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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…

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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…

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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.

 

Por Amer A. Vargas

Amer A. Vargas graduated with a Tourism Degree specializing in hotel management from CETT (Center for Tourism Studies) in Barcelona and spent the following decade in the service industry. Beginning as a waiter and then supervisor in high-end restaurants, he was next made responsible for raising service standards through staff training programs. After receiving further training as a butler, he worked as a butler and valet in private service as well as hotels in England and Europe.

During this time period, he translated the best-selling industry texts Butlers & Household Managers, 21st Century Professionals and Hotel Butlers, The Great Service Differentiators into Spanish and is currently creating butler training materials in the Spanish language.

As the Director of Spanish-speaking Markets, Amer is responsible for making the technology of butling available in private residences and hotels in the Spanish-speaking countries of the world. He provides consultation, placement, and training services in these countries.