Culinary Fight Club launches in Boston

BOSTON – Culinary Flght Club breaks ground here with Pork — It’sMore Than Bacon this week on Wed., April 26 at Mayflower Brewing Company in Plymouth from 6 to 9 p.m. It’s seeking what it calls the “Culinary Talented” here who can create the perfect bite in 60 minutes.The “Bring your best tasting palates out,” the event urges Bostonians. “We want to see all you Bostonian pork lovers put your Taster’s Choice vote in for your favorite bite!” Contestants range from home cooks to executive chefs who choose from 15 provided ingredients. The audience and judges vote and decide the winner. They competitors choose ingredients from the pantry in 45 seconds and have 60 minutes to create the dish that represents their take on the competition’s monthly theme.

The event sponsor is Reinhart Foodservice.  To compete or attend go to http://culinaryfightclub.com/contact/

 

Wine of the Week – W & J Graham’s Six Grapes Reserve Porto

If  you’ve been curious about Port wines and wanting to learn more, there’s probably no better place to start than with the Symingtons, a family with Scotch, British and Portuguese ancestry that spans 14 generations, all the way back to the mid-17th century and the beginnings of the history of Port.

Today, they own 27 individual estates in the Duoro Valley of Portugal, described as the most significant vineyard holding in the region. Symington Family Estates is responsible for making nearly one-third of all premium Port categories. Wine Spectator’s Robert Parker has called the family “the most consistent produce of great Port in the post-World War II era,”

That being said, Six Grapes is an iconic brand that dates to the early 19th century when W&J Graham (William and John) began using a coding system to classify wines from each harvest by their quality. A  select group of ‘lots’ is picked in a rigorous selection process to make up their Vintage Port and the best of the remaining lots are blended and bottled as Six Grapes Port, described as more like a “declassified” Vintage Port than a typical reserve Port.

This wine is 20 percent ABV with grapes from five separate vineyards. It received 91 points from Wine&Spirits in 2013 and 5 Stars-Best in Show that year from Decanter Awards. W&J Graham began in 1810 in Oporto, going on to produce vintage Ports of great quality.

We’d been skeptical about Ports, not really knowing anything about them, until tasting a number of them at a wine event about a year ago. From the very first sip, we knew we’d discovered something worth learning more about.  We’ll be writing more in weeks ahead about rich and elegant vintages produced by this family. They note that long-term vision and commitment are the requirements for success. Through many generations, they’ve proven their dedication. With several Wine Spectator Wine of the Year awards and high rankings, the Symingtons, who also own Quinta do Vesuvio, a leading vineyard estate, have proven their commitment many times over with a group of outstanding vintages.20170421_103107#1.jpg

This vintage pairs well with rich chocolate desserts and strong blue cheeses. It’s a rich red color with a nose of plums, blackberries and cherries. Well structured, the  Ports are designed for drinking in special Port wine glasses or white wine glasses to allow the wine’s aroma to be fully appreciated. This fresh, rich wine makes an excellent starting point for learning about vintage Port. The six grapes symbol has become a mark of quality. Visit http://www.sixgrapes-port.com.

NIBBLES

Open Blue® Cobia fillet wins best new foodservice product

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – Open Blue, described as the largest deep water, open ocean fish farm worldwide, won the Best New Foodservice Product honors at this year’s recent Seafood Expo North America (SENA, the largest seafood trade event in North America.

The honors were given to the frozen IVP Open Blue Cobia filet and will be presented at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, April 25-27th. Open Blue’s Cobia IVP Fillet was selected by the judges as the winner in the Best New Foodservice category based on factors such as taste, market potential, convenience, nutritional value, uniqueness and originality. Sashimi-grade frozen cobia fillets can be used in both raw and cooked applications across a variety of global cuisines. Go to www.openblue.com

giphy-6.gifPhilly vegan concept said to eye DC unit

PHILADELPHIA – Vedge owners Richard Landau and Kate Jacoby, are reportedly eyeing a second V Street unit in a new D.C. development. The restaurant is known for its vegan noodles, fries and tacos, according to a published report.

 

Vermont Creamery receives 4 sofi™ awards

NEW YORK- Vermont Creamery received four Sofi™ awards for artisan cheesemaking excellence, said to be the Specialty Food Industry’s most prestigious distinction.

St. Albans, the newest non-GMO certified aged cheese in its line won Best New Product in the cows’ milk category, while Vanilla Créme Fraiche won gold in the dessert sauce category. Bonne Bouche, always a winner, took a silver in the non-cows’ milk group while Cultured Butter with Sea Salt won bronze in the dairy category.

While it was the first award for St. Albans, the other three were previous winners of honors.

The Sofi™ awards honored 154 winners of Gold, Silver, Bronze and Best New Product honors in 39 categories.
For more information on Vermont Creamery’s line of fresh and aged goat cheeses, cultured butter and crème fraiche, go to www.VermontCreamery.com.

 

 

Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer coming this Spring

NEEDHAM, MA – Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer takes place May 8-14 this year as the non-profit organization celebrates its 18th anniversary of raising funds for breast cancer research.

The proceeds of the annual week-long event go to Dana-Farber Breast Cancer physician scientist Dr. Shom Goel, MD.

The event this year is dedicated to the memory of Karen Gerry, mother of Chef Daniel Mammola of Pellana Steakhouse in Peabody and Daniella’s Café & Market in Dedham, MA.

Restaurants, bakeries, and retail stores in more than 100 communities across Massachusetts have already signed-up to participate in Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer’s week-long dessert fundraiser from May 8-14, offering a special dessert or sweet on their menu, proceeds from which will go to the cause.

“Through our partnerships with so many establishments, we make it easy for anyone to contribute: Simply purchase or order a sweet at one or more of our participating locations, or even online – it’s that easy,” declares Bakes for Breast Cancer founder and President, Carol Sneider.  “We have raised nearly $1,000,000 for breast cancer research and care. This year, monies raised will be used to fund research by Dr. Shom Goel, MD, which focuses on combining immunotherapy and a promising new class of drugs called CDK4/6 inhibitors to more effectively treat breast cancer,” Sneider explains.

 

“Supporting research for this indiscriminate disease is so important, particularly as federal funding decreases and young researchers are often overlooked for funding and grants. And we are happy to dedicate our 18th annual event to a participant’s mother, with whom I happened to work with when she was 18 years old,” she adds.

 

Additionally, Rhode Island Bakes for Breast Cancer will take place across the Ocean State, May 14-20, and the 2nd annual Cape & Islands Bakes for Breast Cancer will be held from June 5-11, 2017.

 

The events make it easy for participating restaurants to do their part to raise funds to find a cure one sweet at a time. Restaurants, bakeries, and retail stores in more than 100 communities across Massachusetts have already signed-up to participate in Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer’s week-long dessert fundraiser from May 8-14, offering a special dessert or sweet on their menu, proceeds from which will go to the cause.

 

“Through our partnerships with so many establishments, we make it easy for anyone to contribute: Simply purchase or order a sweet at one or more of our participating locations, or even online – it’s that easy,” notes Bakes for Breast Cancer founder and President, Carol Sneider.  “We have raised nearly $1,000,000 for breast cancer research and care. This year, moneys raised will be used to fund research by Dr. Shom Goel, MD, which focuses on combining immunotherapy and a promising new class of drugs called CDK4/6 inhibitors to more effectively treat breast cancer,” continues Sneider.

 

“Supporting research for this indiscriminate disease is so important, particularly as federal funding decreases and young researchers are often overlooked for funding and grants. And we are happy to dedicate our 18th annual event to a participant’s mother, with whom I happened to work with when she was 18 years old,” Carol adds.

 

Additionally, Rhode Island Bakes for Breast Cancer will be held across the Ocean State, May 14-20, and the 2nd annual Cape & Islands Bakes for Breast Cancer will be run from June 5-11, 2017.
There is still time to sign up to participate in all three phase of the annual event. Simply visit www.bakesforbreastcancer.org.

 

 

Nibbles

Pepe’s opens 9th restaurant

WATERBURY, CT – Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is now open here at 130 Reidville Drive, the ninth in the chain of Neapolitan pizzerias in Connecticut and Chestnut Hill, MA.

 

Ming Tsai to close Wellesley, MA Blue Ginger

WELLESLEY, MA – The original Blue Ginger, now 18 years old, will close in June says Chef-Owner Ming Tsai, who was quoted in a published report as saying he plans a new, quick service concept, ChowStirs, opening early next year.

 

 

Scampo jazzes it up at Boston’s Liberty Hotel

 

BOSTON – Jazzy Cocktail Night at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel debuted recently, providing a new way for guests and others to enjoy some of the area’s top musicians whose genres include jazz, vocals, Latin rhythms, funk and blues. Coming up will be:

April 20: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, a traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble who also perform interesting covers and original music

April 27: The Sam Lee Trio, headlined by Mr. Lee, a top bassist in New England covering jazz, funk, R&B and rock

May 4: Paul Gaulin, a percussionist whose jazz trio spans genres including Latin, funk and blues

May 11: Mark van Bork, leader of VB & the Buzz, who transitions effortlessly through blues, soul, jazz and rock

With the new series comes a dedicated list of cocktails and bar bites available exclusively during the Thursday performances from 10pm-1am. For single-serve cocktails ($16 each), highlights include the Boulevardier made with rye, Campari and sweet vermouth finished with an orange twist; Classy Champagne Cocktail served in a water glass with sugar cubes and a lemon twist; and, Roaring Violette with lychee, Violette, lavender, white wine and bubbles. For those looking to take their imbibing game to the next level, there are sharable Punch Bowl Cocktails ($36) – that come shaken for two, served in festive brass pineapple-shaped vessels – like the Sparkling Jazz with Absolut, lime, Aperol and a prosecco float with floating orange pin wheels and Dubonnet Sangria with wine, fruit, anejo tequila and hibiscus with a ginger beer float and fresh fruit. Other beverages include the Prohibition Milkshake ($36), a large format liquid treat of vodka, chocolate ice cream, crème de cacao, Kahlua and bubbles served with freshly made mini bacon doughnuts.

On the culinary side, items in addition to Scampo’s seasonal pizza offerings include: Veal & Pork Meatballs in a 17-minute candeli sauce with shaved pecorino gremolata ($12); Fried Arancini with Pomodoro and parmesan ($10); Calamari a la Plancha with fennel salad and chipotle aioli ($10); Bruschetta with homemade ricotta, candied pistachios and warm guanciale ($11); and Lydia’s Stuffed Dates ($11).