On Wednesday, July 11, The Spur in Southampton debuted its inSPURation Dining Series as a means to showcase the innovative space to industry VIPs in a setting that’s both intimate and avant garde.
Kicking off the dining series of 2018 was a night dedicated to those in the hospitality industry, led by veteran hotelier and co-founder of Journal Hotels, Stephen Brandman.
The event was catered by Lisa Dan, who came across The Spur through attending a few evening presentations. “They were very helpful with tips for tweaking the business marketing-wise, plus [it is] a great space to network. From there, we were invited to cater for the dining series,” explained Daniel Holle, co-owner of Lisa Dan. “We try to bring a positive attitude to our jobs. We feel it reflects in the food, so we’re very happy to work with the team at The Spur.”
The night started with canapés, homemade cheddar crackers, and pan-fried shrimp wrapped in speck and Marcona almonds. A chilled corn soup with crab, chili oil, and chives accompanied with crusty bread and butter was the appetizer.
The entrée was barbecued Australian lamb rack marinated in rosemary and garlic served with mint pesto and crisp fried potatoes. Steamed asparagus, roasted red and golden beets, and a ratatouille were on the tables, available for picking. The finale, dessert, was a vanilla meringue with whipped cream, summer berries (raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries), and raspberry coulis. Homemade peanut brittle was offered as a take-home, ensuring that the sweetness would last a little bit longer.
Brandman’s experience in the hospitality industry spans over 30 years, including co-founding Thompson and Commune Hotels. His latest endeavor, Journal Hotels, includes a collection of The Hollywood Roosevelt, Two Bunch Palms, Ambassador Chicago, Mondrian Park Avenue, and hotel affiliates of Hotel San Francisco, The Standard High Line, and, coming later this year, the Hotel Clark LA and Trinity Hotel.
“Innovation comes in a couple of different ways,” he said. “There are things that, from a technology standpoint, are very interesting, because of the impact millennials have. We’re putting creative spaces into our hotels, things like co-work spaces. We understand that people like to work in small communities,” explained Brandman. Lobby spaces once set the tone for a traditional cocktail. Now, they’re setting a tone for communal environments.
“What we find interesting about communal spaces is that people create the artwork of the hotel. We’re trying to open the doors for that. People really enjoy being out in the public and working together. It creates an environment where they feel like they’re doing more than working, they’re living.”
Owning a home in East Hampton for the past 12 years, the Hamptons have turned into a year-round destination for Brandman, citing Nick & Toni’s as his go-to restaurant. “They’ve created an environment where everyone feels like a local,” he said. Brandman views the East End as a place to party or relax, a location for every season.
“We look forward to continuing these dinners throughout the year and bringing business leaders to see what Southampton has to offer them in terms of food, lifestyle, and entertainment,” said Ashley John Heather. “As we say at The Spur — come here to work, play, and learn. The more business leaders from outside the Hamptons can see the opportunities here to grow businesses and enjoy the lifestyle of the East End, the better for all of us.”
For its future events, tables are limited to 12 guests to maintain an intimate setting, and pricing is $500 a seat, going to i-hamptons, a charity that funds the annual RipTide grant, aiding entrepreneurs of the East End in starting their businesses. Each dinner will focus on one sector — next up is Retail and Luxury. The date is not yet set.
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