Fred Tibbitts & Associates’ second annual event, “A Summer Evening in Mumbai-Pune with Very Special Friends” was held on 28 June 2011 at The Westin Pune Koregaon Park. The evening was well attended by a cross section of members from the hospitality, wine and spirits industry. On arrival, each invitee was announced on the mike, by the striking of a gong, and a personal welcome by Fred Tibbitts Jr, reports Brinda Gill. Fred Tibbitts & Associates is the leading wine, spirits and related services consulting agency for National Account chain hotels and restaurants, based at Menands, New York for the US and in Bangkok for the Asia Pacific.
There was much bonhomie as guests mingled with friends and colleagues. A selection of cocktails, courtesy Pernod Ricard beverages, prepared by the mixologist of Mix@36, and light eats were served preceding an elegant four-course sit down dinner. Fred Tibbitts Jr. said the primary purpose of the FTA dinners was to recognize hospitality excellence, provide scholarships, and to make charitable contributions. He spoke about “people being more important than things” and the importance of serving others with an open heart which he said is the foundation of the hospitality industry. His address was followed by “Loyalty Toasts” by VIP guests with the lovely sparkling wine Il Vino dei Poeti Gold Prosecco, Bottega, Italy.
The dinner featured a selection of artfully presented gourmet preparations and wines paired by Harriet Lembeck, CWE. The first course consisted of Buffalo Mozzarella wrapped in a crust of crispy aubergine, tomato sorbet and Crab Rillette with grape, pine nuts, sherry vinaigrette served with a four wines: Nederburg `The Winemaster’s Reserve’ Sauvignon Blanc 2010, South Africa; Fratelli Chenin Blanc 2010, India; Turning Point Chenin Blanc, India; and M. Chapoutier “Belleruche” Cotes du Rhone Blanc 2009, France (Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc).
The second course of Risotto with Green Asparagus, pecorino cheese, crunchy artichoke, lemon dust, and Grilled Australian lamb chops, green lentil ragout, fondant potatoes was paired with three wines: Fratelli Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, India; Turning Point Shiraz/Cabernet, N.V, India; and Nederburg `The Winemaster’s Reserve’ Pinotage 2009, South Africa. The third course of Goat Cheese Roulade on horseradish, balsamic onion marmalade was paired with M. Chapoutier “Belleruche” Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2009, France (Grenache, Syrah) and Toques & Clochers “Mediterranean‟ 2005, AOC Limoux (Rouge), France. The delectable meal was fittingly wrapped up with Mango Charlotte with glazed cherries paired with Sieur d’Arques Première Bulle Brut, AOC Blanquette de Limoux, France (Mauzac, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay).
The recipients of the 2011 FTA Hospitality Awards for Excellence were announced to much appreciation. A gathering of the hospitality fraternity over superb food and fine wines with gracious service and, most of all, Tibbitts’ philosophy, made for a memorable evening.