Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chowing for Charity

The culinary industry is one with a big appetite and a big heart. Restaurants across the nation have teamed up with the Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry campaign to raise funds and awareness to combat child hunger in the United States.   This month, participating restaurants will be raising funds for No Kid Hungry. The organization is pushing for 100 percent participation from top restaurant chains across the country.

Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry is a year-long program that operates on five levels. The Breakfast After the Bell and lunch programs help underprivileged students eat at school. George McKerrow, Co-founder of No Kid Hungry and CEO of Ted’s Montana Grill emphasizes how kids must be nourished to learn and excel in school. Students are given healthy fruits and vegetables to take home for nourishment in the Weekend Backpack program. The Summer and Holiday program provides students with meals when school is not in session and the Cooking Matters program teaches families in food deserts how to use public transportation to get to grocery stores and how to buy and prepare healthy food on a limited budget.

“Kids are the core of the health and well being of this country,” says McKerrow. “It is our job to nourish them so that they can do well in school and succeed in life. Feeding people is key in the restaurant industry, so this cause really resonates with me.”

Restaurants interested in joining the No Kid Hungry campaign can register at

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bartender's Corner: A look into the beer and spirit industry

Events and noteworthy news

By Sam Ujvary

Come Together: International Beer Day 

At the end of each week, people bask in the glory that is the weekend. Ties are untied, sleeves are rolled up, and on many [warmer] occasions, people have been seen rejoicing in the streets. Today provides an extra boost to the anticipation of the clock striking five. Every first Friday in August marks International Beer Day—a small event established seven years ago that has turned into a worldwide annual affair celebrating makers, servers and indulgers of beer. Uniting people of the world, the celebration encourages beer enthusiasts to try something they’ve never had before.
Some brews below are local (and universal) favorites. Set aside some time today to carouse with friends over a pint of something you’ve always wanted to try. After all, it’s Friday—live a little.

21st Amendment Brewery – San Francisco, CA – Hell or Highwatermelon Wheat
Stone Brewing Company – Escondido, CA – Stone Smoked Porter
Oskar Blues Brewery – Longmont, CO – Dale’s Pale Ale
Indeed Brewing Company – Minneapolis, MN – Shenanigans Summer Ale
Brooklyn Brewery – Brooklyn, NY – Pennant Ale
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company – St. Louis, MO – Schnickelfritz
Jackie O’s – Athens, OH – After Hours Black IPA
Grieskirchner – Grieskirchen, Austria – Pils
Purple Moose Brewery – Porthmadog, Gwynedd, United Kingdom – Elderflower Ale

Baltika No. 8 Wheat beer – Saint Petersburg, Russia – 2013 winner, Best Wheat Beer, International Beer Challenge
Hawthorn IPA – Hawthron, VIC, Australia – 2013 Gold medal in the Ale category, International Beer Challenge
Tazawako Beer Rauch – Senboku, Japan – 2013 winner, Best Flavored Beer, World Beer Awards
Minoh Beer Imperial Stout – Osaka, Japan – 2013 winner, Best Stout & Porter, World Beer Awards
Primator Weizenbier – Náchod, Czech Republic – 2013 winner,­ World’s Best Beer, World Beer Awards

In the spirit of celebrations, uniting under the beer umbrella and zythology—feel free to share your favorite breweries with us.

Here’s to you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chef's Stirrings eNewsletter, July 21, 2014

Welcome to Chef's Stirrings, Chef Magazine's monthly news highlights of what's going on in the foodservice industry and chef world. For daily news and online exclusives, please visitChef's Stirrings blog.

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In this issue of Chef's Stirrings:
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The Editors, Chef Magazine

The deadline is nearing to register for the Farm To Table International Symposium 2014 in New Orleans August 2 through 4. Visit and use your exclusive Chef Magazine discount code CHEFN3 to receive 15% off registration. REGISTER HERE.

F2Ti will be held in New Orleans, August 2 - 4, 2014. The annual event brings together the leading practitioners in the burgeoning farm-to-table movement to explore the cultivation, distribution, and consumption of food and drink sourced locally. The event is presented by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in partnership with the SoFAB Institute and the LSU AgCenter.

Food pioneer Michel Nischan will serve as Honorary Chair. Nischan is a restaurateur, award- winning cookbook author, media personality and food policy advocate in addition to his role as CEO and president of Wholesome Wave, a non-profit foundation dedicated to nourishing neighborhoods by supporting increased production and access to healthy, fresh, and affordable locally grown food for the well-being of all. A proponent of sustainable farming, local and regional food systems, and heritage recipes, Nichsan has long been a leader in the movement to honor local, pure, simple, and delicious cooking.

This year's theme, "The Process," will explore the best practices for urban farming, bringing products to market, sourcing locally, sustainability, the latest with the imposing Food Safety Modernization Act, and many other topics.

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center's partnerships with the SoFAB Institute and the LSU AgCenter reflect an abundance of knowledge and expertise that will be showcased at F2Ti. SoFAB documents and celebrates the food and drink of all cultures through exhibits, programming, and a range of media. SoFAB is home to several entities, among them the SoFAB Center for Food Law, Policy & Culture, SoFAB Culinary Library & Archive, the Southern Food & Beverage Museum, Museum of the American Cocktail, and SoFAB Media. The LSU AgCenter is a part of a nationwide network of research-based extension offices within the land-grant system of universities and provides innovative research, information and education to improve people's lives in Louisiana and the world.

The August Symposium will take place in tandem with the Louisiana Restaurant Association's 61st Annual Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO, an event featuring related exhibits and attracting food and beverage professionals from across the country.

For information on exhibiting, please contact F2Ti Trade Show Sales Manager Will Webre at 504- 582-3072 or

Bartender's Corner: A look into the beer and spirit industry 
Just about every country, culture and religion has contributed something to our society as a whole. Celebrations surrounding jolly old St. Nick are long-standing traditions with roots in the Germanic mid-winter Yule celebration. Greek influence played an intricate role in the popularity of horoscopes around the world. Modern baseball of the U.S. is now just as popular in Cuba, Japan and the United Kingdom. Of all the gifts that specific regions have shared with the rest of the world, perhaps the most popular, is the global invasion of the Irish pub.

No matter where in the world you travel, you're almost certain to stumble upon Ireland's most precious gift. While this may have something to do with the extensive emigration from Ireland tracing back to the 19th century, it certainly has everything to do with the welcoming environment one feels when entering an establishment. The friendly ambiance of camaraderie when you walk into an Irish pub makes you feel like it's your frequented neighborhood bar, even if it's 10,000 miles away from home. It's never just about drinking—it's like stepping into an episode of Cheers. A lot of pubs get a mix of locals and tourists alike who visit for a pint, and are often the search results for Americans living and traveling abroad.

Over the course of many years, the pub has become so widely known for its authenticity that companies have been established specifically for the niche market. For generations, cities in Ireland have crafted pubs and shipped them all over the world. After all, who knows how to better build an Irish drinking establishment than a group of Irishmen themselves? These manufactured pubs have become wildly popular, and companies have exported more than just a few slabs of wood and a place to grab a beer—they've exported centuries of tradition, and more importantly, a place where everybody knows your name.
Here's to you.

Master-Bilt Corrects Warranty on Glass Door Merchandisers 
Master-Bilt, manufacturer of a full line of premier commercial refrigeration systems, is proud to offer a full line of glass door merchandisers with the next generation BMG/BLG Plus and Fusion Plus models. These new glass door merchandisers provide extensive flexibility that businesses require for growing market segments, changing floor plans and improving traffic flow.

Master-Bilt's glass door merchandisers offer the ultimate full-feature experience with a wide range of industry standard sizes. Both models are designed with energy saving features, superior system performance and optimum merchandising. All glass door merchandisers are ENERGY STAR® qualified with standard LED lighting and four shelves per door. Both the Fusion Plus and BMG/BLG Plus offer an industry leading standard limited three year parts and labor warranty with an additional two year coverage on the compressor. The new bottom mounted medium (BMG) and low temp (BLG) glass door merchandisers feature full-height glass doors with four adjustable cantilever shelves per door for maximum product visibility and double strip LED lighting for maximum illumination. Master-Bilt's state-of-the-art electronic control system provides reliable, continuous temperature performance. The BMG/BLG Plus models also increase pack-out and product visibility with 23-1/2" deep shelving and are available in six cooler sizes with swing and slide door options and also in four freezer sizes with swing doors. They can also be configured in all-white or all-black interior/exterior color options to easily fit your front of house decor.

The Fusion Plus models offer price efficiency in sleek presentation. These models feature an overhead illuminated graphic panel for attention-grabbing signage and standard LED lighting for easy customer viewing. Ample-sized glass doors increase product visibility while electronic controller systems offers dependable performance. Additionally, reduced noise technology provides a quiet retail experience.

Win Big With the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest 
Celebrate Small Town USA and the dining establishments, chefs and menu items that make these communities so irreplaceable. This summer, General Mills Foodservice is kicking off the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest, a competition challenging and celebrating the one-of-a-kind dishes at independent family dining or neighborhood restaurants. They're calling on these independent restaurants to spotlight and submit a favorite recipe for the chance to win up to $50,000 ($40,000 cash plus a $10,000 donation to give back to a local charity).
From Aug. 1 through Sept. 30, 2014, restaurants may submit their favorite original breakfast, entrée or dessert recipes or create a new special dish that uses at least one ingredient from General Mills' list of eligible products. Three category winners will be selected, from which, two will each be awarded a $10,000 first prize, and one will earn the Grand Prize.

Intended to inspire culinary creativity, the Neighborhood to Nation recipe contest is open to foodservice operators, chefs and line cooks at independent family dining or "neighborhood" restaurants.

"We are inspired by the local flavor our customers cook up every day in neighborhoods across the country, and [we] look forward to celebrating these one-of-a-kind dishes with the Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest," says Grace Gilbertson, senior marketing manager for General Mills Foodservice. "Recognizing the strong connection these neighborhood establishments have in their communities, we are particularly thrilled to award our Grand Prize winner an additional $10,000 to share with a local charity."

The recipe contest also offers operators an opportunity to experiment with high quality and consistent products from General Mills as well as exclusive access to trend information, insights and ideas to help them differentiate their menus and delight their diners. Entries will be judged based on taste, appearance, creativity, and foodservice viability. The top 15 finalists and recipes will be announced in February, 2015, and the three Recipe Category Winners will travel to General Mills' headquarters in March for a day of celebration and culinary inspiration along with the announcement of the official Grand Prize winner.

Recipe submissions must include at least one ingredient from one of General Mills Foodservice's participating brands: Pillsbury (biscuits), Gold Medal (baking mixes) and Yoplait (yogurt). Entrants can receive one $20 rebate for each recipe submission, up to a maximum of one rebate per participating brand during the entry period. The recipe contest ends Sept. 30, 2014. For more information on eligibility, complete contest details and official contest rules, independent family restaurants should contact their General Mills Foodservice sales representative at 800/215-6120 or visit

Culinary Institute of Michigan adds Baking and Pastry
Baker College of Port Huron Culinary Institute of Michigan (CIM) is adding a new baking and pastry program this fall quarter. The new program will join the culinary arts and food and beverage management programs already offered by the CIM Port Huron, with classes beginning Monday, Sept. 29.

The baking and pastry program offers a certificate and associate degree. Graduates with a certificate will be prepared for a wide variety of positions such as assistant pastry chef; assistant, head and lead baker; wedding cake decorator and pastry chef. The associate program will train students for positions such as executive pastry chef and other bakery supervisory jobs.

"Adding the baking and pastry program to our curriculum will collectively provide CIM Port Huron students with the capabilities that resemble the services of a first-class hotel or resort," said Thomas F. Recinella, CEC®, ACE, AAC®, CIM Port Huron program director and COURSES Restaurant executive chef.
"It will all come together at our student-run, teaching restaurant COURSES, which is located at the CIM Port Huron. This real-world experience, coupled with the job know-how acquired during the program's one required internship, will help enable graduates to hit the ground running at their first job."
Recinella has seen interest grow in all the culinary fields during the past few years, and especially in the areas of baking and pastry, for several reasons: 
•Reality TV shows, such as "Cupcake Wars" and "Cake Boss" can be inspiring and provide insight and education about the creative possibilities.
•Michigan's cottage food law makes it easy for small-scale food processors to "test the waters" without spending the money needed to establish or rent commercial kitchen space.
•Being one's own boss in an entrepreneurial setting is enticing to some.
"Although it's alluring to go into business for oneself, that typically comes later in a career," Recinella said. "Our first student cohort is graduating in December and will enter the industry as lead cooks, sous chefs and shift chefs in a variety of organizations."

The baking and pastry certificate program is designed to combine imagination and creativity with the science of baking. Through small class sizes, advanced learning technologies and specialized facilities, such as a climate-controlled kitchen laboratory, students will learn how to prepare breads, pies, cookies, petit fours, specialty breads and pastries, fruit bars, tortes, centerpieces, wedding cakes and international desserts.

All Trends & News from the Culinary World in Chef Magazine's July/August Digital Issue - Read Now 
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bartender's Corner: A look into the beer and spirit industry

[The Cocktail Chronicles]
A history of cocktail favorites

By Sam Ujvary

National Tequila Day

National Tequila Day takes place on July 24th. The agave plant that gave us this beautifully distilled beverage is continuing to allow mixologists, party hosts and tequila enthusiasts alike to develop their own cocktail repertoire. Thank you, Mexico, for sending us this nectar of the gods. In honor of this day, below are some favorite cocktails.

Traditional Margarita:

1.5 ounces Don Julio 1942 Tequila
1 ounce Cointreau
.5 ounces fresh lime juice
splash orange juice
optional salt rim

Combine all ingredients with ice, shake and strain over ice with salted rim. Garnish with a lime.

Bloody Maria:

2 ounces Cuervo Reserva de la Familia Tequila
4 ounces tomato juice
.5 ounces lemon juice
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
1 pinch celery salt

Combine ingredients over ice and mix. Garnish with a lime.


1.5 ounces Milagro Select Barrel Reserve Tequila
2 ounces grapefruit juice
splash lemon-lime soda
optional salt rim

Combine ingredients in ice-filled glass. Top with soda and garnish with a lime.

Make this happy hour a special one. Enjoy some of Mexico's finest export.


Bill Gilmore, Robot Coupe founder, Passes

William (Bill) Gilmore, 90, one of the three Robot CoupeU.S.A. Inc. founders, died at his home June 15 in Raymond, MS.  Mr. Gilmore enjoyed a 50-year career in the foodservice industry with strong relationships with customers and dealers.  He was deeply admired by Robot Coupe USA employees who had deep respect and appreciation for him throughout his career and retirement; this affection was mutual.  During his long career, Mr. Gilmore was the first vice-president of sales/marketing at Frymaster Corp.; one of the founders of the rep group, Marketing Agents South as well as an instructor and director at the Dale Carnegie School.    Mr. Gilmore was active in the Gideon ministry for over 50 years; and he and his wife, Frances, founded Way for Today Ministries, Inc. – a non-profit missions and benevolence outreach ministry.  Mr. Gilmore is survived by his wife of 68 years Frances, two sons Ronald and Steven (Rusty), grandfather of eight and great-grandfather of six.  He will be greatly missed by the employees of Robot Coupe USA as well as his many friends in the foodservice industry.