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 visit Chef's Stirrings blog.

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

Henny Penny, a global leader in foodservice equipment solutions and the inventor of the first commercial pressure fryer, announced that it has agreed to acquire Wood Stone Corporation, the leading global manufacturer of stone hearth cooking equipment. Henny Penny and Wood Stone, both growing industry leaders that manufacture in the U.S., bring together distinct core products and expertise with a focus on volume cooking and the dining experience, respectively. Their combined reach will strengthen each brand and expand the knowledgebase, global footprint and opportunity for market differentiation. The transaction is expected to close in the coming weeks. "Wood Stone is one of the most highly respected brands in the foodservice equipment industry, and we're big fans of the company's products and its business philosophy and culture," said Steve Cobb, chairman and CEO of Henny Penny. "The two companies possess unique capabilities, yet have similar backbones; we're both employee-centric organizations that grew through innovation and commitment to customer-driven solutions."

Henny Penny manufactures commercial-grade cooking, holding and merchandising equipment for thousands of restaurants, supermarkets and institutions around the world. Its expertise in volume manufacturing can influence go-to-market strategies for new and innovative products from Wood Stone. Wood Stone's stone hearth ovens, rotisseries, planchas, charbroilers and tandoors enhance the dining experience for more than 13,000 restaurants in 75+ countries. Keith Carpenter, co-founder of Wood Stone, shared that the common values and strategic alignment of the two companies really solidified this union. "We never considered selling Wood Stone until we met and got to know Henny Penny. While our similarities are many, we're convinced that our differences in scale, market reach and product technology can enhance the offerings and service we provide to our diverse customers and increase opportunities for our employees to learn and grow in this industry. This is an exciting time for Wood Stone; made even more so now with Henny Penny."

Rob Connelly, president of Henny Penny, added: "We have admired Wood Stone for years as a leader and innovator in our industry. We've been deeply impressed by its commitment to the culinary experience and the quality of its products, and we will build on this expertise to broaden our range of foodservice equipment solutions for our growing customer base. In turn, we deliver to Wood Stone the scale and resources to manage accelerated growth." Wood Stone remains a privately held company and will continue to operate and manufacture out of its facility in Bellingham, Wash. "With Henny Penny, Wood Stone will be able to innovate and grow without compromising its brand, core values and niche product offerings," added Wood Stone president Kurt Eickmeyer. "We're excited for what the future holds."

Hobart Center Accepting Applications for Seventh Annual $5,000 Grant 
The Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability (HCFS), a nonprofit, industry-wide forum supporting the foodservice industry's drive for sustainable equipment and design, is currently accepting applications for its annual $5,000 sustainability grant. The 2013 HCFS grant recipient was Duluth Grill in Duluth, Minn.

The grant, now in its seventh year, is awarded to the individual or organization judged to have the best-executed foodservice or grocery sustainability project of the year. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. ET on Feb. 28, 2014, and the recipient will be announced in mid-April. The grant application form as well as rules and conditions are available for download athcfsforum.com. Applications are judged by the HCFS Fellows and the recipient must use the grant to invest in additional sustainability efforts.

Organizations can apply for the grant by submitting a case study of 10 or fewer pages explaining how their program address one or more of the following foodservice sustainability challenges:

· How the operation reduced energy/water usage 
· How the operation reduced creation of wastewater or solid waste 
· How the operation implemented Farm-to-Fork programs or other combined programs

Applications must include a financial analysis of the program that addresses the cost of implementation, continuing costs, cumulative costs saved and return on investment. Descriptions of specific foodservice equipment used to achieve sustainability goals, including ENERGY STAR qualified equipment, are also encouraged. Duluth Grill in Duluth, Minn., received the 2013 HCFS grant in recognition of its sustainability program that includes implementing energy-saving and waste reduction measures as well as other steps to reduce its environmental footprint and transform its menu from pre-made franchise fare to a menu that is entirely built from scratch with fresh, organic and local ingredients.
To learn more about the HCFS grant and to download the official application, rules and conditions, visit the Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability at hcfsforum.com.

Chef Michael Morrison Named Executive Chef of Michelin-Starred Ame 
Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone, co-owners of Ame, are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Morrison to the position of executive chef. The restaurant  which has been awarded a coveted Michelin star for seven consecutive years  represents the husband-and-wife team's first venture in San Francisco following the success of Terra Restaurant in St. Helena in the heart of Napa Valley wine country. Ame is operated and managed under the direction of Sone, who oversees the culinary operations, and Doumani, who is responsible for the overall direction and tone of the restaurant as well as overseeing the pastry team.
Morrison began his tenure with Ame as executive sous chef, helping launch the restaurant alongside Chef Sone in November 2005. A veteran of the Bay Area culinary scene for 13 years, he has cooked at the original Michael Mina in the Westin St. Francis and Bizou. Morrison left Ame in 2007 to lead Loretta Keller's group of restaurants The Moss Room and Coco 500 as executive chef. He is excited to reunite with Hiro and Ame's seasonal New American cuisine.

"We are thrilled to welcome Chef Morrison back to the Ame family as executive chef," said Doumani. "His extensive expertise, passion and familiarity with the restaurant's vision and operations will make this an easy and exciting transition. We are enthusiastic to have such a knowledgeable and talented chef at the helm of our kitchen, and we anxiously await the inventive dishes and bespoke offerings he will offer the guests and local patrons of Ame and The St. Regis San Francisco."

Since rejoining the team as executive chef this fall, Morrison has collaborated with Chef Sone on innovative new tasting menus for the holiday season. With his commitment to fresh, local ingredients and sustainable proteins at the forefront, Morrison has developed compelling gastronomic experiences within these multi-course menus. Starring in the "Taste of The Seven Seas" Christmas menu, a take on the traditional Italian "Feast of Seven Fishes" Christmas dinner, is a Sautéed Fluke Fillet on Wilted Bloomsdale Spinach with Bonito Tonnato Sauce and Pickled Beach Mushrooms. In his New Year's Eve menu, Chef Morrison will offer an elegant twist on surf and turf in two sequential tastings. Fricasse of Maine Lobster with Speck, Napa Cabbage, and Fines Herbes is followed by Grilled New York Strip and Crispy Sweetbreads, Chanterelles, Soubise and Red Wine Sauce. As the seasons change, Morrison will continue to showcase his masterful skills through whimsical culinary creations.

"I'm honored to reunite with Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, two brilliant culinary minds whose combined passion is palpable in the kitchen and throughout the restaurant day-in and day-out," said Chef Morrison. "We will be challenging ourselves to deliver dishes and dining experiences that exceed our guests' expectations, while delivering flavors that are authentically familiar to our guests."

Morrison is an avid hunter and fisherman and can be seen fly fishing in the surf at local beaches and foraging the coast. He currently resides in San Francisco with his wife and daughter and delights in preparing Sunday suppers for his family.
Renowned for its elegance, ambiance, sophisticated cuisine and unique offerings, Ame offers a relaxed yet elegant dining experience. Guests are welcomed to the intimate, L-shaped dining room by rich mesquite wood floors and striking surroundings. The interior of the restaurant includes a custom-designed raw bar ideal for enjoying a bite while watching the chefs at work, a stunning red wall and the restaurant's signature "red table," a five-foot square table that seats eight. Ame Restaurant is located at 689 Mission Street at the corner of Third and Mission streets, within The St. Regis, San Francisco. Contact Ame by phone at 415.284.4040 or visitamerestaurant.com.

Alto-Shaam - Master the Elements
Take control of the elements with this new Combitherm oven from Alto-Shaam.

The CT PROformance Series offers versatility to execute every menu from basic to complex with flawless precision and consistency. And it does it all faster than ever before.

Want to be among the first to get all of the details when the oven is unveiled?

Click HERE to learn more.

American Culinary Federation Updates Logo to Commemorate 85th Anniversary
The American Culinary Federation, Inc. (ACF) marked the beginning of its new vision with the global launch of an updated logo to commemorate its 85th anniversary. ACF National President Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC, unveiled ACF's new logo via a video message.

The new ACF logo emphasizes the organization's commitment to growth, transformation and innovation in the culinary industry while drawing on the legacy of the former logo. The tagline, "The Standard of Excellence for Chefs," embodies the organization's mission to enhance professional growth for all current and future chefs.

"It's an exciting time for ACF, and starting today we are on a new path to growth and global recognition," said Macrina. "The new ACF logo creates a more cohesive look for stronger brand recognition uniting all entities of the organization, while drawing on the legacy of the former logo. As we take pride in our rich history, we also recognize the need to embrace change in order to continue to build a legacy for ACF and its members that is sustainable."

The redesigned logo brings the chef to the forefront, which speaks to chefs in kitchens across North America and the organization's more than 20,000 members. It continues the strong brand of ACF with the stars and stripes. The old script has been changed to a font representative of today, which provides a clean look. The flag, along with the logo's blue and red colors, has been enhanced to better represent American cuisine.

National Mango Board Releases Fresh Mango Culinary Education Materials 
The National Mango Board announces the release of its new education materials for culinary students, culinary instructors and professional chefs. Fresh Mango-The Basics for Foodservice video and Fresh Mango Curriculum cover the product essentials from how mangos grow to how to maximize their menu versatility  everything operators need to create fresh, delicious and healthful menu items with fresh mango. The Fresh Mango Curriculum has been approved by the American Culinary Federation for 8.5 continuing education hours.

"In our foodservice program we're finding that success using fresh mango on menus rests not only on knowing the basics of how to order and handle this popular fruit," says Megan McKenna, Director of Marketing for National Mango Board, "but also with understanding the remarkable versatility of fresh mango across all day parts, in sweet and savory applications."

Culinary education materials are available on the National Mango Board's website.