Prosecco. It’s part of the disciplinary of the rules for Prosecco Cornigliano Valdobbiadene

That used to be the same with Coteau Champenois, the still wine of Champagne. You would not find those around. 

While we’re talking about Prosecco, tell us about their growth —  between the DOCG and the DOC?

Alan Tardi: One thing I want to say is that in the very small area of Corneliano, Corneliano about to be out in a Prosecco, DOCG.  In about 2009, because of the large demand for Prosecco, and because of the fact that people were growing grapes and making wine outside 

That appellation covers the entire region of Friuli and three quarters of the region of Veneto. So it’s a huge area, mostly flat. Higher yields, most of the vineyards can be worked, can be harvested mechanically. It’s a very different wine and that accounts for the vast majority of the 500 million bottles that are being produced.

The little area up in the hills has a much more complex growing area, soil to topography. 

It hasn’t really been touched since the earth rose when that, when the sea and the sea receded on the other side of Cornigliano, there was a glacier that happened up in the north and it came down and just took all the land with it.

If you look at the map, the part is very narrow and the Cornelia part spreads down and is very wide and lower altitudes.  So you have two very different soil makeups and different sections within the area.  So it’s much more complex. 

In 2009, they created the DOC and that’s when the original area, called Prosecco, changed its name to Corneliano Valdobbiadene and they were elevated to a higher level, a DOCG category.

They created subzones within this very small area. 43 different areas within the overall territory. If grapes come from one of those areas, they can have the name of that on the label. 

At Beyond Bubbles on December 13, we’re going to be tasting the Tranquilo Prosecco from Botolomeo.  We’ll taste a Colfondo from a young guy who’s been carrying on his family’s winery.

He always made wine in the cofondo method, and he just also started using the method traditionnel as well.

We’re going to taste his Cofondo, and then we’re going to taste Prosecco, Brut Nature, no sugar added, from the Cornigliano side, different softer, denser soil, lower altitude.

You can taste the difference.

That sounds incredible. We’re celebrating Beyond Bubbles, Alan Tardi’s new class coming up December 13th. One of the bottles, the Lambrusco. Can you talk a little bit about its reputation? 

 

Alan Tardi: I think we should feel very excited.  In the United States people still think about Lambrusco as a sweet, red, bubbly wine.

Lambrusco has really changed and it’s very complex.  Usually wines don’t do well in flat areas, but in the Po Valley, that’s where they come from, they started out as wild vines.

They were cultivated by this old ancient tribe who lived in the area from about 12 to 6  BC, and then they just disappeared  There are 12 different Lambrusco grapes. Three of them are really the most important because they have their own distinct identity and growing area. 

Sorbara comes from the town of Sorbara, takes its name after it, and it has its own appellation. 

Grasparosa di Casavetro, down in the south, it’s flat, but it starts to go up a little bit into the hills. 

And then Salomino, in the north, which is the powerhouse of the three.

It’s really fascinating.  They’re considered to be the most elegant because they’re all red grapes. In Champagne, it’s mostly white grapes.  in Prosecco, the grapes are also predominantly white. There’s Pinot Noir that was one of these international grapes. It was permitted but only as a 

The Sorbara is very light, transparent, elegant.  There’s a lot of finesse to it.

The Graspa Rosa is dark red, juicy, fruity, floral, intense, foamy.

The Salomino is the workhorse, Sorbata is not self pollinating. And Solomino is often the pollinator for Sorbata.

At Beyond Bubbles on December 13, we’re going to be talking about unusual bottles.  Tasting a Salomino wine from a winery called Lini 910,  a wine is made using the method Traditionnelle.  This wine is going to be 2006 vintage, and it’s spent nearly 14 years on the lees.

At our Beyond Bubbles class, I’m going to start with the Lambrusco, the oldest of the wines. Then the Prosecco.  Then the Champagne. So there’s a buildup to that. 

After the champagne, there’ll be a still champagne from the Valley de la Marne from the Mounier grape, and the Philipponat Champagne vintage.

After that, I thought it would be really interesting to look at two wines from made by people who went to the champagne area in the turn of the 20th century and they fell in love with champagne and they were compelled to go back to where they came from and make a wine using the champagne style method in their own way.

A wine from Trentino, Giulio Ferrari.  And the other one is RTOs in in Catalonia in Spain, compare.

Alan Tardi’s class Beyond Bubbles will take place December 13, 2023 at New York Wine Studio.  126 East 38th Street New York, NY 1001. Readily accessible between Park and Lexington Avenue, just minutes from  Grand Central Station.

For tix and more information visit NewYorkWineStudio.com

 

DOC NYC 2023: Grand Jury Prize Winner ‘Total Trust’ Opens Theatrically Dec 8

DOC NYC 2023: Grand Jury Prize Winner ‘Total Trust’ Opens Theatrically Dec 8

For two decades, China has implemented cutting-edge security and surveillance to monitor its citizens. In this fascinating and chilling documentary, Jialing Zhang (co-director of ONE CHILD NATION) immerses us in this daily reality: half a billion cameras pointed at the populace, invasive neighborhood watch programs (“Sharp Eyes”), employees monitored for stress levels, and a “social credit” point system that rewards for community service and penalizes perceived societal infractions.

With the assistance of dozens of anonymous locals, Zhang focuses on three courageous women fighting for civil liberties and justice, including independent journalist Sophia Xueqin Huang, one of the first Chinese reporters to investigate #MeToo accusations and subsequently arrested for “inciting subversion of state power.” A bracing portrait of a society for whom privacy is all but extinct and a warning for democracies employing surveillance tools in unprecedented ways.

Zhang is an Emmy-Award nominated independent Chinese filmmaker based in the U.S. She produced IN THE SAME BREATH in 2021 (Oscar® shortlisted); and co-directed/produced the 2019 Film Forum premiere, ONE CHILD NATION (Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, Oscar® shortlisted). Zhang was nominated for two PGA Awards for Outstanding Producer of Documentary and a DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary. She won a Ridenhour documentary Prize in 2020, a duPont-Columbia Award, and a Peabody Award in 2022.

TOTAL TRUST (2023)

Directed by: Jialing Zhang

Produced by: Filmtank (Knut Jäger, Michael Grotenhoff),

Saskia Kress, Jialing Zhang

Co-Produced by: Witfilm, Interactive Media Foundation, ZDF/arte, NTR Cinematography by: Cuier (Anonymous), RCS (Anonymous), J.V. Chi (Anonymous)

Edited by: Barbara Toennieshen

Genre: World Cinema/Documentary

RT: 97 minutes

Language: Chinese with English Subtitles

DOC NYC 2023: WINNER – U.S. Competition Special Mention – ‘HAPPY CAMPERS’ Documentary Feature from director Amy Nicholson

DOC NYC 2023: WINNER – U.S. Competition Special Mention – ‘HAPPY CAMPERS’ Documentary Feature from director Amy Nicholson

Synopsis

Finding your tribe is one of life’s greatest pleasures—and losing it is one of the greatest sorrows. In Amy Nicholson’s beautifully observed film, working-class Americans gather every summer at a seaside trailer park in Chincoteague, Virginia, to enjoy the simple pleasures of a scrappy, no-frills vacationland, and each others’ company. When a developer buys the land and reimagines the property, the inhabitants of this shabby Shangri-La wistfully eke out the joys of one last summer together as a melancholic twilight hangs in the air. – Jaie Laplante 

DOC NYC Continues Online
“Happy Happy” Available
Now Through November 26

About the Filmmaker Amy Nicholson

Amy Nicholson is a documentary filmmaker and commercial director based in New York City. In a previous life, she served as an advertising Creative Director, conceiving campaigns for clients like Got Milk? and Nike. Nicholson’s most recent documentary is a short titled Pickle. After winning audience awards at multiple festivals including Aspen Shorts and Full Frame, Pickle was nominated for an IDA Documentary Award and Cinema Eye Honors, selected for New York Times’ Op Docs and featured on the Criterion Channel. Nicholson has produced and directed two feature projects. Zipper: Coney Island’s Last Wild Ride won a special jury prize at DOC NYC and was held over twice at the IFC Center. Muskrat Lovely premiered at Hamptons International Film Festival and was broadcast on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens. Nicholson’s third feature Happy Campers debuts at DOC NYC in November. Her films have been selected to screen at Sheffield, Hot Docs, Full Frame, DOK Leipzig, BFI London, Florida, Hot Springs, Camden, Montclair, Traverse City, Rooftop Films, and the MOMA.

DOC NYC 2023: Cherry Jones and Bill T. Jones LIVE IN PERSON for ‘Obsessed with Light’ North America Premiere

DOC NYC 2023: Cherry Jones and Bill T. Jones live in-person for ‘Obsessed with Light’ North America Premiere

North American Premiere of OBSESSED WITH LIGHT at DOC NYC followed by a Q&A with filmmakers and a live dance performance by Jody Sperling, choreographer and artistic director of Time Lapse Dance. She is featured in the film.

 

Synopsis

Obsessed with Light is a meditation on light and the enduring obsession to create. The film pulls back the curtain on Loïe Fuller, a wildly original performer who revolutionized the visual culture of the early 20th century. Creating a dialogue between the past and the present, the documentary features Jody Sperling and her Time Lapse Dance ensemble and delves into the astonishing influence Fuller’s work has on contemporary culture including artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Taylor Swift, Bill T. Jones, Shakira and William Kentridge. In the process, the film uncovers commonalities that connect these creative luminaries to Fuller and each other.

 

The American creator of modern dance, Fuller (1862-1928) created a completely new kind of spectacle which combined dance, fabric and movement. She also pioneered the ingenious use of electricity for the stage, even building a glass floor so that she could be lit from below. Fuller propelled herself into swirling abstractions that made audiences gasp and she immediately understood the importance of protecting her ownership of these innovations. Always struggling against a flood of imitators, Fuller was the first choreographer to attempt to copyright her dances and sued in court as early as 1892. Given the recent Supreme Court decision in the dispute between the Andy Warhol Foundation and photographer Lynn Goldsmith, Fuller’s early battles against copyright infringement are incredibly relevant.

Anyone who has been to a rock concert has seen a modern version of the lighting designs that Fuller patented over a century ago.

Fuller shot to international stardom after performing at the Folies Bergère in Paris. Her rise to fame was intertwined with the very beginning of cinema and her Serpentine dance became an iconic subject for the earliest filmmakers like Georges Méliès and Alice Guy Blaché. It was also among the earliest footage ever to be hand colored. All of the hand coloring or tinting in the archival clips in Obsessed with Light is original.

Obsessed with Light is a film about transformation. It is about a Midwestern vaudeville performer who performed with Buffalo Bill before becoming a world-famous star of Belle Époque Paris and the embodiment of the Art Nouveau movement with her elaborate productions of ephemeral, shape-shifting abstractions. It’s about a woman, described by contemporaries as “odd and badly dressed,” who transformed herself into the “Fairy of Light” onstage. It’s about a woman who became famous on her own terms– unapologetic about her body type and open about her sexuality. And it’s about a visionary artist who disrupted the prevailing notions of dance and the imagined limits of the human body. Lastly, the film is about a lost modernist whose story is crucial to understanding both early cinema and performance.

Directed by: Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum
Produced by: Zeva Oelbaum, Sabine Krayenbühl
Executive Produced by: Elizabeth Rodriguez Chandler, Denise Benmosche, Ruedi Gerber, Susan Margolin
Voice of Loïe Fuller: Cherry Jones

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