The Modern Butlers’ Journal, August 2020

Message from the Chairman

by Steven Ferry

Steven Ferry

The many positive responses to the three revealing articles on the collapse of global economies because of the mishandling of the virus has been very encouraging. The two individuals who did not appreciate the information provided an interesting view of those who support the current handlings: One wrote at considerable length about how bad the US President is—whereas the articles were about the pandemic, not the US presidency. The other, whose email I regret I cannot find to reply to him personally, said that while he had been following the Institute for years…

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Butlers in the Media

by Steven Ferry

Buckingham Palace has ordered one of its many ex-Butlers to stop using the word “Royal” in referring to himself or his school. There seemed to have been an understanding at first, but the attempt to trademark the name was seen as an encroachment on the brand of the Royals and a step too far, particularly given the refusal by the palace to allow Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to use the word for commercial purposes.Another ex-royal butler has continued his tradition of violating the basic standard of butlers by expressing opinions in the media about the personalities

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Letters to the Editor

“Very, very interesting read. Can you pls suggest guidelines or a possible Covid 19 Manual for the daily housekeeping / F&B within a private residence? Ms. J.

Ed: Thanks for reaching out. One obviously has to follow the laws of the land and region, but the whole point about this virus is that it is not appreciably different from any other virus or germ, and is susceptible to normal hygiene and cleaning procedures followed by disinfecting with a hydrogen peroxide spray (or bleach, but that smells)

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The Wisdom of Butlers Past, Part 39: Dinner Service

by Steven Ferry

The butler was responsible for warming the plates in an enclosed plate warmer that was transportable to the dining room—unless there was a fire in the dining room that he could use to warm the plates. In either case, he had to remember to dust the plates before use.Bread was placed before the arrival of guests, as well as any cold first course.The soup tureen was placed at the bottom of the table, soup bowls to the left of the person who was ladeling, and he then gave the plates to the butler to distribute.The placement of covered serving-dishes with food had to be precisely in line and at a…

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The Butlers Speak: Assisting with Employer Sports Equipment and Activities

by Steven Ferry

Most butlers and estate managers do not particularly appear to be engaged in these areas of the lives of their employers, but two who have been, offered the following responses to the questions asked:

Have you serviced employers and/or family who were active in sports?

“Yes. Children sports (high school or younger). College age young adults usually live on campus, so for them it’s more in quarterly increments. High school kids are pretty…

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Let’s Talk Mixology, Part 58: Drink-n-Fruit

by Amer A. Vargas

With summer reaching its high temperatures in the northern hemisphere it is probably wise to reduce alcohol consumption to keep our bodies as hydrated as we can. So, in this month’s cocktail article I propose a very natural “brew for all ages”, if you can call it that, which provides double hydration, both by the liquid ingredient (still or sparkling water, or soda) and the solid ingredients: fruits of all sorts. And the best part of this drink is, it is very easy to personalize as long as one knows the drinker’s favorites fruits. Preparation for this cocktail is very simple: all ingredients should be cold…

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Consulting the Silver Expert: Metal Toxicity

by Jeff Herman

There are two metals to be aware of when eating, drinking, or dispensing from a silverplated object. The easiest method for determining if plating has been removed is to hold a piece of glossy white paper next to the piece; you should see a color difference.


Most silverplated flatware has a nickel base metal. If you see this metal because of over polishing, discontinue use and have it replated…

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Creative Corner

featuring Kobi Gutman

Whether helping the chef decorate cakes with Disney figures made of fondant that will excite young guests or creating a statue or relief that hits the spot for older guests, Mr. Gutman continues to expand both his skills and his following, and bringing smiles all round!…


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Placement and Job Vacancies: Butler/Estate Manager

For staffed estate in Las Vegas with another to be developed in Los Angeles. Usual duties and remuneration package, 75-150K DOE. More information will be provided if you are interested and able to move. Contact the Institute for more details; include your current CV/resume and a photograph of yourself…


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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 or via telephone: USA 1-813- 354-2734. We invite you to also visit our website for more information.

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