Chef's Stirrings e-Newsletter, May 20, 2013

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

For almost 100 years, the NRA Show has brought foodservice industry professionals together to showcase the latest innovations and launch business relationships. This year's show, produced by the National Restaurant Association, took place May 18-21, at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.Chef Magazine was there to engage with the industry, discover new products, and get inspired for the year ahead.

Over 58,000 industry professionals from all 50 states and more than 100 countries gathered at this hotbed of discovery and interactivity, taking in the latest trends and ideas from exhibitors representing over 900 product categories. As if that wasn't enough, the International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (IWSB) was co-located with the NRA Show on May 19-20, featuring domestic and international brewers, distillers and vintners showcasing hundreds of established and emerging labels.

On hand were the winners of the Kitchen Innovations Awards, which were produced by the NRA Show to recognize and celebrate cutting-edge equipment that specifically improves the back of the house and benefits foodservice operators.

On Sunday, May 19, there was the 10th anniversary edition of the Multicultural Cuisine event, held at the luxurious Union League Club of Chicago. The finest in foodservice was on display, as industry leaders gathered to enjoy various dishes from around the world. The event featured a menu filled with items presented by the American Lamb Board, Barilla America, Inc., the California Avocado Commission, Dole Packaged Foods, DuPont Pioneer/Plenish, Emmi Roth USA, Grassland Dairy Products, MacFarlane Pheasants, the National Mango Board, The Soyfoods Council, and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

The NRA Show floor

Master-Bilt's booth at the Kitchen Innovations Award area

The NRA Show floor

The iSculpture Challenge competition at the NRA Show.

The 2013 Multicultural Cuisine, held at the Union League Club of Chicago

Wisconsin Quark Cheese, served with assorted jellies and jams, from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

In response to increased consumer demand for "natural" and "made-from-scratch" foods, McCain Foods USA is launching Fresh-Style Fries. Cut from whole russet potatoes, McCain Fresh-Style Fries deliver the fresh potato taste and authentic hand-cut quality that customers are looking for, but without the waste and inconsistency of prepping fries from scratch.

Deliver Fresh-Style Variety
McCain Fresh-Style Fries give customers great potato taste and hand-cut look, with hands-off prep so operators are free to do other things. With a variety of prep methods, operators can customize truly unique starters, small plates and sides - like Buffalo Fries, with crumbled bleu cheese and spicy sauce, or Southern Fries, with pulled pork, fresh cheese and house-made gravy.

Discover Fresh Profitability
Time isn't the only thing operators will save. A Datassential study in 2012 found that 75% of consumers said they'd order McCain Fresh-Style Fries over the fries typically ordered at a favorite restaurant. And since patrons are willing to pay a premium for the careful preparation of hand-cut menu items, operators who menu McCain Fresh-Style Fries can charge up to $1.00 more per serving. Unique servingware and tabletop merchandise from McCain also help operators drive orders and increase profit.

Operators can learn more at or by calling 1-800-767-7377. To download a rebate for up to $100, click HERE.

Scotsman Ice Systems Named Auntie Anne's 2012 Supplier of The Year 
Auntie Anne's, the world's largest hand-rolled soft pretzel chain, has chosen Scotsman Ice Systems as its 2012 Supplier of the Year, for its exemplary customer service and quality ice machines. Auntie Anne's will present the award to Scotsman on Monday, June 3, 2013, during a celebration dinner.

"We are so pleased to recognize Scotsman Ice Systems as the 2012 Supplier of the Year," said Dale Smucker, vice president of purchasing and distribution for Auntie Anne's. "Scotsman has always been incredibly responsive to the needs of our stores and our customers. In 2012, Scotsman brought the Nug Truck from the company's Luv the Nug initiative to our 17th Annual Auntie Anne's C.A.R.E.S. Charity Golf Tournament, benefitting Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, as well as two local charities."

Scotsman is one of the world's largest manufacturers of ice systems, with more than 300 models of ice machines, storage bins, and ice and water dispensers, Scotsman is dedicated to developing today's most innovative ice solutions. In 2013 and 2012, Scotsman earned the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award; and in 2011, Scotsman was the recipient of the ENERGY STAR Award for Excellence in Energy-Efficient Product Design. Offering more than 35 ENERGY STAR qualified models, Scotsman Prodigy technology reduces energy and water consumption, making a difference for the environment and the bottom line.

For more information, visit

On Saturday, May 11, more than 40 students and professional chefs converged on the New Rochelle Campus to compete in the Greater New York Culinary Challenge (GNYCC) at the Culinary Arts Center. Besides medals awarded at this competition, there was another award at stake: The Dean's Cup. This award, given by Dean Frank C. Costantino to the outstanding student culinarian, was on the line for ten of Monroe's most accomplished young culinary competitors.

The competition was an "iron chef" format which had the students preparing an entrée from a basket of ingredients. First year student Rossella Cangialosi, Barry Tech BOCES, won the inaugural Dean's Cup with a silver medal for her Sautéed Chicken Breast with Mushroom Sauce. Runner-up to the cup, also a silver medal winner, Sade Aguila, 2011 America's Best HS Chef from Food and Finance, recorded a milestone medal, earning the 400th competition medal won by Monroe Culinary since April 2009.

Silver medals were also won by Enmely Soriano (Passaic County Tech), Kencito Vernon (Food and Finance), Yocary Luna, 2012 America's Best HS Chef from Food and Finance, and Kimani Hines, Gateway School. Bronze medals in the Dean's cup were won by Katherine Taveras, C-Cap Philly and captain of the 2013 Junior Culinary Team, along with her teammates, Carmen Albino, Port Richmond C-cap, and Laura Sanchez, Passaic County Tech. Lealy Irizarry, Truman HS, also earned a bronze medal.

Other Monroe Culinary students were vying for medals as well. Alberto Obando, LIC HS, earned his first individual student medal, a silver medal, for his trio of Cornish game hen. It was student gold medals for Jovita Palafox, Port Richmond C-cap student, whose Chocolate Banana cake was a favorite of the judges and Nashali Rivera, Food and Finance C-cap student, who impressed the judges with her Cornish hen dish. Nashali earned the highest score posted on the day. Brenda Lara, Port Richmond C-cap student earned her first professional gold medal in pastry for her tropical entremet with mango caramel glaze. Brenda registered higher scores in her category than the professional chefs who competed.

Students were on hand from Lincoln Culinary Institute, Hartford CT, Le Cordon Bleu, Boston, MA, SUNY Schenectady and SUNY Delhi, as well as professional chefs from throughout the area. At the end of the day, Monroe Culinary notched 14 more competition medals, including the historic 400th.

"I remember the first group we brought to Long Island in April 2009-17 kids, all winning medals and starting this wonderful tradition---so many competitions later and the students keep getting better and better!" reflected Dr. Costantino, Dean of the program. That concludes the 2012-2013 competition season for Monroe Culinary who will embark on the state championship run in a few short months..."the goal is always the same...we compete to win the state championship and get to the regionals which will be held in Rhode Island this year" said Costantino. The road to Rhode Island begins in September.

The Monroe College School of Hospitality Management and The Culinary Arts offers Associate degrees in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry, and Hospitality Management as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration in Hospitality Management with concentrations available in tourism and destination management as well as culinary management. An Executive leader Master's degree in hospitality management is also offered.

Currently, there are approximately 400 students studying Culinary or Pastry Arts at Monroe College. The core curriculum in both culinary and pastry culminates with a real world experience in our dining lab and pastry kiosk, both open to the public. The breadth of electives are vast and include: charcuterie, Garde Manger, Italian Regional cuisine, French Cuisine, Chocolates & Confections, showpieces and grand buffet and Latin and Caribbean Cuisine. The majority of our culinary and pastry students stay on for their BBA and many more are directly admitted into the bachelor's program, earning their AAS en route. There are a number of one-of-a-kind curricular and extra-curricular opportunities for students including a competition team that has won more than 350 medals to date, a Study Abroad program in Italy, and a Disneyworld Internship Program.

Monroe College Culinary Arts classes are taught in the Culinary Arts Center, a state-of-the-art culinary instructional facility. The four kitchen labs on the college's New Rochelle campus, include two a la carte, one banquet, and one baking and pastry kitchen. There is an additional facility that includes a dining lab, a la carte kitchen and advanced pastry lab.

Blendtec & Lancer Enter into a Joint Development Agreement
Blendtec, a top manufacturer of high-end blending equipment and Lancer, a leading manufacturer of beverage dispensing systems, have entered into a joint development agreement and have shown a prototype of their first joint product offering at this year's National Restaurant Association (NRA) show.

The new platform is an automated blended ice beverage station for making smoothies, frozen coffee drinks and other beverages using refrigerated bag-in-box (BIB) ingredients. This gives restaurants and other foodservice operators a fast, efficient fully-contained system to expand their menus with popular smoothies and other frozen beverages. When released, the beverage station will be commercially available for a unit price of under $9,000 with qualifying volumes.

"Smoothies are seeing tremendous growth in the beverage category, and are becoming a mainstream offering in fast-food chains and restaurants," said Reed Beus, CEO of Blendtec. "We're excited to partner with Lancer to provide a complete solution that lets chains offer high-quality fruit and dairy-based drinks to their guests."

The new beverage station holds up to eight different refrigerated BIBs, which can include fruit purees, smoothie bases, coffee and dairy ingredients, etc. The unit will feature simple touchscreen controls for selecting the flavor and size, and the cabinet will have refrigerated storage space for whipped cream and other add-on ingredients. It will also have a built-in jar rinsing station, jar storage and cup and lid dispensers.

"Efficiency and speed of service are priorities for many chains," said Luis Alvarez, President of Lancer. "This blended ice beverage station automates many of the traditionally manual processes involved in blending specialty drinks." 
Key Features:
Store up to 8 refrigerated BIBs 
Use all-natural fruit purees, syrups, coffee, yogurt, etc. 
Simple visual touchscreen controls 
Customize drinks with onboard programming 
Powerful 15-amp Blendtec blender to handle tough blends or add-ins 
Built-in jar rinsing/drying station 
25 lb insulated ice hopper 
Refrigerated storage for whipped cream and add-ins
Provide healthy, all-natural fruit and dairy-based beverages 
Fully contained system simplifies installation 
Increase speed of service 
Drink consistency 
Reduce waste 
Expandable, customizable for future menu items 
Simple controls minimize user error 
No-tend operation allows multitasking 
Competitively priced compared to similar equipment
Anne Willan Inducted into James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame 
Anne Willan, founder of Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne and acclaimed cookbook author, has been inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall of Fame for "body of work," honoring her celebrated lifelong career as a chef, cooking teacher, and author. Each year, the Cookbook Hall of Fame recognizes an individual whose work has influenced the way we think about food and cooking. "Everything on our plates has a pedigree, just like us. Old cookbooks and recipes are fascinating - baking powder for instance began as "pearl ash" made from the ashes of a wood fire. A tapered pasta rolling pin can be seen in woodcuts as early as 1570, with its serrated pasta cutter on the counter beside it. It all leads into today's modernist cuisine, very little is new in the kitchen!" said Willan after receiving the award.

Past inductees of the Cookbook Hall of Fame include Jane Grigson, Paula Wolfert, Mollie Katzen, Elizabeth David, and Marcella Hazan, among others.Anne also recently received both the Jane Grigson Award for distinguished scholarship and depth of research and the Culinary History Cookbook Award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) in April for The Cookbook Library: Four Centuries of the Cooks, Writers, and Recipes That Made the Modern Cookbook by Anne Willan with Mark Cherniavsky and Kyri Claflin (University of California Press 2012). The Cookbook Library is based on Anne and her husband Mark Cherniavsky's extensive antiquarian cookbook collection, and was also awarded the Hall of Fame Award at the 2013 Gourmand Book Awards and Paris Cookbook Fair.

The award ceremony for the James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards was held on Friday, May 3rd at Gotham Hall in New York City. Television personality, cookbook author, and host of Food Network's "Chopped" Ted Allen was the host of the evening's ceremony.

Nu-Tek Food Science, Introduces Revolutionary Product for Sodium Reduction, Salt for Life 
FABI Award recipient, Nu-Tek Food Science, introduced a revolutionary product for sodium reduction, Salt for Life, at this year's NRA Show, held May 18-21.

Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend is a new, patented-technology solution for sodium reduction that delivers the "true taste" of salt for restaurants and foodservice operators, and is the only sea salt with 70% less sodium than table salt.
Salt for Life provides a new and proactive answer to the major and increasing sodium-reduction concerns from consumers. Salt for Life also meets new menu requirements for school lunches, health facilities and other venues.

Consumer testing shows Salt for Life is better than table salt and competition Statistically significant improvement in saltiness preference

Convenient-Salt for Life is the simple way to give customers lower sodium without sacrificing taste: Sprinkle on food like regular salt Use as a 1:1 replacement in recipes.

Salt for Life Sea Salt Blend was recognized at the NRA Show as a recipient of the prestigious 2013 Food & Beverage Innovations Awards (FABI Award), presented by the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show.