Jacques Pepin, Gail Simmons and Ming Tsai enjoy a glass of wine in the courtyard of the Grand Tasting Pavilion
By Derrek J. Hull, Blogger-in-Chief
Celeb chefs, restaurant and hospitality industry pros are gathering in Aspen today through June 16th for the 23rd annual American Express Restaurant Trade Program. This feature of the Classic consists of a Kick-off Party, two Afternoon Saloons, two Power Lunches, and four panel discussions offering insights from some of the country's brightest culinary stars.
"For over two decades, American Express has supported and strengthened the restaurant industry year-round through initiatives like the Restaurant Trade Program," said Curtis Wilson, Vice President and General Manager of the Restaurant and Lodging Industries Group at American Express.
I’ll be attending several of the trade program sessions during the Classic.
First on my list is the Tech Talk: Marketing to Today's Diner session, featuring José Andrés, Rick Bayless, Bernardo Hernandez and Danny Meyer. The panelists will discuss how they have harnessed the power of emerging technology such as Twitter or Facebook, e-mail, newsletters or on-premise promotions and events to communicate their brand and core values to guests and impact the bottom line.
For the last panel, Restaurant Reset: Small Changes, Big Payoff, Grant Achatz, John T. Bettin, Tom Colicchio and Anita Lo will explore ways that chefs and operators can increase sales and drive traffic within their existing restaurants' footprints or with minimal adjustments and investment.
Follow me: Catch my live updates from the F&W Classic here on the blog and on our social pages: Facebook and Twitter @NRAShow. You can also follow the F&W Classic and American Express Restaurant Trade Program on Twitter with hashtags #fwclassic and #amextrade.
Celebrity chef watch: What shall I ask the culinary masters while I'm in Aspen? Comment here.