Melanie has been at the forefront of programs that have shaped the food and beverage industry. She was responsible for the development, launch and management (for 16 years) of the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards, the culinary industry’s pre-eminent honors, and New York Restaurant Week, the nation’s largest restaurant hospitality promotion. Her agency produced Bon Appétit Magazine’s Wine & Spirits Focus tour in every major U.S. city for more than a decade, and she helped launch the Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund to raise money for families of foodservice workers killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks at World Trade Center. She has worked with and consulted for several wine regions, wine trade associations and producers in Spain, Italy, and France, Crete and Macedonia.
She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (a past president) and New York Women’s Culinary Alliance, both comprised of leading women in fine food, beverage and hospitality. She is active in numerous initiatives to fight hunger, support women’s health and promote healthy eating. Her articles have appeared on Huffington Post Healthy Living, several women’s and health blogs and her own blog, Getting Things Off My Chest.
A successful author and public speaker, Melanie’s first book, “Getting Things Off My Chest-A Survivor’s Guide to Staying Fearless & Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer,” received the 2014 International Book Award for cancer health topics. Her second book, “Fearless Fabulous You!- Lessons on Living Life on Your Terms,” provides inspiration and motivation to help readers transform their lives. She hosts the radio show “Fearless Fabulous You!” Mondays, 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on www.W4WN.com and iHeart Radio.
David is a multi-faceted wine and spirits journalist whose work spans print, web, and radio. He contributes to multiple outlets across the U.S, ranging from trade magazines such as The Tasting Panel Magazine and SOMMJournal, to consumer magazines, such as The Local Palate Magazine. He has also served as a co-host on KLAV’s R.S.V.P. Radio Show & KFNX’s “Bottoms Up!” Radio Hour, both with Jennifer English.
When not writing or speaking, David has been producing, promoting, and marketing wines and spirits for over 25 years. As a co-founder of New York State’s legendary Rivendell Winery, and wine and spirits consultant for various hospitality related companies, his involvement in the industry has included education, program and list development, competition judging, Sommelier, Wine Director, and event production. Through The Connected Table’s special events company, he has also produced educational and business-to-business wine tastings, workshops, dinners and seminars for numerous wine and spirits clients from France, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, and Spain.
www.theconnectedtable.com @connectedtable @ransomwrites