Costa Fruit and Produce offers food safety training

CHARLESTOWN, MA – Costa Fruit and Produce in the Bunker Hill Industrial Park here is offering food safety classes. The next is September 19th from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  and will allow participants to attain ServSafe certification.

The class is $129 per person and includes a book, breakfast and lunch. If you are a foodservice manager, dietitian, director, chef, kitchen manager, or staffer, sign up to learn more about food protection. Contact Mike Scuderi at 617-912-8014.



Wine(s) of the Week

Sbragia Family Vineyards in Geyserville, CA offers several interesting wines – the 2012 Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from the Moon Mountain District and the 2014 Home Ranch Chardonnay. The first is a blend of 95 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, four percent Cabernet Franc and one percent Petit Verdot. The Sonoma County vineyard is on the southwest side of the Mayacamas mountain range with iron-rich soils. Adam and Ed Sabragia, third and fourth generation vintners, share several blocks of the vineyard with their friend Mike Martini whose family bought it in the late 1930s.

The Chardonnay from Dry Creek Valley’s Home Ranch Vineyard, offers note of ripe apples, tropical fruit and toasted almonds. On the palate, one finds apple and citrus  with acidity and a long finish. The suggested retail price is $30. The Cabernet, aged 24 months in new French oak, is from a classic mountain vineyards that produce rich and concentrated fruit and has a retail price of $65.

Sbragia Family Vineyard has been making wines for decades. Check it out at 9990  Dry Creek Road, Geyserville, CA and visit


Food allergies grow as public health issue

FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) cites food allergies as a growing public health concern, noting that 15 million people are afflicted, 9 million of them adults and nearly 6 million children.
As long ago as 2008, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reported a 50 percent increase in food allergies among children from 1997 to 2011. The economic cost of those allergies was estimated at nearly $25 billion annually.

Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish. 5, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 62 Estimated prevalence9, some based on self-report, among the U.S. population: o Peanut: 0.6-1.3%
o Tree nuts: 0.4-0.6%
o Fish: 0.4%
o Crustacean shellfish (crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp): 1.2

o All seafood: 0.6% in children and 2.8% in adults

o Milk and egg: based on data within and obtained outside the United States, this rate is likely to be 1-2% for young children and 0.2-0.4% in the general population.
Managing Food Allergies

Eating away from home is said to potentially pose “a significant risk ” to those affected by food allergies. One study looking at peanut and tree nut allergy reactions in restaurants and other food establishments found that reactions were frequently attributed to desserts, that Asian restaurants and take-out dessert stores (bakeries, ice cream shops) were common sources of foods that triggered reactions, and that the food establishment was often not properly notified of a food allergy by the customer with the allergy.

Even small amounts of a food allergen can trigger a reaction. Food allergies are a leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting, the group points out. It notes that every three minutes, a food allergy sends someone to a hospital emergency room, accounting for some 200,000 ER visits annually. Research shows that:

• Every six minutes the reaction is one of anaphylaxis. • Teenagers and young adults with food allergies are at the highest risk of fatal food-induced anaphylaxis.
• Symptoms of anaphylaxis may recur after initially subsiding and experts recommend an observation period of about 4 hours to monitor that the reaction has been resolved.
• Individuals with food allergies who also have asthma may be at increased risk for severe/fatal food allergy reactions.
• Children with food allergy are 2-4 times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children without food allergies. 1
• It is possible to have anaphylaxis without any skin symptoms (no rash, hives). 1
• Failure to promptly (i.e., within minutes) treat food anaphylaxis with epinephrine is a risk factor for fatalities.

For more information, visit Food Allergy Research & Education • (800) 929-4040

British vodka introduced in Quincy, MA

 QUINCY, MA – Tenure England Vodka partnered with The Townshend restaurant in Quincy Center this summer in a collaboration in honor of the Season 5 premiere of The Great British Baking Show on PBS.

The restaurant, which agreed with the theory that vodka helps make a flakier pie crust, created the Tenure England Cherry Pie which it will feature throughout the season of the popular British show. It is made with Tenure Vodka pie crust and vodka-splashed filling of in-season, local New England cherries, each wedge topped with locally made vanilla ice cream.

The Townshend Chef de Cuisine Collin Davis notes that the pie is inspired by the restaurant’s passion for great spirits and creative modern cuisine. “We know from their correspondence that future president and first lady John and Abigail Adams enjoyed cherry pie during their first dinner in England in 1784,” Davis points out. “We’re happy to carry on that English-American Tradition.



Newport Wine Festival is coming up this Fall with designer/cookbook author Zac Posen

NEWPORT, RI – The 13th annual Newport Mansion Wine & Food Festival returns Sept. 20-23 with designer and cookbook author Zac Posen headlining the Grand Tasting where he will cook on the MONOGRAM Culinary Stage on Saturday, Sept. 22 and sign copies of his cookbook, Cooking with Zac.

Beautiful Marble House will once again serve as the setting for the two day Grand Tasting, Sept. 22 and 23.

Guests can also enjoy A Conversation with Zac Posen, where attendees will delight in lively and engaging conversation with Posen in the Marble House Gold Ballroom before heading out to the Grand Tasting. Also participating in weekend cooking and grilling demonstrations will be local and regional culinary figures including Lydia Shire of Boston’s Scampo, Terence Feury of Forty 1˚ North in Newport, Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra Bakery in Cambridge, Jorge Espinoza of Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina, Jose Enrique of Jose Enrique in San Juan, and Kolin Vazzoler of Simi Winery.

Hundreds of wines from around the world will be featured throughout the many weekend events, including top selections from Opus One (Napa Valley), M. Chapoutier (France), Tua Rita (Italy), Vincent Girardin (France), Robert Mondavi (Napa Valley), and Famille Hugel (France).

Additional highlights of the weekend-long festivities include the elegant Friday night Wine & Rosecliff gala, which will feature a special selection of fine wines from these and other wineries, as well as food from at least 15 New England chefs amid seaside Gilded Age splendor. The Vintner Dinner at Rosecliff on Saturday will offer an interactive and connected evening where guests will taste specially selected, exquisite American “New World” wines that have intimate connections to some of the most prestigious “Old World” wines. The event will feature a three-course dinner and dessert reception prepared by chefs David Blessing of Newport Beach House, Tony Maws of Craigie on Main, Jose Enrique of Jose Enrique, Samantha del Arroyo of Mill’s Tavern and Maura Fitzpatrick of Sofra Bakery.

Seminars will take place on Friday and Saturday at The Breakers Stable & Carriage House on Coggeshall Avenue in Newport, allowing visitors the opportunity to learn about wines from different regions of the world.  Led by vintners and industry experts, these engaging educational seminars are designed for every wine and food lover – from oysters to artisan cheese, to bubbles and caviar and beyond.

Guests will have an extra opportunity to enjoy late night bites and cocktails by some of the Festival sponsors with the return of Newport After Dark, taking place on Saturday night at Forty 1˚ North on the Newport waterfront. The Sunday Jazz Brunch on the Marble House Terrace  kicks off the Sunday Grand Tasting; tickets include an elegant brunch followed by early VIP entry to the event on the lawn.

The Presenting Sponsor of the 2018 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival is FOOD & WINE Magazine. MONOGRAM is the Culinary Stage Sponsor. Additional sponsors include Dole & Bailey, Forty 1˚ North, Simi Winery, Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore, Atria Senior Living, Boar’s Head, Coca-Cola, Gurney’s Newport, Chateau D’Esclans, Kobrand Fine Wine and Spirits, Dasani, Outdoor Kitchen Design Store, National Trust Insurance Services LLC, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and United. All proceeds from the event benefit The Preservation Society of Newport County.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the 2018 Newport Mansions Wine & Food Festival, visit or call (401) 847-1000.


Explore the wines of Alentejo

Alentejo, a region of Portugal, has a long history of winemaking – said to be 4,000 years – but historians note that there’s evidence that it was probably underway when the Romans arrived and history is said to show that the country’s first wine varieties were of Mediterranean origin and were introduced there.

That being said, wines from the region of Alentejo today may be found in eight sub-regions of the Alentejo. Red grape varieties include  Alfrocheiro, Alicante Bouschet, Aragonez, Cabernet Sauvignon, Castelao, Syrah, Touriga Nacional (a variety that has flourished for generations and is known widely beyond the country), and Trincadeira. White varieties include Antao Vaz, Arinto, Fernao Pires, Gouveio and Roupeiro.

There’s rich diversity in the wines of Portugal, said to rank 11th in the world in total wine production per capita, and Portuguese wine tourism is growing.  Alentejo is known for reds (78.9 percent), whites (19.7 percent) and rosado (1.4 percent).

From  Monte da Ravasqueira’s Selecao do Ano Branco with a suggested retail price of $8.99 to Adega do Monte Braco’s Monte Branco Tinto at $49, there is something for everyone among the wines of this region.

Today, Portugal has 250 indigenous grape varieties and has become a place to go as well as a leader in sustainability. Alentejo alone, encompassing more than a third of the country’s landmass,  has eight PDO wine regions, growing grapes in a climate of hot days and cool nights. For more information, visit



Brent Feldman joins B. Good as chief marketing officer from posts at Hill Holiday and plans to expand the brand using “faster, bolder and more creative and expansive marketing efforts,” the chain says. New CEO Chris Fuqua also notes that growth plans underway to drive brand awareness have helped it grow to 70 units in the U.S., Canada , Switzerland and Germany.

Glatt la Carte -Janie Chaz joins this Brooklyn establishment as pastry chef.

Cafe K in Manhattan closed a second unit this year leaving two remaining units – Coney Island Ave. and Avenue 1 in Brooklyn.

Papilon Cafe recently moved to Center City Comcast Tower in Philadelphia from Newton Tower downtown.