Internal education is important at Eastern Standard. Twice a day, the staff attends briefings on everything from food and beverage-related topics to current events. For the first time ever, the public can get in on the action with an event called "Standard" Education, taking place all day this Saturday, February 8th.
"So many times we get out of our briefings, and people will come up to us and ask, 'What'd you guys talk about today?'" says manager Deena Marlette, who had a strong hand in organizing Saturday's events. "People are really into it, and they're like, 'How do we get in on that? How do we sit in on those briefings?' So we're trying to just make it exactly the way that is. One big table, everyone sitting around it, and just making it like what we do every day here."
The day is going to be very easygoing and very natural," according to Marlette. "It's not like we're going to be lecturing to people. And it's not really geared specifically towards just people who are in the industry — just people who are fans of learning and fans of food and wine and cheese and vermouth and all the good stuff."
Here's the schedule of events:
11:00 Demystifying Sherry with Bar Director Jackson Cannon: He just spent a week in Jerez, Spain, so it's the perfect time for Cannon to share some sherry knowledge, including the debunking of misconceptions ("grandma drink it is not," according to the class description) and the integration of sherry into cocktails.
12:00 Raw Food: Classic and Modern with Executive Chef Patrick Campbell: This one will have plenty of tastings, assures Marlette. ("Think oysters and tartares served alongside crudo and carpaccio," says the class description.) Students will learn home preparation tips and more.
1:00 Vermouth Unveiled with Beverage Programs Liaison Bob McCoy: This one's pretty hands-on (or lips-on, as the case may be). Explore the "loss and rebirth" of vermouth, learn about its history in classic cocktails, and compare the taste of dry, sweet, and a house-made rosé Vermouth.
2:00 The Wines of Sud-Ouest France with Wine Director Colleen Hein: Southwestern France is an under-appreciated but huge wine-growing region. Hein will lead a tasting of varietals from the area.
3:30 Cheese as Dessert with Cheese Buyer Matt Baum: Take a (tasting) trip through the Eastern Standard cheese program and learn about how to purchase cheese and "form a classic cheese progression."
At the end of the day, there's a scotch class with assistant bar manager Naomi Levy, but that one is already sold out.
The 50-minute classes are $40 each, and five of the six still have spaces available. Guests who register for three or more classes can add on a five-course dinner at Eastern Standard ($70 for food; $40 for optional beverage pairings) and/or an overnight stay at Hotel Commonwealth for $169.
This is Eastern Standard's first foray into an event like this, but it "feels very natural and organic because it's something that we do every day," says Marlette. She adds that this could be "the first step in the direction" of doing more similar events in the future. "We have so many people who come into the restaurant and love eating here but also want to hear about what we're doing behind the scenes, so hopefully we can continue doing it, changing topics and doing different things that are relevant to the times."
· "Standard" Education [Eventbrite]
· All coverage of Eastern Standard on Eater [~EBOS~]