Restaurant Editor Benjamin Brown attended the Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival, which featured an array of acclaimed speakers. Top Chef Judge Gail Simmons left and Top Chef Finalist Brooke Williamson right were among a slew of culinary stars that included Aarti Sequiera, Stuart O’Keeffe, Zac Young and The Beekman Boys. Award-winning wines and extravagant bites rounded out a delightful weekend for palate discovery. Ben’s Foodie Biz column contains a full-page recap of the event.

Restaurant Editor Benjamin Brown had the pleasure of speaking at this year’s FoodTrekking World Conference in Portland, Oregon. Ben’s talk outlined the significance of content strategy in the hospitality sector, as well as best practices in content production, social media and measurement. An audience of restaurant owners, tour operators and destination executives walked away with clear next steps to maximize their marketing reach. Ben is an active hospitality consultant and publishes monthly business tips in his Bottom Line column.

On recent trip covering the Central Coast wine region, we were able to take a few minutes to enjoy the wine and scenery of the rolling hills of Santa Maria, with its many freshly planted grape vines. Pinots are the rage here, but there are some fine Cabs coming up as well!