Posts tagged #BBC

New BBC Series Tells the Story of Selfridge London's Legendary Merchant

Well, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has done it again. This time their winning series is Mr. Selfridge, the story of the rise and fall of Harry Gordon Selfridge, American merchant extraordinaire.

And although Selfridge began his career in Chicago at Marshall Field, it was in London that he won lasting fame as the founder of Selfridges Department Store. Within its elegant walls, he redefined the shopping experience from one of merely purchasing an item into an exciting and singular experience.

He was the first to connect celebrities to in-store product promotion. He created such lasting marketing phrases as “Only XX days left ‘til Christmas” and “The customer is always right”. He blended dining, relaxation and style into a new form of client interaction that still affects our world today.

When a restaurant trains their wait staff to be informative rather than aggressive, they can thank Selfridge for establishing that prescient.  When diners are aware of (and expecting to enjoy) exotic ingredients from around the world, again it was Selfridge who first suggested such items should be offered to shoppers along with the traditionally expected.

Based on Lindy Woodhead’s book, Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge (not excluding, of course, Selfridge’s own text, The Romance of Commerce), the new series traces Selfridge raise to the heights of Edwardian society (complete with his very own castle) to the sadder days of the Great Depression and World War II.

Definitely a must-watch series, Mr. Selfridge offers a glimpse into the mind of a brilliant, yet very human, man whose courage and creativity still inspires us today, right down to the phrase, “How may we serve you?

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2013

New Titanic Miniseries Can Remind Us Who We Are Today

As the hundredth anniversary of the tragic sinking of the famed ocean liner The Titanic approaches, a fleet of a new TV miniseries will soon seek to find port on television sets around the world.

Leading the way will be a new mega million pound four-part TV series written by Julian Fellowes, co-author of the very popular Downton Abbey PBS/BBC TV miniseries, entitled simply Titanic.

This parallel application of writing talent with the legendary grandeur of Titanic's famed elegance (and sad ending) is almost certain to guarantee the continued popularity of all things Edwardian.

Thankfully the series, which will be released in Canada, the United Kingdom and then the United States, will focus in large part on the passengers and crew as characters before taking the viewers into the sad night of April 15th.

The delayed tragedy will enable those watching the series to glimpse the grandeur of the ship as well as the hierarchy that ruled society at that time.

It is important to remember that our Industry carries the legacy of that class system and the great estate houses that spawn it. Like the fabled Downton Abbey, we work witihin a daily structure that echoes the labors of Edwardian cooks, footmen and house maids in the modern positions of chefs, bellmen and housekeepers.

Today those positions are better paid professional positions, protected by labor law and owner-worker agreements. Yes, the world has changed a great deal since 1912 – or has it?

Indifference and injust judgment of others still occurs, lurking like an iceberg, offering equal destruction today unless we can see clearer than the Titanic’s esteemed but careless captain that professionalism requires a genuine respect for others, not merely profit by any means available.

Post Note, April 6, 2012: If you have ever try to visualize how something as big as the Titanic could sink (something roughly the size of a major hotel building), the amazing data-visualization company After the Flood has created a videographic for the BBC that explains it all.

Their work is an amazing demonstration of how the new videographic design, using advanced computer technology (and a lot of in-house talent), will change the face of marketing in the hospitality industry. Imagine telling the marketing story of your hotel or restaurant in five brief but unforgettable minutes! 

Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2012