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The Modern Butlers’ Journal, March 2021


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

It is encouraging to see butler schools busy with on-line and in-person assignments as well as placement requests, and the butler world, whether in private service or hospitality, slowly starting to come back to life again.

It is also very encouraging to see the principals of many butler schools coming together to set the standards for butler training so that those who put their trust in the butler training profession are enabled…

Read more »


Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

A quiet month for butlers in the media, with just one billing of a «Book Butler» who delivers books selected from a menu by hotel guests….

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Read more »


Letters to the Editor

«Good morning, what a fun day when the newsletter arrives, it always includes fantastic information. Thank you for keeping the reading public abreast of all the good and not so good (SABA) literature. In actuality, I love a whistleblower who has the courage and integrity to stand for many people in a similar situation. Your new photograph as well as your beautiful wife are a really pleasant addition. The newsletter is one of my favorite things to read. It always delivers knowledge, humor, and I always learn something new. What a talented group of professionals!…

Read more »


The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 46: Professional Events Require Trained and Drilled Staff

by Steven Ferry

Another area of trouble was lack of training and drilling, the example given starting with an uneducated butler being assisted by uneducated waiters drawn from the stable hands and the hall boy, as well as two experienced footmen attached to the guests but who were not shown the ropes before the dinner started. All this in order to provide a good ratio of waiters to guests (in the example given, 6 staff for 14 guests).

The answer to such was to know the skills of each helper ahead of time and to show them the ropes as much as possible…

Read more »


Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 65: Cherry Blossom Cocktail

by Amer A. Vargas

Spring is around the corner (in the Northern hemisphere, of course)!

The snow and rainy season is about to finish and the new season will bring us the full beauty of mother nature’s colors with all her blossoming trees, plants and flowers… Isn’t that a good reason to celebrate?

So why not welcome Spring with a cocktail that evokes the season?…

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My Butler Julius: Being of Service

by My Butler Julius

Some of us come to this wonderful profession of butler late in life and some much earlier, entering through different routes such as a butler school or working in a hotel. The one common factor we all share is the wish to be of service. Being a butler can involve personal sacrifice—I have no doubt all of us can recall numerous times we have missed family gatherings and anniversaries in order to service our principals and their guests. We take this in our stride because our reward comes in the satisfaction of knowing we…

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Paying Attention to Details

Because one image can say more than a thousand words, click on «read more» to find out how good (or not so good) someone’s attention to detail can be, and be left speechless…

..

 

Read more »


 

Care of Leather Goods, Part 5: Different Kinds of Polishes

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

Wax is the most common polish for shoes and allows a shine to be created while adding layers that increase the leather’s water resistance; it also adds a small amount of moisture that helps keep the leather supple and free from cracks to some extent.

To ensure the leather is conditioned with sufficient moisture, especially in dry climates or where leathers are used often, apply creams (i.e. Meltonian, Kelley’s, Moneysworth & Best)…

Read more »


Special Notice: SABA

An unseemly public spectacle is unfolding between the South African Butler Academy (SABA) and many of its graduates and ex-students which, as more information keeps appearing, is sufficiently egregious that the butler training community is sitting up in alarm, as letters to this editor continue to make plain.

It is worth pointing out that SABA is confusing the issue by lashing out at third parties who dare question their actions, statements, or status…….

Read more »


Scholarship Update

We are happy to report that the lady who was awarded a partial scholarship as organized by Mr. Jim Grise and supported by several people in the domestic services industry, has already started on the course. In her own words:

«The course is going well—I am enjoying the content and the first module completion date is the 23rd of February…….

Read more »


Placement and Job Vacancies: Temporary Butler Assignment

The assignment is for 12-20 March on the Big Island of Hawaii. Friendly, not formal service required for a family of 4; a top chef is also being flown in and a butler is needed to help serve about 10 meals total during this time period, as the family will not spend much time at the house. $3,500 USD, plus ticket and nice accommodations provided. Potential for multiple further assignments with the same client…….

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Creative Corner

featuring Kobi Gutman

In the continued quest to perfect his offerings to guests, Mr. Gutman presents a horse this month. As he says, «You have to make a horse every now and then, you know! I’ll try to cast this one. The last two horses I tried to cast didn’t work out that well, so crossing fingers.»

A few days later, he sent photographs of the cast—a success!

This is a butler with zero background in sculpting who, if you compare…

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.

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disclaimer Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, February 2021


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

We have a variety of interesting topics this month, including feedback from the many with much to say about the ongoing South African Butler Academy court cases, the reported excesses of which have galvanized the butler schools of the world into forming an alliance to set standards for what is acceptable business practice for the profession and thus protect the reputation of all member school, and provide future students with choices that will actually deliver on the promise rather than disappoint them and even betray their trust. There is a silver lining in every cloud, it seems, or as Henry Ford once…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

Both mentions of butlers in the media this month referred to gadgets called butlers: An improved robot butler which is essentially just one arm, can help with various chores around the house, such as loading a dishwasher or pouring a glass of wine. It also has eyes that change shape to mimic emotions. This butler is obviously vastly superior to a Wall Mounted Bar Butler shot dispenser, which has no arm, no eyes, and is not programmed with any artificial intelligence that enables it to pretend to have an emotion….

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Letters to the Editor

«I wish I had known Dr Maniku and his empire. I wish I had been a guest at his resort and ordered a specific Danish open-faced sandwich and then had to help him out. I also wish I had been there and ordered a surf and turf and leaned back to watch the magic. Thank you Dr M for what you did in this world. May your God be with you.» BK

Ed: Thank you for the kind words about Dr. Maniku. Magic is the right word for what he accomplished—and I can say that I am sure

Read more »


The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 45: Waiting at Table

by Steven Ferry

It is encouraging to see that the same advice we dispense today on how a butler «waits» was given two centuries ago. If some accident occurs, keep yourself as «quiet and cool» as possible in the event the principal blames you for it publicly; and if it was not your error, pick a time later on to defend yourself in private with the principal.

Accidents will occur if one serve with the left hand from the right side, or the right hand from the left side…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 64: Blue Hawaiian Cocktail

by Amer A. Vargas

Following a great beginning of the year, we continue “cocktailing” to entertain our palates and have fun discovering new eye-catching concoctions and beautiful tastes. On this occasion we are reviewing the Blue Hawaiian cocktail (not the Blue Hawaii, which is a different cocktail using sour mix instead of cream of coconut) as presented by our colleagues at The Spruce Eats in their website. And funnily enough, depending on how the light falls on the cocktail, you may see it green instead of blue! The Blue Hawaiian is a delicious tropical drink, as you can infer by the ingredients…

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My Butler Julius: Working in a Formal or Informal Event

by My Butler Julius

From beleaguered London, I offer the following to rise above the continued craziness we are experiencing, particularly these days when we are being asked to stay at home yet again. It’s nice every now and then to do something special, and with Valentine’s day coming up, what would be better than to show our appreciation for that very special person, yourself? Many of us in private service won’t be on duty that day, so why not use the day as an excuse to dress our dining table beautifully and push the boat out. As Valentine’s day is about love, let’s set the mood and put cards and photographs…

Read more »


Paying Attention to Details

Because one image can speak a thousand words, click on «read more» to find out how good (or not so good) attention to detail can be, and be left speechless…

.

Read more »


Consulting the Silver Expert: A Word from our Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman

I would like to thank Steven and Monica Ferry for allowing me this forum to express my love of educating others on the upkeep and storage of silver. It’s been an absolute joy working with them.

Should anyone have questions about anything silver-related, please don’t hesitate to visit my Web site hermansilver.comx or to send me an e-mail jeff@hermansilver.com.

Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year…

Read more »


Care of Leather Goods, Part 4: Nurturing the Patina

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

Cosmetics companies keep telling us that skin wrinkles and sags if allowed to become dry and lose its elasticity/collagen; full-grain leather is no different, being the skin of an animal. Obviously, the more exposure to the elements, the more care is required, and vice versa. This is not to say that all leather must be highly polished, no more than all paint must be high gloss. The patina (the way something looks as a result of natural wear and tear over time while being properly care for) of a well-used leather bag or jacket is half of the magic of leather—one hand-made leather cowboy belt dating…

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Special Notice: SABA

As the two cases continue against the South African Butler Academy, many reports are starting to surface on social media from those who feel aggrieved by the training they have received, thus allowing potential students to find something other than the streams of self-aggrandizing promotion that SABA puts out about itself or reportedly compels students to post. Many letters came in to the editor this month on SABA, and one ex-student sent a copy of a letter (quoted in part at the bottom) she wrote to Mr. Cross that gives some idea of the unprofessional level of training being offered…….

Read more »


Placement and Job Vacancies: Live-in Butler/Estate Manager Miami Area

20,000 sq. ft. residence, 2 months a year the family of 4 (2 adults, a 14- and 20-year old) is in residence. Responsible for the running of the estate, managing vendors, light cooking, chauffeuring, shopping, organizing parties, etc. Vendors manage all physical elements such as pool and landscaping; housekeeper and any other help needed will be brought in during these two months. Otherwise, remaining ten months, the estate manager acts as a caretaker for the property, light schedule and duties including housekeeping. Live-in studio apartment, usual benefits, salary DOE…….

Read more »


In Their Words: How Those Trained by the Institute’s Trainers Feel about Their Experience-Online Training, Private Service Graduate

All my life I have had a secret fascination with the life, role, art, and skills of the traditionally trained British Butler—the refinement of character, sense of morals and ethics, integrity and decency, and a good grasp of taste and personal refinement. I wanted to integrate everything about being a butler into my personal and professional life, to use the valuable skills and knowledge on an everyday basis and to grow as a person. I could not afford to go to a bricks and mortar school in another country, so I decided to look at one of Mr. Ferry’s books that had been in my library for 15 years and then do an internet…….

Read more »


Creative Corner

featuring Kobi Gutman

Continuing to improve on his technique as he wows guests with his creations, Mr. Gutman copied master sculptor Philippe Faraut’s statue using Monster Clay,  an oil based, wax infused clay. He then made two casts using a mixture of resin and plaster, adding bases that he also molded and cast. The base that looks like marble is simply not painted. He then colored the jewelry of one of the sculptures with some gold powder to provide an accent. For another guest, research showed that she owned a bakery/confectioners. Mr. Gutman had planned to make the logo of her company…

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.

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Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, February 2021, A Word from our Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman
 

 

 

I would like to thank Steven and Monica Ferry for allowing me this forum to express my love of educating others on the upkeep and storage of silver. It’s been an absolute joy working with them.

Should anyone have questions about anything silver-related, please don’t hesitate to visit my Web site hermansilver.com or to send me an e-mail jeff@hermansilver.com.

Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year.

Jeff Herman

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.

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Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, January 2021, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman

A Big «Thank You!»

We would like to thank Mr. Herman for his years of contributions to the MBJ, sharing his know-how and skills in all matters silver. The subject is large but not infinite, and so it is time to acknowledge that all possible angles and subjects have by now been covered.

Unless anyone has any questions still unanswered about how to maintain silver or anything else related to the subject, then it is time to say «Goodbye, and thank you, Mr. Herman.» May you continue to bring clarity and expert service to your customers and those butlers and others who want their silver to continue to give joy for generation after generation.

Mr. Herman continues to offer his services for any questions or needs you may have about the care of silver. Either contact him at (800) 339-0417 (USA) or via email: jeff @ hermansilver.com

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.

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Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, January 2021


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

It is with a sad heart that we report the passing of Dr. Maniku, who’s vision, people- and administrative-skills were largely responsible for making available the beauty of the Maldives to millions of people seeking a respite from the stresses and strains of their everyday lives to experience one of the paradises we are so fortunate to have in this world.From the pioneering Baros resort where guests and staff roughed it as they started to define tourism in the country almost five decades ago, Dr. Maniku and his family built numerous excellent resorts and even an airline…

Read more »


Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

Just three mentions of butlers in the media this month. 1.The investigative South African TV program Carte Blanche aired an expose on the South African Butler Academy; this is a hot topic in the butler world, as evidenced by responses to the video as well as the number of people writing to the editor, expressing relief that action was finally being taken to rein in the excesses of this organization that they had witnessed themselves; 2.Bloomberg has an interesting article on the rise of robots in response to the fear generated concerning social distancing to avoid the spread of the….

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Letters to the Editor

«Thank you for always advocating for the highest quality of education when it comes to being a butler. It has been a pleasure reading your informative and quality newsletter since 2011. The literature has always been useful to me in private domestic service, utilizing every tidbit to the best of my abilities. I was saddened and shocked after reading this article [about SABA]—you are a man of great integrity, thank you for being conscientious in this matter. Truthfully, my standard of service accelerated once I began to intertwine all of the helpful advice that your experts and you so unselfishly included…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 44: English Afternoon Tea

by Steven Ferry

The refined tea experience of today was born out of what can only be described as a more-rudimentary experience two centuries ago, where the butler was admonished to do his best to remedy the major complaint, that by the time the tea reached the guests, it was no longer hot. They obviously had not worked out the logistics and techniques for presenting hot tea, even though, at the time the book was written, tea had been served in the wealthier households for over a century. The butler was also admonished to carry a cloth on his person to wipe any spills, and to provide…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 63: Tea & Cider Punch

by Amer A. Vargas

Happy New Year, dear readers! Now that the cold months of winter have definitely arrived in the Northern hemisphere, this month we will devote our cocktail article to a warming brew to help kickstart the new year with our engines already running and well heated. This recipe, suggested by Kate Merker and Taylor Murray in the January 2020 issue of Countryliving.com, mixes the sweetness of reduced apple cider with the  warming attributes of the alcohol in bourbon added to hot tea — it’s designed to revive frost-nipped fingers, toes and noses after a day out in the cold. Preparation is very…

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My Butler Julius: Working in a Formal or Informal Event

by My Butler Julius

Recently I had a very interesting conversation with my eldest daughter, who is training to become a nanny at Norland College in Bath [England]. She is in her final year and the time has come to find a placement with a family, She has been offered the choice of working for a formal or an informal family. Giving her my opinion, I stated I always prefer a formal family. Throughout my career, I have always tended to work in a formal environment. You may call me old school, but it works when an employer and an employee know their roles. I know the modern trend is for families to…

Read more »


Paying Attention to Details

by Steven Ferry

Because one image can speak a thousand words, click on «read more» to find out how good (or not so good) attention to detail can be, and be left speechless…

.

Read more »


Consulting the Silver Expert: A Big «Thank You!»

by Jeff Herman

We would like to thank Mr. Herman for his years of contributions to the MBJ, sharing his know-how and skills in all matters silver. The subject is large but not infinite, and so it is time to acknowledge that all possible angles and subjects have by now been covered. Unless anyone has any questions still unanswered about how to maintain silver or anything else related to the subject, then it is time to say «Goodbye, and thank you, Mr. Herman.» May you continue to bring clarity and expert service to your customers and those butlers and others who want their silver to continue to give joy for…

Read more »


Care of Leather Goods, Part 2: Quality Leather Properly Cared for Give a Lifetime or more of Pleasure

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

As we covered in an MBJ article 10 years ago, the oldest leather shoe on record was unearthed in a large cave in Armenia and dates back 5,500 years. While we cannot guarantee that the care we recommend and discuss for leather will be quite as successful, we can say that keeping leather immersed in sheep dung will do the trick if you have set your sights on thousands of years of use. For more modest and practical results, the Chairman’s leather shoes are 46 years old, same uppers, third generation sole, and still going strong as a result of proper care. Even though they…

Read more »


Scholarship Opportunity

Sixteen years ago, I was in extended conversation with Cornell University to provide adjunct training, or even a Cornell-based butler-specific course, for high-end butler administrators and estate managers as it was obvious butler training up to that point left the majority of graduates floundering and clients underserved. The idea was ahead of its time, so it is heartening to see Mr. Jim Grise pushing through the same basic notion. For as he says, «The future of domestic service management is an educated workforce, with both technical and academic standards. This is an inconvenient…….

Read more »


Special Notice: Media Exposes SABA

The famous South African investigative program, Carte Blanche, interviewed past South African Butler Academy students, including those taking part in the previous legal action between Mr. Cross and the well-known blogger/guest house owner, Ms. Chris von Ulmenstein, who won the high court case against SABA (Case No.: 23686/2016) in 2017. The programme aired on Sunday, December 27, 2020 and can be seen on YouTube. The number of views within 24-hours shows the topic is hot in our relatively small community, with new people deciding to join the legal actions against SABA as a result of seeing the TV programme; further information and responses…….

Read more »


In Their Words: How Those Trained by the Institute’s Trainers Feel about Their Experience-Online Training, Private Service Graduate

All my life I have had a secret fascination with the life, role, art, and skills of the traditionally trained British Butler—the refinement of character, sense of morals and ethics, integrity and decency, and a good grasp of taste and personal refinement. I wanted to integrate everything about being a butler into my personal and professional life, to use the valuable skills and knowledge on an everyday basis and to grow as a person. I could not afford to go to a bricks and mortar school in another country, so I decided to look at one of Mr. Ferry’s books that had been in my library for 15 years and then do an internet…….

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.

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Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2020


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

This month’s issue has many interesting pieces in it as well as one unpleasant piece of news regarding a joint action being taken by dissatisfied students and graduates from the South African Butler Academy. While the defendants are innocent until proven guilty, for it to reach the point where graduates rise up in numbers to complain through the legal system, there must have been some problem with the services being offered or the advertising of the same. The owner of SABA is trying through various legal shifts to prevent the case from moving forward, as well as setting up a blank web page that promises to detail how bad the…

Read more »


Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

Home builders providing more services for condominium owners in China is a good idea: They dress like butlers and are called butlers, but the idea goes off the rails when we learn that «Each chief butler leads a team whose duties span everything from security and cleaning to repair, maintenance and other services to take care of up to 50 families.» As a profession we risk the concept of the butler being diluted and losing all meaning as the word is redefined into something else, the sheer volume of its use with the new meaning and reality becoming the norm. It reminds me of a time I was lecturing at a university in….

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Letters to the Editor

«Thank you for another entertaining and informative newsletter and website. I enjoy many aspects of the site and Creative Corner [in the newsletter] is especially a treat!» CRS»

Thank you for taking the time to let us know. Your message was very kind and uplifting and is appreciated.» KG, author of Creative Corner…

Read more »


The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 43: Dinner Service

by Steven Ferry

When it looked like everyone had finished, the butler kept an eye on the host/hostess for the signal to clear that course. When the timing was close, he alerted the cook by ringing the bell (if not by verbal message relayed by a footman).First to be removed were any carving knives and forks. Then, funnily enough, removing the knives and forks from the individual settings, and next their plates.Unlike today, the butlers two centuries ago did not lay all the silverware before the meal, but course by course, like in a restaurant, which is harder for the butlers and distracting for the guests. Obviously, the modern refinement occurred sometime after the 1820’s…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 62: Tom & Jerry

by Amer A. Vargas

With Christmas just around the corner, it is time for a Christmassy brew again! Perhaps you remember that this time last year, we tried out a variation of the traditional Eggnog punch, the White Chocolate Eggnog Punch. This year, we will be having seconds! However this time, we have a proper name for it: the Tom & Jerry. And this delectable hot cocktail celebrates its Second Century Anniversary!The name probably rings a bell. The famous cat and mouse TV characters got their name from a book by Pierce Egan named Life in London, or The Day and Night Scenes of Jerry Hawthorn Esq. and his Elegant Friend Corinthian Tom and the subsequent theater play Tom and Jerry…

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My Butler Julius

by My Butler Julius

In today’s socially distanced world, the shaking of hands has now become taboo and temporary made redundant. To find an elegant alternative to make a greeting, I believe we should follow HRH The Prince of Wales and do what is called a «namaste,» a popular custom in India and Asia.  To perform this welcome, place your hands together fingers upwards and thumbs resting close to the middle of your chest. This is ideal for butlers, as the gesture includes a slight bow of the head, something we as butlers are well used to executing. Hand gestures can also make up for the lack of facial expressions when wearing a mask…

Read more »


Paying Attention to Details

by Steven Ferry

Because one image can speak a thousand words, click on «read more» to find out how good (or not so good) can attention to detail be, and be left speechless…

.

Read more »


Consulting the Silver Expert: Mustard Pots

by Jeff Herman

Originally, mustard was used dry, and casters were used for serving it. When, in the 18th century, vinegar or wine was added to make a paste, sterling mustard pots were used, virtually all of them having cut-outs in the cover to accommodate a small spoon or ladle. The first mustard pots had internal gilding to prevent etching from the acidic ingredients. Pierced or solid bodies with glass liners followed. Most antique pots have hinged covers, but many later designs have less expensive hinge-free covers. Some were made as parts of condiment sets which included salts and peppers. Mustard spoons…

Read more »


Creative Corner

featuring Kobi Gutman

Turndown or special occasions are good opportunities to make personalized cards for principals, family, and guests. In hospitality, one can have multiple cards printed professionally for a variety of likely occasions, with the company logo added; or in hospitality or private service, one can purchase quality off-the-shelf cards the image and text of which suit the recipient as much as possible and then hand-write a special message. The advantage of making your own from scratch is that all elements are customized for the recipient. The process is simple….

Read more »


Care of Leather Goods, Part 2: Types of Leather

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

«Full grain» is the full thickness of the animal hide and so is the most durable and able to develop patina as it ages, rather than wearing out over time. It is also the most breathable when in contact with the human body. Needless to say, it is the most expensive, but not if you average the price of the multiple lesser-quality belts one has to buy that will last the lifetime of a full-grain belt. Might be better to enjoy the quality all the time, no? The next level down is «top grain,» which is thinner, less breathable, and will not develop a patina because it has a coat applied (which on the plus side means it will not stain) and so…

Read more »


Scholarship Opportunity

Mr. Jim Grise has created a scholarship for those in the domestic service industry in the US and abroad, including yachting crew, who might be interested in attending Cornell University and earning the Executive Certificate, Leading a Culture of Service Excellence. Other industry luminaries who have contributed generously to the scholarship fund are Ms. Denise Collins of Aunt Ann’s In House Staffing and Ms. Susan Feigon of Feigon Hamilton…….

Read more »


Special Notice

On September 14, 2020, a group of ten adult students instituted a Joint Class Action in the South Africa National Consumer Commission against the South African Butler Academy Close Corporation (SABA), Butler Holdings Pty Ltd (BH), Butler Training Pty Ltd (BT), Guild Recruitment Close Corporation (GR), Mr. Newton Hilton Cross and his husband, Mr. William Adriaan Coetzer. This is the second legal action against the defendants this year following Ms. Lin Yang’s combined summons, filed in the Cape Town High Court on August 4, 2020. The ten students in the Joint Class Action come from six countries…….

Read more »


Recent Hospitality Graduates

To end the year on an optimistic note, we welcome on this occasion a group of butlers from Hulhule Holiday Island in Maldives, trained by the Insitute’s Vice President for Asia, Mr. Budi Prihardjanto.

To all of you, our best wishes for a life full with success and impressed guests!…

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

We say goodbye to 2020 with feedback from the butlers at Hulhule Holiday Island in Maldives.

«I was about to say goodbye to my hospitality career until management provided training on «modern butlers» that I was made to attend even though I was not at all interested—apart from deciding to leave the industry, I had attended butler training a couple of years ago with a famous butler trainer [SABA].  Surprisingly, Mr. Prihardjanto’s training transformed my personality as I was introduced by…….

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.

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Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2020, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman

MUSTARD POTS

Originally, mustard was used dry, and casters were used for serving it. When, in the 18th century, vinegar or wine was added to make a paste, sterling mustard pots were used, virtually all of them having cut-outs in the cover to accommodate a small spoon or ladle. The first mustard pots had internal gilding to prevent etching from the acidic ingredients. Pierced or solid bodies with glass liners followed. Most antique pots have hinged covers, but many later designs have less expensive hinge-free covers. Some were made as parts of condiment sets which included salts and peppers. Mustard spoons, which are larger than salt spoons, were made by the silversmith specifically for that pot or purchased as an accessory piece in the same style as the flatware service. Because of their diminutive size, mustard spoons would often go missing and be replaced with other spoons of their approximate size.

This three-inch tall sterling mustard pot with green enamel interior was made by the Georg Jensen company of Denmark. Both pot and spoon are in the Cactus pattern. Image courtesy of Drucker Antiques.

Caring for Your Mustard Pot

Silver mustard pots with no liner will require removal of the mustard after your event. Why? Mustard contains acidic ingredients that will eventually etch your silver. If the mustard is gilded on its interior, the gold will stave off etching. Of course, if it has a porcelain or glass liner, etching is of no concern. If your mustard pot requires cleaning or polishing prior to use, make sure to visit The Care of Silver.

Mr. Herman continues to offer his services to our readers for any questions you may have about the care of silver. Either contact him at (800) 339-0417 (USA) or via email: jeff @ hermansilver.com

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.

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Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, November 2020


Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

While this month’s journal has many butler-related pieces that we hope you enjoy, there is one message that is particularly important; it may seem to be on the no-no subject of politics, but this is far from the case, for it relates to the very survival of the hard-won democratic principles and freedoms that man cobbled together over the centuries and from which we have all benefitted in the lifestyles we have chosen. In all the confusions and disruptions of 2020, it is not easy to see that we are about to lose all these benefits unless we take some action—and this has nothing to do with politics and…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

An interesting piece on the clothing styles of Jeeves and Wooster.

The story of an out-of-work, senior butler who, after 700 rejections, handed out his resume on a railway platform and was hired to pass on his «professionalism and wealth of knowledge» to hundreds of younger staff working in three restaurant chains;

It seems butlers are inspiring all sorts of professions and activities….

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Letters to the Editor

«I recently purchased your superbly detailed book, Butlers and Household Managers – 21st Century Professionals as I am due to start a new position as house manager next week and finding it most invaluable. One point I would like to make is about the trial period. As I understand via the agent, my prospective employer has spent quite a sum of money on agent commissions in the past to try and find a suitable house manager. Understandably, he is somewhat reticent about hiring someone if it doesn`t work out, so…

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 42: Dinner Service

by Steven Ferry

It is encouraging that the way I was taught to provide plated and butler service [presenting food on the left for guests to help themselves] in 1986 is exactly the way it was done in 1823 and exactly the way it is being taught by the Institute (and probably other butler schools) in 2020. Butlers always serve from the left with their left hand, it being «very improper to serve from the right» unless «at some particular time you will find it necessary to set it down with your right, on the right side.» No explanation is given by the author as to why…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 61: Birthday Cake Martini

by Amer A. Vargas

Greetings, dear readers!

At the International Institute of Modern Butlers we are celebrating our 17th anniversary, and this is a wonderful occasion to see how much fun we can have with our cocktail shaker.

And because the occasion deserves it, we are preparing a delicious Birthday Cake Martini to toast to the 17 wonderful years of achievements and an even brighter future…

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My Butler Julius

by My Butler Julius

Edwin Lee was born the youngest of five children on a farm in a village called Dudlestone in Shropshire on the Welsh Border around 1880.

At an early age, Edwin decided farming was not to be his calling and, as his cousin had done, engaged in private service instead. His first post was as a page boy for a family in Lancashire, truly starting at the bottom. He was only to stay there for a year before he moved on to a large house in Derbyshire, to work in the position…

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Paying Attention to Details

by Steven Ferry

Because one image can speak a thousand words, click on «read more» to find out how good (or not so good) can attention to detail be, and be left wordless…

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Use Your Silver While You’re Cooped Up

by Jeff Herman

During this period when many of us are doing more cooking, we often look for ways to make at-home meals more special than usual. One simple way to do this is to use your silver flatware, serving pieces, and dishes regularly. An added benefit of using silver on a daily basis is that it will require little or no polishing.

After use, just hand-wash with a non-lemon-scented phosphate-free detergent, and then dry with a towel to avoid water spots. Use flatware pieces in rotation so that they…

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Creative Corner

featuring Kobi Gutman

In his continuing quest to improve his range of techniques and offerrings for guests, Mr. Gutman was able, working with the new “Monster” clay, to simply convert/resculpt the statue on the left to the one on the right….

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Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

Welcome to a new 15-part series on leather and its proper care. Butlers and household managers have been familiar with caring for leather shoes for centuries, but to the list can be added leather belts, gloves, clothes, wallets, bags, briefcases, toiletry kits, furniture, and even car seats, none of which are treated in exactly the same way as leather shoes. In fact, not even all leather shoes are treated the same.The writer worked briefly in a tannery as a teenager to better understand leather, but one does not need to know the rather involved but time-proven way that leather is prepared, tanned…

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Scholarship Opportunity

Mr. Jim Grise has created a scholarship for those in the domestic service industry in the US and abroad, including yachting crew, who might be interested in attending Cornell University and earning the Executive Certificate, Leading a Culture of Service Excellence. Other industry luminaries who have contributed generously to the scholarship fund are Ms. Denise Collins of Aunt Ann’s In House Staffing and Ms. Susan Feigon of Feigon Hamilton…….

 

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Special Notice

On August 4, 2020, Ms. Lin Yang, a corporate executive from Singapore, instituted an action in the Cape Town High Court against the South Africa Butler Academy Close Corporation (SABA), Butler Holdings Pty Ltd (BH), Butler Training (BT), Guild Recruitment Close Corporation (GR), Mr. Newton Hilton Cross and his husband, Mr. Willem Adriaan Coetzer.

Ms. Yang had taken at face value misrepresentations made by the companies and Mr. Cross, who had claimed, amongst other things…….

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.

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Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, November 2020, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman

Use Your Silver While You’re Cooped Up

During this period when many of us are doing more cooking, we often look for ways to make at-home meals more special than usual. One simple way to do this is to use your silver flatware, serving pieces, and dishes regularly. An added benefit of using silver on a daily basis is that it will require little or no polishing.

After use, just hand-wash with a non-lemon-scented phosphate-free detergent, and then dry with a towel to avoid water spots. Use flatware pieces in rotation so that they wear uniformly.)

If your silver has not been used for a while, it may have formed some tarnish. Even if you’re not interested in using the silver for your non-company meals, what better time than now to whip your pieces into shape for that day when you can entertain again? My Care of Silver guide provides detailed information on cleaning and polishing silver. What if you do not have the time to delve into as much detail as I provide there? No worries; just use the abbreviated instructions outlined below. These are the steps I use most often.

But, when you do have time, turn to the full Care of Silver guide to learn more about cleaning and polishing your silver, as well as how to protect and store it. Once you’ve learned the tips professionals use, you’ll end up spending less time on tarnish removal and more time enjoying your silver!

1. Wax any porous attachments – such as wooden handles and ivory insulators – prior to cleaning;

2. Rinse the object under warm running water while gently wiping it with a cellulose sponge to remove any particulate. If dried polish has accumulated in recessed or ornamental areas, it should be lightly tapped out (also under running water) with a natural-bristle brush, such as a white china bristle brush, after the polish has been rehydrated. (See other brush options here.)  Dry the object immediately with a cotton towel.

3. Remove any remaining grime with hand sanitizer using cotton balls, cotton makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs. This step will remove light tarnish as well as grime.

4. Remove any sanitizer residue with a plant-based window cleaner, such as Better Life Glass Cleaner. Dry the piece immediately with a cotton towel;

5. If tarnish remains, use Herman’s Simply Clean Collectors Silver Polish with a cellulose sponge, cotton balls, makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs, rubbing the object in a straight back-and-forth manner so as to maintain a uniform appearance. (Cotton balls and makeup pads will remove tarnish more rapidly than a sponge);

6. Rinse with warm water and dry immediately with a cotton towel to avoid water spotting.

Mr. Herman continues to offer his services to our readers for any questions you may have about the care of silver. Either contact him at (800) 339-0417 (USA) or via email: jeff @ hermansilver.com

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.

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Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, October 2020, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman

TARNISH REMOVAL WHEN IN A HURRY

If company is on the way and you don’t have time to read the entire Care of Silver guide, use the following instructions (steps I personally use most often).

  1. Wax porous attachments like wooden handles and ivory insulators prior to cleaning;
  2. Rinse the object under warm running water assisted with a cellulose sponge to remove any particulate matter. This includes dried polish that should be tapped out lightly with one of these brushes after being rehydrated. Dry the object immediately with a cotton towel. If you don’t have access to a sink, spray the piece with water and wipe it lightly with a cellulose sponge, then dry;
  3. Remove any remaining residue with hand sanitizer on cotton balls, cotton makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs (skip this step if the object is free from residue following the rinsing);
  4. If tarnish has been removed with the above process, wash off any hand sanitizer residue and dry the piece immediately with a cotton towel;
  5. If tarnish remains, use Herman’s Simply Clean Collectors Silver Polish with a cellulose sponge, cotton balls, makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs (cotton balls and makeup pads in combination with the polish will remove tarnish more quickly than with the sponge);
  6. To protect your piece from tarnishing, apply Meguiar’s Quik Wax on areas that do not come in contact with food or drink.

Mr. Herman continues to offer his services to our readers for any questions you may have about the care of silver. Either contact him at (800) 339-0417 (USA) or via email: jeff @ hermansilver.com

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.