Bullfrog & Baum Focuses on Food
By MARIN PRESKE
Bullfrog & Baum's LA client roster resembles something of a dining out Best Of list. The bicoastal PR firm represents tony spots such as Cecconi’s and BLT Steak, megawatt chefs that include David Myers (Sona Restaurant, Comme Ça) and Wolfgang Puck (he of the new WP24 and Oscar afterparty fame), not to mention casual retreats (Copa d’Oro, Pizzeria Ortica). They’ve got versions of French (Hatfield’s), Italian (Culina) and Spanish (The Bazaar by José Andrés) cooking covered. There’s even a bakery on the register, albeit one that elevates the cupcake to artful heights (Sprinkles Cupcakes).
“I always say, we didn’t choose the restaurant business, it chose us,” says New York-based founder and president Jennifer Baum, who launched her agency in 2000 (today it boasts 24 employees in New York and three in LA). After years of working in PR and the hospitality industry (separately), she graduated from business school and started Bullfrog & Baum, combining the two. It was a natural fit, given her background and family ties. (The late Joe Baum, restaurateur of landmarks such as Windows on the World, is her father-in-law.) Ten years later, Baum’s company is behind Manhattan A-list spots, including La Esquina, Wallsé, Soho House and Bobby Flay’s empire.
Further west, it’s the same story. “We’ve evolved as the landscape of LA evolved,” says Susan Hosmer, head of the firm’s West Coast branch. After culinary school and receiving her master’s in food studies, Hosmer joined Bullfrog & Baum in New York in 2003. A year later, she opened the LA office. It had hardly been in business six months when David Myers, then a recent Food & Wine Best New Chef winner, came calling. “It mirrored what happened in New York,” says Baum. “We got one client, and the rest was history.” It may sound effortless, but any foodie knows a choice outcome relies on its ingredients. In this case, Bullfrog & Baums’s consistency, passion and a knack for breeding the hottest (and most delicious) spots in town.
Photograph by Denise Truscello