Food, wine and hospitality conference GROW returns for 2017

The second edition of the GROW Assembly, a food, wine and hospitality conference, will be held in Melbourne on July 16 and will feature one of the world’s most influential bartenders, Alex Kratena.

Inspired by TED Talks, The Welcome Conference, MAD Symposium and the like, GROW aims to bring people of food, beverage and hospitality together, and to be a source of inspiration and education to provide the skills – both emotional and technical – for the future generation of hospitality professionals.

Topics to be covered include interpersonal skills, writing and sticking to a budget, managing a team with wildly different skill sets, and promoting your business to the right people – vital skills for leaders in the hospitality industry.

“Alex Kratena, one of the world’s most influential bartenders and thinkers on spirits, drinks and bars will be coming,” co-owner of Bar Liberty in Fitzroy, co-founder of REAL Wines and one of the GROW organisers Banjo Harris Plane explained to BARS&clubs.

“We’re flying him over for four days to speak at the event and we’re organising a couple of small break-out events on either side of GROW.

“I have met him once before and can’t wait to hang out a bit more, chat and hear what he has to say.”

In addition to Kratena, Rob Walters, owner of wine/spirits import company Bibendum, Tim Williams, co-owner of Bureaux Collective a co-sharing coffee roastery, Brendan Carter from Unico Zelo and Applewood Distillery and many more will be sharing their knowledge and speaking at the conference.

The theme for this year is sustainability, a topic that Harris Plane says “the four of us organisers have been chatting and thinking about recently.”

“Lots of places claim the sustainable tag, but who is actually doing it, and doing it well? We’ll look at how we can employ better work methods to stay sustainable, and why it matters.

“Plus, hospo/restaurants/bars are long hours – staying mentally and physically fit is paramount to the longevity of not only individual careers, but the industry itself.”

GROW is the brainchild of four hospitality professionals: Michael Bascetta, Meira Harel, Vicky Symington as well as Harris Plane.

GROW Assembly 2017 will be held at the Abbotsford Convent on July 16. Tickets ($130) are on sale now via and include lunch and drinks.

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