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The Modern Butlers Journal, June 2018


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven FerryFor several months now, one ex-royal butler after another has stepped forward to express their learned opinions in the tabloids on the lives, preferences, private statements and actions, etc. of their former employers. I have commented often on Mr. PB, who is the most egregious in his outpourings, but anyone else…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

The New York Daily News reports that a butler received $38,000 from the sister-in-law of George Soros for the «homophobic remarks» she made to him. In actual fact, the main issue was unpaid back wages as well as mistreatment, such as being forced to sleep on a foam mattress on the floor. The remarks…

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Letters to the Editor

In the Times of London there was a nice little article about the salaries of household staff—maybe something for Butlers in the Media column? I must admit that I was still a little surprised by the numbers that were mentioned in the article. Soon after I left the Butler Academy, I realized that the beautiful salaries that were mentioned during our training…

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Professional Standards of Performance: Applications #6. Smart Phones and Social Media

by Prof. Richard Ratliff

Scenario: The world of technology, with smart phones in particular and social media shared across the planet in real-time, has impacted our profession greatly. I have been told, “It is easier to text than talk. You can be more honest. Plus, bystanders can’t hear what we are saying.” These points…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past

by Steven Ferry

And here is a traditional butler job that is also disappearing for many in the profession: cleaning silver and gold or plated items. What was true then is still true now: “Many are the ways and means of doing it used by different persons, and everyone thinks his own the best. Some, however, have much injured

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The Butlers Speak: Working with Children and Nannies-Raising Standards in the US

by Steven Ferry

100% of those surveyed had been in positions where they were asked to assist with the children of the family. For several, duties included driving the children to and from school, sports practices, friends, a movie etc., and taking them to appointments such as doctors and dentists…

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Staff Training: Adult Training and Motivation

by Frank Mitchell

Adults want to be able to apply learning to real-life situations. It should save time, make their job easier or improve service. Otherwise they are likely to simply revert to old habits. ‘Wanting to know’ and being ‘eager to learn’ is the best attitude, but experienced managers will accept that it is not always present…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 33: Royal Mojito

by Amer A. Vargas

Drawing again from this writer’s recent visit to Cuba, on this occasion we will prepare another delicious cocktail based on the Cuban Mojito. But in this instance we will add some French and Venezuelan touches, using ingredients from those countries. Yes, we are making a Royal Mojito, which is a variant of the original…

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Removing Salt Marks

by Jeff Herman

Salt marks on and in a salt shaker, cruet or other vessel, feels like a crusty mass and cannot be removed with silver polish. Any solid silver object with salt encrustation can be remedied while wearing nitrile gloves in a well-ventilated area: For just a few spots of encrustation, dip a Q-tip or cotton ball into…

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In Their Words: How Those Trained by the Institute’s Trainers Feel about Their Experience

The following are some comments from the butlers Mr. Vargas, the IIMB’s Vice-president and trainer for Spanish Speaking Markets, had the pleasure of coaching during his recent one-month stay in Cuba: «What I liked the most was the opportunity to listen to the experiences of the butler and sharing mine with…

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Recent Hospitality Graduates

On this occasion, we welcome butler graduates from Holguin and Varadero in Cuba, and from Bodrum in the south-west of Turkey.

We wish all of you the best of success and a brilliant future!

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The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world. Contact us for all your training needs via email at enquiries@modernbutlers.com or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website www.modernbutlers.com for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at newsletter@modernbutlers.com with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.

 

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The Modern Butlers Journal, May 2018


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven FerryAs Mrs. Ferry and I hit the big 65, you might think we would start thinking of retiring, as many of our colleagues are doing, gradually or suddenly.We have no such plans, because we see that work gives purpose, value, and meaning to life, and because for us, work has always been fun and how we like to spend our «time off.»

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

The Guardian offers a brief look at what it finds of interest about the world of the butler 50 years ago. An interesting article on the true state of robots in service industries—and one refreshingly not called a robot butler for once. And here’s another one for the books: An «Instagram Butler» —meaning a…

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Letters to the Editor

«Thank you for the recent article: It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my experiences with guests—I have found some older guests prefer me to be more conversational/helpful.»

AKH

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Professional Standards of Performance: Applications #5. Butlers and Kitchens and Chefs: Oh My!

by Prof. Richard Ratliff

Scenario: Cookery has become something of a glamorous profession in recent years. A growing affluence has promoted a more informed palate for gourmet foods in general and cheffing more specifically, making fine dining more accessible in a growing number of gourmet restaurants and at estates in…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past

by Steven Ferry

The next duty in importance for the butler two hundred years ago, was something that simply requires we flip switches today—the trimming of lamps to keep them clean and illuminating well. Failure to trim the cotton wicks to the right length resulted in soot, the smell of oil, and black smoke. Cleaning involves the use of boiling water and pearl ash to remove…

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The Butlers Speak: Dealing with Difficult Employers

by Steven Ferry

Some very interesting responses to this topic. Thanks, as always, for those who cared to share.
“I work with an incredible family – no issues here!” NS. “In 35 years of service, I have had four clients I worked with who had high turn over, expected unrealistic work hours, and…

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Staff Training: The Argument for Training

by Frank Mitchell

Most household training strives to improve attention to detail, teach the correct technique, or increase the speed and quality of service. Savings are also achieved through reducing food waste, chemical usage, and damage to delicate linen, silverware, art and antiques. As the workforce becomes older, training can also help…

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Creative Corner: Wood Photo Transfer

by Kobi Gutman

Here is an easy and a very special creation you can make for your guests to take home some memorable moments of their vacation, or as a personal touch to decorate their room and make them feel at home, and much more – a wood photo transfer. For this project you will need a computer and printer…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 32: Melia Caribe’s Signature Cocktail: the Havano

by Amer A. Vargas

For those who like to try new things, you might want to prepare this eye-catching and wonderful cocktail.
During my last visit to Varadero, Cuba, Paradisus Varadero’s Resident Manager Carlos Martínez-Almoyna shared the following video and suggested we make it known in the MBJ.

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Protecting Carbon Steel Components from Rusting

by Jeff Herman

Flatware containing carbon steel components (blades and fork tines) can be guarded against rusting by hand wash the knives in warm water after the meal and drying immediately. Then applying a very thin layer of Burt’s Bees Lip Balm and wiping with a paper towel until there is no residue remaining. As this…

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In Their Words: How Those Trained by the Institute’s Trainers Feel about Their Experience

“Wide ranging and useful information, lots of examples given based on real experience; I appreciated the concepts and tools covered for dealing with different situations and on a daily basis, and the role playing gave a better understanding.” Front Office Manager. “Very important and very useful training conducted in an interesting…

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Recent Hospitality Graduates

Surprisingly, Cuba offers wonderful butler service. Our Vice President, Mr. Amer A. Vargas, had the pleasure this month of refreshing butler concepts for the Royal Service and Family Concierge sections of Paradisus Varadero and Paradisus Princesa del Mar, both run by Melia Hotels International…

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The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world. Contact us for all your training needs via email at enquiries@modernbutlers.com or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website www.modernbutlers.com for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at newsletter@modernbutlers.com with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.

 

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The Modern Butlers Journal, April 2018


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven FerryBefore providing some humour for the month, I wanted to welcome Mr. Budi Prihardjanto back into the Institute, as the VP for Asian Operations. Mr. Prihardjanto trained and consulted with us until 2009, when he moved into hotel management, quickly being promoted to General Manager and then of larger properties, and then Area Manager…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

It’s ironic that I keep going on about robots and robot butlers, and the name of what was probably one of the first «robot butlers»—dating back to 1986, the same time I was beginning my career as a butler—was called Steven. Some new apartments in San Francisco offer what they call butler service…

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Letters to the Editor

Dear Editor, I thought the screenplay for Gosford Park was exceptional: It had almost non-stop dialogue that was all very good including a few almost hidden gems and jokes that I didn’t hear until my 8th time through it. The first time I saw it was on its last day in the theaters and I admired it despite not understanding much…

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Professional Standards of Performance: Applications #4: There Is a Limit

by Prof. Richard Ratliff

Scenario: seeing to an overnight guest at bedtime, the butler outlined the following day’s buffet breakfast menu for a member of a party visiting for a weekend. The breakfast menu would include a selection of hardboiled eggs, hot cereal (oatmeal or wheat cereal), a selection of cold cereals, toast, whole fruit, and a tropical fruit salad. Served at 7:30 a.m. in the family dining room…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past

by Steven Ferry

After cleaning shoes, the next most important duty, apparently, of the butler two centuries ago, was cleaning knives and forks. The first page of 6.5 pages of instruction is on the need for the proper equipment and the waste that occurs without it. In this case, to clean knives, one should have a smooth wooden board (without knots), preferably covered in leather. One then melts mutton…

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The Butlers Speak: Dealing with Day and Overnight Guests

by Steven Ferry

All butlers surveyed stated that they look after day and overnight guests, although 25% said they rarely were required to do so. For day guests, duties include answering the call from the main gate, alerting the principals via text message of the imminent arrival, meeting the visitors at the front door, escorting them to the room where the principals wish to meet them…

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Staff Training

by Steven Ferry

Welcome to our new monthly column on training household staff.Staff training is a crucial resource in improving service delivery. It is an investment both in the individual staff member, as well as an investment in the successful running of the household. When hiring an external trainer, you can be sure the principal will want to see a return on investment. Even the best training…

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Creative Corner: Easter Bunny Napkin Fold

by Kobi Gutman

In this month’s Creative Corner section, Head Butler and Modern Butlers Journal contributor Kobi Gutman guides us on how to make an the Easter Bunny Napkin Fold. For this Easter weekend, start with a square napkin and…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 31: Flaming Lamborghini

by Amer A. Vargas

Put your seatbelt on and let’s drive into a different sort of mix in this month’s cocktail section: Experiencing the kick of a high-alcohol drink and the spectacular and beautiful looking presentation of the Flaming Lamborghini. As the name suggests, it’s a flambé cocktail that comes with the eye-catching look of a vehicle than can accelerate from 0-to-60 mph/96 kmh in 3 seconds or less…

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Cleaning and Polishing Silver, Part 11

by Steven Ferry

This is the second article in a row that is not from Mr. Herman himself, but examples of the magic his proprietary silver polish works on some silver we own. In this case, it was a box of silverware, a tea set manufactured in England exactly 100 years ago—and it looked like it had not been cleaned in as long, because it…

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In Their Words: How Those Trained by the Institute’s Trainers Feel about Their Experience

«Mr. Vargas proved to be a knowledgeable, patient, and passionate trainer and the feedback from the students couldn’t be better: In fact, they have all been united in their view that both the theory and practice classes were very interesting and exceeded everyone’s expectations. They have a renewed confidence in their skills and now know which areas they…

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The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world. Contact us for all your training needs via email at enquiries@modernbutlers.com or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website www.modernbutlers.com for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at newsletter@modernbutlers.com with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.

 

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Newsletter

The Modern Butlers Journal, March 2018


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven FerryAnother substantial newsletter, so I’ll keep this message short again. As the humor offered in the last message proved popular, here is another to offset all the serious stuff in this month’s MBJ. Looking for the collective noun for various professions, finds: a brace of orthopedists, a joint of osteopaths, a rash of dermatologists…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

Ever heard about Paul Burrell? He is back, once again willingly forgetting about keeping someone else’s privacy. Also, hear about another «brilliant» invention of a hotel in Ireland, the «Limerick Butler», how far a particular butler can go on illegalities, and more about butlers and robots.

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Letters to the Editor

A short yet very interesting letter from a butler who asks for guidance about a subject related to looking for new work adventures and challenges, and finding a replacement for his position.
How far and long do the rights of the employer go? Let’s find out!

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Professional Standards of Performance: Applications #4: Bodily Essence

by Prof. Richard Ratliff

Scenario: We need not look far to find a butler neglecting his physical condition—perhaps a little slow of step, taking sick days more often than otherwise needed, not quite up to par many days. Nothing too serious, perhaps, but noticeable. On the other hand, the problem may be more serious, even…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past

by Steven Ferry

Based upon the refusal by some employers to provide suitable work clothes for dirty chores, and insisting that staff have just one suit for all duties—and then firing them if they turned up dirty to their other work—the author counsels that butlers pick their employers carefully so as to avoid such injustices…

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The Butlers Speak: Job Titles and Duties

by Steven Ferry

Household Manager, Personal Assistant, Estate Manager, Butler, Valet… Today we present an interesting set of statistics showing the different titles butlers (and his/her counterparts) hold, as well as the most common duties they perform, from greeting guests to housekeeping, and their different workloads.

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Book Review of Serving The Wealthy: The Role of the Butler and the Principal’s Wines, Ordering Wine and an Easter Egg…

by Gretchen dePillis

Since the original duties of the “cup bearing” butler included maintaining the wine cellar, it is logical to assume that the butler must also know how to serve the beverage! For a quick at-a-glance reference, do keep Serving the Wealthy Appendix 10A in Volume 2 at your fingertips. It is found on page 295 of…

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Creative Corner: Origami Butterfly

by Kobi Gutman

In this month’s Creative Corner section, Head Butler and Modern Butlers Journal contributor Kobi Gutman guides us on how to make an origami butterfly. Origami is the well-known Japanese art of paper folding. Origami paper is square and comes in various colors, patterns and finishes. We can use this art…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 30: The Bali Hai

by Amer A. Vargas

This month, we travel to Bali to enjoy the classic Bali Hai. The name, although evoking the paradise of this region in Indonesia, actually owes its origin to the Bali Hai restaurant in San Diego, California, which opened its doors in 1955, and created this sweet and tangy concoction all butlers should know how to prepare…

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Cleaning and Polishing Silver, Part 10

by Steven Ferry

Actually, this month’s entry, and next month’s, is not from Mr. Herman, but are examples of the magic his proprietary silver polish works on some silver we own. A decade ago, the butlers at The Plaza hotel in Manhattan, New York, were kind enough to have some cufflinks engraved locally and presented…

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New Product for Households and Hotels: OneWipe by OneMop®

If you’ve used microfiber cloths, which we have recommended in the past, you’ll know that they clean very well and easily. A new product on the market, OneMop® and OneWipe system uses microfiber refill pads and the OneWipe microfiber cloths to reduce water consumption by up to 99%, without…

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Recent Hospitality Graduates

This month we send greetings from the heart of the Seminyak district in Bali, where the Seminyak hotel is about to re-open with an improved housekeeping and wait staff team, as well as its wonderful butler service in the villas. We at the IIMB wish you all the best!

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Training Path Choices

Training at the front end of any career, and ongoing until the day we retire, at least, is a given for butlers and household or estate(s) managers today. In the old days, the only training route was on-the-job training and apprenticeship that was hands-on heavy, light on theory, and limited in scope. The results…

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The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world. Contact us for all your training needs via email at enquiries@modernbutlers.com or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website www.modernbutlers.com for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at newsletter@modernbutlers.com with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.

 

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Newsletter

The Modern Butlers Journal, February 2018

Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven FerryA long newsletter this month, as usual. I hope you enjoy it, find one or more departments to be of use and/or interest, and like the new format. If you are in the mood for some levity/humour, then you might enjoy the fruits of the modern education system, as evidenced in these signs, perhaps posted by someone in a rush: In a Laundromat: AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

Ideas for a future home include Emily, a hologram butler who obeys voice commands to turn on lighting, air conditioning, music, videos, and more: After a bathroom visit, for instance, she may remind a houseguest to drink more water based on the PH reading taken and relayed by the toilet—technology we are assured is being worked on by the King of over-the-top toilets, Toto, who already offer a completely…

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Professional Standards of Performance: Applications #4: A Butler’s Wardrobe

by Prof. Richard Ratliff

Informal/business wear: For most business occasions, a butler would require a conservatively cut, dark, solid-color business suit; an all-white or light blue long-sleeve dress shirt; a dark, solid-color tie (usually black for most suit colors, and dark brown for brown-toned suits); solid-color socks to match the tie, and black or brown Oxfords; and a black or brown belt to match the shoes…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past

by Steven Ferry

The next most important element in the butler’s world two centuries ago, was polishing shoes apparently. Having the right tools was paramount, “without which no credit will be gained by the operator, whatever labour he may lavish on his work.” Having witnessed the motley collection of misused tools in the possession of some butlers, I would have to agree…

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The Butlers Speak: Dealing with Contractors, part 2 of 2

by Steven Ferry

When it comes to managing contractors, communication is the key, meeting with the site manager to nip any problems in the bud. Some butlers/HMs hover over the contractor, while others do pop-ins to check on progress—depending on the level of follow-through or supervision expected by the principal. A window-washing contractor lost a long-term contract because one of their employees placed a wet…

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Book Review of Serving The Wealthy: The Role of the Butler and the Principal’s Wines

by Gretchen dePillis

This is a useful list of organic and biodynamic wines produced around the world. Some additional biodynamic vineyards in the United States: Frey Vineyards in Mendocino, California was the first winery to produce officially verified biodynamic wines, in accordance with California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). As discussed before, organic wines are sulfite-free; Robert Sinskey Vineyards (RSV), one…

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Creative Corner: An Apple Flower

by Kobi Gutman

In this month’s Creative Corner section, Head Butler and Modern Butlers Journal contributor Kobi Gutman guides us to make a beautiful flower out of an apple. Follow these easy to fulfill instructions:1.Cut an American-football-like shape at the top of the apple by making 2 simple cuts from opposite directions; 2. Cut a similar shape inside the football. Note: Although the photo shows…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 29: The Porto Flip

by Amer A. Vargas

Having just trained a wonderful group of butlers in Lisbon, and under the suggestion of Victor Lucas, F&B Manager at Palacio de Seteais, we are introducing a wonderful cocktail that will make anyone want to travel to Portugal, where the main ingredient is produced. The Port Flip is really for experienced drinkers, as it presents both a high level of sugar and a high level…

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Cleaning and Polishing Silver, Part 9: Salt Shaker Corrosion

by Jeffrey Herman

Those crusty corrosion marks on and in your salt shaker can be a real annoyance. One way to avoid this problem from the very start is to empty the shaker after a dinner party and thoroughly wash it; in this way, the salt doesn’t have time to do its damage. Heavily gold plating the interior is the only other way to preserve the finish because gold is impervious to the effects of salt. It is still wise to…

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Recent Graduates and Gold Seal

Those crusty corrosion marks on and in your salt shaker can be a real annoyance. One way to avoid this problem from the very start is to empty the shaker after a dinner party and thoroughly wash it; in this way, the salt doesn’t have time to do its damage. Heavily gold plating the interior is the only other way to preserve the finish because gold is impervious to the effects of salt. It is still wise to…

Read more »


Placement and Job Vacancies

Two butlers are needed immediately for a five-star Hotel In Zurich. Gender and age not an issue, experience needed in hotel/private service, high-profile service a bonus. Training provided for those with a required desire to learn, who are energetic, have an eye for detail and a service mindset. Must speak German and English and able to work in EU or UK legally. Salary…

Read more »


 

 

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world. Contact us for all your training needs via email at enquiries@modernbutlers.com or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website www.modernbutlers.com for more information.

Please email the editor of The Modern Butler’s Journal at newsletter@modernbutlers.com with any article ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions.