The 15th Annual FENI taking place February 15-17, 2013 in Chicago is all about pastry. In cooperation with: "Kings of Pastry" at the French Pastry School, the International Culinary School at the Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago and including Pastry Chefs from Chicago's Premier Culinary Institutions, FENI master classes focus on the art of chocolate, methods and techniques, artisan baking and the art of sugar and desserts.

For more information, please visit or email Naurice Olivera

During two days of competition at the World Pastry Team Championships in Las Vegas, Team USA won best dégustation and second place overall in the challenge inspired by astrology and horoscopes. The All-American team of National Pastry Champions consisted of Team Captain, Chef Donald Wressell, and The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College at City Colleges of Chicago's own, Chefs Scott Green, Joshua Johnson and, alternate, Della Gossett. After two years of preparation, including the qualifying National Pastry Team Championship in 2011, Team USA relished the level of international competition with top pastry chefs from five other countries and proudly represented the United States and the sponsors who supported them in a close match with First Place Overall winners, Team Japan, and Third Place winners, Team Netherlands.

The other competitors heralded from China, Mexico, and South Korea where they had to undergo intense training and competition in order to be selected to represent their country's best in pastry. The selection process for the World Pastry Championship began in 2010 when the event organizers culled pastry professionals from around the globe with impressive pedigrees and experience in competition. Much like the Olympics, each country held a qualifying round of National Pastry Team Championships to ensure that their best pastry chefs would be sent to compete on the international level.

Team USA's Captain, Chef Donald Wressell, is a seasoned pastry chef who has garnered national and international recognition throughout his nearly 30 years in the industry. Prior to joining the staff of The French Pastry School, his teammates had varied experiences that led them to this undertaking: Chef Scott Green, graduated The French Pastry School's L'Art de la Pâtisserie program and continued to gain experience at esteemed culinary establishments throughout the US; Chef Joshua Johnson received his training at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago under co-founder of The French Pastry School, Sébastien Canonne, M.O.F.; and, the team's alternate, Chef Della Gossett was the Executive Pastry Chef at the legendary restaurant, Charlie Trotter's, for ten years. Together in 2011, this collective of chefs made history by winning the National Pastry Team Championships and thus earning the honor to become the first all American-born team to represent the United States in the World Pastry Championships.

Almost immediately after winning that title, the chefs began training for the event that would have them competing on an international stage. As in the National Championship, the chefs played to their individual strengths while working as a team and with coaches to create a cohesive presentation. Chef Stéphane Glacier, M.O.F. consulted on workmanship and sugar technique while Chef Stéphane Leroux, M.O.F. gave special attention to artistry and chocolate work. With their input, Chef Johnson and Green went through dozens of versions of their respective chocolate and sugar showpieces while simultaneously working on tasting items with Chef Wressell. Throughout the process, team alternate, Chef Gossett cross-trained on all aspects of the competition and assisted in planning the logistics so everything would run smoothly for her teammates.

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McCain Foods USA announces the launch of its newest Harvest Splendor product, Sweet Potato Buttons. The consumer-preferred natural sweet potato flavor of Harvest Splendor is now available in a unique shape that's fun to dip and pop. In addition to being crispy on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside, Harvest Splendor Buttons deliver the sweet crunch patrons love with the convenience of fryer-friendly prep.

For more information on Sweet Potato Buttons and other Harvest Splendor sweet potato products visit

Selecting from a bounty of honey-inspired recipes menuwide, the National Honey Board, in partnership with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), has named the four finalists in the Sweet 16 Honey Recipe Challenge. Two students each from CIA's Greystone and Hyde Park campuses – the "Final Four" – will vie for $8,000 in scholarship prizes at the Sweet 16 Honey Recipe Challenge's culminating cook-off, Aug. 20 at CIA Greystone in St. Helena, Calif.

"We are incredibly impressed by the creativity and passion each of the participating future chefs have brought to this Challenge," said Catherine Barry, Director of Marketing at the National Honey Board. "From savory starters to decadent desserts, the CIA students presented a range of inventive dishes highlighting honey's tremendous versatility. It was, admittedly, a difficult task narrowing down to the Final Four. However, we are thrilled with the line-up of finalists and look forward to the cook-off."

The finalists, one each from the Honey Recipe Challenge's four categories, are as follows:

Goat Cheese Tempura with Honey Dipping Sauces - Perry Xu Cao (CIA Hyde Park) of New Rochelle, NY. 

- Cao is proud of his dish because it offers a practical yet creative way to highlight several different honey varietals, or flavor profiles.

Honey-Seared Ahi Tuna with Citrus and Greens - Jennifer Shea (CIA Greystone) of Lake Villa, IL.

- Shea says the star of this dish is the flavorful Basswood honey, which adds the perfect amount of sweetness while balancing out the other bold tastes in the salad.

Ba Kwa Style Pork Burger with Honey-Lime Pickle, Sweet Thyme Aioli and Okinawan Sweet Potato Fries with Kecap Manis - Eric Hodet (CIA Hyde Park) of Fairfax, VT. 
- Hodet drew on Asian flavors as inspiration for his dish, while highlighting honey in each component.

Honey and Blackberry Ice Cream Sandwich - Courtney Weyl (CIA Greystone) of St. Helena, CA.
- Weyl's on-trend recipe showcases the light and fruity sweetness of Wildflower honey, complemented by the tangy flavor of fresh blackberries.

Please visit the National Honey Board website to find these and other winning recipes from the Sweet 16 Honey Recipe Challenge.

Due to a record 5,300 visitors from 63 countries attending ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA 2011, in order to accommodate the projected 20% increase in new exhibitors in 2012, ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA and Asiafruit Congress have moved to Hong Kong's AsiaWorld-Expo. In addition to numerous individual exhibitors, the United States is set to join Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Italy, Korea, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, and South Africa in hosting official country pavilions, showcasing their services and products. ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA is the leading international trade exhibition covering the entire Asia-Pacific region focusing exclusively on the fresh produce sector and related value chain.

For more information about ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA or to register online, please visit

Schools and businesses looking to earn grant money and replace unhealthy vending machines with healthy ones are in luck. Fresh Healthy Vending, a leader in the healthy vending machine industry, has an initiative where they are offering $1 million in grant funding to schools and businesses that are seeking to bring in their healthy vending machines.

"We are pleased to announce that we have already given away over $100,000 of the $1 million in funds allocated to replace junk food machines with Fresh Healthy Vending machines," explains Dan Negroni, CEO of Fresh Healthy Vending. "This is a great way for Schools, YMCAs, Health Clubs, Hospitals and Office buildings to earn money for taking the initiative to reshape the health of communities by offering healthy snacking options."

The company has also recently re-launched their Website,, as well as their nationwide initiative to eliminate junk food vending in schools and other locations across North America.
Schools and other locations can also take comfort knowing that these Fresh Healthy Vending machines help address the nationwide obesity issue by offering people healthy food options. The FreshandHealthy.Org Initiative pays up to $500 per machine installed in each selected school or business location and Fresh Healthy Vending intends on giving away the remainder of the $1 million within the next 24 months.
With the school year beginning, Fresh Healthy Vending will deliver and install its bright, high tech vending machines for free. The grant based initiative ensures each machine is stocked with all-healthy, natural and organic food options, including fresh vegetables, fruits, yogurts, smoothies, 100-percent fruit juices, tea and healthy granola bars, among other items.

In an effort to extend this initiative to locations in addition to schools, the company recently launched an exclusive offering the only vending machine in the world to offer both healthy beverages and snacks along with a variety of organic coffee specialty drinks such as vanilla chai tea, café latte, cappuccino and more.
For more information about Fresh Healthy Vending please