Danielle Crouch and Allan Katz share a combined 30+ years of experience working for the best hospitality firms in Napa, New York, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. Both of them entered the business as adolescents and found that of all possible worlds, F+B was the one for them. Their training and methodology represents a critical consideration of the world’s finest beverage authorities having worked on premise with Dale DeGroff, Tony Abou-Ganim, Julie Reiner, and Sam Ross, a core member of Milk & Honey’s team.
While opening Bar Milano in New York Mr. Abou-Ganim unwittingly made a perfect pairing of spirits by bringing Danielle along from Las Vegas and tapping an up and coming local to manage his bar. Sharing a keen interest in scrutinizing procedures until nothing but gleaming efficiency remained Allan and Danielle finally had a coworker to challenge their interest in understanding the ways of their craft and creating a bottom line-oriented management style.
Later that year Allan took the imposing gig of filling David Wondrich’s immense loafers as Beverage Director for chef Zak Pelaccio’s Fatty group. This allowed Allan to finally ask out his now former coworker on a date. He waited about four hours after grabbing his last check to call her. They were a very long four hours.
While improving The Fatty Empire’s bar service and developing programs for new concepts Allan and Danielle teamed up again for an ambitious line-up of unique venues. Amidst forays into the flavors of the Far East, they made the time to open NYC’s first temple of agave worship. They even drove a Mercury Grand Marquis to and from Bardstown Kentucky loaded floor-to-headliner with bourbon unavailable in NY for the ‘cue concept. At the time they thought partnership was happenstance. Simply filling a workplace need with someone trustworthy and familiar. When they continued to wind up on the same side of the bar in Los Angeles it was clear that what they delivered as a pair was greater than the sum of their individual strengths. Some partnerships are forged. Others are natural. You can file this one under the latter.
Allan and Danielle have planned and executed intimate and personal food and drink programs for small weddings and thrown 600 person fundraisers that charitably donated $22,000 in just four hours of service. From an omakase-accompanying evening of cocktails for a dozen to orchestrating 82 bartenders working out of 21 wells, their genuine love of throwing a seamless party extends to all venues. As a former English and History teacher, Allan gets a real kick out of entertaining crowds thirsty for fine drink and knowledge from coast to coast. Get that guy talking about rum and you’ll wind up with a tiny sermon.
Temple Beverage Company does not typically consult on brick and mortar bar ops, but after teaming up with their recent project, Here's Looking at You in Los Angeles, they are hooked on the magic that happens when you work with the right client. AK and DC are design nerds happy to get their geek on with your architect or builder, but they are very selective when it comes to programs for new and existing bars.
They only enter engagements that include a continued presence over the course of many seasons. This is because of the nature of standard beverage consulting: “Here’s your menu, here’s a couple of trainings, the press value of our constant self-promotion, and where’s that check?” The mixological renaissance is still very young, and not everyone is aware of the commitment to consistency that excellence demands. No cocktail wizards will instill a fundamental understanding of why your staff should internalize their techniques in a couple of hours. Danielle Crouch and Allan Katz are far more concerned with their clients’ bars demonstrating nose-to-tail mastery of their respective missions than racking up a roster of clients. It’s an uncommon dedication to one’s reputation, but it’s also the best thing about them. They care as if their name were on every drink that crosses the stick long after implementation, and they’ll ensure their trainees can fly on their own, always improving, and never afraid to question the status quo.