The SOMM Journal

February / March 2017

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10 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2017 { editor's notebook } { selected contributors } Bernice Cheng holds the Diploma with the WSET, is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers and a French Wine Scholar with Highest Honors. She was the leader of the winning team in the annual Hong Kong International Top Tasters' Competition in 2016. She is now based in Beijing, where she founded xBorderWines which advises wine companies on their operations in Asia, provides wine education and hosts wine tastings and events for students, law firms and corporations in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Bernice is the Vice President of the Beijing chapter of the International Wine & Food Society. She can be reached at Ferenc Dancsecs is one of the most significant names in Hungarian culinary photog- raphy. His special perspective originates from his former profession as a chef; standing on the other side of the lens, he shows us a unique take on the topic. Passionate about the subject and deeply dedicated not only to cuisine but also to wine culture, he is interested in shooting perfectly presented dishes and drinks as well as the people behind them, the fascinating beauty of vineyards and the mysterious world of wine cellars. Readers can see his beautifully composed work in books and artistic albums as well as in magazines. Northern California–based photographer John Kaemmerling opened his commercial studio in the Santa Cruz, San Jose, Silicon Valley, San Francisco and Monterey Bay area in 1997. Well-known to for his energetic, collaborative attitude in working with clients, he will continue until the perfect shot is achieved. He truly enjoys what he does, and it shows through his imagery. For this issue, John photographed the Smith family at their celebrated Paraiso Vineyards estate in Monterey County. Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of more than two dozen books on food and beverage, including Cheese & Wine, Cheese & Beer, The Cheese Course and Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Janet publishes the weekly Planet Cheese blog, writes the cheese column for Specialty Food magazine and teaches cooking and cheese-appreciation classes around the country. She is the recipient of three James Beard Awards and the IACP Bert Greene Award for her journalism. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times and numerous national magazines, including Culture, Saveur and Food & Wine. More at www. For the last 15 years, Michael Morse has traveled the world captur- ing extraordinary moments in his clients' lives. When he's not behind the camera, you'll find him in the mountains or in the ocean. He splits his time between San Clemente, California, Park City, Utah, and Telluride and Aspen, Colorado. Each year, he donates a portion of his time and income to collaborations with global non- profits; this work has taken him to places ranging from Nepal and Sri Lanka to Greece and New Orleans. The resulting photographs raise social awareness of humanitarian crises, help monitor situations on the ground and tell the critically important human stories behind the headlines. Timothy Murray is a commercial and editorial photog- rapher/director with Midwestern roots now based Brooklyn. He likes to aim his camera at the heart of life by photographing people experiencing raw emotions and genuine expressions but also likes to aim his camera at raw seafood and bold expressive red wines because unlike people and emotions, he can consume those after photographing them. THE IDEA OF ELIMINATING TIPPING and replacing it with "service included" makes lots of sense, especially from the standpoint of efficient restaurant management and fairness to employees. With impending increases in the minimum wage, as well as the desire to compensate "front of the house" and kitchen staff equally, it is the best way to go. But converting a restaurant from the tipping model to the no-tipping model requires more than just a 20 percent increase in menu prices across the board. Many restaurants that have attempted the conversion are finding the changeover to be considerably more complicated than they anticipated. A recent article in The New York Times listed some of the unexpected issues that have emerged at restaurants that have made the switch to "hospitality included." For example, in order to mitigate customers' sticker shock when a familiar dish suddenly jumps up in price, different strategies have been employed. Adding to the size of the portion is one way to lessen the impact. Making the price increases flexible, selective and sensitive to the customer's pain threshold is another way to soften the blow. The need to completely revamp the menu is a drastic solution, but may be necessary. On big-ticket items, such as steaks, adding a smaller steak to the menu at a more attractive price has been effective. Some restaurants cut costs by reducing the number of employees and offering those that remain some form of profit-sharing. If you are considering embarking on a no-tip policy, be aware that it is a complicated move and can be fraught with peril. Be tuned in to customer reactions and be open to making adjustments along the way. Such modifications may have to be far-reaching and may impact areas of restaurant management that you hadn't contemplated changing. Also be prepared for revenues to dip until—with the help of tweaks and fine-tuning—the system is functioning smoothly. —Anthony Dias Blue The No-Tipping Movement: An Update

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