Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Basically Want to Be Jon Taffer

People ask me a lot why I make videos about drinking and why I want to continue my wine, beer, and spirits education and why I have a wine club and a cocktail club. I usually say something about how this generation's lifestyle, one where we're pushing back having kids if we have them at all, one where we are the first true beneficiaries of globalization, is probably the first able to enjoy some of the finest things in life. And I believe that. But the truth to why I'm so interested in drinks culture is because I want to be Jon Taffer.

Jon Taffer is a bar consultant. His Wikipedia says he lives in my hometown, Los Angeles, but I swear I've heard him say he calls Las Vegas home in an episode of his show, Bar Rescue. I love Bar Rescue. It's essentially Extreme Makeover for bars, but it goes into taste profiles, the mechanics of crowds, and even the science of service. Between the participants' shouting matches and tears, I often learn something worth knowing. And Taffer's quote during the show's credits, "I don't embrace excuses; I embrace solutions," is a golden mantra anyone can incorporate into a private victory.

The beverage world is an exciting place. Jon Taffer is one of its heroes.

I work almost exclusively with restaurants and bars, and I often wish I were in a more educational position where bar owners and managers would listen to me more effectively. But Jon Taffer shows us that even the people who have ostensibly paid him to educate them are rarely willing to admit that they might not know everything and just listen. He has to vituperate and cajole just to get heard!

Still, I wish I had his job. Someday I'll be as good as he is. Maybe I'll even have my own show.

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