Restaurant & Hospitality Consultants

August Newsletter

Hola All –

As I write this opening, I am on a plane headed to one to of my favorite places on earth: Puerto Vallarta.  And man oh man do I need this break. It’s been an extraordinary month of happenings – on the professional and personal front. You will read all about the professional news below, so if you’ll indulge me, I am going to share some of my highlights from the last month. Grab a cocktail – this is going to get juicy.

Two words – Miss Ross. Two more words – J- LO. Two more words – Barbra Streisand. Can you stand it?

It was a decadent, delicious DIVA fest and this DIVA got to live every minute of it. Seriously, is this not the DIVA trifecta? Yes, read it and swoon – I got to see Diana, Jennifer and Babs all in one month. I know you straight guys are rolling your eyes – get over it. Let me tell you a little about each —

Will start with Diana. It was under the stars at Wente Vineyards, truly the most gorgeous place on earth to take in a concert with a great dinner. It was a bit chilly, but Diana was hotter than hot. It was a supreme moment (get it?) in my life, and Miss Ross delivered a show filled with her hits. She was in great voice and I woke up the next morning with a love hangover (get it again?).

Next up – off to Vegas Baby with my boys. It was a 115 degrees but we acted like royalty, thanks to my wonderful Gary at MGM Resorts. He hooked us up with amazing rooms at ARIA. Though I sat by the pool and hit the spa, I truly couldn’t contain my excitement for the main reason of my visit – to see my girl Jennifer Lopez’s Vegas show. For those of you who know me well, I have had a crush on Miss Lopez for as long as I can remember. She can dance, she can sing, and she can act (no comments please). Who didn’t love her in The Wedding Planner or Maid in Manhattan? Anyway, back to the show. We arrived and settled into our great seats. There was a major buzz in the crowd as we discovered it was Jennifer’s birthday that night and the crowd was star-studded. Have you heard of someone named Kim Kardashian? The curtain went up and for the next two hours we danced, we sang, and danced some more. This show is Vegas on steroids; when she did Jenny From The Block I thought my head was going to explode I was so into it.

Any visit to Las Vegas must include this show – trust me. As for me and Jenny, I would totally consider batting for the other team again (read between the lines) if she wanted to date me. J-LO I love you. Call me.

And now for the grand DIVA moment of the year – a night with the legendary Barbra Streisand. And what a night it was. It’s my best gal pal Linda’s birthday, and seeing Barbra was on her bucket list. I don’t want to brag, but I had seen her twice before – so off we went to San Jose (that’s a shlep). The arena was filled with Jews, Gays, and older folks (JGOF). We took our seats and then the magic happened. For the next three hours, Miss Streisand (aka Mrs. James Brolin) did not let us down. At 74, she looks fantastic and sounds even better. The show was autobiographical, and she performed a song from every one of her albums. I also happened to love how she held nothing back about her disgust for Mr. Trump. She ended with Don’t Rain on My Parade and Happy Days Are Here Again, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I know this sounds a bit dramatic, but the night was life-changing. Like Buttah!

So that’s it – my DIVA fest in a nutshell. Meanwhile back at the ranch, AF&Co. was cooking. I truly can’t thank our team enough for getting us through one of the most exciting and crazy months ever – and there is still so much more to come. Read on for all the details. More openings, Eat Drink SF, recipes, a Beast-BQ dinner, and other wonderful happenings.

Adios and love,

PS – I also wanted to say thank you for the amazing support that many of you showed for my best friend, Stuart. As I shared on Facebook, Stuart received the devastating news that he has cancer of the tonsil/throat. He has since started his surgeries and treatment plan, and my plan is to be right by his side until he is cured. Before the news hit, Stuart was planning a big life change, so he gave up his job and apartment and was getting ready to move. Since this diagnosis came as such a shock, he was unprepared to deal with the financial implications of life (even with insurance), so we started a Go Fund Me page and the outpouring of love and generosity was truly epic. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO CONTRIBUTED. And – if you haven’t – please consider doing so; it will mean to world to Stuart and to me as well.

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