by Allen J. Sheinman | January 01, 2014

F&B: Pigging Out
At the 343-room Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel, in Washington, D.C., chef Wes Morton of the in-house Art and Soul eatery offers meeting-break  demonstrations of his "head-to-tail" approach, which uses virtually every part of the animal in cooking.

Exhibit A: the chef's boucherie, a traditional Cajun pork roast comprised of andouille sausage, cracklins (fried pieces of pig fat), pulled ham hocks and Sea Island red peas in pork stock made from a pig's head. Much of the rest of the pig goes into chef Morton's "Backbone Stew," which perhaps is not meant for the spineless eater.

Next Big Thing: Flash Opera?
Or perhaps a flash marching band or jazz combo. The idea is flash entertainment, unannounced, here and whoa! gone, right in the middle of an event. It's a hot meeting trend of 2014 as divined by Apella, Event Space at Alexandria Center ( Apella offers innovative meeting space in its venue in Manhattan's East Side Medical Corridor, convenient if a sudden flash act sparks a coronary.

Suds on the High Seas: Say Ahoy to Brew Cruises
With the rise in popularity of craft and other specialty beers, cruise lines big and small are rolling out the keg to get into the act. Here are some beer-themed sailings scheduled for 2014.

• Feb. 15-20: RAHR Brew Cruise from Galveston, Texas, to Cozumel and Progresso, Mexico (

• April 12-April 19: California Beer Festival at Sea, Los Angeles to Ensenada, Mexico (

• June 18 - Sept. 24 (Wednesdays): Bellingham Bay (Wash.) Brewers Evening Cruises (

• Sept. 5-12: Alaska Brews Cruise from Seattle, along the Inside Passage and Tracy Arm Fjord (

• Oct. 13-21: Austrian Highlights and Bavaria River Cruise along the Danube River, with a strong emphasis on beer tasting (

Big Apple App
Find & Seq (as in "Seek") is a fun new team-building app from Sequence that has participants racing around Manhattan finding answers to clues and documenting the completion of tasks at local landmarks.


If you could get anyone, alive or dead, to speak at your next conference, who would it be?

"John F. Kennedy. I often wonder how different things would be today if he had lived..." - Debbie Baker, TLC Meetings and Events

"Former NASA astronaut Jerry Linenger, who overcame a host of disasters on the Russian Space Station Mir." - Alicia Baron, P Inc. Events

"Noted humanitarian and former U.N. special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Lewis." - Sandy Biback, CMP, CMM, Imaginaton+ Meeting Planners Inc.