Laurie Barnett is a veteran talent manager and agent, event producer, project manager, and sales and marketing executive with over 30 years of experience. She is an entrepreneur with deep roots in the food and restaurant business and the theatre. She began her career as an actress and producer, founding The Actor-Managers, an actors’ collaborative. Like many actors, she learned the hospitality business to pay the rent; soon she rose as a restaurant professional. In 1990, she became Director of Dining Services for the Hearst Corporation. She designed and installed a restaurant kitchen, hired the first professional chefs, raised culinary standards, reduced the subsidy by 50%, and produced events for The Race for the Cure and Taste of the Nation.

In 1995, Laurie joined The Food Group, an integrated marketing B2B agency for manufacturers, including Lipton, Kraft, Nabisco, and Uncle Ben’s. She created the Event Marketing division, became its Director, and produced over 40 multi-faceted events a year, including trade exhibits, conferences and numerous ancillary events at the 1996 & 1997 National Restaurant Show in Chicago. She inaugurated the NikeTown Event, at NRA. The department experienced double digit growth within 18 months. Upon the sale of The Food Group in 1998, Laurie became a consultant to clients including Restaurant Associates, Air France, J.P. Morgan Chase, Estée Lauder Inc., The Omni Group, New York Times and The New Yorker. For Chef Magazine, as Director of Conferences, she curated the first Chef Des Chefs conference for pastry chefs, featuring Jacques Torres, Francois Payard, Andre Soltner, and Drew Shotts.

In 2001, she joined the Royce Carlton lecture agency, exclusively representing distinguished public intellectuals such as Thomas Friedman, Dr. Fareed Zakaria, Dr. Daniel Goleman, Glenn Close, Anna Quindlen, and the late Dr. Oliver Sacks and Edward Albee, among others. She built sales of over $2.5 million per year. She fostered and championed wildly popular culinary group, representing Lidia Bastianich, Danny Meyer, Ruth Reichl, Eric Ripert and Jacques Pepin, Eric Schlosser and the late Anthony Bourdain. Laurie was responsible for all aspects of clients and careers, including content development, contract negotiations, strategic brand messaging and development, finances, and global logistics. Global accounts included Estee Lauder, Tiffany, IBM, American Express, major universities, governments and cultural missions including Korea, Turkey, China, and financial institutions such as Barclay’s, Bank of America.

In 2011, at the behest of Mr. Anthony Bourdain, she joined Zero Point Zero Production Inc. the Emmy award winning production company, well known for creating CNN’s PARTS UNKNOWN with partner and executive producer, Anthony Bourdain, whom Laurie represented 2004-2018. As Vice President of Talent Management and Events at ZPZ Live she took the helm to develop a boutique talent and event production division, expanding her role in 2012 to Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, working across all platforms with brands, talent and sponsors. Clients include Eric Ripert, Joe Bastianich, Steven Rinella, Sam Calagione, and of course Anthony Bourdain. In 2013, Laurie formed a collaborative partnership with ZPZ, focusing on custom content and intellectual programming for live events, strategic partnerships across all platforms and culinary special projects with celebrity talent.

In the fall of 2014, she joined Gotham Artists as Vice President, focusing on sales and creative services, bringing talent, organizations and brands together around the globe. Now, as Senior Vice President, Laurie also curates Gotham Creative, a division of Gotham Artists, specializing in food, culture, hospitality and the arts across all platforms.

Laurie is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Harlem. 

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