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The guys are back after an extended holiday break. We are ready for a great year! There is no better way to start this season than with a great guest who just so happens to be our friend and colleague: Chef Kimberly Brock Brown. Chef discusses her Midwest upbringing, the benefits of culinary school as well as the benefits of networking. Chef Brown shares her career growth from working in hotels, country clubs, consulting, and television work, to her recent election to be President of The American Culinary Federation(ACF). Chef promotes the benefits of certification in the ACF for both culinary and hospitality professionals. Please visit ACF Membership ( to learn more about becoming a member. We close with a reminder for everyone to get your tickets and for our @fiuhospitality students to #volunteer at @sobewff @sobewffvolunteers. See you on the beach!Support the show
It's the beginning of the holiday season. In this episode, we are joined by Julio Ruiz, the East Coast Sales Manager for our official glassware collaborator Riedel Crystal of America, Inc.  Have a listen and learn about the history of the 265-year-old family-owned company. We talk about the wine glass styles and what you need for your personal collection, or what you need to add to your Christmas shopping list. Professor Dodge discusses the new Riedel mixology series of glassware and guest host Dr. Oren Hertz asks the question of when to decant a wine.  We close out the show with some holiday cheer and talk holiday wine recommendations and our Thanksgiving guilty pleasure. Let the holidays begin!  Support the show
We are just 125 days away from the 21st Annual @sobewffest! What better way to kick off #sobewff season than to speak with Chaplin school's own Andrew "Kappy" Kaplan '03. Kappy dishes on his time at FIU, his first-time meeting with Rachael Ray at the festival and his career growth since that meeting as her VP of Culinary Operations. Students and industry veterans alike will benefit from Kappy's advice. We touch on Kappy's leadership role and giving back via his work with "No Kid Hungry." Coincidentally, our Chaplin School has taken over FIU's Food Pantry this month, so we encourage all to donate to ensure we reduce food insecurity both in our school and community! You can donate directly from Amazon using the link Please also welcome the debut episode for guest "Barstool" Professor Cristina Moguel sitting in for Professor Connors!Support the show
Our guest this week has been nominated for 17 Emmy Awards and has won 7 times!  Now he’s an awarding-winning rum producer – he must be the ‘Real McCoy’! This week we are joined by filmmaker and rum aficionado, Bailey Pryor. Bailey is the Founder & CEO of The Real McCoy Rum, which is based on a film he produced for PBS of the same name. We are also joined by Professor Gabe Urrutia. Professors Dodge and Urrutia get to RUM GEEK it up with Bailey and get the facts straight on aging and labeling. “Sober curious” and a conversation on the future of rum close out this informative episode. Listen, Laugh & Learn.Support the show
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It’ South Beach Wine & Food Festival’s 20th Anniversary and what better way to celebrate than have one of South Florida’s favorite Chefs join us! This week Chef Jeff McInnis joins us from the popular Bravo television show, “Top Chef” fame and now restaurateur. This three-time James Beard Foundation nominee is building his own brand of restaurants across America. Jeff shares his career path and his journey of becoming a Southern-inspired Chef. His passion for the industry shines through and he has some great advice for young hospitality professionals. The Speed Rail is back this week with a coastal chef inspiration round from Dim Sum, surfing, and the go-to spots in Charleston South CarolinaSupport the show
This week we are celebrating the 175th anniversary of the globally renowned and celebrated Blended Scotch Whisky DEWAR’S! The Guys are joined by not one, but two spirits professionals. Ms. Jacqui Seargeant (@jacquiseargeant) is the Global Heritage Manager & Whiskies Archivist and brings a wealth of knowledge to the conversation and the best Scottish Brogue (accent) the show has heard. Gabe Cardarella (@gcardarella) the North American Whisky Ambassador at Bacardi adds wonderful stories about this legendry Scotch Whisky. The amazing Professors Gabriel Urrutia (@looksmelltaste) is guest host this week and drops some DEWAR’S knowledge and his love for all things Whisky.“good whisky becomes great whisky when sharing it with good people over good stories”– Gabriel CardarellaSupport the show
What a treat for the 2 Barstools and a Knife team to be joined by world-acclaimed chef, restaurateur, author, and all-around awesome person Chef Norman Van Aken. While we did not get a chance to talk about chef's multiple James Beard awards, we did talk about his humble beginnings doing odd jobs from "hot tarring" roofs to his first entry into the culinary world as a short order cook. Chef tells some amazing stories about the long list of culinary talent that has flowed through the ranks of his restaurants, to the eternal friendship he developed with Chef Charlie Trotter. We could not agree with Chef more when he shared his advice on getting into the culinary/hospitality world: "This business chooses you. You don't choose it." and his drive to be a "lifelong learner." We know you will hear the same passion we did, which will make you hungry to learn and hungry to eat some of Chef's delicious food! We close out the show with some Speed Rail Key West recommendations from the guys & Chef Norman. Please take a listen, enjoy this episode, and be sure to check out any of Chef Norman's six cookbooks and his personal memoir . We certainly enjoyed the conversation and could have spoken for hours!!!! Support the show
This week 2 Barstools and a Knife is at it again, and together in the Chaplin School recording studio with a new guest and a new concept that had Professor Dodge’s head spinning. This week we were talking to Kyle Billings from Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits. The trend of low and non-alcoholic beverages is on the rise and Lyre’s is putting out a high quality, premium non-alcoholic spirit with incredible branding. We did not completely abandon alcohol this week, as the Speed Rail focused on us and our guest and we had to paint a picture of our perfect cocktail experience. One of our very first fans, Philip, stopped by during our recording and watched how the sausage is made. Thanks Philip and all our great fans out there! We are shifting to dropping episodes every other week to ensure Quality over Quantity!!! We also have a couple of surprises in store for you this season, so be sure to watch out for special content as we get it.Support the show
With Saint Patrick’s Day right around the corner, we thought it was time to bring in a Irishman from Boston. This week, the guys have kissed the Blarney Stone and gained the gift of eloquence with Sean O’Toole, President of TEAM (TEAM Enterprises). Sean has a great story, and he certainly experienced the Luck of the Irish when he started his career with an assignment for Playboy that lead him to a career in the field of Experiential Marketing.Sean and his TEAM work with legendary brands, such as a 30 year relationship with Bacardi North America, MillerCoors, BMW/Mini Copper and Lavazza Coffee, just to name a few. They dive a little deeper into what Experiential Marketing is and how TEAM creates one-of-a-kind ‘experiences’ for their partners. They wrap up the show with a Speed Rail ‘Boston Edition,’ and they all agree no green beer on Saint Patrick’s Day! Listen, Learn and Laugh!  Learn more about the amazing work and career opportunities with TEAM. ( Support the show
Let’s talk about wine and the future of the industry! This week the guys are joined by the leadership behind Wine Future 2021 - Pancho Campo, Master of Wine & David Furer, Wine Educator - and the fabulous Dr. Laura Catena of the renowned Bodega Catena Zapata winery in Mendoza, Argentina - a fourth generation Argentine vintner, physician, and author. Wine Future 2021 is a multiple-day virtual conference that kicks off next week. The conference is designed to address the challenges that the wine industry is facing. Pancho and David also talk about the amazing lineup of industry speakers such as our own Dean Michael Cheng, the legendary Mel Dick of Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, and Francis Ford Coppola just to name a few.Laura Catena will also be a moderator at the virtual conference, discussing the Impact of COVID-19 on the wine industry. We had the chance to ask the good Doctor about her family business, what the past year was like for the Mendoza region, and some helpful advice for our female students wanting to start a career in the wine industry. This was an insightful and informative show and we wrap it up with a wine-driven Speed Rail with Professor Connors. Listen, Learn and Laugh! Learn more at Support the show
Happy Valentine's Day from your favorite FIU Chaplin Hospitality podcast crew! Professor Nathan Dodge, Dr. Oren Hertz (sitting in for Professor Connors), and Chef John Noble Masi were joined by guest service expert and all-around hospitality heavy hitter, Michael Fiato.  As the Senior VP of Customer Experience with Compass Group, Mike has "literally" written the book on keys to a GREAT guest experience. Mike discusses his restaurant days and his transition into the corporate foodservice world that began while on a vacation to Disney World. Mike shares an amazing story about how his Disney experience changed his view on the delivery of hospitality moving forward. We all talk about what is most important in delivering an exceptional experience, and Mike reminds us that it starts with a smile - which people can be seen even through your mask! Mike also reveals how Covid allowed him the opportunity to write his new book "Hospitality Edge." Finally, he imparts how his visits to various customer service-focused companies like Southwest, Disney, Pike's Place Fish Market, and others have shaped his view that the hospitality experience is just as much "emotional" as it is "technical." We could not agree more! Cheers to a great weekend! New episodes every Friday!Support the show
That’s another show in the can!” ...well, at least a Ready-to-Drink (RTD) can. This week, Professors Dodge, Connors, and veteran back-up host, Professor Gabe Urrutia, had the privilege of speaking with Gabriela McCoy about the state of the beverage industry and the new 2021 Bacardi Cocktail Trend Report. It was an interesting conversation, discussing what is hot right now in the cocktail arena from the RTD’s, to Tequila, to the classic cocktails making a comeback. Connors finished off the show with his Speed Rail, talking about cocktail trends from days gone by that were fabulous or flops. Listen, Learn and Laugh! New Episodes every Friday.Take a look at the Bacardi 2021 Cocktail Trends Report for more information.  Support the show
“Life is too short to drink bad wine.” I know we have said it before, but that is because it's true. This week, the Chaplin School's finest are conversing and sipping with Ana Fabiano, author of The Wine Region of Rioja. “It feels like we are actually on a culinary & wine vacation touring the wine regions of Spain, and I need a vacation!” said Professor Dodge. Ana has a knack for great storytelling and Brian, John, and Nathan were just soaking it all up. It really has been a long time since some of us have traveled, and heading to Rioja is now at the top of our lists.  It was not all about the stories; Ana also went into detail about the new Rioja Wine Academy (RWA) certifications and their partnership with FIU Chaplin School, launching this spring. “Certificates really help to make a resume pop and get noticed in the modern hospitality industry,” states Chef Masi. We finished up with a "Lovely Day" twist to the Speed Rail and talked about our past, present, and future travel aspirations! Listen, Learn & Laugh!Support the show
The future is bright! On this week’s episode, some hospitality powerhouses join the Gents! It is all about people development and our new world of hospitality education. Professor Mary Connors and Dr. Chris Muller are launching the FIU Chaplin School latest innovation the Professional Hospitality Development (PHD) Program.  Learn more at: ( ask Dr. Muller, a leading expert in multi-unit restaurant development and leadership about the state of the restaurant segment and he has some amazing insight and why he feels we will see a tremendous ‘green shoots movement’ in the segment and a new age of restaurants. Professor Connors also a sought-after Global Consultant added her thoughts on the future of ‘people development’ and our new approach to learning. We all agree their timing is perfect to launch the new Professional Hospitality Development (PHD) Program that will help hospitality professionals at all levels grow and expand their skills and knowledge. “We are looking forward to creating the new for the hospitality community that has experienced many challenges this past year,” said Mary Connors. We wrap-up this marvelous conversation with an entertaining Speed Rail when we learn the best, worst, and why we all love teaching! Listen, Learn and Laugh!  Support the show
The guys are back for more! To start season two, we are joined by one of our favorites: Greg Lambrecht the Chairman and inventor of the Coravin. Greg is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for need-based inventions. He is also a great storyteller with a love of wine and creating a better wine world. Greg started his career in the medical industry and found his niche in inventing problem-solving medical devices that lead him to the invention of the Coravin Wine Preservation Systems, which gives us the freedom to enjoy any wine, anytime.  The guys talk about how the restaurant segment is utilizing the Coravin System to create a better wine experience, increase revenue, and minimize loss for by-the-glass programs. “You’re lucky when you can change a segment and change consumer behavior,” says Greg. Learn about Greg and his team's next invention and how sparkling wine is next on the horizon. We talk about sustainability and finish out with the Speed Rail featuring an entrepreneurial twist! Listen, Learn, and Laugh! Support the show
End of Year Recap

End of Year Recap


We’re wrapping up the year and season 1 of “2 Barstools and a Knife” with a pretty, little bow. Professors Dodge, Connors, and Masi reminisced about their favorite episodes over these last nine months. They chatted about what they liked the best, what they were surprised by during the first year’s episodes, and what they are looking forward during season 2 of the show. Listen in for some Christmas ideas, wine suggestions, and the guys enjoying each other’s company for the last time in 2020. We’ll see you with exciting, new episodes in 2021!Support the show
This week, our “2 Barstools and a Knife” episode covers all bases partnering with the Chaplin School's fourth installment of BacardiTALKS. Our "Barstools" continue to rotate as Professor Nathan Dodge takes the week off and Professor Brian Connors leads the charge, interviewing three of the industry's rising stars in hospitality, fine dining, and wine expertise: Andrew "Kappy" Kaplan '03 (FIU Alumnus), VP Culinary Operations, Rachael Ray/Watch Entertainment; Rafaela Dulanto '10 MS '12 (FIU Alumna), French Laundry, Thomas Keller Restaurant Group; and Ray Sholes, Sommelier Beverage Account Manager, Carisam-Samuel Meisel, Inc. The group shares great stories on how they each built their young, but already established, careers. The trio also shares some great advice on networking, taking your shot, and making yourself stand out from the crowded list of applicants that may be applying for any big job opportunity. Chef John Noble Masi crashes the conversation to get the group's take on the culinary world and the importance of knowing the kitchen, as well as the other areas of hospitality. We were so impressed to hear these young executives share their stories and advice. We absolutely know the future of our hospitality business is in great hands! Stay tuned next week for a special end of year episode. New episodes every Friday.Support the show
We are in the last month of 2020, so let’s make it count! This December, “2 Barstools and a Knife” will focus on a mixed bag of discussion subjects - from restaurants, to holiday gift ideas, to what wine/spirit to pair with your favorite meal. Professor Nathan Dodge, Chef John Noble Masi, and Chef Jeremy Houghton jumped right in with a conversation with restaurateur, Memphis Garrett. If you watched “Big Brother All-Stars” on CBS, that name might sound familiar. Memphis starred on seasons 10 & 20 of the hit reality show, but don’t call him a reality star. Memphis prefers restaurateur or entrepreneur, and he was gracious enough to talk with us about his past, current, and future projects.We talk to Memphis about his journey from his childhood sitting at the end of a bar, to his education at FSU’s Dedman College of Hospitality, to opening restaurants and hotel concepts for SBE in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, & Miami, and finally settling in Fort Lauderdale with Memphis Staffing and his other projects. Memphis has a lot to be proud of, and he understands what it is like to realize when something isn’t working and when to get out.Memphis had some great points, including the fact that there is nothing wrong with starting from the bottom, and without completing a consistent analysis of your sales and costs, you will never know how your business is really doing.We look forward to seeing more concepts from Memphis in the future, and the return of Professor Brian Connors next week.New shows every Friday.Support the show
This week the guys are joined by the CEO & President of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Mr. Wayne Chaplin. What a great conversation with family stories, business insights, and a discussion about the future of hospitality education. As we recorded this episode before Thanksgiving, Wayne shared stories of his family and the early years of Southern Wine & Spirts, including how he left the legal profession and joined the family business to create a beverage industry juggernaut! We all truly enjoyed this conversation with our school's namesake, and we learned more about the Chaplin family’s commitment to the community & education. • “The stories about Wayne and his father are just fabulous,” says Chef Masi. • “This is a must listen for anyone in or wanting to join the hospitality/beverage industry,” said Prof. Connors.• “What a great way to wrap up November and our episodes about what we are thankful for; Mr. Wayne Chaplin is at the top of the list!,” states Prof Dodge.  Thank you, Wayne, and the Chaplin family, for your continuous support of the Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Bacardi Center of Excellence.”Support the show
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