Learn about the Ultimate Spirits Challenge

HAWTHORNE, NY – Forms are now available for the Ultimate Spirits Challenge and Ultimate Wine Challenge, events put on Ultimate Beverage Challenge LLC, a company that’s been holding top of the line beverage alcohol competitions since 2010.

The SPIRITS Challenge 2016 is currently accepting entries at http:http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/usc2016info with an entry fee of $450 per individual spirit, due February 26th.

  • All Spirits entries are judged blind in small category flights by the world’s top spirits experts, led by award-winning journalist, author and educator  Paul Pacult.
    • Top scoring brands are awarded Chairman’s Trophies and Finalist status in all categories including Brandy, Whiskey, Tequila, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Liqueurs, Vermouth, Soju, Baijiu, Ready-to-Drink, Bitters, Amaro, etc.
    • Cocktails: As an added value, suitable products, such as gins, unflavored vodkas, tequilas, most rums, etc., in addition to being tasted straight, are also evaluated in a category-relevant cocktail.
    • Entries are also being accepted for The Ultimate Wine Challenge at http://www.ultimate-beverage.com/uwc2016info. The entry fee is $95 per individual wine and the deadline for submitting entry forms is April 29.
      • All Wine entries are judged blind in small category flights by the world’s foremost wine authorities, led by award-winning journalist, author and educator  Paul Pacult.

      Chairman’s Trophies and Finalist status are awarded in more than 40 wine categories, including Sake, Fortified Wine and Cider. All entries in both competitions are rated on the 100-point scale and judging takes place at UBC’s Evaluation Center.

    • All brands that enter the competitions and receive 80 points and higher will receive free marketing support including tasting notes for all brands scored 85 points and above; free/downloadable Challenge logos that provide promotions for the brands; value recognition for products with a favorable value/price ratio; a Tried & True Award for applicable products to recognize  product quality consistency, and icons and shelf-talkers to help promote brands in off-premise settings.
    • High scoring brands will be included in the Ultimate Beverage Challenge & Beverage Media Guide distributed with the October issue of The Beverage Network Publications in the top 15 U.S. markets, reaching some 70,000 on-and off-premise wine and spirits buyers.
    • For complete information, visit www.ultimate-beverage.com or cll 1-347-878-6551.

Top pastry chefs to judge competition in NY

The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, coming up March 6 at the Javits Center in Manhattan, is the site of the U.S. Pastry Competition with the theme of Magic & Illusions this year.

New will be The Junior Competition with six finalists from four culinary schools competing alongside the pros. Their showpieces will be judged fro 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with awards announced at 4 p.m.

Attendees will want to check out the showpieces created by leading pastry chefs throughout the show. It’s the 27th annual Pastry Chef of the Year event, says Ron Mathews, Vice President for the Urban Expositions Family of Foodservice Events.

Board members of the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, one of the oldest and most prestigious chef associations in the world, will preside over the judging procedures. Contest awards will total over $10,000.00. Judges in each category include:

William Foltz – L’Auberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles, LA
Laurent Branlard – Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL
Ewald Notter – Pastry Chef -Artisan-Consultant- Educator, Redmond, WA
En Ming Hsu – Pastry Chef -Artisan-Consultant- Educator, Henderson, NV

Florian Bellanger – TV personality CupCake Wars & Proprietor MadMac
Richard Capizzi – Lincoln Ristorante, NYC, NY
Michael Laiskonis – Educator-Professor, Institute of Culinary Education, NYC, NY
Ghaya Oliveira – Restaurant Daniel, NYC, NY

Norman Love – Norman Love Confections, Miami, FL
Christophe Feyt – Mandalay Bay Casino Resort & Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Biagio Settepani – Pasticceria Bruno, Staten Island, NY
Roland Mesnier – Former White House Pastry Chef – Author, Fairfax, VA

Georges Berger MOF – Chocolate Fashion, Coral Gables, FL
Stephane Cheramy -Ritz Carlton Hotel Grande Lakes, Orlando, FL
Sherry Yard – Helms Bakery, Los Angeles CA
Scott Green – The Langham Hotel, Chicago, IL

At the new Junior Competition, six finalists from four schools qualified by participating in preliminary tryouts conducted by deans in their pastry programs. Like the pros, they’ll create a plated dessert, judged with the same criteria, around the Magic and Illusion theme but will make smaller table amenity chocolate centerpieces.

The event is hosted by Paris Gourmet, a leading specialty food importer and distributor sourcing products worldwide with service throughout the North America. The event is co-sponsored by Cacao Noel Chocolate, Pastry 1 (pastry ingredients), Beurremont Butter, Gourmand and Maison de Choix.  For more information, visit http://www.parisgourmet.com.



MA Restaurant Assn. honors leaders

The annual New England Food Show is coming up in March and the MA Restaurant Association (MRA) will honor its 2016 Annual Awards recipients March 14 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center at a 5:30 p.m. cocktail reception and silent auction followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

The recipients will be:
Business Partner of the Year:
The Martignetti Companies

Business Partner Associate of the Year:
Al DeNapoli – Tarlow, Breed, Hart & Rodgers, LLC

Executive Chef of The Year:
Jamie Bissonnette – Toro, Coppa

Limited Service Restaurateur of the Year:
Joanne Chang – Flour Bakery + Café

Restaurateur of the Year:
Garrett Harker – Eastern Standard, Island Creek Oyster Bar, The Hawthorne, Row 34, and Branch Line

The event is $130 per person or $1,175 for a table for 10.  http://web.themassrest.org/events/The-2016-Annual-Awards-Dinner-209/details

For more information on the MRA, visit www.themassrest.org


Foodservice East celebrates 90 years

Foodservice East, which began as Hotel & Travel News, is celebrating 90 years of publishing news for the Northeast U.S. foodservice and lodging industry by joining the digital realm. In the very near future you will find our digital edition at http://www.foodserviceeast.com and there will be more ongoing communication through the FSE Blog on that site.

We look forward to many more years of communicating news and information to the industry in our region. Stay tuned to learn more and check out our digital issue when it posts!


Susan Holaday, editor and publisher


Wine(s) of the Week – time for winter whites

A snowy winter weekend is a good time to celebrate winter whites! Think clean, crisp and delicious – meant for sipping as you watch the snow fall outside your windows.
We love the wines of Portugal and Herdade d’Esporão doesn’t disappoint. Monte Velho 2013 is the result of a long, wet spring and dry summer months. Fermented in stainless steel tanks with temperature control, it had an early bottling.
The wine is 3.5% ABV and won two silver medals.

This is a well balanced wine with a long, aromatic fruit finish from three varietals, Antao, Perrum and Roupeiro. The finish is citrusy and the color, pale straw. It’s moderately priced – mid-teens – and makes a great addition to wine by the glass lists.

From our own West Coast in California’s Carmel Valley, Holman Ranch‘s Pint Gris 2013 Estate Grown is made with  organically grown grapes from the ranch which has been producing wines since 1928.
This particular white is priced in the high teens and is 12.5% ABV. Fresh and fruity, it makes a welcome addition to the dinner table or by the glass with its bright acidity. The climate here, is ideal for Pinot Gris, with  the warmth of the inland valley and a cooling marine layer that create an ideal microclimate.



Culinary students learn to brew beer at CIA

HYDE PARK, NY – Students at the Culinary Institute of America are learning to brew beer this winter and recently introduced the first three beers brewed on campus as a new Art & Science of Brewing elective. The course, part of the CIA’s bachelor’s degree offerings, is held in The Brewery at the CIA—a facility made possible through a partnership between with Brooklyn Brewery.

The course and the brewhouse built to house it were created to help elevate the status of beer on restaurant menus and familiarize future leaders of foodservice and hospitality with how beer is produced. Beers brewed by students in the class will soon be available at the college’s public restaurants and in its new Student Commons.

The brewery just began producing two flagship brands, Cleaver IPA and Mise en Place Wit and will also make a rotating lineup of “Class Project” seasonal beers designed and inspired by students in the Art & Science of Brewing course.

Cleaver IPA (6.7% abv) is a golden-colored India Pale Ale featuring robust American hop flavor and aromas. Centennial, Mosaic, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops provide firm bitterness and huge hop flavors reminiscent of grapefruit and apricot balanced by a pleasant malty sweetness. The Brewery at the CIA added more hops directly into the fermentation tank (called “dry hopping”) to add an additional layer of bright fresh hoppy aroma.

Mise en Place Wit (4.6% abv)is a Belgian-style Witbier brewed with a large dose of unmalted white wheat and American two-row barley. Light-bodied and pleasantly spicy, this wheat beer is served unfiltered and brewed with orange peel and coriander. The CIA uses yeast strain from Belgium to add an additional layer of fermentation esters—fruit and spice flavors naturally produced during the fermentation process.

Class Project Cast Iron Stout (5.8% abv) is an oatmeal stout with a rich roasty malt body and notes of chocolate and espresso. This stout uses two types of oats as well as a blend of roasted malts to yield a dark black and full-bodied beer with a thick tan head that isn’t heavy and filling. A nice dose of German Magnum and Perle hops adds some bitterness to help accentuate the “dark chocolate” flavor of the beer and provide a faint hoppy aroma.

The Brewery was designed and built by JV Northwest of Canby, OR in partnership with Brooklyn Brewery. The three-vessel, steam-fired stainless steel brewery features a separate mash mixer and lauter tun to allow for step mashing. With three cylindroconical fermentation vessels and one brite beer tank, this seven-barrel system is designed to yield 217 gallons per batch, or 1,736 pints. The Brewery at the CIA will be capable of producing up to 500 barrels of beer annually.

The beers produced  are currently available in the American Bounty Restaurant and other CIA restaurants on the New York campus—The Bocuse Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de’ Medici, The Apple Pie Bakery Café, and Pangea—will begin offering the beers later this winter.


Wine of the Week – Raats Old Vine Chenin Blanc 2013

South African wines are among our personal favorites and this Old Vine Chenin Blanc from Raats Family Wines in Stellenbosch proves an exceptionally delightful white to accompany seafood, fish, duck and vegetarian dishes. It reflects the passion of the Raats family with its understated elegance and complexity with a nose of quince, pear, orange blossoms, spice -think cloves, nutmeg and ginger. There’s a lot going on and the complexity and acidity work well, with a lightness that is refreshing.

We had it with several dishes, from chicken wings to a cod, pasta and spaghetti sauce dish, and found it worked well. The grapes were picked at their full ripeness in February, 2012 from three vineyards in Stellenbosch with an average age of 45 years.

Raats notes that 30% of the wine was fermented and matured in 300 litre French oak barrels to accentuate the soft, luscious flavours; 70% fermented in stainless steel to contribute a crisp acidity and bright citrus flavours. After nine months, the two components are blended together and left on the lees for a further two months before bottling.

Wine publications  have scored this wine between 89 and 94 points. It’s 13.5 percent ABV. We fully recommend it. Chenin blanc is well worth discovering and adding to your list of drinkable, value-packed wines. Raats wines are available from www.CapeClassics.com.