“Those who knew enough to drink Chartreuse at Mardi Gras are lucky, because the distilled essence of the town burns in their bellies. Chartreuse glows in the dark, and if you drink enough of it, your eyes will turn bright green.”
— Lost Souls (novel) by Poppy Z. Brite
Dear friends ~
Hard to believe this insane year is nearing an end… Trusting more miracles and hope lie just around the bend. We have endured much this brutal year and season and I see how brave and tenacious all of you in our industry have been — and how tough it is to hang on without aid. I am thankful for rich, meaningful relationships far and wide, for health, my home, my city, and a long list of things. Sending love to you, your families and friends/communities for a renewing and hope-filled 2021.
It has been a privilege to lead/moderate Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA) “Restaurants Rising” series this year with chefs, restaurant owners, sommeliers, bartenders, food media and activists locally and nationally since May 2020 — I will continue to monthly in 2021, so please join us (the entire series viewable here).
It also has been a rich year leading virtual industry panels, webinars and tastings, like last week’s rousing, nearly 200-person whisk(e)y tasting around the world with Whiskies of the World (viewable here).
Online is no replacement for in-person. I miss a life rich with industry events and travel, but it has been inspiring to see food and drink industries get creative virtually with the ways we gather. I’ve been deeply grateful for the community that has formed around the monthly virtual dinner parties I lead with my friend and industry PR powerhouse, Andrew Freeman, since May… as we support local restaurants, we’ve also formed a deep connection: sharing love of food, drink, travel, the arts, life over a couple hours-long dinner.
What has been happening with the crucial Restaurant Stabilization Act all year — especially since being stalled in the White House, despite passing the House vote early October — has been beyond devastating, as the nation’s biggest private sector employer is dying before our eyes without aid. This latest update from the IRC yesterday explaining why PPP has been little to no help for the unique business model of restaurants and bars.
Top Tastes — An Essential Guide on Where to Brunch In Pandemic: 10 of SF’s best outdoor brunches in pandemic… what to order, the settings, etc. (takeout/delivery for the time being).
Wandering Traveler — Top 10 Cincinnati Bars: My journey searching for Cincy’s best, both new and old school.
Imbiber — Distiller Magazine Interviews: with two of Cincinnati area’s best… Japp’s bar owner Molly Wellman and New Riff Distilling distiller Jay Erisman.
I am also available for consulting, moderating, leading classes and tastings and more (info at virginia-miller.com).