Video: Inside Tumbador Chocolate’s Factory

We love chocolate! And we love working with our own Willy Wonka-esque chocolate factory based in Brooklyn, Tumbador Chocolate, with its amazing Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Bonnet.

Check out Potluck Video’s “Inside a Chocolate Factory” featuring Tumbador!  Thanks, Ali Rosen!

Inside a Chocolate Factory

B oompa loompa doompadee doo,

Shari

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B Our Valentine

Love is in the air!  Yes, Valentine’s Day is almost here, and a few of our Brooklyn-based clients are celebrating with sweet Valentine’s specials.

Tumbador® Chocolate (34 34th Street, 4th Floor, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY 11232; 718.788.0200; www.tumbadorchocolate.com) is offering a wonderful selection of premium chocolates and confections that are sure to melt all hearts.   Executive Pastry Chef Jean-Francois Bonnet’s Valentine Collection includes:

7 Deadly Sins – A gift meant to share, this thirteen-piece box contains two bonbon hearts of each flavor, plus one piece of gluttony. Flavors: pomegranate, cajeta, 75% blend, almond praline, passion fruit, black currant champagne, and 55% Hawaiian with sea salt. ($34)

Spicy Milk and Dark Chocolate Bar – Spice up the holiday with these sensational bars. 42% milk chocolate infused with popping candy, marshmallow and guajillo chile; and 72% dark chocolate mixed with nib almond crunchy, fleur de set and espelette pepper. (3 of each/$20)

P’tit Coeur – Rich devil’s food cake filled with white chocolate raspberry jam. Simply delicious. (9 pack/$27)

Heart Pops – These pops are as sweet as can be! 42% milk or 72% dark chocolate pop with chocolate rice crunchies. ($3/each)

Je t’aime Collection – Two P’tit and two heart pops. A perfect combo. ($34)

Valentine Collection – Can’t go wrong with this six-piece box with pomegranate, cajeta, 75% blend, almond praline, passion fruit, and black currant champagne. ($18)

In East Williamsburg, Sugar Couture (386 Graham Avenue, at Skillman Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211; 718.349.1440; www.sugar-couture.com), a new boutique café featuring customized cakes, sweets and savories by celebrity cake decorator Penny Stankiewicz, is offering a fantastic selection of 16 handmade artisan chocolates ($26), or 9 artisan chocolates and 3 decorated cookies ($34).  Many of the chocolates and cookies included in the boxes are also available as single piece options.  Prices range from $1.65-$6.

Sugar Couture also has fabulous mini cakes!   A sultry glittery red heart cake ($26) and a delicate pink ($29), that can be made with Chocolate or Ultra Rich Butter Cake, with choice of vanilla, chocolate or strawberry buttercream.  Preorder until February 11th.

Lastly, The Runner (458 Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205; 718.643.6500; www.therunnerbk.com), an American heritage restaurant in Clinton Hill featuring an open wood fired oven, has a terrific Valentine’s Day Prix-Fixe Menu ($75 per person), which includes complimentary champagne and chocolate covered strawberries on arrival.

The Runner’s 3-course menu includes:

STARTERS (choice of):

Butternut Squash Soup – maple, brown butter

The Runner Chopped Salad – kale, brussels sprouts, cabbage, pistachios

She Crab Bisque

ENTREES (choice of):

Portobello and Black Truffle Ravioli - ricotta, sherry mushroom ragout

Lamb Chops - roasted vegetable risotto, mint yogurt

Ribeye for Two - quick wilted greens, potato puree

Wood Fired Stuffed Lobster Tail - crabmeat stuffing, corn on the cob, herb potatoes

DESSERTS (choice of):

Rose Petal Sorbet

Housemade Strawberry Filled Doughnuts

Chocolate Souffle

Happy Valentine’s Day!

B in love,

Shari

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Happy 2015!

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Sugar Couture

Sweet (and savory!) things are happening in Brooklyn.

We’re excited to be working with Penny Stankiewicz, an outstanding, celebrity cake decorator who is taking her show-stopping artistic creations to a new level with Sugar Couture (386 Graham Avenue, at Skillman Avenue, Brooklyn, NY  11211; 718.349.1440; www.sugar-couture.com), a boutique café which opened earlier this week in East Williamsburg.

Sugar Couture

Showcasing her original cakes, sweets and savories in an intimate setting, Sugar Couture is sure to be a hit!  For more details about the café, check out this nice write-up in The Village Voice.

What a cake!

We had a great opening party to celebrate!  Thanks to everyone who joined us.

Shari Bayer and Penny Stankiewicz

Congratulations, Penny!

B Couture,

Shari

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#Thanksgiving

It’s my favorite time of the year.  When the fall leaves turn beautiful colors and the air starts to become crisp, and we stop to reflect on what we are thankful for; gathering with family and friends over delicious food.  What could be better!

So, what am I #thankful for?  Well, lots of things, but let me call out a few.  I am super thankful for my mom and dad, who are my biggest fans…ever!; Jack Rabbit, aka BPR’s mascot, who provides daily love; my friends, colleagues and fellow publicists who “get it”; my amazing clients; NYC’s incredible restaurant community; my building’s awesome doormen and my sunset view; Fathom for featuring my #solodining adventuresStitcher and iTunes for including my radio show in their lineups; the team at Heritage Radio Network and all of my wonderful guests who have made the first year of “All in the Industry” incredible.  I greatly appreciate everyone’s friendship and support.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and remember what you are thankful for too, aside from the turkey, stuffing and pie!

B grateful,

Shari

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Crowd Dining Panel at Roots 2014

I’m counting down the days until Roots 2014, the 2nd Annual Roots Conference hosted Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef’s Garden, Inc.

Taking place on October 19-20, 2014 at The Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio, this year’s theme is “Connect and Unite Through Food” and will be led by emcee Ted Allen and keynote speaker Jose Andres.

In addition to my excitement to visit the farm and help promote such a dynamic food event, I am honored to be one of the Conference Moderators.

I will be moderating a panel with award-winning chef Kevin Sousa of Sousa PGH on “Crowd Dining:  Funding a Restaurant Without Traditional Investors” on Monday, October 20th at 11am.

Kevin is responsible for the most successful crowd funding restaurant campaign to date with his Kickstarter campaign for Superior Motors in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Superior Motors: Community Restaurant & Farm Ecosystem

I can’t wait to talk with Kevin about his inspiring crowd funding project, and see what advice he has for restaurateurs interested in crowdsourcing.

Thanks to Jody Eddy of Roots 2014 for this amazing opportunity.  Looking forward!

B a Moderator,

Shari

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Guest Foodie on Bite of the Best

I couldn’t be more excited or honored to be featured as the Guest Foodie on Bonnie Tandy Leblang’s amazing website, Bite of the Best.  You can read my interview HERE and below.

It was fun to answer Bonnie’s questions, and I am thrilled to call her my friend.  Thanks, Bonnie!

B a Featured Bite,

Shari

FEATURED BITE

Shari Bayer

September 1, 2014

What it is: President and founder of Bayer Public Relations; producer and host of All in the Industry on Heritage Radio Network.
Category: Guest Foodie

I met Shari Bayer about a decade ago when we dined at a client’s restaurant. That was soon after she founded Bayer Public Relations, her agency specializing in both culinary and hospitality. That was only the first of many meals together.

Shari’s latest endeavor is All in The Industry, a Wednesday afternoon live radio show on Heritage Radio Network dedicated to the behind-the-scenes talent in hospitality and restaurants.

Since she’s traveling, currently at the Hawai‘i Food & Wine Festival, this week’s broadcast on Wednesday will be the archived interview with Fried & True’Lee Schrager& Adeena Sussman; she’ll be back next week to interview Ben Leventhal, co-founder of Eater.

Shari’s also making a name for herself as a guest contributor on Fathom, writing about her fearless solo traveling and dining. I caught up with her before she left for Alohaland to respond to our Guest Foodie questions.

- bonnie

Which food product or gadget would you never give up? I love my 10-inch chef’s knife made by Zwilling J.A. Henckels. I splurged on it back in 1997 when I was in culinary school at The Cooking Academy of Chicago, and my instructor carved my initials into it. I believe it was $75, and a lot of money for me to spend at the time, especially on a kitchen tool, but it was so worth it. I still use it and keep in sharp. It reminds me of the joy of attending culinary school and my passion for cooking.

What do you like to serve when you entertain? Despite my answer to the first question, I rarely entertain at home these days as I live in a studio apartment/home office in Manhattan, and so I prefer to go out with friends, rather than stay in. And as a restaurant publicist, I’m always interested in checking out new places and menus. One of my go-to spots for entertaining/gathering friends is a Momofuku restaurant, where David Chang offers amazing large format menus. I have organized meals at Ssam Bar for Bo Ssam and Rotisserie Duck, and at Noodle Bar for Fried Chicken. They are perfect for small groups, and it’s always fun and delicious! My next gathering will probably be at Ssam Bar for Dry Aged Rib Eye, or Ma Peche for the Chicken and Lamb.

Describe your “last meal?” Honestly, I have never liked this question as who wants to plan their last meal? It’s too depressing! However, I will say, I wouldn’t mind indulging one last time on Juan Mari Arzak’s super truffle dessert — cocoa and sugar that melts with the addition of chocolate liquid, which I enjoyed at his restaurant in San Sebastian, Spain last fall. This time I would lick the plate!

What food is your secret guilty pleasure? Okay, here comes another chocolate answer. Dark chocolate cashews, which sort of feel healthy to me (sort of!). Or my really secret guilty pleasure are Peanut Butter M&M’s. I just love them!

What is your go-to neighborhood restaurant? I live near Columbus Circle in NYC, which means that I am surrounded by fine dining and not so many neighborhood places. However, my go-to for meetings and casual lunches is Bouchon Bakery on the third floor of the Time Warner Center. I like that they have counter service as well as a sit-down café with a lovely view of Columbus Circle/Central Park, and a menu that will please all palates/moods. There are excellent savory options, such as Rillettes of Scottish Salmon, Quiche du Jour and Tomato Soup/Grilled Cheese combo, as well as superb sweets, including Better Nutter cookies and Macarons, which perfectly pair with a latte. So yes, Thomas Keller is my go-to!

What is one food product most people don’t know about, but should? I am not sure if most people already know about chia seeds, but I think that they should, as they are a very healthy, versatile “superfood.”  I add ground chia seeds to my yogurt.  It gives it a little crunch, while providing extra antioxidants, omega-3 and fiber in my diet. Chia Seeds can also be added to smoothies, cereal and salads, and used in baking.

Describe your worst kitchen disaster and how (if possible) you saved it: This happened a LONG time ago when I was a kid, but it still stands out as my worst kitchen disaster. When I was about 10 years old, I attempted to make a cake from scratch with my older sister for my parent’s anniversary. We somehow read the ingredients as to add 1 cup of salt, rather than 1 teaspoon, and you can imagine the result. Needless to say, it was a completely inedible salt cake! Of course, my parents were still very appreciative of our gesture, but wow, was it bad!

Who was your most influential mentor? After culinary school, I was planning to go to Europe to cook, but then I saw that Charlie Trotter was hiring servers for his restaurant, so I went in for an interview as I actually had more front-of-the-house experience than back, and I was hired. I was in awe of his food as I had his cookbook (another splurge!) and could not pass on the opportunity to work for him. I learned so much. Not only was it like culinary graduate school simply due to the food products that I was introduced to each day, but there were also life lessons on service, hospitality and excellence. I am so sad that Charlie has passed away at such an early age. He was certainly the most influential chef in my career. He was intense and a perfectionist, and someone I always had great respect for. Thank you, Chef for being a mentor to me. You will always be remembered as a leader and pioneer in our industry.

Shari has three Twitter handles: @sharibayer @bayerpr @allindustry

- b

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Let’s Hear it for Roots 2014!

Great news!  The 2nd Annual Roots Conference hosted by everyone’s favorite Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef’s Garden, Inc. is taking place on October 19-20, 2014 at The Culinary Vegetable Institute in Milan, Ohio, and we’re delighted to be the conference’s PR representative.  How exciting!

This year’s Roots Conference theme is “Connect and Unite Through Food” and will feature educational discussions that provide insight into relevant industry issues and inspire a global conversation about key food topics.

Led by emcee Ted Allen and keynote speaker Jose AndresConference Topics include: Waste Not, Want Not: How to Combat Food Waste & Obesity; Vegetables: Their Power to Change the World; The New Definition of Local; and Crowd Dining: Funding a Restaurant Without Investors, with Kevin Sousa and me as the moderator.

The Chef’s Garden, Inc., a small farm in Huron, Ohio, best known for its amazing specialty vegetables and microgreens, grows and innovates as a partnership between chefs and farmers.

Jones believes that Roots 2014 “will explore new ways that chefs can make a positive difference in the world.”

We are honored to be involved in this exciting conference and working with Jones and his team.

See you on the farm!

B Connected and United,

Shari

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Media Breakfast at EXKi NYC

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and who are we to disagree, so we planned an intimate media breakfast at our new, healthy, fast casual restaurant client, EXKi NYC.  It was a lovely way to start the day with our journalist friends.

We sampled EXKi’s wide variety of freshly made breakfast specials, including its savory Egg Wraps, delicious Jumpers with Organic Yogurt and Granola, and Exquisite Raw Blends, while mingling with EXKi’s principals, EXKi’s Co-Founder Nicolas Steisel, EXKi NYC’s CEO Laurent Kahn and Consultant Chef Galen Zamarra.

Plus, we enjoyed EXKi’s Fair Trade Organic Coffee, roasted locally and served fresh everyday.  Check out our photos here.

Thanks to all who joined us!

B up for an exquisite breakfast,

Shari

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Solo Dining in Spain – my story and tips

In case you didn’t know, I often travel alone on what I like to call “Solo Dining Adventures.”  It’s just what I do, and enjoy!

I had the opportunity to write about my fabulous trip to Spain for an amazing travel website, Fathom, plus, provide tips for Ask Fathom: Help! I’m Dining Alone.

I hope these articles inspire you!

B a solo diner,

Shari

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