New Orleans celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse was in Birmingham recently causing a small stir among fans dining at the tony Bottega Café. He was in town to create a new cookbook with Birmingham-based Oxmoor House publishers. Word on the street has it that he dined on sea urchin, chestnut pappardelle and grilled red snapper.
Hoops Tournament on the Way
University of Alabama at Birmingham Athletics and the city of Birmingham will host the 2015 Conference USA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships March 11-14. Games will be played at Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex and at Bartow Arena on the UAB campus. This is one fine athletic competition. Get your tickets at http://ev10.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventList?groupCode=CUSA&linkID=uab&shopperContext=&caller=&appCode=
Symphony Presents Pink Floyd
Welcome, my son. Welcome to the Machine. And to the Alabama Theatre on February 7 when the Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents The Music of Pink Floyd with The Machine. Have a cigar and enjoy…. www.alabamatheatre.com
The Mel Brooks musical broke all records on Broadway, and now it’s playing on the Virginia Samford Theatre. THE PRODUCERS, winner of 12 Tony Awards, brings insane Mel Brooks humor to the stage along with the Birmingham Sugar Babies as the “little old ladies.” What a combo meal! www.virginiasamfordtheatre.org
Birmingham Named Sports Favorite
SportsEvents Media Group has announced the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau as one of its 2015 Readers’ Choice Award winners. Sports event professionals were asked to nominate destinations that display creativity and professionalism toward the sports groups they host. www.sportsbirmingham.com
Why We Come to Work: Activities at the Convention & Visitors Bureau
The Tourism Department has plans in place for their 2015 WOW Ambassador Program at Jefferson State Community College on February 4 and 18. The classes are designed to elevate the level of service in all areas of the hospitality industry. The program is free and is overseen by Cynthia McIntosh. Call her at the CVB at 205-458-8000 for registration information. In February, Birmingham tourism representatives will travel to the Student Youth Travel Association Summit and to the Select Traveler Conference.
Well-deserved praise was laid upon the Convention Sales Department, headed by Mike Gunn, for their planning and handling of the 2015 Religious Conference Management Association convention in Birmingham last week. The opening reception at Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum wowed delegates from around the country. Closing out the convention was a performance by the Blind Boys of Alabama that had the crowd on their feet. Anne Williams was the servicing point person for CVB-sponsored events.
On the heels of hosting the successful RCMA convention, the department moves on to other activities. First stop for Brent Cotton is the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International meeting in Dallas. This tradeshow gives CVB staff one-on-one appointments with a broad base of qualified meeting planners through pre-scheduled appointments. Later in the month, Steve Pierson travels to San Diego for Conference Direct CDX. Conference Direct is a third party planning organization that brings meeting destinations such as Birmingham together with potential customers.