Food for Thought...

Celebrity Close Encounters of the Bartender Kind! (Part III)

LOS ANGELES - Standing Room Only contributing writer and co-owner of The Bar Professional, Kyle Branche, has tended bar at several up scale establishments and exclusive private parties over the years, rubbing elbows with countless musicians, athletes and actors alike. Recently, Kyle decided to document some of these cool, one-of-a-kind encounters that he's experienced over time, which SRO will now feature in a three-part, column-series. From the Editor


Article by Kyle Branche * Photos by Paul de Leon

Joffrey Lupul: For the last couple few years I've been asked to work Joffrey's special holiday parties right on the sand in Newport Beach of his awesome pad. These gigs are basically 10-hour hauls, but he makes it worth the drive down. He's such a cool guy. We get to see him in the off-season when he's healing injuries and bruises from being the left wing for the Toronto Maple Leafs NHL team. For me, these parties are like hanging in natural babe city for what feels like an entire day and night.

Celebrity Close Encounters of the Bartender Kind! (Part II)

LOS ANGELES - Standing Room Only contributing writer and co-owner of The Bar Professional, Kyle Branche, has tended bar at several up scale establishments and exclusive private parties over the years, rubbing elbows with countless musicians, athletes and actors alike. Recently, Kyle decided to document some of these cool, one-of-a-kind encounters that he's experienced over time, which SRO will now feature in a three-part, column-series. From the Editor


Article by Kyle Branche * Photos by Paul de Leon

Richard Carpenter: Just a couple years ago, I was called by a service to work the bar of a private party for Richard and his family at their home. It was a cool get-together in the back yard and a birthday for one of their kids. The property itself is huge. Like Jay Leno, Richard also is a car collector, with 25 to his name, and has garage space for all of them. I've worked in a lot of wealthy estates all over Los Angeles through the years, and as far as favorites, this one is in my Top 5. I went to grab some bottles from his built-in bar inside the home.

Celebrity Close Encounters of the Bartender Kind! (Part I)

LOS ANGELES - Standing Room Only contributing writer and co-owner of The Bar Professional, Kyle Branche, has tended bar at several up scale establishments and exclusive private parties over the years, rubbing elbows with countless musicians, athletes and actors alike. Recently, Kyle decided to document some of these cool, one-of-a-kind encounters that he's experienced over time, which SRO will now feature in a three-part, column-series. From the Editor


Article by Kyle Branche * photo by Paul de Leon

Clint Eastwood: He was standing at the bar having a glass of red wine with producer, Bud Yorkin, from a bottle that Bud had brought in from his wine cellar at home, for me to have behind the bar ready just for the two of them. Clint is just as cool in person as he is on-screen. Plus he has a son named Kyle, so that helped. When you’re serving drinks to a legend, an icon of the cinema, you wish you had a seatbelt on.

Not Your Average Cup of Joe: Precision Valley Coffee Roasters

SPRINGFIELD, VERMONT – Precision Valley Coffee Roasters, based in the scenic Southern Vermont town of Springfield, offers a fine line of small batch-roasted, cooperatively sourced coffee beans and featuring seven tasty flavors: Brazil, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Sumatra, Moka Kadir, Yemen and Decaf... each featuring its own distinct flavors.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Precision Valley Coffee Roasters

Founded in 2006 by roaster Aram Polster, he originally started roasting beans while living on Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay, simply to feed his own coffee addiction. “I started the “New York Experience” on Smith Island because there was simply no place to get any coffee,” Polster said in an exclusive SRO interview. “I started roasting on a tiny, four-ounce roaster which had no controls to monitor roast temperature, or air flow—it was the most basic type of home roaster you could buy.”

The Wonderful, Italian Ice Cream Flavors of The Vermont Gelato Company

This is the first in a two-part article series about Southern Vermont resident Peter Solley. A renowned musician and record producer – having performed and worked with such bands as Procol Harum, Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Motorhead and The Romantics - Peter now resides in Southern Vermont and owns his own specialty food company called The Vermont Gelato Company, which produces a gourmet line of the smooth, Italian-style ice cream flavors.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of The Vermont Gelato Company

BRATTLEBORO, VERMONT – Peter Solley has created two uniquely different ways of make a living in his lifetime and in fact, two entities you would not normally connect; professional musician/record producer and gourmet ice cream producer. As for being involved in the music industry as a keyboardist and producer for over 30 years, we'll save that story for the second article in this series, as we now take a look at The Vermont Gelato Company.

Local Burger Is Much More Than Your Average Burger Joint

NORTHAMPTON, MASSACHUSETTS – Located at 16 Main Street in Northampton and at 82 Main Street in Keene, New Hampshire, Local Burger is a family owned restaurant launched in December of 2008 (Northampton location) by Jeff Igneri and his wife, brothers Steve and Chris and his father, Joe. The doors of the Keene restaurant location opened in 2012.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Local Burger>

Originally from Long Island and a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence,(Masters Degree in Hospitality Administration) Jeff spent some 20 years in the restaurant industry before launching Local Burger with his family. “I’ve worked in restaurants, country clubs, night clubs, hotels and even a boutique hotel on Shelter Island, New York,” Jeff Igneri said in a recent Standing Room Only interview.

All You Need is a Sack of Potatoes...

I had a roommate in college who lived on a limited budget. He worked at a department store about eight hours a week. I'm not even sure when he worked, but I guess you can fit eight hours into a week pretty much anywhere.


Photos by Jon Micklos

Paul liked potatoes, he made them everyday. Some days he served himself four styles of potato on one plate; baked, mashed, scalloped, fried, he was creative. He'd cash his $40 paycheck at work and walk to the grocery store, buy a 5 lb. bag of potatoes and a 12-pak of Red, White & Blue, a fine cheap beer.

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