The BUSINESS BITES SERIES, brought to you by the Culinary Entrepreneurship program at ICC, is a series of workshops, discussion panels and networking events designed to support entrepreneurs in the food industry. Each event is designed to provide education, information and the opportunity to connect with industry experts in a collaborative setting.
BUSINESS BITES: RAISE THE BAR WITH YOUR BEVERAGE PROGRAM
DEVELOP AND MANAGE YOUR WINE, BEER & SPIRITS
Thursday, November 1st | 6:30-8:00pm
International Culinary Center
462 Broadway, 2nd Floor Theater
Turning your beverage program into a profitable venture for your business takes a lot of hard work, but with the right knowledge and dedication, it can be the key to your restaurant, bar or food business’ success and longevity. From preventing over pouring to curating the best cocktail, beer and wine lists for your audience, learn how to navigate some of the common mistakes that many restaurants make, and understand the impact that your beverage program can have on your profitability.
So what do you need to know to turn your drinks to dollars?
Join us for an informative discussion with experts in the beverage industry—including wine directors, beverage consultants, bar owners, and distributors—to help make your beverage program more liquid. Our panel of experts will share tips and tools for getting started, how to grow and manage your beverage menu, finding the right solutions for your restaurant or bar, and more. You’ll also have ample time for networking and the opportunity to learn how ICC’s Culinary Entrepreneurship program can take you from concept to business plan & pitch in just 6-weeks!
Alek Marfisi – Owner, Upwind Strategies & ICC Entrepreneurship Instructor
Alek Marfisi is a native New Yorker with a passion for building things and helping people. After working advising small businesses for five years, Alek launched Upwind Strategies in 2015 with the mission of providing deeper and more relatable services to small businesses: the anti-business-school services firm. He previously worked with the NYS Small Business Development Center where he dove into the exciting intricacies of making entrepreneurial projects a reality. Since then, Alek has logged more than 11,000 hours working with small businesses and has been recognized as one of the top drivers of economic development in the country.
Jason Hedges, Bar Director of Gotham Bar & Grill and Partner of BarIQ
Jason Hedges is a New York based wine and spirits professional. He currently works as bar director and sommelier at Gotham Bar and Grill. He is a judge of both wine and spirits for The Ultimate Beverage Challenge and also sits on the tasting panel for Wine and Spirits Magazine. Jason has developed award winning beverage programs for multiple Michelin rated restaurants in NYC. He is passionate about creating quality.
Jason is a Court of Master Sommelier’s Certified Sommelier, and has also successfully completed the coveted Beverage Alcohol Resource’s intensive course and is certified with distinction.
Noah Rothbaum, Editor of Half Full from The Daily Beast
Noah Rothbaum is the editor of The Daily Beast’s Half Full section. He also hosts the podcast Life Behind Bars with legendary cocktail historian David Wondrich.
In addition, Rothbaum is the author of the book The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation’s Most Storied Spirit, through 100 Iconic Labels and the associate editor of the forthcoming Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. Rothbaum’s first book, The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink, was published in 2007.
According to Chicago magazine’s chief dining critic, Jeff Ruby, “Rothbaum knows drinking like Newton knew gravity, but he’s not all high and mighty about it, creating laws and whatnot.” And The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog called him “one of the smartest tipplers (and writers on spirits) we know.”
He is the former editor-in-chief of Liquor.com, and has contributed to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, O Magazine, Details, Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Food & Wine, Gastronomica, and more.
Nora Z. Favelukes, President of QW Wine Experts
Leading Expert on Imported Wines to the United States, Influencer, Spokesperson, Presenter and Moderator.
Wine expert with years of international experience; equipped with rare understanding of the inner workings and complexities of the U.S., South American and European wine industries. A skilled spokesperson, moderator, negotiator and a natural diplomat.
Ms. Favelukes entered the wine trade in her native Argentina in 1984. Her early professional credits include the post of Export Director at Bodegas Navarro Correas, Argentina. In 1988, she moved to the United States to work as East Coast Sales Manager for Vinos Argentinos. In 2000, she became National Sales Manager for Billington Imports – where she was responsible for the introduction of Bodegas Catena. And, from 1995 through 2001 she was Director of Fine Wines for Palm Bay Imports.
Today, Ms. Favelukes is President of QW Wine Experts, a consulting firm she launched in 1995, which is dedicated to the nationwide public relations, marketing and sales of imported fine wines to the United States market.
•Past-President of the Wine Council of Argentina in the United States
•Guest lecturer on South American Wines
•The Foreign Service Institute in Washington DC
•The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University
•New York City College of Technology on South American and Iberian Peninsula
urce’s intensive course and is certified with distinction.
Vanessa Da Silva, Sommelier at Ninety Acres
Vanessa Da Silva grew up in rural Maine. While studying abroad in Florence, Italy, she took a recreational wine class and became enamored with wine. After graduating from the University of Maine with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing & International Business, Vanessa pursued a career in marketing but soon realized her budding interest in wine was more than a hobby. Vanessa completed the Intensive Sommelier Training Course at the International Culinary Center in January of 2013 and simultaneously passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory and Certified exams.
After several years working as a Sommelier in Manhattan restaurants, Vanessa returned to the ICC where she took on the role of the Wine Coordinator, working on the educational side of wine. In 2017, Vanessa decided to return to the restaurant industry and took on a role at Ninety Acres – a farm-to-table restaurant in Pepack, New Jersey. Vanessa is currently honing her Sommelier skills as she prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Examination.