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Wine of the Week – Marina Cvetic Riserva Trebbiano 2010

When it comes to Italian wines, Marina Cvetic Masciarelli takes top honors from us and this luscious white is no exception.
Golden in color, aged 22 months in oak barrels, it offers deep aromas of fruits such as peach and papaya, with notes of vanilla and honey. Elegant, fresh and well balanced it’s a wine you’ll want to return to more than once. It’s from a small village in the province of Chieti Abruzzo, said to date to the 10th century.

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Massachusetts Health Council honors healthcare chefs

Hospital food used to have a bad rap, but today, all that has changed as healthcare foodservice operators stepped up to the plate and moved in new directions- fresh, local, organic, sustainable foods, green practices anymore. In many instances, they were ahead of mainstream restaurateurs in their areas.
Recently, the Massachusetts Health Council held a competition at its Awards Gala which this year, celebrated 94 years of advocacy for prevention, wellness and healthy living.
At the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, the celebration included a competition, the “Best of the Best Chefs Challenge,” at which eight area healthcare foodservice chefs competed and were judged by Chef Lydia Shire of Town Stove & Spirits and Scampo, who also, with the hotel’s Chef Andrew Voss, created a three course dinner.
While all the competitors’ dishes reflected the new direction in which healthcare food has moved in the past decade, three were chosen as the top winners. First place went to South Shore Hospital for its creative pumpkin-inspired soup; second to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and third to Benchmark Senior Living. Hats off to them and to the other participating chefs.

A smorgasbord of Kitchen Design help at IHMRS

NEW YORK—The 2014 International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show’s (IHMRS) Kitchen Design Division will offer a full buffet of resources and timely education starting on Sunday, November 9, through Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

Kitchen Design, one of five IHMRS exhibit divisions, showcases a smorgasbord of components needed for building a successful foodservice operation, from baking, refrigeration and dishwashing innovations to the latest in blenders, espresso machines and pizza equipment.

IHMRS kitchen design exhibitors include: Alto-Shaam; Blodgett; Blendtec; Electrolux; Espresso Solutions; Hamilton Beach; Hobart; Ice-o-matic; InterMetro; Meiko; The Montague Company; RPI; Ovention; Scotsman Ice; Traulsen; True Foodservice; Unified Brands; Waring Commercial; and Winston Industries.

The Kitchen Design division will also be home to the winning entry in the 2014 Foodservice Pioneering Concept competition, co-presented by IHMRS and Foodservice Equipment Reports. The “BOWLS—Food That’s Good for You!” concept, developed by The Nyman Group of Scottsdale, AZ, and Robert Rippe & Associates of Minnetonka, MN, will be built to a scaled working model on the exhibit floor and host daily demonstrations. “BOWLS—Food That’s Good for You!” is sponsored by EcoWalls, Middleby Corp. and 3M Architectural Markets.

The Kitchen Design Division’s “Rest-a-lutions” programming focuses on Farm-to-Table Initiatives, Technology in the Kitchen, The Millennial Diner and a full slate of equipment demos, food and beverage tastings, seminars and book signings.

A sampling of Kitchen Design Division’s educational seminars include Creating Your Restaurant’s Retail Brand, presented by Stu Orefice, award-winning former food and dining director at Princeton University, Dana Zukofsky of SS&G/NYC, and Deb Crisan from Rao’s Specialty Foods. Taking place on Sunday, November 9th, this session explores the expansion of restaurant products via on-line and on-premise sales, resulting in increased revenue and brand recognition.

Creating Signature Kitchen Design, presented November 10 by leading foodservice designers Steve Carlson, FCSI (Robert Rippe Group), Robert Doland, FCSI (Jacobs Doland Beer) and Peter Christensen, FCSI, will explore how to create signature kitchens that will enhance the dining experience. The session is sponsored by Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI.)

Additional educational sessions focused on Kitchen Design will include farm-to-table initiatives, enhancing customer experience through technology, and food design and decorating. All sessions are free of charge to IHMRS attendees.

In addition to Kitchen Design, the IHMRS dedicated exhibit divisions are: Operations; Tabletop; Green; and Technology. In total, IHMRS presents more than 650 exhibitors and will draw more than 16,000 industry professionals in search of the newest hospitality products and services.

IHMRS is sponsored by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the Hotel Association of New York City, Inc. (HANYC), and the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association (NYSH&TA), and is managed by Hospitality Media Group (HMG). Additional information and the complete IHMRS exhibitor list and program are available at http://www.ihmrs.com.

New area at International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY features craft brews

SHELTON, CT – The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York introduces an exciting new feature for the 2015 event – The Pub – showcasing innovative alcoholic beverages including craft beer, cider, wine, spirits, wine sorbae, moonshine and whiskey.
The top five trends for restaurants in alcohol sales according to the National Restaurant Association are micro-distilled/artisan liquor, locally produced beer/spirits, onsite barrel-aged drinks, culinary cocktails, and regional signature cocktails which will all be featured in “The Pub”.

“According to the Brewer’s Association, American craft beer sales volume grew at a double-digit pace nationally in each of the past several years,” says Ron Mathews, industry vice president for Urban Expositions Foodservice Events. “It is notable that American craft beer, which is the most expensive segment of the beer category, is out-performing the overall market, including imports. This is good news for restaurants looking for ways to increase sales and we are excited to offer our attendees an opportunity to sample and bring new offerings to their patrons.”

This new destination on the show floor will showcase approximately 20 innovative craft beverages including: Estrella Galicia Beer, Maeloc Cider, Blue Point Brewing Company, Smuttynose Brewing Company, Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer, Alphabet City Brewing Company, Singha Beer, North Coast Brewing Company, Sixpoint Brewery, Duvel USA, Frosae Wine Sorbae, WhistlePig Whiskey, as well as many others at the event in March.

“We saw the opportunity to showcase our Galician beer, Maeloc cider and wine to the New York market as one we couldn’t pass up. The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York is the premiere event for the restaurant/foodservice industry and we are thrilled to be involved,” says Matt Szymanski, US managing director, Balearic Beverage USA, the first sponsor to commit to “The Pub”.

Ben Amato, president of Frosae Wine Sorbae, LLC, added, “Since introducing our Frosae Wine Sorbae with under five percent alcohol last year, we have seen tremendous interest from consumers in the marketplace. The 2015 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York will help us focus on restaurants and foodservice professionals. We see the event as a key launching pad for our strategic growth.”

In addition, the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York will feature the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum educational program, Annual Farm to City Expo, Food Trends Experience, Culinary Demonstration Theater, US Pastry Competition, Japan Pavilion, and 500-plus exhibiting companies showcasing thousands of new products.

The event is set to open Sunday, March 8 – Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the Javits Center. Visit http://www.internationalrestaurantny.com.

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A work of alchemy in the world of beer

The Alchemistspecializes in unfiltered fresh American-style IPA and in particular, Heady Topper. The brew is a flagship IPA, hopping with hops and waves of flavor. Brewed in Vermont, there’s no astringency or bitterness. It typifies the creativity and individuality of the best craft brews from small family breweries.
For eight years it was served on tap at the Alchemist Pub & Brewery,a 7-barrel brewpub in downtown Waterford, VT. In 2011, the family built a 15 barrel canning facility and two days after the first cans of Heady Topper came off the line, a tropical storm demolished the brewpub.
Today, The Alchemist brews 18 barrels a week. If you have the chance to try Heady Topper, you’ll be hopping happy!

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Hub bartender takes Chopped “Best Bloody Mary” first place for “The Hell Mary”AS

Arley Howard, head bartender, took the local Chopped Best Bloody Mary competition first place for his creation of “The Hell Mary.” This weekend, Oct. 18, he heads to Manhattan to compete for the U.S. title at the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by FOOD & WINE.

Only the country’s top 12 winning bartenders were invited to compete. Arley’s drink will be showcased at a sold out Food Network brunch for 850 guests at the New York Hilton. Guests will cast votes and final judging for Best Bloody Mary in America will be by the folks from “CHOPPED.”

This is the winning recipe:

Top of the Hub’s THE HELL MARY
By Arley Howard

• 2 parts ABSOLUT 80
• Yellow Heirloom Tomato Puree
• Roasted Scotch Bonnet
• Raisin Puree

Fill a highball glass with ice, add 2 oz. ABSOLUT 80, yellow heirloom tomato puree, roasted scotch bonnet, raisin puree. Stir, garnish with a baked Orange rind, Enjoy and raise a toast to Arley’s winning the national title!

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The Spirit(s) World – Black Infusions’ Black Fig Vodka

Black Infusions introduces Black Fig Vodka, handcrafted and distilled from corn and infused naturally with California figs. It’s not you typical “flavored” vodka, but rather, rich and aromatic with notes of honey and suggestions of caramel, raisin and even nuts.
There’s a lot going on here and it’s all to the good for lovers of delicious spirits. A natural sweetness is there but it’s not cloying.
Mixologists will have fun finding ways to create exotic cocktails. Unlike a “figgy” pudding from Victorian England, it’s not heavy with figs but rather, a happy marriage of flavors.
This vodka, unlike the numerous clean, crisp varieties, is rich and buttery and has a full, satisfying mouthfeel. It’s enjoyable alone on the rocks or with club soda and a twist of lemon, but there are opportunities here for creative mixing. We’re eager to see what Black Infusions comes up with next!
P.S. You’ll want to call M.S. Walker for distribution.