SOBE Chieftain Receives Adulatory Profile in ‘Times’

The one and only Lee
The one and only Lee Photo: Getty Images

The Times’ “Dining” section today has a profile of one of the most well-liked men in the food business, Lee Schrager. Schrager is the guy who created the South Beach Wine & Food Festival out of thin air and made it into the winter Woodstock of the food business. Everybody knows him, and he knows everyone, yet somehow he doesn’t seem to have any enemies. The profile, which is pegged to Schrager’s upcoming New York Wine and Food Festival this fall, details Schrager’s methods for getting big names and keeping them happy. To wit, a text message Schrager sent to Giada Di Laurentiis: “Tiffany’s will buy your newest book for each of the 100 guests and also present you with a very special gift, along the lines of a watch — I noted your Rose Gold Rolex is your casual day watch.” And how much does Schrager make from these events? Nothing beyond his salary as director of special events for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, a distributor. But his expense account must be pretty lavish. “His bosses are happy, and the chefs are happy,” says the Times, “which makes Mr. Schrager happy, because it allows him to continue doing what he does.”

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Related: A Blurry, Pleasant Preview of the New York Wine & Food Festival