Runaway Spoon

Graciousness Ruled

September 4, 2017

Janice Dodd, Michael Chase and Ris Lacoste (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Janice Dodd, Michael Chase and Ris Lacoste

Top DC restaurants treated 250 or so concierges from across the country like royalty with the best cuisine and hospitality -- not to mention wines -- at the Les Clefs d’Or USA Feast of DC at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown on Sunday night.

For sure, concierges are part of the life line of the tourism industry.

“Les Clefs d’Or members of Washington DC were thrilled for the opportunity to welcome some of the world’s best concierges to our city,” said Jeffrey R. Morgan, an event organizer.

Carmine's famous meatballs (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Carmine's famous meatballs

Among the Georgetown restaurants showing off their food at exhibition tables were il Canale, Filomena, ChaiaMartin’s Tavern, Baked & Wired, and Bourbon Steak. Among too many other eateries to name were Marcel’s, Al Tiramisu, BLT Prime, Café du Parc, Carmine’s, Equinox, 701,  Mastro’s, The Palm, The Source, RPM Italian, RIS, Plume and McCormick & Schmick’s.

Four Seasons’ chef concierge Julie Saunders, a member of Les Clefs d’Or USA, was key in coordinating the affair, along many other local hospitality experts.

Included in the cast of exhibitors in the packed ballrooms were tour bus companies, cigar brands, wineries and technical support services.

No one left hungry or unaware. And, lo and behold, there was extreme graciousness in D.C.




Dessert by Cafe Du Parc (Photo by: Natalia Janetti) Dessert by Cafe Du Parc

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Diplomats Gather at Hungarian Embassy For Pulitzer Salon

August 20, 2017

Hungary’s new Ambassador to the United States, Dr. László Szabó and three colleagues from Central and Eastern Europe joined together at the Hungarian Embassy to stress that good political relations must be cultivated with the USA, both in the White House and in Congress.

 “We must make ourselves relevant to America and that requires stating why good relations with Hungary are important,” said Szabo.  Poland’s ambassador agreed, stressing that it is much more powerful to present to the United States that the four nations  are an "alliance” and work as one on key issues.

That is, strength in unity.

Hungarian Ambassador Dr. Laszlo Szabo (Photo by: The Hungarian Embassy) Hungarian Ambassador Dr. Laszlo Szabo

Participating in the seminar were Czech Republic Ambassador Hynek Kmoniček, Polish Ambassador Piotr Wilczek and Slovak Republic charge d’Affairs Jozef Polakovič. Among the issues discussed was the “political leverage” of these “Visegrad Four” nations with the Trump Administration.

Kmonicek, with a smile, noted that three of President Trump’s children are half Czech. The President’s first wife is of Czech heritage. First Lady Melania Trump is from Slovenia, also in Central/Eastern Europe.

Wilczek recalled that Trump has said that “78 percent of the Polish people” in the United States voted for him.

The four officials participated in the Pulitzer Salon, an ongoing activity, named after Joseph Pulitzer, the Hungarian-born American congressman and newspaper publisher. The salon offers an opportunity for American and Hungarian journalists to discuss current Hungarian-American bilateral relations, the integration of the western Balkan region and matters of global importance.

In an earlier Tweet on Aug. 14, the Hungarian ambassador wrote about the Charlottsville, Va., tragedy:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family members of Heather Heyer. Hatred and violence have no place in society.”

At the seminar, only matters relevant to the four countries were discussed.

The Hungarian ambassador is no stranger to America.

He was human resources director for the U.S. pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and spent several years working at the company’s headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind. 

More recently, he was parliamentary state secretary in the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and met with some of the largest U.S. companies and investors.

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Manchester United in Georgetown

July 25, 2017

For the last two days, Georgetown University has hosted one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world.  As a lead up to an International Champions Cup match, the Hoyas hosted Manchester United for two practices and a pre-match press conference.

Although word got around that the Manchester guys were in Georgetown, there was no formal announcement of the practices. That said, local youngsters heard of the practices through the sports grapevine and showed up for autographs.

A practice. (Photo by: Georgetown U. Sports) A practice.

 “One of the unique things of being at a place like Georgetown is having the opportunity to host teams like Manchester United, the Argentine National Team and MLS teams when they come into town to play DC United,” said Georgetown Head Men’s Soccer Coach Brian Wiese.

“It’s special for our guys to get up close and personal and watch some of their idols and heroes from five feet away.”

Man U faces FC Barcelona in the International Champions Cup at FedEx Field on Wednesday (July 26).  This is preseason for the Premiere League giants who have already gone 4-0 while in the United States. 

Georgetown’s Shaw Field has hosted many MLS and international squads including the Argentine National Team in 2015.  The campus is a natural partner for visiting teams from all over the world and Georgetown as well as its student-athletes benefit from so many big time players coming into the region.The soccer student-athletes and coaches were able to volunteer with the team and observe practice as well as meet some of the players following training. 

The match is the final fixture in the states before Man U returns to Europe for its last two preseason contests.

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