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Kosher Expert Reveals 2024’s Top Passover Wines

Wine Expert Jay Buchsbaum Reveals 2024’s Top Passover Wines for Passover 2024

Passover starts Monday April 22 at sundown and ends April 30th. But today’s conversation is about the flavors of Seder dinner.  

Jay Buchsbaum

Royal Wine and Kosher.com’s Jay Buchsbaum visits to talk about flavor, tradition, tastes for every family member and what’s exciting in the wine world for 2024.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, unedited conversation, visit our FlavRReport YouTube channel.

 

Joe Winger: Jay, welcome back.  I appreciate that you’re returning.  Last time was great and we learned alot.

Jay Buchsbaum: Thank you for having me. Wow. This is great. So getting invited back for a second date, that’s really cool.

Joe Winger: Passover is just around the corner and we want to talk about different over wines to enjoy during the celebration and some great wine pairings.

I wanted to start off with what might be one of the popular new bottles – Carmel Black Cabernet Sauvignon.

Jay Buchsbaum:  It’s very hot and the reason it’s very hot is because people want something that’s rich and flavorful, especially the American palate, what we call the New World style.  

Opulence, fruit forward, but they don’t want to spend a fortune like you’d have to from some fancy vineyard in Napa or from Judean Hills. When it comes to Israel or the Golan Heights, and this is one of those wines where they’ve put together this at the beginning of opulence, lots of fruit forwardness, 14 months in oak and about $25.

So it’s really one of those really wonderful wines. What I noticed, and they say they forgot to do it, but I noticed that it does not have an appellation specific, except for Israel.  The reason I believe the winemaker did that –  I don’t know for sure – he talks about it on the back [of the bottle] that they brought the grapes from some of the finest vineyards.  He chose small amounts [of grapes] from the best vineyards from different places and put them all together, carefully crafting it so that it’s big and rich and flavorful and still under $30 bucks.

Joe Winger: That sounds amazing. What are some good food pairings that you’d recommend with it?

Jay Buchsbaum: A roast would be great. On the first and second night of Passover, we don’t officially roast anything because we don’t want people to think that it was a sacrificial lamb that was done in Egypt because we don’t have it today yet.

Until the reestablishment of the temple on the Temple Mount at some future time. 

So people cook a roast in the oven, it’s not barbecued. That’s what they’re talking about from a historical, spiritual sense –  but a delicious roast, maybe chicken marsala, where you have mushrooms and caramelized onions, you have a really rich flavor to go with that.

A lot of the Sephardic foods are like that too. We talked about traditional foods. Traditional foods from where? Sometimes it’s Eastern Europe, sometimes it’s Middle Eastern, and sometimes it’s Sephardic.

Lots of seders have a mix of all [cuisines] because you have melded families.

 

Joe Winger: Royal Wine currently has a wide roster of wine suggestions for Passover  Something for every adult at the table, from Grandpa to 25 year old Grand-daughter and her boyfriend.

 

Jay Buchsbaum: That’s a great point.  I’m going to give you the last one first only because I thought this was so much fun when I thought about it and I actually might do it. 

Let’s say the boyfriend is coming over. He wants to bring you something and he doesn’t know what to get you because, he’s not that observant..

So I thought, why don’t you end the meal with something Sparkling. The Momentous Rosé. That might be fun. You go out with a pop, so to speak. There’s Vera Wang’s  Prosecco Rose that’s also wonderful.   Both around $20.

But if you want to go really high end, why not go with the Rothschild Brut Rosé from Champagne, which is magnificent.  It’s 100% Pinot Noir, and about $100 a bottle.

So you have great diversity and  accessible and quite delicious sparkling wines.

Grandpa, or if you have a real fine wine guy. You have beautiful wines from the Rothschild vineyards, the Haute Medoc. which is in the upper $30s, and then you even have Grand Cru’s LesCombes, Grand Cru Margaux as an example, and some amazing wines from the Herzog Winery in California like the Alexander Valley Herzog Reserve, or the Napa Valley Herzog Reserve.  

We have a beautiful Lake County Reserve Cabernet from California. Big, opulent, delicious, mouth filling. 

I start my Seder usually with a rosé.  The reason for that is because you’re starting your Seder, having eaten nothing pretty much since the morning. So you’re on an empty stomach and the tradition is to finish at least the first glass. So I try to start with a rosé.  It’s a little lighter, a little lower in alcohol, a little lighter in texture and, and I like to start with an Israeli wine first.

Joe Winger: Iis there a hidden gem as far as just high quality with amazing value?

Jay Buchsbaum: There’s a really wonderful wine from New Zealand.

It’s a white wine, not a red wine. It’s made by the Rothschild family, but it’s made in New Zealand, called Rimapere Sauvignon Blanc. Less than $30 for sure.  Fresh, sweet lemons, but with enough acidity and structure, almost like a palette cleanser.

Joe Winger:  Anything that you’re looking forward to in the next few  months that wine lovers should be getting excited for?

Jay Buchsbaum: We were missing rosés from Israel for a whole year because of the sabbatical year. We skipped that vintage of roses, and so they’re back for the first time in 24 months for this Passover.

I love some of the new Italian wines. One of them to take a look at is Cantina Giuliano.  it’s a boutique winery. They make 3,000 – 4,000 cases maximum. It’s run by a young couple and I just had them over at my house for Sabbath Shabbat.  His wines blew people away.

I think the most exciting thing is our new winemaker and what our new winemakers is doing with our grapes. His selection and his final product over at the Herzog Wine Cellars. And that could be

Our new winemaker, his name is David Galzignato. He’s with us about three years and he has a background that is with some of the finest and smallest, medium sized boutiques. 

He was going to be moving to France, going to go for his MW [masters of wine] and they asked him if he’d come and consider working with us and he did. He has been making literally blow your brains out wonderful wines so our Napa Cabernet, our Alexander Valley Cabernet are just up and down the line, the wines, especially the reds are just rich and opulent.

He got Joseph Herzog to buy a visual sorter, they range in cost between a $100,000 – 1 million dollar machine.

What they do is when the grapes come in [during harvest] and there’s something called sorting tables.

Done by hand [vineyard workers literally sorting through the harvested grape bunches, looking for]  damaged or a little beat up or whatever, and they only allow the perfect grapes to go through. 

This visual sorter does this electronically by computer, so nothing is missed, zero. As a result, the grape quality is much higher

Famously said in The New Yorker Years ago, “There’s only three things that matter in good winemaking. Good grapes. Good grapes. Good grapes.”

So, the fruit that we get and the fruit that we end up making wine out of is literally the most important thing.

By using these kinds of methods, which are not inexpensive. But the quality is through the roof. We’re looking to make a 100 point wine one of these days and I think it might we might get close this year. 

NYCs Tequila Lovers are searching for their Next Drink! Now Madre Mezcal offers a Gateway to a Better Taste

NYCs Tequila Lovers are searching for their Next Drink! Now Madre Mezcal offers a Gateway to a Better Taste

Today’s conversation is with Ryan Fleming from Madre Mezcal.  The LA nightlife veteran reveals his time working behind the bar in some of Southern California’s hottest spots, as well as the inspiration that got him to travel to Mexico, discovering Mezcal. 

The aroma, flavors, science and food pairings for Mezcal.

Love Tequila?  Discover the Gateway to better taste with Madre Mezcal's Ryan Fleming

Love Tequila?  Discover the Gateway to better taste with Madre Mezcal’s Ryan Fleming

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full, unedited conversation, visit our YouTube Channel.

 

“…I’ve been a big Mezcal lover before I ever sold it…”

Joe Winger:  Can you share the behind the scenes or how the brand itself was created? 

Ryan Fleming: I’ve been a big Mezcal lover before I ever even sold it or made a dollar doing that. So I got to actually meet Ron Cooper, who is the legend that started the Del Maguey label back in 2011.

I got to drink rabbit Pachuca with him and all these other amazing things. The reason I bring him up is he’s a kind of one of the people that we look up to, how to sustainably bring a brand and how to create culture that crosses boundaries in a sense. 

He has a beautiful book that I recommend anyone to read if you haven’t read Ron Cooper’s book.

But we share a similar story. One of our founding partners, Tony Farfalla and one of my good friends, Stefan Tony’s an artist and he was literally traveling through Oaxaca doing documentaries and embracing the art and culture. He happened to meet Jose Morales, which is the first family we ever worked with.

If you have original bottles of Madre [Mezcal] before the labels have changed, it used to say Jose’s name on the bottle. 

So Tony was bringing bottles back to Brooklyn in plastic water bottles and it snowballed. His friends in Brooklyn were like, this stuff’s great. Started out in plastic water bottles in 2014. I think it was 2016 when our first glass bottles actually came by and we became like of a more legit brand and company.  But it started with Tony and Stefan; and they brought on our CEO and COO, Chris and Davide.

Chris actually is one of the founding driving forces in the electronic scene in the 90s in Europe. Chris comes from a very artistic, music based background. Then he went on to work for some bigger alcohol brands in the vodka world. 

madre mezcal

Davide, who is our COO, my direct boss, who I love, is Italian and his whole family built furniture and he got his big break by importing and bringing furniture over [to the United States]. He also works with a beautiful high end apparel line. 

“…everyone has a very unique artistic background, which really reflects the brand and the label…”

So everyone has a very unique artistic background, which really reflects the brand and the label. Just not wanting to make a quick buck and actually make something we can stand behind and believe in.

As the families now blossom into four, we use three: the Vasquez family, the Blas family and the Morales family are our three main producers for our red and black label, which most people are familiar with. 

We just brought in Moises and he’s actually from Santa Catarina Minas.  That’s a little town where all they really make is their production. It’s a town known for nothing but clay pot distillation. So if you actually use a copper pot in, in Manera and Santa Caterina Minas, you’re looked at as what are you doing? That’s not what we do here. 

He’s our last and newest producer and he may be the most cowboy of them all, and he’s my favorite.

When you get to Tlaxcala, you have to walk over like a little rope bridge over like a river and stuff into the hills of Minas to see his production, and he’s got his grandfather’s old still, and he’s got his mom’s little kitchen that he wants to reopen, and it’s like a restaurant. But if you and I were to look at it, it just looks like a backyard set of tables and chairs with a cooking center.

No, this is a restaurant for the village. It’s really beautiful down in Minas. I recommend everyone, if you get a chance to go down there, it felt like the jungles in Costa Rica, cause it’s up near the hills and it’s just so green and lush up there.

 

“…I’ve been working in the alcohol industry for almost 15 years …”

Joe Winger:  What got you down there? Was it for a vacation or for Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

So I’ve been working in the alcohol industry for almost 15 years and I worked for the Houston Hospitality Group for over a decade, helping run programs and menus. I worked for a couple other restaurants, but I used to work for Stillhouse Whiskey, which many people remember the terrible flavored moonshine in a gas can.

Yeah I actually sold that. I did pretty well, there was always one flavor that someone loved. I had the mint chocolate chip and I would keep it in the freezer to take care of my sweet tooth when I didn’t have ice cream. So that’s how it started.

My buddy, Stefan, who’s one of the founding partners goes, “Hey, we got this Mezcal company.”  I was just basically consulting for free lunches. 

One day he goes, do you want to go to Oaxaca? And I went, absolutely. 

I familiar with going down to Mexico city, but I’d never been as far South as Oaxaca. So I jumped at the chance.

[Meanwhile] we all got an email from Stillhouse saying “Hey, I know things are being shaken up right now, but trust me, everything’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” 

That weekend, apparently the whole team got laid off, but I didn’t get the email untll I came home Monday. They’re saying, “Ryan, are you going to be okay? Do you need help finding work?”

So I went down to Oaxaca, met the families, broke bread with Jose Morales, got to meet his mother who blessed the roast and cooked us dinner.  They offered me a job.

That was started my journey about six years ago with Madre [Mezcal ]and I’ve been with him since.

Fleming motions to tattoos on his arms and hands.

Discovering Madre Mezcal

I have it tattooed on my hand right here. I have it tattooed on my palm right here. And I think I have another one on the inside of my leg too. We do tasting events and we’ll have pop up tattoo artists all the time.

 

Tequila vs Madre Mezcal

Joe Winger: 

You mentioned the tastings and the education.  Are there quick lessons that you teach the most often?

Ryan Fleming: 

Basic production, culture, financial, environmental and economic sustainability. 

I don’t think people understand that Oaxaca is the second poorest state in Mexico.  Everyone thinks the Mezcal boom must be bringing so many jobs, but it really only affects about 20 – 40,000 people that live in Oaxaca for the production, 

Mezcal is great because it does bring some financial sustainability to the families. Jose started off driving a taxi to pay his bills and now he’s making Mezcal in his family’s tradition.  His whole family, his cousin, his uncles, they all make Mezcal for a living now.

There’s so much culture behind it. Even the old argument of did the Spanish bring over copper stills and that started distillation or does it go back to the Aztecs and Mayans? Because they found distillate and pottery from 3000 years ago. It’s those little nuances.

People really like to talk about the environmental, but giving back to the people down there by not just buying product, but giving them some ownership, which Madre does do, so that everyone has a little bit of skin in the game.

So I think Sustainability, whether it’s environmental, economical, cultural, and production. Those are the things I really like to talk about.

Joe Winger:  What is the basic difference between mezcal and tequila? Or is it more complicated?

Ryan Fleming: 

You could say production techniques, additives, mass production are probably the three biggest differences. 

Tequila can only be made with one agave. It’s a blue weber.  Mezcal can be made with the other 47-ish varietals, and that number is always fluctuating, based on classification and family genius.

Production is the big one. Tequila is made in massive factories and made with either chemicals or steam for the most part. 

Whereas mezcal is actually made by hand, roasted in an earthen oven. The biggest thing that separates Tequila and Mezcal is the 1% additive rule.

Tequila can have up to 1% by volume additives, and they don’t have to tell you. That’s why certain large brands will say 100% Agave, but it’s full of additives, because it doesn’t take much  with modern chemistry. Just a couple drops of glycerin or vanilla extract to change the flavor and hide  all the nuances.

Mezcal can’t have any additives by law. 

Joe Winger: Can we walk through the roles and responsibilities between the families that produce Madre Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

Yeah, the four families. Let’s start with Jose Morales. Him and his brother both make mezcal. Now they produce for us in the US exclusively. We encourage all of our families to continue making mezcal to trade. They use it for a local economy.

Every time I go down there, [their operation is growing].  When they started, they had three stills. Now there’s 12 up and running and they have solar power.  It’s just so crazy to see how much the transformation has happened. 

The original recipe, the blend of cuishe and espadine at 90 proof, that’s his family’s recipe. So we expanded that and we brought on Carlos Blas and the Vasquez family. Unfortunately, Natalio the father passed away a couple of years ago.

His daughters are now producing in the family’s tradition and we take whatever we can from them. 

But what we do, that’s a little bit different is, we started out when it was just Jose, he was making the blend himself. Now we have them make the espadine and the cuishe separately.

All three families are part of the process. Sometimes we just get cuiche from Jose. Sometimes Carlos makes all the espadine, but Carlos is like a master blender. 

We blend a cold style like Scotch does. Even though it’s not the most traditional way, all the distillation and process is as true as it can be.

But by blending post distillation allows us to keep consistency, which was a huge problem because every batch with your wild fermentation, your wild yeast and all these beautiful nuances, it’ll be inconsistent as you grow as a brand.  It was hard for us to keep consistency.

But by blending multiple terroirs and three different families’ production, we can keep a consistent product that tastes the same as well as expanding and bringing on more families to help instead of just going to a large factory house and not making what I would call “traditional Mezcal.”

Joe Winger: So focusing on your background, you mentioned that you’ve been a bartender in the LA nightlife.  Any memorable adventures or lessons you can share?

Ryan Fleming:

There are some stories I could tell that I probably don’t want to share publicly. But there are some amazing stories I can tell.

One of the oddest experiences I’ve ever had, I worked at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s, which is one of the most famous bars in the Hollywood nightlife in the past decade. 

Paul McCartney showed up at our door. 

But because our staff is younger and our door guys are a little bit younger, they thought it was an old weird British man that just showed up and they turned Paul McCartney away from the door.

‘Holy crap, is that Paul McCartney’?

He was like, do you know who I am? The guys [were like] ”We don’t care.” Like straight up, blowing Paul McCartney off. One of our managers came out and was like, ‘Holy crap, is that Paul McCartney’? And they’re like, wait, the guy from the Beatles?! 

My manager ran out, “Please come back,” and Paul had a great time at the bar. We got him a special little area to sit down. It was a packed Saturday.  It’s not a nightclub where we have gated off [areas]. Even if you reserve a table, people are inches away from you where you’re sitting at your table. 

Justin Bieber showed up one time and everyone went nuts.  He comes in, walks around, does a loop, comes out and goes, “I thought this was a hip hop club.” and just left.

It was a 1970s themed bar and we played nothing but 70s music. 

The dichotomy between the two different generations and to see them all melt into one location was one of the coolest things about working at that bar. 

 

Joe Winger:It’s so crowded because it’s so popular.  The Houston Brothers always do such a good job.

Ryan Fleming: 

Yeah.  The cocktails are still really good too. For as much volume as we used to do there, the biggest thing is how can I make a really beautiful cocktail that’s still cost effective and doesn’t take 12 steps. We got really good at batching stuff and figuring out how to infuse things.  Luckily our back of house was just the most amazing.  Mariano is the best barback I’ve ever had in my whole life. He’s still there. 

He is just a workhorse that got all the infusions. He would cook, he would infuse all of our products and he was just great. Even if we just did a jalapeno infusion on our tequila, if it got too spicy, he could break down the ratio and water it down with more products so that we could keep the spice level approachable.

Joe Winger:

What is the secret to high quantity yet high value cocktails? 

Ryan Fleming:

Batching is definitely the way to do it. Any of your alcohols that are shelf stable, you want to put all of those in the proper ratios in a bottle.

Instead of grabbing a modifier and your base spirit and another modifier, you’re grabbing one bottle with a special tape at the bottom, so you know which cocktail it goes to and then all your fresh stuff. 

You can’t batch the fresh stuff. It has to be separated because you put citrus in something and it goes bad in three days.  Now the whole batch is bad. So keeping your fresh stuff separated.

Joe Winger: Back to Madre Mezcal.  Obviously the bottles themselves are where all the power is.  So let’s talk about labels and taste profiles.

Ryan Fleming:

People love our labels. Our branding is top notch. It’s one of the first compliments we always get. “Oh my God, I love your branding.” 

Madre Mezcal Artesanal

Madre Mezcal Artesanal

Looked at Oaxacan culture and some other like medieval culture and combined the art from the two.

As far as the red label it’s the woman on the bull. It’s a really beautiful message of Mother Earth coming down and starting to share humanity and move across the world to plants and spread love.  That’s why she’s on the bull.  It’s the combination of animal, Mother Earth, and humans. 

Madre Mezcal Espandin

Madre Mezcal Espandin

The black label is a beautiful logo of a woman on the ground.  She’s planting and spreading the seed of life that gives us agave and flowers and fruit and vegetables and everything else.

Madre Mezcal Ancestral

Madre Mezcal Ancestral

The ancestral is this beautiful clay bottle with old clay vessels from Greece that carried wine with the fluid coming out and it’s supposed to celebrate the ancestral way of making mezcal and clay pots and clay distillation.

I always love telling the story of people who say mezcal is not supposed to be aged, which is a true-ish statement in my opinion. But back in the day, everything got transferred in barrels. So Mezcal would accidentally get aged in barrels because it would travel from town to town on horseback after the product was made.

So the idea that Mezcal was never aged is it wasn’t aged on purpose. 

Mezcal was accidentally aged in wood. The traditional way that people would age Mezcal is in glass and they would hide it underground. 

I always tell people, if you have a beautiful bottle of Mezcal, you should open it and take it out and put a wine cork in it, or at least crack the bottle and get some air because it really lets alcohol open up and aerate.

Mezcal benefits from a resting period. Pouring it in a nice open glass, like a snifter or a wine glass, letting it sit for about 5-10 minutes will really open it up.

Madre Mezcal tasting notes 

Madre is designed to be less smoky. I really hate the term smoky. I like the word roasted because what you’re tasting is like barbeque.

You’re tasting the roasting of the agave and the charcoaling and the burning of the outside agave which will affect the sugars, the caramelization.

Madre really was designed to be a more approachable mezcal. We call ourselves ”The gateway to the category.” 

We want to bring people from tequila over to Mezcal so you can explore what agave spirits also have to offer. 

It’s bright, clean, and smooth. I always compare it to a really nice, made tequila.

Our Espadine is actually a close cousin of [tequila’s] Blue Weber. It tastes really bright, clean and smooth.  But you’re going to get some of that minerality and smoke in the end. 

Like easy drinking with some earthy aromas. 

Joe Winger:  That night when I met you, what you handed me was my first taste of the night. I love that it was so pure and smooth.  It didn’t clog up my mouth for the rest of the night.

Ryan Fleming: 

I’m like you. I want to have 2-3 cocktails a night. Not just one and my palette’s done. 

Our Espadine to me is a 2-3 second palette.  It clears up and you get like a breath and it’s fading.  Our Ensemble goes on for 10- 12 seconds.  From sweet vanilla to chocolate to mineral and then to smoke.  Then the smoke fades and you get just a really beautiful, crisp.  It’s viscous. You can feel the oil in your mouth when you swirl it around and it makes the best Negroni.

Joe Winger:  Let’s talk about food pairings.

Ryan Fleming: 

I want to know if this caught you off guard, but it’s Italian food.

Very rich foods. These beautiful Mezcals are light and almost floral and fragrant, It cuts through the richness and creaminess of food.

That’s why mezcal and chocolate are consistently paired together, but that was just way too easy. There’s always mezcal chocolate pairings, but like a really nice Italian dish, something creamy and rich, like an Alfredo or a really well done piece of pizza, like a margarita or a white sauce pizza.

“…I want to know if this caught you off guard, but…”

We are working on doing some [pizza] pairings with some places in LA.   Do a different slice of pizza with three different cocktails of Madre and then have a tasting at the end.

Chocolate has a big part of Oaxaca too. You can’t not have some chocolate and mezcal at the end of the night. 

Espresso martinis are so hot again right now. Try making one with mezcal instead of vodka and just [see] how coffee helps open up the agave and the notes, and you’re going to get so much more going on in your cocktail.

If you pair a nice espresso martini with  beautiful, dark chocolate from Oaxaca.  That is your final cocktail at the end of the night, it won’t let you down.

Joe Winger:  You mentioned replacing Mezcal with vodka in a martini, are there any traditional or more common cocktails we should also try replacing Mezcal in?

Ryan Fleming: 

When I tell you this, it may blow your mind. Most gin cocktails are a little bit better with Mezcal.

There are certain times you need botanicals, but a lot of really good classic gin cocktails, if you sub them for Mezcal, are absolutely fantastic. 

Joe Winger:  I’m shocked because most gins have such unique aromatics.

Ryan Fleming: 

Which Mezcal has so many of those same unique terpenes going on that it changes the cocktail, but it works.

So instead of having botanicals, you have all these beautiful vegetal and mineral notes that just come from agaves. 

Joe Winger:  What are the biggest misconceptions in the world of Mezcal?

Ryan Fleming: 

A lot of people have a misconception, especially on the trade side, that we have grown exponentially. It’s been a lot of hard work. People think we have this massive team behind us.  There’s less than 20 of us on the whole team. That includes our team down in Oaxaca, who  watches over manufacturing and production for us down there. 

We don’t have an office.  We have a little tiny apartment in Venice for meetings.

A lot of people don’t understand the hard work that goes into creating a small brand. It’s just a lot of people working hard to create beautiful Mezcal, especially the families. 

People [unfairly comparing it to] tequila.  What do you mean, we can’t get more? Why is it so expensive? We have people going out hand collecting wild agaves and harvesting espadine.  All of that is hand cut, hand chopped.   I’ve hand cut agaves with the families.

None of this is industrialized or mechanized like tequila. 

Appreciate every drop of mezcal you have, because someone put a lot of love and labor into it.

Joe Winger:  Ryan, as we wrap up, let’s talk about where can learn more about Madre Mezcal? 

Ryan Fleming: 

We have a beautiful Instagram.  Madremezcal.com is our website. 

We also have this Instagram called mezcal. Learning and it’s a little short videos and little blurbs to talk about production, families, history, and culture. It is focused on Madre, but it’s not just Madre, it’s Mezcal as a whole.

If you want to know more about our families who produce, where it’s made, you can find all that information on madremezgal. com. 

Our bottles are in most of your nicer bottle shops, liquor stores. In California, we’re lucky enough to be in Trader Joe’s for the Espadine and Whole Foods has our Ensemble.

If you can’t find it,  go to madremezcal.com and we ship bottles to almost every state in the U S.

We’re in nine countries, too. Australia. All over Europe, Costa Rica.  We’re working on Japan and South Korea as well. So I’m just excited to see the culture of mezcal just expand beyond just America and see how excited because I, when I talk to people that are in London or, people in Australia, and they’re so excited about the idea of being able to get mezcal.

Joe Winger: What is the future for Madre?

Ryan Fleming: I can’t tell you about the big one.

But, [exciting things for] our Ancestral, which is pretty new and every batch of that’s going to be hand numbered and labeled.

We’re going to start doing small batch productions that will be very limited. Then the desert waters, which we have ready for summer. 

To learn more about MadreMezcal, visit MadreMezcal.com. Find them on Instagram at MadreMezcal

 

NY FlavR

NYers challenge Ice Cream Legends Ben & Jerry: Can they do a Million Scoops on Free Cone Day April 16

NYers challenge Ice Cream Legends Ben & Jerry: Can they do a Million Scoops on Free Cone Day April 16

On April 16, Ben & Jerry’s is throwing its annual Free Cone Day celebration, and while any day free ice cream is involved is a win, the Ben & Jerry’s team behind the annual fan appreciation event, now well past its 40th year, are inviting fans to help make this year’s Free Cone Day the biggest and best yet with 1 million scoops served.

Ben & Jerry Free Cone Day is April 16

 

Ice Cream Legends Ben & Jerry Have a Million Scoop Goal, Can They Do it? Find out on Free Cone Day April 16

Free Cone Day returns after a four-year pause

Last year, Free Cone Day made its highly anticipated return after a four-year pause, and dedicated Ben & Jerry’s fans showed the Vermont-based ice cream maker just how happy they were that the giveaway tradition was back.

“It was nothing short of amazing to see our fans back in our shops in their full Free Cone Day glory,”

Dave Stever

Ben & Jerry’s CEO

…who dished out ice cream at the Scoop Shops in Vermont.

“We gave out over 970,000 scoops across the globe, but we know together with our fans we can break 1 million scoops.” Stever added, “We’re asking our fans to really bring it this year: invite their friends, family, neighbors, and help us beat our goal of 1 million scoops on Free Cone Day 2024.”

The beloved tradition began in 1979 as cofounders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield survived their first winter – as a tiny, independent, two-person ice cream business – in the frozen tundra of Vermont.

National Weather Service records dubbed it “the brutal winter of 1978-1979” as the average temperature reached a record low of 14.1°F (-10°C) and the winter season snowfall set a record of 52.9 inches (134 centimeters).

The first Free Cone Day in 1979

Today’s traditions are no different than the first Free Cone Day in 1979 as it has always been a way to give back to the community and thank fans for their support.

The only difference is that the once single “mom & pop” shop is now one of the largest, most successful ice cream businesses in the U.S., as well as in 35 other countries around the globe.

New flavors debut on Free Cone Day

Fans can stop by their local shop for a go-to favorite or ask about new flavors like brand-new Scoop Shop exclusive Mango flavor, made of mango ice cream swirled with sweet cream ice cream, or recently debuted Non-Dairy Strawberry Cheezecake.

New additions Impretzively Fudged and PB S’more make great options for the sweet and salty lovers.

Can’t decide?

Flavors may vary based on location but fans are welcome to try any and all available flavors and are encouraged to get back in line as many times as they’d like. Experienced fans understand it’s easiest to jump back in the queue on Free Cone Day with a scoop already in hand.

To find the nearest participating Scoop Shop, visit https://www.benjerry.com/scoop-shops/free-cone-day.

Ben & Jerry’s is an aspiring social justice company that believes in a greater calling than simply making and selling the world’s best ice cream.

The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and Non-Dairy/vegan desserts using high-quality ingredients and lots of big chunks and swirls. As a Certified B Corp, Ben & Jerry’s incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices via values-led sourcing initiatives when purchasing ingredients.

Ben & Jerry’s is distributed in over 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchised Scoop Shops, and via on-demand delivery services.

Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, a fair financial return, and addressing issues of social, racial, and environmental injustice around the globe.

The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, guided by Ben & Jerry’s employees, granted $5.1 MM in 2023 to support progressive, justice-focused grassroots organizing around the country.

For up-to-date information visit benjerry.com.

NYC Flavor heads to Naples: Nolita comes to The Ritz-Carlton, Naples with Executive Chef Satish Yerramilli and Pizza Chef Chef Gabriele Candela

Nolita brings NYC flavor to The Ritz-Carlton, Naples with Executive Chef Satish Yerramilli and Pizza Chef Chef Gabriele Candela

The Ritz-Carlton, Naples celebrates the debut of Nolita, the latest culinary experience for the newly renovated resort known for its exceptional culinary offerings.

Drawing inspiration from its namesake neighborhood in New York, Nolita features artisan pastas made in-house from 00 durum wheat and semolina, as well as hand-tossed pizzas and a menu of familiar Italian classics influenced by family recipes.

By day, Nolita offers an expanded breakfast buffet, transitioning to a menu of timeless Italian fare for lunch.

By night, the lively bar complements a dinner menu of classic dishes such as veal parmigiana, vongole, and spaghetti with meatballs.

Boozy ice creams and timeless desserts complete the menu including Limoncello Strawberry Cheesecake and Tiramisu.

Executive Chef Satish Yerramilli has selected talented Chef Lola Riboleau as Restaurant Chef, bringing her passion and attention to detail to the new restaurant.

“Like the Nolita neighborhood in Manhattan, Nolita has a wonderful, casual vibe.

Our menu reflects the recipes of blended families and traditions,

where dishes featuring red sauce sit on the table alongside white wine sauce.

Those old conventions do not apply,”

Chef Yerramilli

“And the pizzas… everyone has an opinion about the perfect crust, but the pizza at Nolita is a must.”

Leading the Pizza Kitchen is Chef Gabriele Candela, a third-generation pizza chef who honed his skills in his grandfather’s PalermoSicily pizzeria.

With experience at renowned pizzerias including L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele in Naples, Italy, Chef Candela prioritizes top-quality ingredients such as 48-hour fermented flour, San Marzano D.O.P tomatoes, and Fior Di Latte mozzarella.

His signature ‘light as air’ focaccia, a cherished family recipe, graces the Nolita menu.

“The introduction of Nolita bolsters the resort’s four-decade legacy

as the premier dining destination in Naples,

now with eight unique on-property bars and restaurants for our guests and local residents,”

Mark Ferland

Ritz-Carlton Area General Manager

“The Ritz-Carlton, Naples remains the iconic Florida resort where memories are made, and Nolita provides the perfect setting for sharing moments with friends and family in Naples.”

Located on the resort’s Beach Level, Nolita joins recent additions to The Ritz-Carlton, Naples: Sofra, Moka, and the Lobby Bar.

Inspired by the shared plates of the Eastern Mediterranean, Sofra features a vegetable forward menu highlighting the coastal flavors of TurkeyGreeceIsrael, and Jordan.

Moka, influenced by bustling Italian cafes, presents delightful coffee drinks curated by a third-generation roasting family.

The Lobby Bar, steeped in tradition, offers a Master Sommelier-curated menu of Champagnes and wines, expertly paired with light bites crafted by Executive Chef Satish Yerramilli.

Nolita is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with reservations available for dinner service at www.NolitaNaples.com or +1 (239) 598-3300.

Sexy Girls Night Out Drinks, but at home? Bark and Barware Shows You How with Cocktail Smoker

Sexy Girls Night Out Drinks, but at home? Bark and Barware Shows You How with Cocktail Smoker

Bark and Barware enters the cocktail market with their premium cocktail smoker, including 6 flavors. 

Bark and Barware’s Harel Levy

Bark and Barware’s Harel Levy

Today, Bark and Barware’s Harel Levy joins us for a conversation about cocktails, creating your long-lasting girls night out, picking the right flavors, the perfect pairings and more!

The below conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  Find the full conversation at our YouTube channel.

 

Joe Winger: Can you tell us a little bit about your story? And what inspired you to create this cocktail smoker kit?

Harel Levy:  I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last seven years. While there are no mistakes, I actually found [the cocktail smoker] by mistake. I was planning to buy something for my Dad. I usually won’t give something if it’s not 100%. So I’d rather not give a gift that I don’t really like.  Because I really care about what the recipient is going to feel. 

“I really love the idea of cocktail smoking kits. […]  It’s another tool to have a great night.

I don’t want to give something cheap, because if you really love someone, you really want to make sure that everything is spot on, right? 

Even on yourself, you will be more forgiven in terms of what you buy than someone else.

I really love the idea of cocktail smoking kits. It’s not that it’s only cool and it’s a great addition to having those nights with friends, with family.  It’s another tool to have a great night.

I went to Amazon and I saw there is no one who actually sells it in a premium, wooden box.  And with many flavors.  I talked with [my company’s] CEO about it, what’s missing here.

Bark & Barware's Smoker Kit

Bark & Barware’s Smoker Kit

We came up with a wooden box. It came from my passion to give something that looks good.

For almost a year, we went back and forth with factories. The smoke.  The flavor.  Details with the box.

When we released it, we were very happy.  We knew my criteria.  If I can give it to my Dad, not being afraid he’s not going to like it.  Then I know that other people are also going to enjoy it because I have high standards for giving a gift to someone that I love. That’s how we came up with the product and the product.

The second thing we are planning is to bring a mixologist,  make it a more holistic experience. 

Extend the journey with our customers, give them cocktails, give them recipes, give them ideas, The journey doesn’t end when the transaction happens for us. We want to continue to build trust and serve our customers.

 

Joe Winger: You have a very comprehensive website.  Can you walk us through your Cocktail Smoker Kit? When we buy it what do we get?

Harel Levy: There are six different chip flavors, the culinary torch, the smoke lid.  Ice tongs, whiskey stones. Unfortunately, we don’t include butane [gas for the torch] because shipping is very heavily regulated, 

“In every smoker kit you get six different chip flavors, the culinary torch, the smoke lid.  Ice tongs, whiskey stones.”

We have six flavors: cherry, oak, pear, maple, hickory and apple. Our plan is to listen to our customers and come up with new flavors based on what they ask for.  It’s not a one-time product release.  We’re going to offer refills, extensions, more.

Each taste is very delicate.  The world of wine, flavor, alcohol is so wide and you can get very specific sometimes. When you do get specific, you get the best results, right? 

 

Joe Winger: Has there been one or two major lessons you’ve learned?

Harel Levy: Initially we had more flavors. After we gave out samples and heard about which flavors were the favorite, we removed some. 

Joe Winger: You mentioned flavor pairing.  What’s your favorite cocktail pairing?

Harel Levy: It’s a tough question because taste is something that is extremely subjective.

We usually put it with scotch. That’s our personal preference.  Our customers get very creative with their ideas. That’s why we initially started with those six flavors. But listening to customer feedback, it’s going to grow and change.

 

Joe Winger: Over a year of research and development, were there any unexpected surprises?

Harel Levy: A lot of people agreed with me on the wooden box.  People started asking for smoke refills.  They’re going through the smoke faster than I thought.  When we launched, I was expecting this to be used for special occasions.  But people are using it every week, all the time.  

 

Joe Winger: In the past few weeks, I’ve been in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New York, Philadelphia.  All those places have bars where they’re serving smoked drinks.  Now people want to have that experience at home.  

Harel Levy: That’s going to make you the hero of the party.  You’re the one who brings the cool stuff. I always like to do that. 

We really advise [anyone trying this] to taste all of the flavors. Not just one or two.   The spectrum of what flavors someone likes or doesn’t like is very wide.  You’re probably going to really like 1-2 [of the flavors], and less like the others.

Those 1-2 that you really like, we’re going to offer you refills.

When I host friends [at my house], I drink scotch and it goes well with cherry.

But it’s like a game.  You try a lot of things. You find out something that you’re really going to love.

“That’s going to make you the hero of the party.  You’re the one who brings the cool stuff.”

Joe Winger: This first kit is a starter kit or a sampler kit. I get those six flavors and I get to decide, “Oh my gosh, I really like this one. Now I need a refill.”

Harel Levy:  Exactly. It’s exciting me on a personal level because I’m curious […]. What’s going to make people upgrade a scotch that costs hundreds of dollars?

I can play with the flavor. That will upgrade an experience for the end customer cost hundreds of dollars. I did my part, right? And for them, they’re going to be over the moon. They’re going to be super happy. It’s just going to become one of their routine.

“What’s going to make people upgrade a scotch that costs hundreds of dollars?”

Joe Winger: There are smoking kits all over the place. Dozens of competitors on Amazon.  Why should someone choose Bark and Barware?

Harel Levy:  It’s the full experience that we offer. It starts with the package. Then the flavors. Most of our competitors offer four, we offer six. We tasted all of the competitors and our flavor is better.  Otherwise I would not have released the product.

Our post-purchase [experience] the recipes.  We’re working with a mixologist to just create a mini course to go with the kit, go with specific drinks. Customers are going to have access to all of it. How do I mix it? What should I mix it with? 

Joe Winger: What does the future of the brand look like?

Harel Levy: We’re planning to release big packages [re-fills] of each flavor. Second thing is the mini courses. We really want to inspire because that’s fun.  

The process of drinking with friends, the process of smoking. It’s a fun process. You sit on your balcony, with friends, you open a bottle of wine as well.  That’s a fun process. 

Our goal is to inspire. Someone [will realize they] like a specific cocktail.  We will give them all of the information on how to make it,  how to mix it, then we earn a customer for life. 

Joe Winger: You mentioned picking a cocktail is like picking a favorite kid. It’s so hard to do. What is your favorite cocktail to use with your smoker? 

Harel Levy: Yeah, so that’s a great question. I like the combination of the apple and scotch.

Joe Winger: Because you’re a foodie, are there any specific cocktail and food pairings that you really enjoy with any of your specific flavors?

Harel Levy: My favorite is having an apple flavored scotch with a ribeye. Someone I work with loves the hickory flavor.  That’s the beauty of this world, every person has their unique taste.

Shop for Bark and Barware’s Cocktail smoker hit on amazon here: https://amzn.to/3P5c42g 

Learn more at: https://www.barkandbarware.com

St Patricks Day NYC-style: Cocktail Collab as “A Taste of Green’ as Bailey’s Partners with Ian Charms

St Patricks Day NYC-style: Cocktail Collab as “A Taste of Green’ as Bailey’s Partners with Ian Charms

St. Patrick’s Day is now only a short leap away as we gear up to celebrate the Emerald Isle.

With the turn of the season comes an invitation to swap out your drab winter wardrobe for brighter spring hues because this just in – green is the new black.

St Patricks Day Cocktail Collab Brings Combines Flavor and Jewelry

This St. Patrick’s DayBaileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur is partnering with celebrity-loved jewelry brand Ian Charms to release an exclusive charm collaboration that will make the ultimate fashion statement for the holiday.

The two iconic brands are celebrating their Irish roots with a limited-edition Baileys x Ian Charms Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set to make sure both you and your cocktail have the perfect touch of green for your celebrations.

“Baileys has been a beloved treat in my family for generations

and it’s exciting to finally be partnering with a brand that lets me celebrate my Irish heritage,”

Lisa Sahakian

Founder and CEO of Ian Charms

“Designing this charm set was incredibly fun and we’re thrilled to be offering our customers something truly unique to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with.”

St Patricks Day Cocktail Collab is Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set

The Baileys x Ian Charms Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set includes two distinct pieces – a necklace to complement any outfit and a cocktail charm to adorn onto the stem or rim of your cocktail glass.

The design features an eccentric combination of handmade charms, beads and pearls inspired by Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur’s unapologetically delicious ingredients and cocktails.

The one-of-a-kind charm set also pulls elements from the limited-time-offering Baileys Vanilla Mint Shake Irish Cream Liqueur as well as quintessential Irish emblems, making this set the perfect accessory for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

“We are delighted to be releasing this limited-edition collaboration

with a beloved brand like Ian Charms

to give adults a new way to indulge in St. Patrick’s Day celebrations,”

Camille Hemming

Senior Brand Manager of Baileys & Liqueurs, DIAGEO North America

“Between the classic Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur or the green-themed Baileys Vanilla Mint Shake that’s making a return for the holiday, we hope to offer more ways than one to toast to our brands’ Irish roots.”

“This exclusive drop marks Baileys’ second piece of Treat Couture, fashion-forward collaborations that inspire adults to indulge in unique wearable creations.

To celebrate the indulgence of fashion in the lead up to St. Patrick’s Day, treat yourself to a signature cocktail featuring beloved Baileys Original Irish Cream Liqueur and minty green limited-time-offering Baileys Vanilla Mint Shake Irish Cream Liqueur.”

BAILEYS ESPRESSO MARTINI
Ingredients:

  • 1.5 oz Baileys Original Irish Cream
  • 0.75 oz espresso
  • 0.75oz Ketel One Vodka
  • Coffee Beans, to garnish

Method:

  • Fill shaker with ice
  • Add all ingredients and shake
  • Strain into a cocktail glass
  • Garnish with coffee beans

VANILLA MINT MARTINI 
Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Vanilla Mint Shake
  • 0.5 oz Fernet Branca Menta
  • 3-4 dashes Absinthe

Method:

  • Shake with 1 ice cube for dilution
  • Strain into cocktail glass
  • Garnish with grated chocolate + mint sprig

The limited-edition Baileys x Ian Charms Necklace & Cocktail Charms Set is available exclusively on IanCharms.com while supplies last. Ian Charms is a female-owned, handmade jewelry company based in LA that has amassed a loyal fan base of celebrities and consumers alike. Ian Charms will donate all proceeds from the charm set sales to CurePSP, and Baileys will match the amount with a donation to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), a non-profit educational foundation supporting emerging and established women entrepreneurs.

Baileys encourages consumers of legal drinking age to treat themselves responsibly this season.

For more information, please visit www.BAILEYS.com.

Ian Charms is a female owned, handmade jewelry company


Ian Charms is a female owned, handmade jewelry company based in LA. Named “Ian” charms because the creator’s last name (Lisa Sahakian), like many Armenian names, ends in those three letters. For those who like to adorn their necks and wrists with a more personal flair, Ian Charms will work with you to craft a custom piece, just start the process by ordering the type of custom jewelry you’d like.

Notable fans of the brand include Justin BieberDua LipaJulia Fox & Doja Cat, among others.
IanCharms.com
@iancharms

NAWBO is the unified voice of America’s more than 14 million women-owned businesses


Founded in 1975, NAWBO is the unified voice of America’s more than 14 million women-owned businesses representing the fastest growing segment of the economy. NAWBO is the only dues-based organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries.

NAWBO develops programs that help navigate women entrepreneurs through the various stages of their business growth. To learn more about NAWBO, please visit www.nawbo.org.

To learn more about NAWBO’s non-profit educational foundation, the NAWBO Institute, please visit www.nawbo.org/university.

BAILEYS Irish Cream Liqueur

BAILEYS launched in Ireland in 1974. It is now available in 180 markets worldwide and is the number one selling liqueur in the world.

Owned by Diageo plc, BAILEYS is currently ranked 7th among all distilled spirits sold worldwide. It’s the signature delicious balance of Irish Cream, whisky and fine spirits that makes BAILEYS Original Irish Cream the perfect little indulgence when you need a break from your daily routine.

The BAILEYS portfolio includes Original Irish Cream, Chocolate, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Cinnamon, Espresso Crème, Strawberries & Cream and Almande.

For more information on BAILEYS Original Irish Cream, please visit us at www.BAILEYS.com.

Birthday in NYC? Dough Ball Whiskey Launches Newest Flavor: Birthday Cake

Dough Ball Whiskey Launches Newest Flavor: Birthday Cake

Dough Ball‘s newest launch, Birthday Cake Whiskey, is a snackable reminder that you can have your cake and drink it, too!

The fastest-growing, top 12 flavored whiskey brand in the U.S.* first crashed the flavored whiskey category in August 2021, with an award-winning Cookie Dough Whiskey that national media publications have crowned “the best of class flavored whiskey.”

Due to the continued consumer demand for flavored whiskey and rapid success in its first year, Dough Ball is expanding its decadent flavor portfolio with a new and innovative Birthday Cake Whiskey. Blending the mouthwatering nostalgia of sprinkled vanilla cake with a smooth, medium-bodied, 70-proof whiskey, Birthday Cake is perfectly crafted for indulgent cocktails, creamy birthday cake shots and celebrations.

“At Dough Ball,

we’re all about creating fun and innovative whiskeys

that push the boundaries on flavor.

We think we have accomplished that with Birthday Cake,”

Joey Parris, Chief Marketing Officer at Patco Brands

“It’s delicious, nostalgic and makes you feel like every day is your birthday.”

Within a year of launch, Dough Ball Whiskey expanded into over 30 states, becoming the fastest-growing flavored whiskey brand and winner of over a dozen awards, including the Bartender Spirits Awards, SIP Awards, San Francisco World Spirits Competition and more.

“It’s delicious, nostalgic and makes you feel like every day is your birthday.”

Dough Ball’s new Birthday Cake Whiskey is available at select Total Wine and BevMo! locations, with additional retailers to come throughout 2024, including Ralph’s, Albertsons and Walgreens. The suggested retail price of Birthday Cake Whiskey is $26.99.

Dough Ball’s new Birthday Cake Whiskey is available at select Total Wine and BevMo! locations, with additional retailers to come throughout 2024, including Ralph’s, Albertsons and Walgreens. The suggested retail price of Birthday Cake Whiskey is $26.99.

For more information, please visit DoughBallWhiskey.com or follow along on Instagram @doughball_whiskey.

*Nielsen, Total US x AOC + Liquor Plus + Conv, Whiskey Latest 52wks thru 12/30/2023

Dough Ball is a flavored whiskey from Patco Brands

Dough Ball is a flavored whiskey from Patco Brands, one of the fastest-growing beverage companies in the United States. Featuring notes of buttery vanilla, chocolate and caramel, smoothed out with hints of butterscotch, Dough Ball exudes flavors of warm cookie dough goodness in a delicious, 70-proof whiskey. Birthday Cake is a new flavor profile to the whiskey category, with notes of nostalgic birthday cake and vanilla buttercream frosting. Unapologetically unique, versatile and approachable, this Cookie Dough and Birthday Cake Whiskey can be enjoyed as a shot, sipped, or mixed in a cocktail. For more info, visit www.doughballwhiskey.com and follow along on social at @doughball_whiskey.

Patco Brands is for innovative premium alcohol beverages


MPL Brands NV, Inc. dba Patco Brands is a privately held import, manufacturing, marketing and sales company for innovative premium alcohol beverages. Dedicated to making award-winning, ready-to-drink wine-based products, tequilas, whiskeys, hard seltzers and other offerings, the Patco Brands mission is innovation, quality and consistency. Patco Brands is also now one of the largest importers of tequila in the U.S.

For more information, please visit www.patcobrands.com.

NYC: “First Lady of Wine” Heidi Barrett recognized in New Winemaker Series for Gelson’s Markets

“First Lady of Wine” Heidi Barrett recognized in New Winemaker Series for Gelson’s Markets.

Gelson’s wines have always earned high praise from customers and critics alike including notable recognition from Wine Enthusiast for their private brand wine.

The launch of their new “Winemaker Series” is expected to be no different. The first winemaker in this series is renowned “First Lady of Wine” Heidi Barrett.

Barrett is highly regarded for the exceptional finesse and quality of wine she has crafted over the years. She played a pivotal role in the creation of Screaming Eagle wine from 1992, which earned two 100-point scores from prominent wine critics.

Heidi Barrett ‘s new Red Blend

For Gelson’s, she has created a rich, ripe delicious Red Blend that is a carefully balanced combination of Syrah, Petit Sirah, and Cabernet Franc and yields distinctive aromatics as well as dense berry and plum

“When Gelson’s approached me to collaborate with them

for their new Winemaker Series I did not hesitate.

Our shared high standards of excellence and commitment to delivering only the best quality

products are perfectly aligned,”

Heidi Barrett

“We have created a beautiful wine for elegant and enjoyable drinking.”

Find Heidi Barrett new wine at Gelson’s



“We are truly proud of this collaboration with Heidi Barrett reflecting the attention to detail and quality that Gelson’s prides itself on,”

President and CEO John Bagan.

 

“Working with Heidi is just the beginning. We look forward to expanding the series with other renowned winemakers.”

The select wine will be available in all stores or online on shop.gelsons.com on February 7.

Gelson’s is a collection of premium food and beverage markets throughout Southern California

Gelson’s is a collection of premium food and beverage markets with 28 locations throughout Southern California featuring the amenities of a traditional grocer with the personalized service and tailored offerings of a neighborhood shop.

Each store offers a wide range of carefully selected produce, meat, seafood, bakery, floral and chef-crafted recipes from Gelson’s Kitchen, including deli to-go and catering. Shoppers can enjoy the best quality local, specialty, and organic products, along with favorite national brands. Gelson’s has earned recognition for its selection of top-quality private brand products, virtual educational tasting events, and charitable community partnerships. 
 
Founded in 1951 as an extraordinary food shopping experience for discerning consumers, Gelson’s is committed to the highest standards for quality, value, and freshness; unsurpassed service; and attention to detail in a welcoming atmosphere.

Find out why Life Tastes Better Here® at https://gelsons.com and follow @gelsonsmarkets on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

First Look: ‘How To Dance in Ohio’ opening this Sunday December 10 

First Look: ‘How To Dance in Ohio’ opening this Sunday December 10

First look photos have been released from the new musical How to Dance in Ohio inspired by Alexandra Shiva’s Peabody Award-winning documentary of the same name which is set to open this Sunday, December 10 the Belasco Theatre (111 W. 44thSt). With book and lyrics by Rebekah Greer Melocik (she/her), music by Jacob Yandura (he/him), choreography by Mayte Natalio (she/her), and direction by Sammi Cannold (she/her) – all making their Broadway debuts – How to Dance in Ohio began previews on November 15, 2023.

Tickets are on sale at Telecharge.com.

Reprising their roles on Broadway from the world premiere engagement at Syracuse Stage, the cast was heralded by The Syracuse Post Standard as, “both reflecting and respecting neurodivergence, with every single actor onstage delivering a distinguished, joyous, jaw-dropping performance.” In the parts of the real-life autistic young adults featured in the HBO documentary, are a cast of seven autistic actors, all making their Broadway debuts: Desmond Edwards (he/they) as Remy, Amelia Fei [Yi-Hsuan Fei] (she/her) as Caroline, Madison Kopec (they/she) as Marideth, Liam Pearce (he/him) as Drew, Imani Russell (they/them) as Mel, Conor Tague (he/him) as Tommy, and Ashley Wool (she/her) as Jessica.

Broadway veteran Caesar Samayoa (he/him; Come from Away, Sister Act) stars as renown psychologist Dr. Emilio Amigo and Cristina Sastre (she/her; Legally Blonde at The Muny) plays his daughter Ashley Amigo. Also featured in the cast are Broadway veterans Haven Burton (she/her; Shrek the Musical, Violet) as Terry, Darlesia Cearcy (she/her; Shuffle Along, Once On This Island) as Johanna, Carlos L Encinias (he/him; Les Miserables), Nick Gaswirth (he/him; …The Great Comet of 1812), and Melina Kalomas (she/her; Young Frankenstein). Completing the cast are Jean Christian Barry (they/them; Stranger Sings), Collin Hancock (he/him), Hunter Hollingsworth (he/him), Marina Jansen (they/them), Martín Solá (he/him; On Your Feet!). Ayanna Nicole Thomas (she/her), and Marina Pires (she/her; Aladdin, On Your Feet!).

How to Dance in Ohio is a heartfelt and poignant new musical about the desire to connect and the courage it takes to put yourself out into the world. As a group of seven autistic young adults prepare for their first ever formal dance—they face a challenge that breaks open their routines as they experience love, stress, excitement, and independence. How to Dance in Ohio is a story about people on the cusp of the next phase of their lives, facing down hopes and fears, ready to take a momentous first step…and dance.

The musical was originally developed with the late, legendary Broadway director Harold Prince and is dedicated to his instrumental work on the project.

The full creative team includes Tony Award nominated scenic designer Robert Brill (Ain’t Too Proud, Thoughts of a Colored Man), Tony Award nominated costume designer Sarafina Bush (For Colored Girls…), two–time Tony Award winning lighting designer Bradley King (Hadestown; Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812) and sound designer Connor Wang (The Cher Show – assist). Orchestrations are by Tony Award winner Bruce Coughlin (The Light in the Piazza), Music Direction is by Lily Ling and Scott Rowen (Hamilton) is the production stage manager. The production is cast by Benton Whitley, CSA & Micah Johnson-Levy of Whitley Theatrical. General management is by ShowTown Theatricals, Music Consultation is by Mary-Mitchell Campbell, Production counsel is Doug Nevin/ Klaris Law and the Production Manager is Bethany Stewert (What the Constitution Means to Me).

How to Dance in Ohio played its World Premiere engagement at Syracuse Stage in the fall of 2022 with The Syracuse Post-Standard declaring it “an exhilarating, groundbreaking, celebratory musical. You’ll walk out of the theater wiping your eyes. You’ll pause in the lobby to catch your breath, clear your head, and see if anyone else is as giddy as you are. How to Dance in Ohio is the musical you’ll talk about for the rest of your life.”. The News House calls the show “joyful and uplifting …celebrating the trials and tribulations of human connection,” and The Ithaca Times says, “tender, funny, and charming in the best sense, How To Dance In Ohio offers a fresh look at the musical genre.”

Through a dedication to authentic autistic representation, the musical’s creators adhere closely to the documentary’s narrative and spirit, offering a visible platform for autistic actors in a way that has never happened before in a new musical, either on or off the stage. Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt (she/her) serves as the production’s Autistic Creative Consultant with Becky Leifman (she/her) as the Director of Community Engagement. The Accessibility Team also includes Jeremy Wein (Associate Producer) and Nicole D’Angelo (Assistant Music Director).  The How to Dance in Ohio production has also been developed to be inherently sensory-friendly (an environment accommodating to individuals with sensory sensitivities), and the team is working on several elements in the theater to ensure an experience that is accessible for as many audience members as possible. Elements that have been implemented and are being developed include: advance information (videos & maps) about the theater experience, sensory tool kits, cool-down spaces, and a performance sensitivity list. Updates and announcements regarding accessibility will be posted on the show’s website and social media pages. In addition to guidance from the show’s Accessibility Team, the production uses the resources found here.

Tickets and Performance Schedule: Tickets for How to Dance in Ohio are now on sale via Telecharge.com. The ticket range is $39-$179. The regular performance schedule is: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays @ 7pm; Wednesday & Saturdays @ 2pm & 7:30pm; and Sundays @ 3pm. Holiday weeks may vary, check howtodanceinohiomusical.com for the most up to date schedules.

Leslie Odom, Jr Returns to Broadway in Purlie Victorious

Leslie Odom, JR Returns to Broadway in Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch.

The first Broadway revival of the American comedy Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch by legendary Ossie Davis is now in performances and will officially open on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 at The Music Box Theatre (239 West 45th St.).

Leslie Odom, Jr Returns to Broadway in Purlie Victorious

Leslie Odom, Jr Returns to Broadway in Purlie Victorious

Tony & Grammy Award winner and Academy & Emmy Award nominee Leslie Odom, Jr. stars in the production as “Purlie Victorious Judson”, alongside Vanessa Bell Calloway (Dreamgirls) as “Idella Landy”

Billy Eugene Jones (Fat Ham) as “Gitlow Judson”, Noah Pyzik (Addy & Uno) as “Deputy”, Noah Robbins (To Kill a Mockingbird) as “Charlie Cotchipee”, Jay O. Sanders(Primary Trust) as “Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee”

Heather Alicia Simms (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike) as “Missy Judson”, Bill Timoney (Network) as “Sheriff” and Tony Award nominee Kara Young (Cost of Living, Clyde’s) as “Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins”.

The company also includes Melvin Abston (u/s Gitlow Judson), Willa Bost (u/s Missy Judson/Idella Landy), Brandi Porter (u/s Luttiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins) and Donald Webber Jr. (u/s Purlie Victorious Judson). Direction is by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (Topdog/Underdog, A Soldier’s Play, A Raisin in the Sun).

Tickets are now on sale to the public at Telecharge.com or 212-239-6200. For more info, visit www.purlievictorious.com

Leslie Odom, Jr. returns to Broadway for the first time since his Tony Award-winning performance in Hamilton.  Exuberant and outrageous, Purlie Victorious: A Non-Confederate Romp Through the Cotton Patch is the joyous comedy that finds inspiration and laughs in the story of a man with a mission.

Alive with love and hope, this timeless story by American Playwright laureate Ossie Davis is directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (A Raisin in the Sun, Fences, Topdog/Underdog).  Have an evening in the theatre that will lift you up and “won’t let you wipe that grin off your face.” — The New York Times

Purlie Victorious is produced by: Jeffrey Richards, Hunter Arnold, Leslie Odom Jr., Louise Gund, Bob Boyett, Willette and Manny Klausner, Salman Moudy Al-Rashid, Creative Partners Productions, Glenn Davis, Irene Gandy, Kayla Greenspan, Mark and David Golub Productions, Ken Greiner, John Gore Organization, Patrick W. Jones, Kenny Leon, Van Kaplan, Nicolette Robinson, National Black Theatre, Alan Alda, Nnamdi Asomugha, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Phylicia Rashad, Kerry Washington.

Tickets are on sale at Telecharge.com, 212-239-6200 or in person at The Music Theatre box office, which is now open Monday through Saturday from 10 am – 6 pm. For more info, visit www.purlievictorious.com.

www.purlievictorious.com

Follow Purlie Victorious on social media @purliebway

Final 8 Weeks to See THE SHARK IS BROKEN on Broadway – Must Close Nov 19

Final 8 Weeks to See THE SHARK IS BROKEN on Broadway, Must Close Nov 19

Audiences only have 8 weeks left to see the critically acclaimed comedy that has been making a splash on Broadway, THE SHARK IS BROKEN, playing at the Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street).

Starring Alex Brightman as Richard Dreyfuss, Colin Donnell as Roy Scheider, and Ian Shaw portraying his father Robert Shaw, who played “Quint” in JAWS, the strictly limited 16-week engagement of THE SHARK IS BROKEN must end Sunday, November 19, 2023.  Co-written by Ian Shaw and Joseph Nixon, THE SHARK IS BROKEN is the Olivier Award-nominated comedy that imagines what happened on board “The Orca” when the cameras stopped rolling during the filming of Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster, JAWS.

“A WILD RIDE WORTH TAKING!” –ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“A LYRICAL, MOVING, COMEDY-DRAMA. THE TENSION, HUMOR, DEPTH, SILLINESS, AND HORROR COME IN LIKE WAVES.” – ASSOCIATED PRESS

“WITTY AND SMART WITH THREE TERRIFIC PERFORMANCES.” – DAILY BEAST

“SO VIVID YOU CAN ALMOST SMELL THE SALT AIR.” – DEADLINE

FADE IN: The open ocean, 1974. Filming on JAWS is delayed…again. The film’s lead actors—theatre veteran Robert Shaw and young Hollywood hotshots, Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider—are crammed into a too-small boat, entirely at the mercy of foul weather and a faulty mechanical co-star. Alcohol flows, egos collide, and tempers flare on a chaotic voyage that just might lead to cinematic magic…if it doesn’t sink them all.

Directed by Guy Masterson, THE SHARK IS BROKEN has scenic and costume design by Duncan Henderson, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound design and original music by Adam Cork, video design by Nina Dunn, and casting by Jim Carnahan Casting. Rounding out the company of THE SHARK IS BROKEN are understudies Peter Bradbury, Stephen Dexter, and Coby Getzug.

Tickets for THE SHARK IS BROKEN are available at Telecharge.com (212.239.6200) and at the John Golden Theatre box office (252 West 45th Street).  Tickets range from $59 – $175 (including $2 facility fee).

The playing schedule for THE SHARK IS BROKEN is as follows: Tuesday – Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 8pm, with matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 3pm.

 

THE SHARK IS BROKEN on Broadway is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Scott Landis and GFour Productionsin association with Tulchin Bartner Productions, Eilene Davidson Productions, LD Entertainment, No Guarantees, Jane Bergère, Richard Batchelder, Larry Magid, Theatre Tours International LTD, Shooting The Breeze, Cue To Cue Productions/Jamie deRoy, Marc Goldman/Richard & Claudia Beeny, Jill Lenhart/Yara Shoemaker Couture, Moellenberg/Hornos, Pinnacle Productions/Bill Hanney, and Jesse Singer/Matthew Levy.

For more information, visit TheSharkIsBroken.com

SPAMALOT Returns to Broadway November 16 2023

SPAMALOT Returns to Broadway November 16 2023

The search for the grail continues, on Broadway this fall!

Direct from a sold out run at the Kennedy Center, producer Jeffrey Finn (Vice President & Executive Producer of Theater and Artistic Director, Broadway Center Stage at The Kennedy Center) announced today that the Tony Award-winning Best Musical comedy Monty Python’s SPAMALOT will return to Broadway this fall at the St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).

Performances begin Tuesday, October 31, 2023, and the official opening knight is Thursday, November 16, 2023.

SPAMALOT will be the first production from the Kennedy Center’s Broadway Center Stage series to transfer to Broadway since its inception in 2018 under Finn’s leadership. Josh Rhodes (Bright Star, Cinderella) will return from the Kennedy Center production to direct and choreograph on Broadway.

The musical, which first galloped onto Broadway in 2005, features a book & lyrics by Eric Idle and music by John Du Prez and Eric Idle. The original Broadway production was nominated for fourteen Tony Awards and won three, including Best Musical, Best Direction of a Musical (Mike Nichols) and Best Featured Actress (Sara Ramirez as The Lady of the Lake) and featured choreography by Casey Nicholaw.

“I’m thrilled to see SPAMALOT back on Broadway,”

said Eric Idle.

“More than ever, it seems we need a good laugh and it’s inspiring to see audiences still embracing this, the most happy of shows I have ever worked on. So put the News Cycle on Rinse Cycle and take a couple of hours to relax with the Lady of the Lake, King Arthur and the Knights Who Say Ni because we’re not dead yet!”

“As we near the almost 20th anniversary of the original production, it is a great honor to restore SPAMALOT’s place on Broadway for fans who have longed for its return and for new audiences to meet the Knights of the Round Table for the first time,” said producer Jeffrey Finn. “I’m thrilled to continue the Kennedy Center’s legacy of bringing great productions from D.C. to audiences in the town that never sleeps – Camelot!…I mean, New York!”

Lovingly ripped from the film classic, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, SPAMALOT has everything that makes a great knight at the theatre, from flying cows to killer rabbits, British royalty to French taunters, dancing girls, rubbery shrubbery, and of course, the lady of the lake. SPAMALOT features well-known song titles such as “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” “The Song That Goes Like This,” “Find Your Grail” and more that have become beloved classics in the musical theatre canon.

 

TICKETS:

The Fan Pre-sale will begin on Tuesday, August 8th at 10AM ET. Tickets will go on-sale to the general public on Wednesday, August 9 at 10AM ET.

To continue your quest to purchase tickets, please visit SpamalotTheMusical.com.

As the official card sponsor of Spamalot, American Express® Card Members have access to tickets through the American Express Preferred Seating program, available exclusively to eligible Card Members. Terms apply.

Social media’s not dead yet, find your grail at:

Twitter: @SpamalotBway

Facebook: @SpamalotBway

Instagram: @SpamalotBway

TikTok: @SpamalotBway

BLACK THEATRE UNITED Announces 2023 Gala Performers & Honorees October 30

BLACK THEATRE UNITED Announces 2023 Gala Performers & Honorees

Black Theatre United (BTU) is proud to announce its inaugural Gala on Monday, October 30 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York.

“A Salute to Broadway Legends: Past, Present, and Future”

Supported by Business for Good (BFG), the theme is “A Salute to Broadway Legends: Past, Present, and Future” and will be a star-studded evening in celebration of the indelible mark that Black culture has had and continues to have on Broadway.

Featuring performances by BTU Founders Vanessa Williams, Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald, LaChanze, Billy Porter, Capathia Jenkins, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Darius de Haas, Natasha Yvette Williams and Lillias White, the Gala will honor Grammy-winning producer, singer and songwriter Kandi Burruss; actress, director, producer and philanthropist LaTanya Richardson Jackson; Academy Award-winning actor and philanthropist Samuel L. Jackson; President of Trate Productions Robyn Coles; Chairman of the Board for Cerevel Therapeutics Dr. N Anthony Coles; and Award-winning Arts & Culture Executive and Director of Steve Jobs Theatre at Apple Dr. Indira Etwaroo.

In addition to an evening of performances honoring trailblazing leaders in Black theatre who are inspiring the next generation of Black theatre professionals, there will also be a live auction featuring one-of-a-kind experiences. Additional talent will be announced at a later date.

BTU Co-Founder Vanessa Williams said, “Black Theatre United is thrilled to have Business for Good be our lead sponsor for our first annual gala. BFG invests in people to build better businesses, stronger communities, and a more equitable world. A perfect alignment for BTU’s vision and commitment. Diversity is a fact but inclusion is a choice.“

Tickets begin at $1,000 and tables begin at $10,000. They are available now at https://us.givergy.com/BTUGala.

You can also be a part of the call to action to inspire the next generation of Black theatre professionals in all communities across the country by becoming an inaugural sponsor.

BTU, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, was founded to build pathways of access and opportunities for Black and other students and industry professionals who have been historically marginalized in the theatre community. Proceeds from the gala will support BTU’s empowering programs in Mentorships, Student Internships, BTU’s Annual Advocacy Summit and BTU’s Education program.

AWARENESS • ADVOCACY • ACCOUNTABILITY

As members of the Black theatre community, we stand together to help protect Black people, Black theatre, and Black lives of all shapes and orientations in communities across the country.  Our voices are united to educate, empower, and inspire through excellence and activism in the pursuit of justice and equality. We will tell our stories, preserve our history, and ensure the legacy of Black theatre as American culture. Join us.

This call to action is just the beginning. It was the latest manifestations of police brutality that galvanized Black Theatre United into being. With roots reaching into all 50 of the United States this coalition can harness invaluable political scope and influence. To elevate a cause or to overturn policies that target black people in any one state or community, the group will draw on members with local connections to use their visibility and influence for good in theater and on the national stage.

ABOUT BLACK THEATRE UNITED

Watch the video announcing the creation of Black Theatre United.

Join the mailing list by filling out the form HERE.

DONATE to Black Theatre United.

For more information visit www.BlackTheatreUnited.com.

Passionate and committed, BTU’s founding group of actors, directors, musicians, writers, technicians, producers and stage management includes: Lisa Dawn Cave, Darius de Haas, Carin Ford, Capathia Jenkins, LaChanze, Kenny Leon, Norm Lewis, Audra McDonald, Michael McElroy, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Wendell Pierce, Billy Porter, Anna Deavere Smith, Allyson Tucker, Tamara Tunie, Lillias White, NaTasha Yvette Williams, Schele Williams and Vanessa Williams.

ABOUT BUSINESS FOR GOOD

With values rooted in equity, access, opportunity, and prosperity, Business for Good has advanced the model of traditional venture philanthropy to Do Good and Give Back to communities in the Greater Capital Region of Albany.

Formed in 2020, BFG seeks to give back to move forward and is rooted in the core principle of “for good, not gain.” Its efforts were recognized on a national level with a 2022 Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Honorable Mention, which recognizes pioneering teams that are playing an important role in the betterment of the world through intentional philanthropy. Comprised of a mission-focused team, Business for Good™ believes no challenge is insurmountable through hard and thoughtful work. With a goal to provide businesses and organizations with sustained support, BFG invests in people for the long term and in every way.

Business for Good: building better businesses, stronger communities, and a more equitable world. To learn more, visit bfg.org.

BIOGRAPHIES

KANDI BURRUSS is a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, TV personality, actor, producer of television/film/stage and Broadway, serial entrepreneur and restaurateur. Never one to slow down, she is juggling her wide array of business ventures from Kandi Koated Entertainment, Bedroom Kandi, Kandi Koated Cosmetics, Tags Boutique, and her Atlanta restaurants, Old Lady Gang and Blaze Steak and Seafood; as well as maintaining her spot on-top dominating music, Broadway, film and television. 

 

LATANYA RICHARDSON JACKSON is a critically acclaimed actress, director and producer of the stage and screen. She recently made history as the first female to direct an August Wilson play with her Broadway directorial debut of August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” revival starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, and Danielle Brooks. In 2014, Richardson Jackson received a Tony Award Best Actress nomination for her performance as “Lena Younger” in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” She also received the Distinguished Performance Drama League Award nomination. Richardson-Jackson also starred on Broadway as “Calpurnia” in Aaron Sorkin’s critically acclaimed adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” alongside Jeff Daniels, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Dakin Matthews, and directed by Bartlett Sher. In 2020, Richardson Jackson and her husband, Samuel L. Jackson produced EPIX award nominated docu-series ENSLAVED via their production company UppiTV. In 2018, Richardson Jackson narrated the feature length documentary “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart” on playwright Lorraine Hansberry, who penned the iconic “A Raisin in the Sun.” Richardson Jackson has received numerous awards for her philanthropic work including The United Negro College Fund and the N.Y. Keeper of the Dream Award. She was honored by the Ladylike Foundation, which is a faith based non-profit organization whose purpose is to educate, empower and inspire young women living in underprivileged communities. In 2016, she and her husband Samuel L. Jackson were honored by the Children’s Defense Fund for their longstanding commitment to the organization and their “Leave No Child Behind” mission. Richardson and her husband Samuel L. Jackson established the Samuel L. & LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation to carry out their commitment to a range of philanthropic issues in the United States and Africa. A graduate of Spelman College, she has served on their Board of Trustees and presently serves on the Advisory Board of their Women’s Center. She serves on the advisory council of Atlanta’s True Colors Theatre, the Ebony Repertory Theatre of Los Angeles, and is currently a board member of the American Theatre Wing and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. LaTanya Richardson Jackson and her husband Sam have one incredible, Emmy Nominated daughter, the beautiful Zoe Dove.

 

SAMUEL L. JACKSON. Appearing in well over 100 films, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. Jackson’s portrayal of ‘Jules’, the philosopher hitman, in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” made an indelible mark on American cinema. In addition to unanimous critical acclaim, he received Academy Award, Golden Globe, and Tony nominations, as well as a Best Supporting Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Among his many award-winning performances, Jackson made movie history with his portrayal of a crack addict in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever when he was awarded the first and only Best Supporting Performance Award ever given by the judges at the Cannes Film Festival. Jackson received an honorary Academy Award at the 12th Annual Governors Awards in January 2022. Most recently, Jackson can be seen reprising his role of Nick Fury in the Disney + original series, “Secret Invasion,” which premiered in June 2023. Jackson executive produced and starred in this latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Emilia Clarke, Don Cheadle, and Kingsley Ben-Adir. Last year, Jackson returned to Broadway with a revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “The Piano Lesson.” The show opened onThursday, October 13th and ran until Sunday, January 29th . Jackson’s performance earned him his first Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play. In 2022, Jackson produced and starred in the critically acclaimed Apple TV+ original series, “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.” Jackson received a Critic’s choice nomination for Best Actor in a Limited Series for Television for his performance in the deeply emotional drama based on the bestselling novel.The series also received seven Black Reel Award nominations, four of which it won, and six NAACP Image Award nominations. In 2021, Jackson reunited with Salma Hayek and Ryan Reynolds for Lionsgate’s “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” the sequel to the 2017 film, “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.” He can also be seen in the newest “Saw” sequel, “Spiral,” with Chris Rock and Max Minghella and in Lionsgate’s “The Protégé.” In 2020, Jackson starred in the EPIX docuseries, “Enslaved,” which he also executive produced with LaTanya Richardson Jackson. “Enslaved” won three awards at the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards and two awards at the 2021 Impact Docs Awards. He also starred opposite Anthony Mackie in the Apple drama “The Banker.” In 2019, Jackson starred in Warner Bros.’ “Shaft” and Sony’s “Spiderman: Far From Home.” Jackson also starred as a young ‘Nick Fury’ opposite Brie Larson in the massive global hit, “Captain Marvel.” Jackson also reprised his role as ‘Mr. Glass’ in M. Night Shyamalan’s “Glass.” The film is the final installment of the universe Shyamalan created, which also includes “Split” and “Unbreakable.” In 2018, Jackson lent his voice to the Academy Award-nominated film “Incredibles 2,” reprising his role of ‘Lucius Best/Frozone.’ In 2017, Jackson starred in Warner Bros. “Kong: Skull Island” with Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston. In 2015, Jackson appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s Oscar-nominated Western “The Hateful Eight.” He starred as Major Marquis Warren, alongside Walton Goggins, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Kurt Russell. That same year, Jackson appeared in Matthew Vaughn’s “Kingsman: The Secret Service” and Spike Lee’s “Chiraq.” In 2016, Jackson was seen in David Yates’ “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring alongside Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie and Christoph Waltz in addition to Tim Burton’s “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.” Also in 2016, Jackson completed production on Brie Larson’s directorial debut “Unicorn Store,” “The Last Full Measure” with Sebastian Stan, Christopher Plummer and Ed Harris as well as Dan Fogelman’s “Life Itself.” In 2012, he co-starred in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” as ‘Stephen,’ with Christoph Waltz, Jamie Foxx and Leonardo DiCaprio. He also starred in “The Avengers,” which is part of his 9-picture deal with Marvel Studios. Jackson reprised his role in both Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which was released in April 2014, and the 2015 sequel “The Avengers: Age of Ultron.” Jackson made his Broadway debut in 2011 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theater in “The Mountaintop,” where he portrayed Martin Luther King Jr. The play also starred Angela Bassett and was directed by Kenny Leon. Jackson’s career began onstage upon his graduation from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a degree in dramatic arts. Among the plays were Home, A Soldier’s Play, Sally/Prince and The District Line. He also originated roles in two of August Wilson’s plays, The Piano Lesson and Two Trains Running at the Yale Repertory Theatre. For the New York Shakespeare Festival, Jackson appeared in Mother Courage and Her Children, Spell #7, and The Mighty Gents. Additional film credits include: “RoboCop,” “Oldboy,” “Mother and Child,” “Iron Man 2,” HBO’s “The Sunset Limited,” “Lakeview Terrace,” “Soul Men,” “The Spirit,” “Jumper,” “Resurrecting the Champ,” “1408,” “Black Snake Moan,” “Snakes on a Plane,” “Freedomland,” “Coach Carter,” “Star Wars: Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith,,” “S.W.A.T,” “Changing Lanes,” “Formula 51,” “Stars Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones,” “Caveman’s Valentine,” “Eve’s Bayou,” “Unbreakable,” “Rules of Engagement,” “Shaft,” “Deep Blue Sea,” “Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace,” “The Negotiator,” “The Red Violin,” “Jackie Brown,” “187,” “A Time to Kill,” “Die Hard with a Vengeance,” “Jungle Fever”, “Sphere,” “The Long Kiss Goodnight,” “Ragtime,” “Sea of Love,” “Coming to America,” “Do the Right Thing,” “School Daze,” “Mo’ Better Blues,” “Goodfellas,” “ Patriot Games,” and “True Romance.” On the small screen, Jackson served as Executive Producer for the Spike TV animated series, “Afro Samurai” which premiered in 2007. The series received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Program from the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences. The first edition of the “Afro Samurai” video game launched in February 2009. Jackson also starred in John Frankenheimer’s Emmy Award-winning “Against the Wall” for HBO. His performance earned him a Cable Ace nomination as Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries, as well as a Golden Globe nomination.

ROBYN COLES is currently President of TRATE Productions, a producer of television, film, and theater. Mrs. Coles is an avid supporter of the arts and social justice. Mrs. Coles is a board member of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, Black Economic Alliance, American Theatre Wing and former trustee of Playwrights Horizon, Alvin Ailey, A.C.T. SF, the San Francisco Opera Guild and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Foundation and a member of their finance committee.. Mrs. Coles is a Co-Producer and Tony Award winner of A Strange Loop and Parade. Prior to her current duties, Mrs. Coles served as the CEO of Computer Marketing Services and CEO of Scientific Supplies Network, a medical supply company. Mrs. Coles received her bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs and Economics from Goucher College.

 

N ANTHONY COLES, M.D. has served as the Cerevel Therapeutics chairperson of the board of directors since December 2018 and previously was also the chief executive officer of Cerevel from September 2019 to June 2023. Previously, Dr. Coles served as co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Yumanity Therapeutics, LLC, from October 2014 until September 2019, and he continues to serve as the Executive Chair of the Board. Dr. Coles served as President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from 2012 until 2013, having served as its President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of its board of directors from 2008 until 2012. Prior to joining Onyx in 2008, he was President, Chief Executive Officer, and a member of the board of directors of NPS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company. Dr. Coles currently serves on the board of directors of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the Council on Foreign Relations and is board Co-chair of Black Economic Alliance. Dr. Coles is a member of the Board of Trustees for Johns Hopkins University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and is currently the chair of the Council for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., In 2022, Dr. Coles was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. Educated at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Coles earned a medical degree from Duke University and a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University. He completed his cardiology and internal medicine training at Massachusetts General Hospital and was a research fellow at Harvard Medical School.

  1. INDIRA ETWAROO (Award-winning Producer, Director, Scholar, and Arts and Culture Executive) has worked across the world to develop multiplatform venues and content that represents the exquisite and complex diversity of the world. She currently serves as the Director of the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple in California. Dr. Etwaroo was a major force for content innovation and inclusion in the public media field, as the Founding Executive Producer of The Greene Space in NYC and Founding Executive Producer of NPR Presents to bring live, on-air and online content to audiences across the world. She Executive Produced the American Broadcast Premiere of the 75th Anniversary of Zora Neal’s Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching Godand the first-ever recordings and live broadcasts of August Wilson’s entire American Century Cycle. She led The Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn through radical growth, as its Executive Artistic Director, leading to the Presidential Medal of the Arts for the 2020-2021 season under her tenure. In response to the converging pandemics of 2020, she spearheaded the launch of the first-ever national strategic plan for Black theater institutions across the nation, raising $10.5 million for the field.  Dr. Etwaroo has been a professor of graduate studies at Temple University and NYU and has lectured and published extensively on the performing arts, race, womanhood and equity.

SAG, WGA strike: 2 Hell’s Kitchen restaurants invite striking actors, writers to eat for free

For the SAG, WGA strike,  2 Hell’s Kitchen restaurants invite striking actors, writers to eat for free.

Striking workers in the entertainment industry aren’t just receiving support from the  wealthy top Hollywood actors.  They’re also getting help from small businesses, like two restaurants in New York City.

 

Just around the corner from the Theatre District: Marseille and Nizza

Just around the corner from the Theatre District on 9th Avenue by 44th Street are two restaurants: Marseille and Nizza. Both owned by the same company.

They both are now offering free meals to striking actors and writers any night of the week after 9 p.m.

“It’s just our way of giving back to the community that has supported us for so long,”

PR Director Steven Hall

The restaurants are asking strikers to present their union card and take care of their own liquor bill, tax, and tips.

At the end of the strike, if the entertainers can pay back for all their meals, great. If they can’t, their running tab will be forgiven.

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