Eric Weiss started his culinary career at 17, apprenticing aboard the S.S.United States in both kitchen and dining room. After graduating from Boston University, he lived in France for 8 years, started his own company, Safaris International and worked with chefs Michel Oliver and Pierre Vedel. In 1978 he returned to the U.S. and enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America. He was selected in 1979 by Roger Verge to be the first American, full-time kitchen apprentice at a French, three-star restaurant, Le Moulin de Mougins.
In 1985, Weiss was hired by Seagram Chateau & Estate Wines to represent a portfolio including Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Haut Brion and Chateau Petrus to an exclusive restaurant and hotel clientele in Manhattan. He continued there for the next twelve years. Concomitantly, Mr. Weiss was sommelier at the “21” club in New York. His consulting company, Service Arts, Inc. was founded in 1994 and began as a series of service workshops designed for the hospitality industry. After an article in The New York Times in August of 1995, Mr. Weiss was interviewed by Katie Couric on the Today Show, on Good Morning America, CNN and featured in The London Times for his work. He completed a six-month term as Service Expert on CNN’s Financial Network presenting such themes as, “How to get good service from a doctor, car mechanic or travel agent.”
Four Seasons Hotels, American Express, Hilton, Goldman Sachs, American Airlines, Marriott and independent restaurants and hotels have worked with Service Arts, Inc. throughout the United States. In 1996 Mr. Weiss acted as consultant for the New York Public Library’s Centennial and hosted one of the dinners with Chef Roger Verge. In November of 1997 Weiss created and organized La Fete de la Casserole, where twelve bistros in New York City participated in a month-long festival promoting the flavors and comfort of casserole cookery. The event was featured in The New York Times and on ABC.
In 1998, Weiss was asked by William Grimes, New York Times restaurant critic, to accompany him on a dining expedition in New York and provide him with the necessary information for a major article on service. That same year, he assisted legendary restaurateur, Harry Poulakakos in the opening of Bayard’s, a fine dining restaurant located in an historic landmark mansion in New York City as well as opening, with another venerable New York City restaurant, Rosa Mexicano at Lincoln Center.
In addition to consulting for Clubcorp locations in Los Angeles, Dallas, Austin, Houston and Orlando, Eric has worked with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, The Winged Foot Golf Club, The Castle Hill Inn and Resort and The Chanler Hotel, both in Newport, RI, The Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, Boca Raton Resort and Club as well as The U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. In the first quarter of 2003, Mr. Weiss executed a three month service improvement program at The West Point Military Academy, featured in an extensive article in February’s New York Times.
Consulting for the Wolffer Estate Winery in The Hamptons, New York, Mr. Weiss was responsible for creating a partnership with The New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center as well as establishing the wines at Gracie Mansion in New York. He served as service and wine consultant for The Emerson Inn and Spa, voted by Conde Nast Traveler in 2004 as “The Most Outstanding Inn in North America…” Mr. Weiss has acted as The Guest Speaker on Service for The Metropolitan Club Members Association as well as The Luxury Marketing Council in both Boston and New York City.
Over the last several years, his expertise has been used by The White House in many areas, from wine selections, points of service and for suggestions of Chefs. Additionally, Mr. Weiss has created a special event titled “Harmony of the Senses,” an interactive presentation which has been featured at Lincoln Center, Steinway Hall, The Four Seasons Restaurant and the 92st Y. It was selected by Barron Hilton to highlight The Conrad, Indianapolis opening and to kick off the “DreamCatcher” Weekend at the exclusive Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana. The event initiated the Food and Wine Weekend at Silverleaf Club in Scottsdale and the 3 day opening of the Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Service Arts’ projects have extended from Russia to Hawaii, from Spain to Puerto Rico and from Florida to California. His most recent initiative is a program he began two years ago in California and continues to present there: “Service Excellence City and Countywide,” uniting hotels, restaurants, wineries, spas and businesses with the goal of heightening the level of service. “This initiative could change the face of hospitality,” said Daniel Shanks, Food and Beverage/Special Events Usher at The White House. Additionally, in September, 2013, he was appointed the service correspondent for Food Arts Magazine in 2013 as well as for luxurytravelabout.com, the travel site formerly owned by the NY Times.