Six Degrees of Siperation

When you’ve been in the beverage and food business as long as we have – 30 years for each of us – you find yourself reconnecting with people over and over. Those people connect you to others in the industry. Your circle widens and yet becomes closer as your relationships deepen. We call it “Six Degrees of Siperation.”

Chatting with Steve Olson on a recent edition of The Connected Table LIVE! that term bubbled into my head. We counted the many ways we’ve connected with Steve over the years including: The James Beard Awards, Sherries from Spain, Greek wines, Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund, Rums of Puerto Rico, Tales of the Cocktail, the Food & Wine Classic, Beverage Alcohol Resource, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal and Kansas City’s J Rieger & Co.

Connecting the sips with Steve Olson

For those of you who have worked – and played- with Steve, you know his energy is boundless and enthusiasm contagious. Many of us have been touched by Steve in our lives. Recently Pernod-Ricard acquired a major stake in Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal so we raise a spirited toast to Steve and his partners, Ron Cooper and Michael Gardner who have worked hard to put Mezcal on everyone’s lips.  Here’s a link to our show with Steve Olson. That’s right Steve, we’ve named the title for the memoir you need to write!

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David Ransom Drink Explore Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

A Tale of Tequila with Chantal Martineau

Tequila was always my “nasty spirit” in college. There was something about drinking tequila than made me want to dance barefoot for hours, preferably on a beach. I stopped drinking it for a long period of time until my former agency started working with Frida Kahlo Tequila, and I was properly educated on true tequila and its breadth of styles. Sipping an añejo or a reposado with a sliver of fresh lime was all I needed to enjoy tequila as a responsible adult. No tutti frutti drinks for me. My tequila style went from naughty to neat.

Tequila is a $2 billion industry, and the U.S. gulps up 80% of global exports. Much of the tequila consumed is “mixto,” a cruder hybrid of the true spirit. But appreciation and sales of real tequila, made from 100 percent pure blue Weber agave is growing muy rapido.


Chantal Martineau, author of “How the Gringos Stole Tequila” (Chicago Review Press) joins us August 26, 2pm EST, on The Connected Table LIVE! to discuss the story of tequila, how it’s made and monitored by Mexico’s Consejo Regulador Tequila, and how it’s been exploited by global marketers. She’ll explain the differences in tequila and its lustier sister, mezcal. Through her descriptive detail Chantal practically takes us in her backpack to meet producers, jimadores and the colorful characters behind this spirit so sacred to both the almighty dollar of big booze brand marketers and the agave activists who fiercely protect its heritage.


Hers was a five year immersion into the world of tequila. Reading Chantal’s book makes me want to book a flight to Jalisco to see the dusty blue agave plants under a piercingly bright blue Mexican sky and soak it all in down to the last chilled shot with fresh lime. Melanie Young

Chantal Martineau (photo: Philip Taylor)
Chantal Martineau (photo: Philip Taylor)

Chantal Martineau has written articles about food, drinks, and travel for numerous publications, including Allure, the Atlantic, Decanter, Edible, Islands, Maxim, Redbook, Saveur, Time Out, Village Voice, the Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, and Women’s Health. She grew up in Montreal and currently lives in New York City. Connect: Twitter@chantytown Facebook:HowtheGringosStoleTequila


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