Herb Karlitz is the President & Founder of Karlitz & Company. From when he was 5-years old and played the drums and did the twist with ‘50s entertainer Chubby Checker, Herb knew he was destined for a life in entertainment. Little did he know that his passion would later take him to law school (he’s also an entertainment lawyer), after graduating from New York University.
Over the course of the next 14 years, he rose through the ranks of worldwide public relations firm Burson-Marsteller to create and lead its Entertainment & Event Marketing division, where he worked with everyone from Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys to Bon Jovi and Stevie Wonder. He estimates he helped conceive and execute thousands of events there, from one of the first rock concerts in Russia to “Hands Across America,” the follow-up to the “USA For Africa” Worldwide Hunger Relief Effort in the mid ‘80s, to the Rat Pack Reunion Tour with Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Dean Martin.
Herb launched Karlitz & Company in 1990 as a full service “lifestyle and entertainment” marketing firm. Herb’s love for food and wine, along with his family’s background in the restaurant business, helped shape his vision that the culinary and wine worlds were just another form of entertainment to offer clients.
Herb’s passion for cooking, which he’s had for as long as he can remember, also influenced how he regarded chefs – similar to musicians or actors – whose job is to entertain and make people happy. Herb likes to say that he was working with “celebrity chefs” back when they were just called “cooks.” Now he shakes his head in amazement and admiration when he sees many of these “cooks” appearing on prime-time television, signing autographs and commanding huge appearance fees.
For nearly 3 decades, Karlitz & Company has established itself as the industry leader and recognized innovator in creating celebrity chef-driven events, programs for corporate partners and sponsors, and festivals, including the New York Wine & Food Festival, Vegas Un’Corked, Flavor! Napa Valley, EAT St. Pete Food & Wine Festival, Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, “Taste of the World” at The Breeders’ Cup, and for the last four years, Harlem EatUp!, which Herb created with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson. Herb also recently took ten celebrity chefs to Israel as part of an official ”Celebrity Chef Birthright” delegation.
Herb’s creative right-brain thinking and marketing savvy, combined with the entertainment, restaurateur and wine world relationships he has nurtured over the past 30+ years make him a force to be reckoned with – and someone with whom you would want to enjoy a good meal and glass of wine!