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James Beard event heads to Boston this Fall

NEW YORK – For the second year in a row,the James Beard Foundation will partner with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Visa Signature® to present the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America®: “Local Flavor from Coast To Coast,” a national epicurean tour celebrating America’s culinary diversity. From September 12 through October 25, 2014, the program will stop in 10 cities over five weekends, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. Each city will enjoy a special evening that starts off with a walk-around tasting reception from a line-up of local chefs, followed by a one-night-only, collaborative four-course dinner crafted by a Taste America All-Star and a local celebrity chef. Tickets are on sale now at jbftasteamerica.org.
A weekend-long tour, Boston’s Taste America itinerary will kick off on Friday, October 24 at The Revere Hotel Boston Common with A Night of Culinary Stars, an exclusive dining event benefiting the James Beard Foundation. The evening will begin with a reception filled with bites and libations from local chefs, including Aaron Chambers of Bar Boulud Boston, Michael Leviton of Lumière, Mary Dumont of Harvest, Michael Scelfo of Alden & Harlow, and Tiffani Faison from Sweet Cheeks. Afterwards, guests will be seated for a dinner prepared by Ludo Lefebvre of Trois Mec, Petite Trois and Ludo Bird (Los Angeles), and Jamie Bissonnette of Toro & Coppa (Boston & New York), who have been paired together to create a one-of-a-kind menu.

On Saturday, October 25, a series of free, in-store consumer events will take place at Sur La Table, located at Copley Place, 100 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116. Activities of the day will include cooking demos by Ludo Lefebvre and Jamie Bissonnette, book signings, tastings from local producers and artisans; and more. For the full schedule and to RSVP for cooking demos, please visit jbftasteamerica.org/events

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Wine of the Week – Holman Ranch Pinot Gris 2012

A perfect crisp white summer wine with good minerality, Holman Ranch 2012 Pinot Gris is a beautiful pale gold color with hints of green, and notes of peach and flowers. Serve with oysters or seafood. It’s a wine with good minerality. ABV is 12.5 percent and the suggested retail price is around $16 for an excellent value.

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What’s Brewin’ – Berkshire Brewing Company Lost Sailor Pale Ale

A malty, British-inspired pale ale, Berkshire Brewing Company’s Lost Sailor Pale Ale, in one pint, six fluid oz. bottles, now comes in 12 oz. cans as well.
The malt profile supports generous dry hopping, the producers say, with Goldings malt. It is 5.5 percent ABV and has floral and citrus aromas. Whether you’re lost at sea or safe on land, it’s an enjoyable brew for a summer evening. Open a bottle or can and toast all lost sailors, may they find their ports safely!

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Italian WIne Specialist® returns to Boston in October

BOSTON –October brings the Italian Wine Specialist® to this city on the 11th, 12th, 25th and 26th for 24 hours of class and tasting experience of all 20 Italian wine regions.
The instructors are native Italians – sommeliers and wine educators.
The program includes “An Overview of Italian Wine” 2013 fully revised course book, a one year membership to the North American Sommelier Association, endorsement by the Worldwide Sommelier Association with the Italian Sommelier Association, and tastings of 30 wines, plus easy to follow on-line maps.
Instruction takes place at Dante at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Edwin H. Land Blvd., Cambridge, MA 0241. Tuition is $650 ($600 early bird special until Sept. 11). The program is limited to 30 students. Call 617-423-5666.
To enroll, go to http://www.nasommelier.com/courses/italian-wine-specialist/#boston

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New & exciting products this summer

Gluten free options in fresh pasta Lilly’s Fresh Pasta introduces gluten free versions of its rigatoni and gemelli. Fresh and locally made from scratch, the products give your customers with food-related allergies piece of mind and security. Now all pasta lovers can have elegant, delicious fare when dining on Lilly’s Fresh Pasta away from home.

Introducing Grey Poupon Rouge
Grey Poupon Rouge Dijon Mustard from Kraft Foodservice may be used in numerous ways – as a spread, in dips, marinades, sauces, glazes, dressings and more. The mustard-seed based mustard contains a background of Cabernet Sauvignon and Marion blackberries – use in a variety of recipes for a new full-bodied flavor.

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Domaine Vico Vin de Corse Clos Venturi 2011

Vermintino is not a common grape, but this wine is one that points those of us unfamiliar with this island’s offerings to learn more. It’s Corsica’s primary white varietal. And none other than wine merchant Kermit Lynch recently called Corsica the most exciting wine region in France.

Clos Venturi comes from Domaine Vico Vin de Corse. Their wines are worth drinking and belong on more lists.
High altitude, the sea, and the soil yield wines that are elegant with good minerality and this varietal produces a wine that’s been called “the Montrachet of Corsica” by critic Michel Bettane. The vineyard dates to 1902 but was purchased in the ’90s by two businessmen and an oenologist whose efforts at making sustainable wines are paying off. They restructured, from the vineyards to vilification processes. The vineyard is the highest on the island and is now winning high recognition.
With a suggested retail price of $32.99, this is a wine that offers value and would be a welcome addition to any list.

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Recipe contest opens for independent foodservice operators, chefs & line cooks

Chefs, operators and line cooks at independent family dining/neighborhood establishments are eligible to win $40,000 in cash plus a $10,000 charitable donation in a new contents from August 1 to September 30.
Enter an original breakfast, entrée or dessert recipe or create a new special using at least one item from a list of eligible General Mills 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: $40,000 cash and a $10,000 donation to a local charity.
The “Neighborhood to Nation” contest celebrates one of a kind dishes that reflect their local flavor.
“We are inspired by the local flavor our customers cook up every day in neighborhoods across the country and look forward to celebrating these one-of-a-kind dishes with the ‘Neighborhood to Nation’ Recipe Contest,” said 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.”
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. Official rules are available online at http://www.NeighborhoodtoNation.com.

Entries will be judged based on taste, appearance, creativity, and foodservice viability. The top 15 finalists and recipes will be announced in February. Three Recipe Category Winners will travel to General Mills’ headquarters in March for a day of celebration and culinary inspiration as well as the announcement of the official Grand Prize winner.

For more information on eligibility, complete contest details and official contest rules, independent family restaurants should contact their General Mills Foodservice sales representative, call 1.800.215.6120 or visit www.NeighborhoodtoNation.com.