Hanna Lee Communications (HLC), an award-winning public relations agency specialized in hospitality and travel, announced two new book projects, The Russo Family & Friends Cookbook and The Japanese Art of the Cocktail under HLC Book Media, the agency’s innovative subsidiary. This initiative represents the agency breaking new ground in the food and beverage sphere by building its clients’ cutting-edge, lifestyle brands through long-form storytelling. The agency uniquely identifies inspiring authors and compelling subjects to bring biographical hospitality books to life. To create maximum visibility and ensure success, the agency provides PR and digital marketing services that are built into every phase of the process. This author-centric, marketing-forward undertaking represents an exciting new approach to book publishing.
Two New Books Taking Hospitality Clients to New Heights
The agency unveils plans for The Russo Family & Friends Cookbook, which celebrates Joe Russo, a lifelong epicure and renowned filmmaker, best known for his blockbuster films, including Avengers and Captain America. Russo will share his family’s time-honored food and drink recipes, as well as those for comforting dishes by celebrity friends who have appeared in his films.
The agency also reveals the new June 1, 2021 publishing date of its first book, The Japanese Art of the Cocktail, by leading publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was originally scheduled to hit shelves this fall, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Co-authored by Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig, it is a memoir of Urushido culminating in the success of Katana Kitten, his bar that ranked #14 on The World’s 50 Best Bars list. The book features more than 80 recipes from top bartenders in the U.S. and Japan.
Hanna Lee on Transforming Clients into Authors
“To discover new authors, we look at our clients first, since we get to know them up close and personal during our partnerships,” says Hanna Lee, President and Founder, Hanna Lee Communications. “Their stories are moving and worthy of a book format that can reach a global audience.”
“As a movie fan myself, it has been exciting to get to know Joe and his family as clients. Joe fell in love with Creature Comforts’ craft beers while filming Avengers in Georgia and later partnered with them on their upcoming brewery and taproom in Los Angeles opening in Summer 2021. My team and I were inspired by Joe and his family’s in-depth, epicurean knowledge and genuine passion for food and beverage around the world, which they love to share. We look forward to partnering with an exceptional publisher that understands Joe’s ethos,” adds Lee.
Joe Russo on Gastronomy as a Way to Create Human Connections
“Part of the joy of food and drink is its ability to bring people together,” says Russo. “Whether growing up and enjoying my Nonna’s epic Sunday family dinners in Cleveland or comforting dishes from my extended film family around the world, I find breaking bread indispensable for creating human connections. Hanna and Michael recognized my deep passion for all things delicious and proposed the idea of a book. I’m very excited to combine my love of telling a good story with this equally important aspect of my life.”
The Russo Family & Friends Cookbook
The second book project of the agency celebrates Joe Russo and his family. While renowned for his films, like Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Russo is a profound epicure, who is equally passionate about all things related to food and drink. He credits his Italian-American childhood in Cleveland, when his Nonna (great grandmother) and grandmother instilled in him a passion for culinary experiences imbued with love. His grandfather sneaked him his first furtive sips of beer, a cherished memory that is revived every time he enjoys a brew.
The beauty of sharing great culinary experiences with family and friends was deeply instilled into Joe’s soul. As part of his film work, he has traveled the world to shoot on location over the years, finding the hidden gems of the best restaurants and bars, whether it is pork chops in Prague, Scotch whisky in Edinburgh, sake in Tokyo, craft beer in Atlanta or favorite local pizza in Los Angeles. The book will feature beloved Russo family recipes, best-of recipes discovered through global travel and those contributed by stars who have worked with Russo and appeared in his films.
The Russo Brothers and Their Film Collaborators
Director, entrepreneur and storyteller, Russo is Co-Founder and Chairman of AGBO, an artist-led collective focused on creating global content for film, television and digital platforms. Russo founded the company alongside his brother Anthony, which has generated cumulative box office earnings within the Marvel Cinematic Universe of an astounding $6.4 billion. The Russo Brothers’ mission is to nurture talent and create best in class content while keeping creative control fully in the hands of the artists. Over their decades of film work, they have cultivated a coterie of cinematic co-travelers, including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle, Brie Larson, Zoe Saldana and Chris Evans, among many others.
The Japanese Art of the Cocktail (Publishing Date: June 1, 2021)
The first book conceptualized and brought to life by the agency, The Japanese Art of the Cocktail is co-authored by Masahiro Urushido, the bar star who leads Katana Kitten in New York City, and journalist Michael Anstendig, who writes about food and drink and is Editor in Chief at Hanna Lee Communications.
“When we helped launch Katana Kitten, we were inspired by Masahiro’s compelling life journey of making his American Dream come true,” says Lee. “Masahiro has helped popularize the Japanese style of drinks in the U.S. and shares his homeland’s unique embrace of the art and craft of the cocktail.”
The book, now scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on June 1, 2021, tells the story of Urushido’s rise to becoming a leading bartender, first in Tokyo, then New York, and the genesis of Katana Kitten, which is a must-visit destination for New Yorkers and travelers to the city alike.
Katana Kitten debuted as #14 on The World’s 50 Best Bars list and earned “Best New American Cocktail Bar” at 2019 Tales of the Cocktail. Probing Japan’s famed approach to libations, the book includes 80 recipes from Urushido, fellow Japanese bartenders, as well as noted American drink slingers who salute this style. The publishing date will coincide with the run up to the rescheduled Tokyo Summer Olympics.