Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Trick: USDA lets "Organic" Factory Farms off the Hook

The Cornucopia Institute sharply criticized the conclusion by USDA that an 8000-head factory dairy in Idaho was operating within the federal organic standards. Cornucopia had requested an investigation based on its site visit to the giant industrial-scale dairy, owned by Dean Foods, and the gathering of evidence from other industry professionals with first-hand knowledge of the operation.

The USDA informed Cornucopia today that it had closed its investigation into Dean Foods’ Horizon dairy in Paul, Idaho and another corporate-owned facility in Kennedyville, Maryland. The USDA investigation was in response to a formal legal complaint filed by Cornucopia in 2006.

"We know from our visit to the Idaho facility that they had no functional pasture meeting legal requirements and were unable to graze their huge dairy herd," said Mark Kastel, codirector of the Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute. Cornucopia's legal complaint included interviews with the veterinarian and with livestock professionals associated with Horizon’s Maryland dairy indicating that they were not pasturing the animals there, either.

The USDA's findings regarding the dairies Dean Foods runs producing Horizon brand organic milk comes on the heels of a broiling controversy in the organic industry regarding other large corporate dairy marketers that have allegedly been scamming the public.

"This is the second time in two months that the USDA has sided with the operators of factory-farms, ignoring their impact on the reputation of the organic label, the economic damage they are doing to ethical, family-scale organic dairy farmers and the sham they are perpetrating on consumers who want to believe in the organic label," said Jim Goodman, an organic dairy farmer milking 45 cows near Wonewoc, WI.

On August 31, the USDA made public its investigative findings, also pursuant to a Cornucopia legal complaint, regarding Aurora Organic Dairy, operator of five massive factory dairies and the leading supplier of private-label milk in the nation (Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, etc.). In the Aurora case, the USDA's investigators found 14 "willful" violations of the federal law governing organics. However, the $100 million enterprise was allowed to continue in business and was not fined for the organic improprieties found by investigators.

"It must pay to have powerful friends in Washington, DC!,” said Dave Minar, a long-time organic dairyman milking 150 cows near New Prague, Minnesota. "The USDA has ignored well-documented concerns about the propriety of these factory-farms for years, allowing large corporate agribusiness to take over a majority of the organic dairy business. This places ethical families like mine at a distinct competitive disadvantage."

The Cornucopia Institute filed their legal complaint against the Dean/Horizon dairy, operating in desert-like conditions in Idaho after being invited to inspect the farm. Cornucopia found that from 2002-2006, like the Aurora operations, Horizon's milk cows lacked access to any meaningful amount of pasture, as the law requires.

"Prior to our visit in 2006, Dean Foods quickly planted a crop of oats, not generally recognized as having value for grazing animals, so they could have something green on the ground surrounding their massive barns and feedlots," said Kastel. "By the time we were there the mature, 2 foot tall oats were unpalatable by the animals and did not meet the legal definition of pasture."

Within two weeks of their visit, Cornucopia supplied additional photographic evidence to the USDA illustrating that the oats had been mechanically harvested and all that was left surrounding the Dean/Horizon milking facility was the 3/4" stubble and residue of the old crop.

"Based on the evidence collected, Dean Foods was clearly not operating a grass-based dairy," stated Dick Parrott, a Twin Falls, ID organic livestock producer. "It costs more money, and is more labor intensive, to produce truly organic milk where the cows are not in confinement. The USDA's ruling appears to be a grave injustice to the 1600 or so hard-working farm families who are rightly respected by organic consumers."

The lack of enforcement action by the USDA in the Aurora matter has led to at least six class-action lawsuits around the country, representing consumers in over 30 states, filed against Aurora. The legal actions claim that organic milk drinkers were defrauded by the corporation's labeling milk as organic that did not meet organic standards.

"There is a higher authority in this country than the USDA in these matters — the organic consumer. And they are now making their voices heard," said Kastel.

Cornucopia has waged a long-term marketplace battle with both Dean Foods and Aurora. Their comprehensive report on the controversy, and scorecard rating all organic milk brands ( has cost the companies significant market share.

"Organic consumers feel betrayed by large corporate players trying to pass off milk from factory-farms as being ecologically sustainable or meeting their widely-held views concerning humane animal husbandry," said Ronnie Cummins director of the Organic Consumers Association. "Besides for the question of their legality, these factory-farms do not meet the ‘spirit’ of the organic law and no matter how much money Dean and Aurora spend on their greenwashing campaigns, they are unlikely to succeed in the long run."

The Cornucopia Institute has announced its intention to seek a judicial review, by filing a federal lawsuit, challenging the USDA's lack of enforcement and its abrogating the mandate received from Congress to protect the integrity of organic commerce.

"The USDA and the corporate players they are protecting have opened up a can of worms, and let me tell you these worms were not raised organically," Kastel stated. Cornucopia stated they have already received inquiries from Congressional leadership in both parties that are interested in staging both hearings and requesting a thorough GAO study of this controversy.

"The USDA's lack of enforcement illustrates that the concerns of many in the organic community – that the corporate-friendly USDA would betray organic ideals – might have been well-taken," lamented Kastel. "However, too many good people have spent too many years building the organic label into something that has true economic value. I'll be damned if we just hand this over to corporate exploiters without a fight."

Cornucopia emphasizes that based on their in-depth research 90% of all name-brand organic dairy products are produced with respect for both the letter and spirit of the organic law.

Healthy "FoodTees" Are on the Menu

Clean. Fresh. Real. Invigorating. These are words to live by. They describe the company we keep, the work we do, and the life we aim to lead. They should also describe the food we eat and the clothes we wear! Whether you love your fruits and veggies, or are fed-up and ready to tell someone, you can express it with a new FoodTee by!

FoodTees are a great look for a healthy life--the images speak for themselves. The first series offers 8 designs for shirts (long, short sleeve and/or organic cotton), aprons, and totes. There are 18 more designs coming in the next two weeks. FoodTees are available for Women, Men, Children, Toddlers and Babies. All FoodTees include FREE SHIPPING (international orders excluded) and prices range from $20 - $29 depending on the type of shirt. These wearable food products are available at or FoodTees make great gifts for all types of people from foodies to gym rats to hipsters donates a portion of the profits of FoodTees to: The Food Studies Institute, who is devoted to changing the health destinies of children through proper nutrition and education, Two Angry Moms, who are fighting for the health of America’s kids, and Better School Food, working with local communities to improve meals and increase awareness of the connection between good food, good health and a student's ability to learn effectively. FoodTees are a compilation of our beliefs about food, nutrition, lifestyle and health. They represent the culmination of our company values and our mission. offers thousands of original articles, bloggers, health tools, quizzes, interviews with leading health experts and celebrities, Calorie Bargains (food, beverage, health products and health service reviews), a detailed food nutrient search engine with more than 10,000 foods, podcasts, a nutrition and weight-loss program and a thriving on-line community.


The demographic of Americans who now consume wine on a regular basis is diversifying and growing at an incremental rate and by 2008, the US is projected to be the largest wine-consuming nation in the world. There are still, however, an enormous number of consumers who are hesitant, even scared, due to the intimidation that sets in upon opening a wine list or walking down the wine aisle at the market. Uncorked! Wine Made Simple, a new series now available on DVD, not only provides the essential knowledge necessary to select and appreciate wine, but does so in an entertaining, unpretentious and easy to watch medium that can be viewed in less than three hours.

Viewers of Uncorked!, which aired nationally on public television, are given virtual one-on-one access to a celebrity tour-guide with a unique ability to due justice to wine’s integrity, history and complexity while making it universally appealing and simple to grasp. Culinary expert, Ted Allen, has been taking the guesswork and the intimidation out of cooking and wine for more than a decade, initially as a journalist and more recently as a top national television personality, he now lends these talents to Uncorked!.

“People still seem to think that they aren’t good enough to enjoy wine or think that it takes years of education to be able to simply pick a bottle off the shelf,” says Allen. “This simply isn’t the case and Uncorked! helps take away the intimidation and mystery behind something that everyone should be able to enjoy.”

Uncorked! starts by sharing wine essentials ranging from terminology, production and tasting methods, debunking common myths in the process. Once viewers have been oriented, subsequent episodes include tours through California wine country and key regions of France and provide interesting facts that will impress and enlighten even those who think they know it all. Later episodes feature winery tours, informative interviews with winemakers, stops at noted wine festivals and more.

One element that makes the series unique is the vast range of personalities that viewers are introduced to. From Gina Gallo, wine maker for Gallo Wines and granddaughter of Julio Gallo to George Taber, who originally broke the news of the infamous Paris tasting of 1976 for Time magazine – viewers of Uncorked! get firsthand information from those who have lived in the crux of wine culture for decades. In episode one, we meet Lettie Teague, executive wine editor for Food & Wine magazine who shares the story of how she took a friend and colleague from utter wine intimidation to full proficiency. The friend is non-other than Peter Travers, senior editor and film critic for Rolling Stone magazine. Other key personalities throughout the series include writers, culinary experts, vineyard owners and perhaps most importantly, regular, everyday people who love wine.

Uncorked! Wine Made Simple is available in major retailers nationwide beginning this fall. The set consists of three DVDs with two, 30-minute episodes on each. Beyond the six episodes, the set includes fifteen intriguing and unique bonus features ranging from cooking demonstrations and wine pairings to maps and information on the use of wine as an anti-aging tool.

For up-to-date information about Uncorked!, visit the series’ blog at
# # #

Ted Allen is devoted to making good wine and delicious food accessible to everyone. On the Emmy® Award-winning NBC/Bravo hit Queer Eye, he helped guests and viewers sharpen their cooking and entertaining skills. He is the author of The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes, a cookbook for beginners that features easy, all-natural recipes. Ted also serves as the spokesman for Robert Mondavi Private Selection wines, is a contributing editor for Esquire Magazine and is a regular judge on Bravo's Top Chef and the Food Network's Iron Chef.

Slow cooking in a fast world recipes

Tasty Slow Cooked Sweet Potatoes and Heart Healthy Lentil Soup will make you feel good inside

Who has time to cook healthy these days? Slow cooking expert JoAnn Rachor says that it’s easy to make good, healthy food quickly using slow cookers as long as you learn a few simple tricks.

JoAnn Rachor is an expert at slow cookers. She likely knows more about slow cookers than anyone you’ll ever meet. Happily, she shares her knowledge with the rest of us along with a host of the tricks of the trade she developed for her book Fast Cooking in a Slow Cooker Every Day of the Year.

Here are her heart warming recipes for Maple Almond Sweet Potatoes and Lentil Vegetable Soup.

Maple Almond Sweet Potatoes

6 cups peeled, sweet potatoes or yams, cut into ½x1" pieces
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup crushed pineapple
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sliced, slivered, or chopped almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

This recipe may be prepared in a slow cooker that is 2 1/2-7 quarts in size. Stir together all of the ingredients into the cooker except the almonds and vanilla. Cook until the potatoes are soft. Mash the potatoes and stir in the almonds and vanilla. This is delicious even if you do not have the almonds.

On low the recipe will take 3 3/4-5 hours to cook.
(An “average cooker” will take 4 1/2-5 hours; a “fast cooker” will take 4-4 1/2 hours; an “extra fast cooker” will take 3 3/4-4 1/4 hours.)

On high it will take 2-2 3/4 hours to cook.
(An “average cooker” will take 2 1/2-2 3/4 hours; a “fast cooker” will take 2 1/4-2 1/2 hours; an “extra fast cooker” will take 2-2 1/4 hours.)

Yield: 4 cups


-The cooker may be plugged into a lamp/appliance timer to begin cooking up to 6 hours later.
-The potatoes may be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated in a plastic bag until ready to cook.
-The recipe may be cut in half and prepared in cooker that is 2-4 quarts in size.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

2 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped, shredded or sliced carrots
1 cup peeled potatoes, cut in small, bite size pieces
3/4 cup rinsed and drained lentils
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
14.5 oz. can diced canned tomatoes
⅓ cup tomato paste
2 cloves minced garlic

This recipe may be prepared in a slow cooker that is between 2 1/2-4 1/2 quarts in size. Stir together all of the ingredients into the cooker except the tomatoes, tomato paste and garlic. Cook until the lentils are soft. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Turn off the cooker and let sit 5 minutes. Ready to serve. You may add a small amount of water if the soup is too thick

On low the recipe will take 4-8 hours to cook.
(An “average cooker” will take 7 1/2-8 hours; a “fast cooker” will take 5-5 1/2 hours; an “extra fast cooker” will take 4-4 1/2 hours.)

On high the recipe will take 2 1/2-4 hours to cook.
(An “average cooker” will take 3 1/2-4 hours; a “fast cooker” will take 3-3 1/2 hours; an “extra fast cooker” will take 2 1/2-3 hours.)

Yield: 6 1/2 cups


-The cooker may be plugged into a lamp/appliance timer to begin cooking up to 6 hours later.
-The recipe may be doubled and prepared in a cooker that is between 4 1/2-7 quarts in size.

About ‘Fast Cooking in a Slow Cooker’ by JoAnn Rachor

A few years ago JoAnn Rachor decided to do research on slow cookers.

First she bought and tested 25 slow cookers. To determine how they really operated, she monitored how long they took to cook one pound of navy beans. Her research showed that even when cooking on low, all slow cookers don’t take the same length of time to cook. She divided them into three categories.

The “average” slow cookers took 9-9 1/2 hours and required 5 cups of water to cook a pound of navy beans. The “fast” slow cookers took 8-8 1/2 hours and needed 5 1/2 cups of water, and the “extra fast” slow cookers took 6 1/2-7 hours and needed 5 1/2 cups of water. This is the simple test she recommends others do with their slow cookers.

With this information the recipes in her book can be prepared with ease knowing how to make great meals that promise to be ready when you are!

And then, to really make sure your meal is perfectly done when you get home from work you may want to use a lamp appliance timer plugged into the cooker, so that the electricity goes on at just the right time during the day so that your meal is perfectly cooked when you get home from work and are ready to eat.

“Slow cookers can really help a busy family eat healthy, good tasting and wholesome food,” she says. It’s a great way to make sure you have a good meal waiting for you and the family when everyone gets home.

Her book contains a collection of recipes that are low in fat and cholesterol free.

Fast Cooking in a Slow Cooker Every Day of the Year is a new type of cookbook. It has many recipes never before dreamed of doing in a slow cooker. It contains 300 completely tested low fat, cholesterol-free recipes and 40 full color photographs. The recipes have been designed to fit most any size cooker.

JoAnn Rachor is also author of Of These Ye May Freely Eat, which has sold over 150,000 copies. She is a contributing author of The Country Life Vegetarian Cookbook and her articles on cooking have been published in the Journal of Health and Healing. She has been teaching cooking classes for more than 30 years.

Fast Cooking in a Slow Cooker Every Day of the Year
By JoAnn Rachor

Tips for adapting favorite recipes. Time saving tips. Meat & dairy-free. Wide range of tips and techniques for successful results. Wire binding, 8½x11, 144 pages. ISBN 978-1-878726-26-1 $14.95

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Whey" Better Approach to Coffee

If you can't start your day without a cup of joe, you're
not alone.

Americans are the largest consumers of coffee, spending nearly $12 billion in
2006 (up from $8 billion in 2001). Coffee giant, Starbucks, recently raised
the price of its coffee drinks by 9 cents, and those who have embraced
the "coffee culture" begrudgingly still pay the price for a luxury latte

Coffee drinks may be popular but are they healthy or a health risk? Although
caffeinated products usually get a bad rap when it comes to wellness,
thousands of scientific papers have been published showing evidence that
coffee may have some unique health benefits.

But the real downside to "luxury" coffee beverages, besides the high price, is
all the added calories and fat.

Bolthouse Farms has developed a "whey" better approach to coffee that
gives you a protein boost. Their Perfectly Protein line of beverages provides
coffee connoisseurs with the choice of Mocha Cappuccino or Hazelnut Latte,
which contains 10 grams of whey protein per 8-ounce serving.

If you're more into tea than coffee and less interested in caffeine, Bolthouse
offers a Vanilla Chai Tea that is nearly caffeine-free and contains 10 grams of
soy protein per 8-ounce serving. Both of these whey- and soy-protein based
drinks provide a boost of seven or more vitamins and minerals in each serving,
and are considered a complete protein.

The Perfectly Protein drinks are all-natural, contain no preservatives and are
lower in calories and fat compared to their iced coffee counterparts without a
compromise in taste. The drinks have a fresh, rich and creamy flavor. The
bottles are marked with a freshness date and can be found in the produce
section of major grocery store chains and health food stores across the
country ($2.49 for a 15.2-ounce bottle, $3.99 for a 33.8-ounce bottle). For
store locations, go to:

Side Bar:


Good news for coffee lovers: caffeine is not as bad as you may fear. Recent
studies show that caffeine does have its benefits, but combine that with the
right protein in the morning and you could be off to a really good start:

Caffeinated coffee may temporarily sharpen your memory and focus.

Whey protein helps build lean muscles and can help suppress the appetite
A burst of caffeine before a workout can give you a slight edge and has been
shown to improve athletic performance.

The Food & Drug Administration recommends eating 25 grams of soy protein
every day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol to reduce the
risk of heart disease.

Habitual coffee consumption is associated with substantially lower risk of
Type 2 diabetes.

Bolthouse Farms Perfectly Protein contains 10 grams of soy or whey protein in
all three of its coffee and tea beverages. (

Halloween/Fair Trade Chocolate - 'Reverse Trick or Treating' Push to Educate North American Consumers

Thousands of children in over 250 cities in the U.S. and Canada are participating this week in “reverse trick or treating,” giving away tens of thousands of samples of Fair Trade Certified™ dark chocolate. The effort across North America is designed to call attention to the persistent problems of chronic poverty in cocoa-growing communities, abysmal working conditions, and the use of exploited child labor in Africa’s Ivory Coast – which produces 40 percent of the world’s cocoa.

To make arrangements to cover children as they “they reverse trick or treat” in cities across North America, contact: Yochi Zakai, Co-op America, 202-872-5302 and

The “Reverse Trick or Treating” program has joined human and labor rights groups, such as Co-op America, Global Exchange and the International Labor Rights Fund to raise awareness with children and grownups about Fair Trade Certified chocolate as a solution to poverty and labor abuses in the cocoa industry. The Reverse Trick-or-Treat campaign is an initiative of Global Exchange and run by Co-op America, both leaders in promoting Fair Trade business and products. Co-op America’s mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—and create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

The Fair Trade Chocolate that will be handed out is provided by Equal Exchange, a full service provider of high quality, organic coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate and healthy snacks to grocery stores, restaurants and places of worship nationwide. Fully 100 percent of Equal Exchange products are fairly traded, benefiting over 40 small farmer co-operatives in 16 countries around the world. In keeping with its Fair Trade mission Equal Exchange is a worker co-operative, owned and democratically controlled by its employees.

For more information, visit on the Web.

CONTACTS: Yochi Zakai, Co-op America, 202-872-5302 and


US consumers eat 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate annually, representing nearly half the world’s supply. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture for USAID has estimated that 284,000 children work in abusive child labor conditions on cocoa farms in West Africa, the world’s largest cocoa producer, and that 64% of those children are under 14 years old. Through the 2001 Harkin-Engel Protocol, politicians and advocacy groups have pressured chocolate companies to identify and eliminate any usage of child labor in the growing and processing of cocoa beans. The cocoa industry however has not met the substantive benchmarks for eradicating abusive child labor or improving conditions on cocoa farms, despite repeated promises. A recently conducted study, commissioned by the U.S. Dept. of Labor, details how little progress the industry has made towards these goals. The study will be released the week after Halloween.

Take care of your body naturally with herbal recipes

Just about everyone these days would love to know more about how to relieve stress, improve health, and prevent or even treat common ailments naturally without conventional drugs.

Mendocino, California based herbalist Karin C. Uphoff has published Botanical Body Care: Herbs and Healing for Your Whole Body.

This entertaining and enlightening book brings together the state-of-the-art in information and understanding about health and healing and herbal medicine. The book contains a wealth of knowledge on using herbs to treat basic problems holistically, with diet, well-established herbal formulas, and lifestyle changes, plus cleanses to revitalize each system of your body.

This easy-to-use handbook contains 84 herbal recipes and is written in a reader friendly format.

Immuni-Tea recipe
Note: a part is a proportion for creating the mix, for instance; 1 part can equal 1 teaspoon.

2 parts each: Echinacea leaf/flower and boneset

1 part each; elderberry, elder flower, chrysanthemum flower, calendula, hibiscus, and red raspberry leaf

1 part each: thyme, oregano, anise seed

1 part licorice root

Steep 1 heaping teaspoon of Immunity Tea mix in one cup of hot water, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Make a pot (4 cup quantity) and steep for 2 to 4 hours for a strong infusion.

Ms. Uphoff holds a bachelor of science from Oregon State University and a master’s degree in zoology from Arizona State University. She has worked as a wildlife ecologist, animal behavior researcher, teacher and environmental consultant. She earned HER diploma in herbal medicine and natural healing the UK. She is a practicing herbalist, teacher and nutritional consultant who presently resides in Mendocino, California.

Botanical Body Care:
Herbs and Healing for Your Whole Body
By Karin C. Uphoff

List $18.95
Paperback 259 pages

Published by Cypress House

ISBN-10: 1879384671 ISBN-13: 978-1879384675

Available at bookstores nationwide and online.

For more information visit

What People Are Saying

“An insightful, articulate, literate and eminently usable book! Karin seamlessly integrates her perspective on how the body works with herbal and lifestyle insights, making this one of the best expressions of the cleanse-based herbalism I have read. Botanical Body Care is a perfect blend of the practical and inspirational - a welcome addition to the library of all concerned with holistic health care. “

David Hoffmann, Herbalist and author of The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal

“I am especially impressed with the balance of this book: the diet and herbal suggestions, recipes, quotations, and especially the physiology, come together to create a holistic offering that fills a gap in the available herbal/health books.”

Donna d'Terra Herbalist, teacher and founder of the Herbalist Mentoring Network of Mendocino County

“I found this book useful throughout, filled with excellent formulas and therapies for each body system, and helpful suggestions for maintaining health and well-being. Written with clarity, intelligence, and a healthy dose of spirit, Botanical Body Care is an exceptional tool for herbalists, students, and healthcare professionals interested in a more profound understanding of how herbs work in the body.”

Rosemary Gladstar, Herbalist, and author of Herbal Healing for Women and The Gladstar Family Herbal

“This easy-to-use book describes how to treat basic problems with well-established herbal formulas…. The simple yet profound approach offers time-tested methods grounded in knowledge of how our bodies work. I highly recommend it, both to beginners and experts.”

Matthew Wood, AHG, MSc., author of The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism

Monday, October 29, 2007

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Announces New Presiden

Women Chefs & Restaurateurs (WCR) is pleased to announce Maureen Pothier of Johnson & Wales University, as the culinary association’s new president. Pothier succeeds Helene Kennan, who served as president of WCR for the last two years.

A certified executive chef, Pothier came to Johnson & Wales from Bluepoint Oyster Bar & Restaurant in Providence, where she was executive chef and co-owner along with her husband. She has been with Johnson & Wales since 1997 and is responsible for overseeing curriculum, as well as faculty in the Culinary Associates Program and spearheading special projects. She specializes in seafood, food and wine pairing, and menu/recipe development.

"I am honored and humbled to be serving as the next president of this great organization," said Pothier. "I have some very big clogs to fill!" In looking to what's ahead for WCR, Pothier remarked, "In keeping with WCR's vision of connecting the women of food, I hope we can deepen that connection by expanding the diversity of our members and the number of Local Exchanges available to our members."

Pothier holds an M.B.A. in global organizational leadership, a bachelor’s degree in foodservice entrepreneurship and an associate’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales, as well as chef/teaching diplomas from Madeleine Kamman and the Rhode Island School of Design. She holds an advanced certification from Wine & Spirits Education Trust and she attended Beringer Vineyard's School for American Chefs. Accomplishments include guest chef appearances at the James Beard House and aboard a trans-Atlantic crossing on the QE2.

In addition to Pothier, WCR’s Board of Directors includes: Amy Bawden; Jessica D. Brown, Rocca Kitchen & Bar; Susan C. Cagann, Farella Braun + Martel LLC; Patrice Dionot, L’Academie de Cuisine; Carol Durst; Dawn Edwards, KPBS - Public Broadcasting; Lisa Ekus-Saffer, The Lisa Ekus Group, LLC; Lisa A. Kartzman, American Roland Food Corp.; Helene Kennan, Bon Appétit at the Getty Center; Michelle LeBleu, ARAMARK, Sports and Entertainment; Jamie Leeds, Hank’s Oyster Bar; Laurey Masterton, Laurey’s Catering & Gourmet-to-go; Judy Mattera, Sweet Solutions; Bonnie Moore, The HealthCentral Network; Odessa Piper, Odessa Piper Ltd.; Maria Rodriguez, Vanguard Communications; Karen Trilevsky, FullBloom Baking Co., Inc.; Amy Visco, Ellington’s Restaurant.

WCR was founded in 1993 by eight prominent female chefs and restaurateurs with the mission of promoting the education and advancement of women in the restaurant industry and the betterment of the industry as a whole. Today, WCR's membership includes more than 2,000 professionals who represent all sectors of the industry, from culinary students to restaurant owners.

Cooking lessons at the Steenberg Hotel in Cape Town

Guests in the fabulous new Heritage Suites at the Steenberg Hotel & Winery, 20 minutes from the center of Cape Town, in South Africa, have a special treat when they stay for two nights at a rate of $2,600.

The package includes accommodation for two in one of the recently completed 1600+ sq. ft. suites, all meals, and drinks. In addition, they will interact one night with award-winning Chef Garth Almazan who will show them how to prepare a contemporary South African dinner. They will cook alongside the chef in their suite as he discusses the ingredients used and how the African herbs and spices work together to create this unique cuisine. At the same time, the Steenberg wine steward will give them a private wine tasting of the superb Steenberg wines with tips on choosing a South African wine.

The Steenberg is one of South Africa’s most elegant and historic properties and is the oldest wine farm in the country. Its gracious tradition has been merged with the most modern luxuries and the latest in technology in each of its rooms and suites. The property also contains a golf course, spa, two swimming pools, gym, steam room, and beautiful gardens highlighted with sculptures by Eduardo Villa, one of the country’s leading abstract sculptors.

For more information on the Steenberg Hotel and Winery, visit the web site at or call +27 21-713-2222.

Shitake Teriyaki Sauce Wins Best in Show at Kosherfest 2007 New Products Competition

Mikee Shitaki Teriyaki, produced by Exotic Sauce Packaging of Farmingdale, New York, emerged as the big winner at the Kosherfest 2007 New Products Competition. The product won both Best in Show and Best New Savory Condiment, Spice, Sauce, Oil, Vinegar or Dressing.
Winners in 15 separate categories of new kosher food products were crowned by a panel of professionals at the offices of Diversified Business Communications, co-producer of Kosherfest, one of its three Cultural Food New York events. Cultural Food New York is the new umbrella brand name for the food and beverage trade exposition that will showcase kosher, Hispanic and Asian foods on November 11-12 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
“The judging panel was very impressed by the Mikee product in terms of its taste, high quality and marketability,” said Brian Randall, Group Vice President, Diversified Business Communications, who moderated the judging. “This year was particularly competitive, with a number of exceptional products competing.”
Entries were judged on the basis of such criteria as their newness, quality, taste, salability, and retail price point. The winning products will be displayed at Kosherfest, where the awards will be presented.
In addition, two products from Oxygen Imports of Carteret, NJ won awards. Strawberry Vanilla Fruit Fusion won for Best New Fine Foods from Israel and Tishbi Estate Red Wine Preserves won in the Best New Jam, Preserve or Spread category.
The judging panel consisted of Joseph Plueger, Director of Grocery, DPI-Midwest, Arlington Heights, IL; Marty Stein, Account Manager, Tree of Life, Albany, NY; Yakov Yarmove, Corporate Ethnic Category Manager, SuperValue, Melrose Park, IL; and Nancy Dumais, Marketing Manager, Hannaford Supermarkets, Scarborough, ME.

Here are the winners of the Kosherfest 2007 New Product Competition:
· Best New Cheese or Dairy – Kids Pizza Pouches, Quality Frozen Foods, Brooklyn, NY

· Best New Baked Goods, Breads, Grains or Cereal – Bagle-O’s, Kedem/Bagle-O’s, Bayonne, NJ

· Best New Dessert, Candies, Cookies, or Crackers – Marzipan Sushi, Shabtai Gourmet, Woodmere, NY

· Best New Snack Food – Zesty Veggie Latke Crisps, Thou Shall Snack, Seattle, WA

· Best New Fine Foods from Israel – Strawberry Vanilla Fruit Fusion, Oxygen Imports, Carteret, NJ

· Best New Beverage – Totally Light Energy Rush Berry, 4C Food Corp, Brooklyn, NY

· Best New Savory Condiment, Spice, Sauce, Oil, Vinegar or Dressing – Mikee Shitaki Teriyaki, Exotic Sauce Packaging, Farmingdale, NY

· Best New Pasta, Rice, Bean or Soup – Instant Noodles, D&S Distributing, Los Angeles, CA

· Best New Jam, Preserve or Spread – Tishbi Estate Red Wine Preserves, Oxygen Imports, Carteret, NJ

· Best New Kosher Organic Product – Elite Naturel Honeydew Melon Juice, Elite Naturel/Organic Juice USA, Bohemia, NY

· Best New Foodservice Product – Shofar So Good Apron, Davida Aprons & Logo Programs, Huntington Park, CA

· Best New Packaging/Design – The Exceptional Brownie, The Exceptional Dessert, New York, NY

· Best New Passover Product – Ten Plagues in Pyramid Box, Shulsinger Judaica, Brooklyn, NY

· Best New Wine, Beer or Spirit – Rimon Pomegrante Dessert Wine – 2005, Rimon Winery (Cannonball Wine Co.), Menlo Park, CA

· Best Meats, Seafood or Poultry – Beef Jerky, R.J.’s Kosher Beef Jerky, Los Angeles.

· Best in Show – Mikee Shitaki Teriyaki, Exotic Sauce Packaging, Farmingdale, NY

Diversified Business Communications launched the Cultural Food expos in direct response to the continued surge of ethnic food and beverage, with American consumers spending a reported $1 out of every $7 on ethnic foods. Diversified launched Expo Comida Latina in 2002 which has grown into the largest series of Hispanic professional food and beverage events in New York and Los Angeles. In 2003, the company strategically acquired Kosherfest and KosherToday, the world’s largest professional kosher event and business newsletter. Diversified launched All Asia Food in New York in 2004 and All Asia Food in Los Angeles in 2005.

Cultural Food New York and Cultural Food Los Angeles events directly reach an estimated 16,000 food and beverage professionals who look to the events for news, information, new products and strategies to grow their business.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ultimate Organic Gift Set for the Culinary Connoisseur!

This winter, Lucini Italia, purveyor of handcrafted Italian specialty foods, partners with the latest gastronomic sensation TSP Spices, to launch the quintessential gift for everyone and anyone on your holiday list. The delicious pairing of Lucini Italia’s Organic Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil™ and Organic Tuscan San Marzano Plum Tomatoes with TSP Spice’s organic savoir fare collection makes gifting even the most discerning friend or loved a breeze. Ideal for the aspiring chef, health-conscious cook, sophisticated hostess or favored co-worker, this collection transcends sex and age – it will work for everyone!. Even the reluctant cook will be seduced by its charm.

Lucini Italia Organics Limited Reserve Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Lucini Italia Organics extra virgin olive oil is made with only 100% organic Tuscan olives from select hillside estates where the olive trees date back for generations and the land has been cultivated for generations under the tenets of sustainable organic farming. The olives are handpicked at the peak of their flavor profile and pressed within 24 hours to capture the natural goodness of the olive fruit. The oil is a celebration of the highest level of taste and culinary standards, extending beyond the rigorous standards of European and US organic certifications.

Lucini Italia Organics Tuscan Harvest Plum Tomatoes
100%Organic • Limited Harvest
Drenched in the western coastal Tuscan summer sun and rooted in rich red Bolheri soil, Lucini Italia Organics plum tomatoes are grown in a very special place, coveted by Italy’s most renowned winemakers and dedicated to the tenets for sustainable organic farming. Handpicked on a single estate at their peak of ripeness for only two weeks each August, only a limited quantity of Tuscan Harvest plum tomatoes are available each harvest year. Revered for generations by Italians, it is the naturally sweet taste, aroma and firmness of these purebred San Marzano heirloom tomatoes that is sought out by chefs around the world.

TSP Spices Organic Savoir Fare
Marjoram • Sage
Sealed in pre-measured packets and placed in tin cans to protect them from light and air, tsp spices are designed to fit neatly into your cabinet or drawer. For knowing cooks, marjoram and sage are a deliciously compatible pair, especially during the holidays. Team them up to season a bread stuffing or port sausage. Try them separately to flavor soups or bean dishes. Tsp spices are truly unique – organic spices in perfectly measured, freshly sealed, single use packages. Fresh flavors, easy use and stylish storage…nice.

Suggested Retail Price: $60.00

About Lucini Italia
Lucini Italia is committed to creating authentic, handcrafted Italian specialty foods that are based on high quality fresh ingredients from Italy. From super premium, award winning extra virgin olive oils and aged vinegars, to gourmet sauces and artisanal soups, Lucini Italia creates 100% natural products, handmade in small batches for an exceptional taste experience. With a steadfast dedication to honoring regional Italian culinary traditions, Lucini Italia inspires both the home and professional chef. For more information, please visit

Cincinnati Best Teen ChefCompetition

For high school seniors that can stand
the heat of the kitchen, there's no better place to show off their culinary
know-how than at The Art Institutes Best Teen Chef Competition 2008.

Now in its ninth year, the Best Teen Chef Competition awards more than
$250,000 in tuition scholarships to The Art Institutes schools to high school
seniors in the U.S. and Canada interested in pursuing a career in the fast
growing culinary industry.

Top prize winners in the competition can win a full-tuition scholarship towards
an associate's degree, certificate or diploma program, to study culinary arts
at any of the 30 participating Art Institute locations including The Art
Institute of Ohio – Cincinnati.

In addition to a full-tuition scholarship and the title of Best Teen Chef 2008,
the first place winner in the national competition, in partnership with Food
Network, will be an "Intern for a Day" at the Food Network Kitchens in New
York City. The winner will also receive a tour of the Food Network Studios,
dinner for two at a Food Network chef's restaurant and a library of Food
Network Kitchens cookbooks.

According to Chef Dan Taylor, Chef Director at The Art Institute of Ohio –
Cincinnati, "Each year The Art Institutes see the interest in this competition
grow. Teenagers still in high school are demonstrating the determination,
focus and drive needed to have a career in the challenging field of culinary

To be eligible to participate in the competition, you must first send a
complete Entry & Release form to The Art Institute of Ohio – Cincinnati or fill
out an online entry form at by February 8, 2008.
Deadline for entries to be received into the competition at The Art Institute
of Ohio – Cincinnati is February 29, 2008. A Local Best Teen Chef Cook-off
Competition will be held at The Art Institute of Ohio – Cincinnati on April 12,

The National Best Teen Chef Final Round Competition will be held on
Saturday, May 17, 2008, at The Art Institute of Las Vegas.

For more information on The Best Teen Chef Competition, contact Summer
Hughes, 513-833-2400,, at The Art Institute of Ohio –
Cincinnati or visit,

The Art Institute of Ohio – Cincinnati is one of The Art Institutes
(, a system of over 35 locations throughout North
America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and
culinary arts professionals.

Angel Bromberg
Director of Communications
The Art Institute of Ohio – Cincinnati

Halloween Casserole - National Pasta Month Recipe

As National Past Month draws to a close, the last big event of the month is, of course, Halloween. With all the work parents have to do to get costumes ready, kids dressed (warmly in some parts of the country), out the door, and back home safely, there's hardly enough time for a sensible dinner!

So this week, Mary Ann Esposito, host of Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito™, television's longest running cooking show, presents a slow-cooking, short ribs and rigatoni casserole you can make ahead of time, refrigerate, and heat up before or after trick or treating.

"There's nothing scary about this Halloween casserole," observed Esposito. "Slow cooking produces the most tender and most delicious flavor. Plus, the great thing about this dish is that the entire casserole can be assembled and cooked hours before it's needed or cooked the day before and reheated. Either way, it is a winner. Just be sure not to stuff yourself so full with Halloween candy that you can't eat your Halloween casserole!"

The following recipe is provided as a part of Ciao Italia's celebration of National Pasta Month and can be found in the soon-to-be-released Ciao Italia Slow and Easy, Mary Ann Esposito's tenth cookbook due in stores on Nov. 13.

All Treat, No Trick: Ciao Italia's™ Halloween Casserole
Costine Con Rigatoni
Beef Short Ribs with Rigatoni

Mary Ann on this recipe: "I cook this beef short rib and rigatoni casserole for friends who don't often have this cut of meat. The success of this dish really depends on meaty, not fatty ribs, so get to know your butcher and look for well marbled ribs without excess fat. Ask for an English cut, which means pieces that are between 2 and 4 inches long."

Preheat oven to 300F

Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 meaty short ribs on the bone (about 4 pounds), 1 1/2-inches thick and 4 inches long
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup diced fennel
2 carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces Shittake mushrooms, stems removed, and caps cut in half
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
One 28 ounce can crushed plum tomatoes
2/3 cup red wine
2 tablespoons commercial balsamic vinegar
1 pound rigatoni or other short cut of pasta, like penne or bow ties
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for sprinkling

Heat the olive oil in a large oven-to-table stovetop casserole (12 x 2). Rub the ribs with salt and pepper and brown them in batches. Do not crowd the ribs or they will steam instead of brown. As they brown, transfer them to a dish.

If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain off most of it, leaving about 2 tablespoons, and brown the pancetta; stir in the onions, fennel, and carrots, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook two minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more. Raise the heat to high and pour in 1/3 cup of the wine. Cook until the wine almost evaporates, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the red pepper flakes and oregano.

Combine the remaining wine, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl; mix well, then pour over the ribs.

Cover the pan tightly with a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil and then a cover and bake for 2 hours or until the ribs are tender. Correct the sauce seasoning if need be.

Remove the ribs to a cutting board; trim the meat away from the bone and connective tissue into small pieces and return the meat to the pan. Discard the bones and connective tissue. Keep the ragu warm while the rigatoni cooks.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a rolling boil; add 1 tablespoon of salt and the rigatoni; cook until the rigatoni is al dente.

Drain the rigatoni and return it to the pot. Ladle some of the ragu sauce over the rigatoni and mix well. Transfer the rigatoni to a platter and pour the ragu over the penne. Or, mix the penne directly in the casserole dish and serve.

Sprinkle the top with grated Parmgiano-Reggiano cheese.

For the last 18 years Mary Ann Esposito has brought her unique brand of traditional, authentic Italian cooking to both national and international audiences, making Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito™ the longest-running cooking show on TV. Airing exclusively on PBS, she brings in 1.1 to 1.4 million viewers per episode in the top 25 media markets and has sold more than 900,000 cookbooks. Her website - - welcomes nearly 500,000 unique visitors every year.

Mary Ann's 10th cookbook, Ciao Italia Slow and Easy hits bookstores on Nov. 13 and features casseroles, stews, and lasagne recipes that use increasingly popular "slow cooking" techniques.

Black Perigord Winter Truffles

One of France’s finest exports, without a doubt, is the sought-after Black Perigord Winter Truffle. For this holiday season, will work with the Perigord purveyors to deliver these delicacies to customers in the United States. Whole fresh truffles will arrive in December and will be delivered overnight to consumers. This is a great opportunity to share this unique offering with your readers.

Highly prized by chefs and connoisseurs, this variety of truffle has an aroma, flavor and richness that is unmatched, and is known as the “black diamond” of truffles.

These truffles add an incomparable richness to unforgettable dishes. will take advance orders and will deliver on two dates only: December 13th and December 20th


1 oz. Whole truffles - $100
2 oz. Whole truffles - $200
3 oz. Whole truffles - $300

To see QuelObjet’s entire selection of gift and gourmet items imported from France, please visit

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Start the year off right, Lazy Man

Everyone knows that college students – and bachelors – can be quite lazy. Admit it, last night’s dinner (or even last week’s) is often still sitting on the table when you leave for class or work in the morning. And between homework, baths and story time, busy families often don’t have much time to dedicate to cleaning. This New Year, vow to keep the house, apartment or dorm room spic & span! Ninestars has made house cleaning just a little bit easier for everyone with a line of Infrared Trash Cans. They make the perfect gift for anyone in the family!

MSRP $49.95- $210.95

The patented infrared sensor detects movement within 10 inches, triggering the lid to open for you. All you have to do is stand in front of it! The trash can’s lid is made of ABS plastic that will not crack, warp or change color and shuts securely to trap pesky odors. Infrared Trash Can Collections include stainless steel, plastic and color. The Stainless Steel models range in size from 1.3 to 21 gallons while the Color and Plastic Collections are available in a compact size, perfect for bedrooms and offices. All of the trash cans are battery-operated, running for more than 10,000 opening and closing cycles (approximately a year) before the batteries need to be replaced.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Winemetrics' Virtual Brand Manager Shatters Wine Marketing Myths

The most elusive information in the wine industry is now available for the first time on-demand. Now, with just the click of a mouse, Winemetrics Virtual Brand Manager gives wine marketers and brand managers a snapshot view of how well a brand is performing in a specific market that year, and the performance of competing on-premise brands.

"This insight into wine distribution trends, organized by region and restaurant type, has simply never been available with this level of detail before," says Charles Gill, CEO of Winemetrics. "Winemetrics' Virtual Brand Manager is the essential on-premise wine brand report card for marketers, by marketers. For the first time, distributors are not selling in the dark. Market conditions and demand vary from region to region, state to state, and market to market. It's been impossible to get an accurate picture of on-premise brand performance using traditional systems. Now, with our Virtual Brand Manager, brand managers and marketers get a complete competitive picture, in an easy-to-read format that will help them identify distribution opportunities, and reach or exceed their brand goals."

Winemetrics' Virtual Brand Manager includes data for over 13,000 brands from 10,500 restaurant wine lists nationwide. It delivers wine brand marketers in-depth insight into on-premise (outlets where wine is consumed, e.g., restaurants, hotels, clubs, etc.) brand performance in over 25 U.S. major metro markets. Users simply log on to their VBM account, select a brand (theirs or a competitor's), a market, and one (or all) of eight reports covering distribution rankings and competitive analysis; and click 'generate!' Reports include:

· Market Profile, which provides an overview of the on-premise market, and is the only non-brand-specific report. It shows the make up of Winemetrics' representative sample of the on-premise market, and is broken down by restaurant type (casual, catering, or fine dining) and cuisine (American, Italian, Seafood, and so on). This helps brand marketers understand how ripe the region is for distribution opportunities.

· Distribution by Restaurant Type, which shows how many restaurants in the market sample offer the brand, revealing its distribution scope and popularity. It also breaks down restaurants by type and cuisine, so brand marketers can see where they have the strongest distribution.

· Producer Ranking Profile, which compares a brand's national ranking with its position in the designated market brand on wine list placements. This lets brand marketers determine their brand's market performance compared to its national standing.

· Distribution by Bottle, which reveals how many restaurants offer the brand by the bottle, and is broken down by product. Brand marketers can use this information to track how their wine is being offered to consumers, while giving restaurateurs insight into how their competitors are offering the brand.

· Distribution by Glass, which works similar to the Distribution by Bottle report, showing the number of restaurants offering the brand by the glass by product. Brand marketers can use this information in the same way as the by the bottle report.

· Quality History Analysis, which focuses on the brand's four most widely distributed products (brand plus variety and designation). It lists each wine's average ratings over the past 10 years using data compiled from the country's top four industry trade publications. This lets users identify which product boasts the most favorable ratings, which they can use as a selling point to distributors and consumers.

· Competitive Set of Top Three Products, which determines the competitive set of a target brand's top 3 products based on region, variety, and wine list price. Average price and average ratings are compiled from the top four U.S. wine publications for the past three vintages. This shows users those products with the strongest on-premise presence on in the marketplace.

Armed with this data, users can monitor brand performance at the on-premise level, and adapt outreach and promotion strategies based on specific market conditions. For example, brand marketers can focus efforts in regions where their brand is most desired, or boost efforts in regions where their brand is under-performing. In addition, they can research other brands' performance to gain better understanding of their competition, and develop targeted marketing techniques to gain a competitive edge.

Winemetrics compiled the brand data from wine lists at 10,500 wine-oriented fine-dining and casual restaurants in 15 states. Independent restaurants and regional and national chains were researched for the database. Information is updated semi-annually. To learn more about Winemetrics' Virtual Brand Manager, view a demo report, or sign up for an annual subscription, please visit Also available for purchase at is Winemetrics' 2007 On-Premise Wine Distribution Report, the industry's first wine list report card that includes detailed data about which wines are making restaurant wine lists.

Winemetrics is the leading source of on-premise wine information and analysis, and provides the most complete, objective wine market intelligence available. Using information extracted from restaurant wine lists nationwide, Winemetrics provides distribution analysis and wine list management tools to wine suppliers, marketers, distributors, and restaurant wine managers. Its trio of software programs-Virtual Brand Manager, Wine List Analyzer, and Wine List Creator-delivers industry executives and restaurateurs instant reports on their wine brand performance and wine list quality, generating the most profitable distribution targets and wine lists in minutes. The company is headquartered in Fairfield, Conn. Visit the Web site at

Monday, October 22, 2007

Craft Beer and Food for the Holidays

Craft Beer and Food for the Holidays, a free program from the Brewers Association, highlights the ways in which craft beer styles complement many traditional American holiday foods. The program delves into pairings such as ale with traditional American foods, a pairing frequently mentioned in reference to the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. The website,, is for beverage and food lovers interested in complementary flavors at the holiday dinner table.

The web site was created in 2006 to encourage those hosting holiday celebrations to include craft beer in their holiday dinner menus. At is information for beer and food enthusiasts who want to learn “what to drink” and “how to serve” craft beer at their holiday meals. The web area also allows craft breweries around the nation to post their holiday release beers and beer and food pairings associated with the breweries.

The caramelized and toasted grain flavors in many beers complement the flavors of roast turkey while herbal hop additions pair nicely with popular holiday seasonings such as sage. Furthermore, the carbonation, fruitiness and balanced bitterness of many craft beers allow them to stand up to creamy, butter-rich preparations like mashed potatoes, creamed corn and similar fare.

Julia Herz, a spokesperson for the Brewers Association stated, “Our country’s history is rich with stories of beer and food and craft beer picks up where wine leaves off. Many styles of beer both complement and contrast the food they are paired with, whereas wine mostly contrasts. The holiday dinner table is a very appropriate place for beer made from America’s small, independent and traditional brewers.”

Here are some suggestions listed on for beer styles to pair with various main courses:

Traditional Roast Turkey: The roasted and caramelized skin matches well with amber ale, a strong golden ale or an amber lager in the Vienna style.

Ham: Like the fruit and cloves often used to prepare ham, the fruity, clove notes in weizen or the stronger weizenbock complement ham at the dinner table.

Duck: The darker meat of duck offers a richer flavor than turkey and can stand up to a richer beer as well. Here a Belgian-inspired dubbel or a hearty Oktoberfest lager would go well.

Goose: Here a richer beer than you would choose for turkey is in order. A Belgian-style triple or biere de garde would work well as would a bock or Scotch ale.

Salmon: A dunkel lager or Scottish ale can offer a clean toasted malt note to offset the firm flavors of salmon without a lot of bitterness that would overwhelm the fish. Other options would include a mild ale or steam beer.

Leg of Lamb: Pale ales provide a pleasant foil to lamb with a spicy or herbal character to complement the character of the meat along with some toasted malt notes. Or for more harmony with the roasted flavors of the meat, try a hoppy brown ale or porter.

Beef Tenderloin: This rich hearty cut of meat deserves a robust beer as a counterpoint but also calls for some contrast to clear the palate between bites. The ideal companion would be an IPA or Imperial IPA. Other options might include a tripel or old ale.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Top-Selling Imported Liquor Joins National Rodeo Tour

Jägermeister Liqueur, the country’s best selling shot brand and top selling imported liqueur, will be the first presenting sponsor of the Toughest Cowboy rodeo competition and tour. The announcement comes from Jac Sperling, Chairman and CEO Grit Rock Ventures, and Eric Stevens, President AEG Events & Media, owners of this exciting new rodeo format featuring a national 10-city tour and television series.

Rodeo is among the fastest growing sports in America, and Toughest Cowboy is revolutionizing the sport by introducing an exciting and innovative format to new audiences in new venues across America. Unlike other rodeos where riders usually compete in just one discipline, the Toughest Cowboy is an unprecedented test of endurance as all competitors must ride in three disciplines in one night (Bareback Riding, Bull Riding and Saddle Bronc Riding). The events feature head-to-head matches throughout the season leading to the playoffs and championship…ultimately crowning someone the Toughest Cowboy Champion.

The ten-episode, nationally-televised sports competition will air on Fox Sports Network. With its grit and extreme excitement, Toughest Cowboy will be one of the most exhilarating and compelling rodeo events for fans and its partners.

As the Presenting Sponsor and the official and exclusive distilled spirits marketing partner of the ten-event sports tour, Jägermeister will receive integrated signage and branding in arena and on-air within the television episodes. Jägermeister will also receive team sponsorship (branded jersey on one of the ‘Toughest Cowboy’ competitors). The brand will have the opportunity to initiate Toughest Cowboy-branded retail promotions, including a Jägermeister bar tour. Jägermeister becomes the anchor of a growing list of partners who recognize the strength of this new rodeo brand, including Wrangler, Polaris, B & W Trailer Hitches, Super Clean, ReelzChannel and Ariat.

Jägermeister, a leader in music tours and performances, will also sponsor the in-arena concert which takes place at the end of each Toughest Cowboy competition.

Terms of the partnership between Grit Rock Rodeo and the Sidney Frank Importing Company, owners and distributors of Jägermeister, were not released.

“We are excited to be partners with Jägermeister, a legend in the distilled spirits category and the marketing world in general,” says Jac Sperling, Chairman & CEO of Grit Rock Rodeo. “Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc., the importer of Jägermeister in the United States, has built a very loyal fan following. We know they can help us convert Jägermeister patrons into fans of Toughest Cowboy as we grow this exciting, new TV series and tour dramatically over the coming years.”

“We’re looking forward to getting into the rodeo ring with Grit Rock and AEG,” says Lee Einsidler, CEO of Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. “We’ve been searching for a new and exciting way to market Jägermeister, and it’s hard to find anything more exciting than rodeo. We’ve been impressed by Grit Rock and AEG, and we know that the addition of Jägermeister to the Toughest Cowboy will up the volume and amp up the energy.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Jägermeister, one of the word’s most recognizable brand names,” says Eric Stevens, President, AEG Events and Media. “Jägermeister’s notoriety and brand appeal is an ideal partner for the Toughest Cowboy. We look forward to working with Sidney Frank Importing to create programming that truly connects this exciting competition and brand association with their customers.”

Imported from Germany and made with herbs and spices, Jägermeister is the most popular shot brand in the United States and the leading imported cordial. Known for its creative marketing and innovative promotions, Jägermeister is imported by Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. of New Rochelle, NY who encourages responsible drinking for those 21 and over. For more information, visit

Real Men Eat Soy: The Truth about Soy and Sperm Count

Caution: headlines claiming “soy products may lower sperm count” do not tell the whole story. The small scale, preliminary study that Dr. Jorge Chavarro from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine was based on recollected intake of soyfoods and not on specific diets containing soyfoods. “This study is confounded by many issues, thus I feel the results should be viewed with a great deal of caution,” warned Dr. Tammy Hedlund, a researcher on male fertility issues, including soy, from the Health Sciences Center, Department of Pathology at the University of Colorado. The research did not find a negative relationship between soy and sperm mobility or sperm quality, which are both key factors to fertility. The study also did not determine directly what other foods, medications, supplements, existing medical conditions, sexual activities or environmental factors may have directly affected the drop in sperm count.

Generations of Asians have regularly consumed soyfoods without fertility disorders, and Asian countries have prodigiously produced very healthy, highly functioning children for centuries. According to New Scientist, “Chavarro admits that many East Asian men consume much more soya than the participants in his trial and do not develop fertility problems. He speculates that his study found a link between soya and low sperm count because many of the participants were overweight or obese. Men with high levels of body fat produce more oestrogen than their slim counterparts.”

Chavarro’s study conflicts with the large body of U.S. government and National Institute of Health-sponsored human and primate research, in which controlled amounts of isoflavones from soy were fed and no effect on quantity, quality or motility of sperm were observed. Upon hearing of Chavarro’s findings, Dr. Stephen Barnes, a pharmacologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, noted, “This study is the first to find this correlation. The research on soy in men has not found a negative impact on male hormones but rather has suggested a preventive effect in prostate cancer.”

Learn the facts about healthy soyfoods. Studies have indicated soyfoods may lower cholesterol, may boost cognitive function and may protect against prostate cancer. For more information, visit

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Trader Vic's Las Vegas Marks Opening with Arrival of Tikis

The famed four-mile stretch of the glittering Las Vegas Strip was reminiscent of Easter Island today, as dozens of tiki statues mysteriously appeared to mark the opening of the Trader Vic’s restaurant at the Miracle Mile Shops at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Check out the video here!

Origins unknown, the tikis are definitely friendly. Tourists are invited to take pictures with the tikis and rub them for good luck. Casino gamblers infused with tiki-power can expect much good fortune, and Trader Vic’s apologizes in advance to casino operators who can expect payouts of record jackpots today. Tiki sightings have been reported by the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, by the replica Eiffel Tower and many of the tikis appear intent on watching the Bellagio fountain show. Magic tikis were also spotted on-stage with famed illusionist, Hans Klok.

Each of the tiki statues are hand-carved and stand 6-feet tall by 3-feet wide. Don’t be rude and ask how much they weigh, because those Trader Vic’s BBQ Kobe short ribs with nashi pear salad and soy sake glazed Hawaiian ono with green papaya salad are hard to refuse! Suffice it to say, they’re healthy, robust tikis.

*In the mythology of some Polynesian peoples, Tiki was the first man on earth. There are several versions of the Tiki’s story, but according to the Maori, the god Tumatauenga created him. One day, Tiki saw a woman, Marikriko, swimming in a lake and was overcome by her beauty. Marikoriko seduced Tiki and the two eventually married. The traditional Tiki is today regarded as a symbol of good luck and fertility. Trader Vic’s is regarded as a symbol of good food, good fun and a laid-back tropical atmosphere.

* In deference to Polynesian cultures, the tikis created for this event are only representative of authentic tikis and do not accurately depict any actual cultural symbols. We saw that Brady Bunch episode and we’re not about to mess around with the mojo of the Tiki. D’uh.

With an upscale restaurant, second-level ultralounge and outdoor party patio overlooking the famed-Las Vegas Strip, Trader Vic’s Las Vegas is a 15,000 sq. ft. dining and entertainment venue that will appeal to all Inspired by Trader Vic’s famed tropical island motif, Trader Vic’s Las Vegas features contemporary design with backlit inlaid bamboo walls, zebra wood fixtures and a sweeping shingled roof. Forty-foot tall wooden tikis preside over the dining room, and the amplified sounds of progressive house and electronic lounge music emanate from two separate DJ booths.

Diners can enjoy a wide variety of Asian/Polynesian inspired dishes such as Hawaiian poke with ahi and hamachi served with taro chips, traditional bongo bongo soup, BBQ Kobe short ribs with nashi pear salad and soy sake glazed Hawaiian ono with green papaya salad. Let the libations flow with Trader Vic’s famous (and infamous) cocktail menu of more than 40 specialty drinks, including the original Mai Tai, and other signature cocktails such as the Scorpion and Navy Grog.

Hours of operation:
Restaurant: 11am - Midnight (7 days a week)
Patio: 11am - 4am (7 days a week)
Ultra lounge: Thursday – Monday 9pm - 3am (Closed Tuesday & Wednesday)
Retail Boutique: 10am – Midnight (7 days a week)

• Dress code for ultralounge and restaurant (no dress code for patio)
• Entrees from $9 to $35
• DJ entertainment
• Non-smoking restaurant
• Smoking permitted in ultralounge and patio
• Wheelchair accessible
• Vegetarian friendly
• All major credit cards accepted
• Reservations recommended
• Phone #702.405.4700 or or

Bagging the Brown Bag Lunch in 2008: Revamp your child's lunch with fun, healthy alternatives

Globally, there are more than 300 million obese adults. Obesity most commonly begins in childhood between the ages of 5 and 6, and during adolescence; studies have shown that a child who is obese between the ages of 10 and 13 has an 80 percent chance of becoming an obese adult.

The New Year is a great time to introduce some healthy new recipes and ingredients into your child’s lunch box!

Below are five great tips and recipes (for each day of the week) from Ellie Krieger and the Just One More for Healthy Living Campaign to add just one more veggie and fruit daily, and lean protein – like tuna – weekly, to set your child up for a healthy future.

Aim to “Eat the Rainbow” at every meal – this is a fun way for kids to get the nutrition they need. Add fresh, green and red bell peppers to a StarKist tuna wrap or sandwich for added crunch and color.
Prepare Vegetable Pasta Salad (recipe below) in the evening and pack it in a single-serve container for an easy and delicious lunch kids will love.
Instead of using jelly, add sliced, fresh fruit, like banana, apple or mango, to a peanut butter sandwich.
Toss in a Del Monte Fruit Naturals, a convenient, individual serving of fresh-tasting fruit – peeled, sliced and ready-to-eat, and skip the slicing, peeling and mess of cutting up fruit. Fruit Naturals are available in seven varieties.
Pack a couple mini kebabs of low-fat cheese cubes, apples and grapes.

Vegetable Pasta Salad
Serves 6-8

6 oz. uncooked corkscrew pasta
1 can (14-½ oz.) Del Monte® Cut Green Beans, drained
1 can (11 oz.) Del Monte® Summer Crisp Vacuum Packed Whole Kernel Sweet Corn, drained
1 can (8-¼ ) Del Monte® Sliced Carrots, drained
1 can (2-½ oz.) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 cup bottled low-calorie Italian dressing
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
1/3 cup red or green pepper, diced

Cook pasta as package directs; rinse with cold water and drain well.
Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl; toss to coat. Chill if desired.

Just One More for Healthy Living Campaign
The Just One More for Healthy Living program, which was created in 2006, encourages families to take simple steps each day that will result in a lifetime of good health by adding just one more daily serving of fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes, just one more weekly serving of lean protein such as tuna, and just one more physical activity each day. Del Monte and StarKist brands, the YMCA of the USA, and the Food Network’s Ellie Krieger empower American families to start living healthier, more energized lives with the Just One More for Healthy Living campaign and pledge. Over 60,000 families have already taken the pledge!

New film King Corn responds to National Corn Growers Assn

The filmmakers behind King Corn responded today to the National Corn Growers Association by admitting that “yes, we do want to shake up the Farm Bill debate.”

“While we recognize that U.S. corn growers have grown 93 million acres and we’ve only grown one acre, we did learn a few interesting things in the process,” said Curt Ellis, one of the pair of amateur farmers featured in the new documentary film.

As critics have pointed out, the film is notable for its respect of the farmers that Ellis and Ian Cheney met during their time in Greene, Iowa. “Most of what we learned, we learned from the farmers that taught us,” said director Aaron Woolf.

“What King Corn does do is take a fresh look at how government-subsidized, all-out corn production enables a food system awash in nutritionally empty calories, said Cheney.

“King Corn focuses on the food aspects of corn, which are largely missing from the Farm Bill debate right now,” Woolf added, “and which do have a tremendous influence on our nation’s health.

The epidemics of diabetes and obesity, fueled by an abundance of commodity-based processed foods, are important problems which should be addressed in the 2007 Farm Bill, but which so far have largely been ignored.

The film opened to sellout crowds in New York last weekend, screened last night on Capitol Hill, and opens in Washington, D.C. this Friday at the E Street Cinema. More national dates may be found at

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2007 Blue Plate Awards for KY Restaurants

2007 Blue Plate Award Nominees

Independent Casual Restaurant - Presented by Somerset Food Service

Ramsi’s, Louisville
The gold standard of Bardstown Road, the #1 independent restaurant district in the region.

Three Suns Bistro, Nicholasville
Mediterranean concept with good vibes for food.

Greyhound Tavern, Florence
A Northern Kentucky favorite, known for fried chicken and other comfort foods.

Mordecai’s, Springfield
New ownership has given new life to long-time regional favorite.

Café Lou Lou, Louisville
They just moved to an upscale location and legions followed and grew.

Stone Hearth, Elizabethtown
20 years of doing things right in E-town. Dry no more.

Pompilio’s, Newport
Real Italian family cooking the way Newport likes it for 55 years.

Joe Bologna’s, Lexington
The stained glass windows in this onetime Jewish temple add character to this landmark UK-area restaurant.

Los Aztecas, Louisville
Downtown corner spot handles busy, busy, busy lunch crowd every day.

Independent Upscale Restaurant - Presented by Prep Magazine

Greenup Café, Newport
Owned by Jean Roberd, formerly of The Maissonette in Cincinnati. Exceptional patio.

Black Tulip, Midway
Jazzy feel in the heart of horse country with a welcoming front patio.

Murray’s, Lexington
A striking hearthstone fireplace on the patio, true Southern comfort inside.

Volare, Louisville
First-rate restaurant brings Chicago atmosphere and food to the Derby City.

610 Magnolia, Louisville
Old Louisville’s destination restaurant neighboring UofL.

211 Clover, Louisville
Perfect presentation for old-money clientele in St. Matthews.

Old Stone Inn, Simpsonville
Owners Paul and Sally Crump accommodate the saddle-bred world of Shelby County.

Azur, Lexington
Could win an award for contemporary restaurant design. Food, service and bar also deliver.

August Moon, Louisville
Introduced and perfected upscale Asian dining.

Chef - Presented by Sullivan University’s National Center For Hospitality Studies

Jonathan Gossett, Dudley’s, Lexington
Many great chefs started in this kitchen; Chef Gossett is the latest, with an adventurous flair.

Michael Paley, Proof On Main, Louisville
He brings prestige and knowledge to the city’s dining scene.

Jeff Jarfi, Jarfi’s, Louisville
A crowd pleaser with his restaurant in the Kentucky Center and Mellwood Arts Center.

Ed Valente, Spindletop Hall, Lexington
A leader of the culinary community in the Bluegrass who loves food.

Patrick Colley, Louisville Country Club, Louisville
Executive chef at Kentucky’s most exclusive country club.

Jim Gerhardt, Louisville/Crestview Hills
His plate presentation is second to none.

Gil Logan, Churchill Downs, Louisville
Always goes over the top, including his dinner for the Queen at the Kentucky Derby this year.

John Plymale, Porcini’s, Louisville
The original chef at Crescent Hill’s most popular restaurant.

Barbecue - Presented by Kentucky Pork Producers

Old Hickory, Owensboro
The locals give it the highest marks in town.

Moonlite Barbecue, Owensboro
Maybe Kentucky’s most famous restaurant.

Roberson High Burger, Murray
If you went to Murray State, you remember this place for burgers and barbecue.

Montgomery Inn, Florence
Founded in Cincinnati, this was Bob Hope’s favorite restaurant.

Billy’s, Lexington
A western style barbecue that has kept them coming for 20 years.

Hill’s Barbecue, Mayfield
A name restaurant in western Kentucky that’s been in the same family for generations.

Roy’s Barbecue, Russellville
The barbecue is so good that people eat there twice a day.

Jucy’s, Louisville
A favorite on the east side in a city not known for barbecue.

Brother’s Bar-B-Que Plantation, Madisonville
Long time restaurant family offers new BBQ place in Western Kentucky.

Local Foods - Presented by Kentucky Proud

Lilly’s, Louisville
Chef/owner Kathy Cary believed in local food from the beginning and keeps the faith.

Artemesia, Louisville
An artsy restaurant that keeps upgrading its menu with local fare.

Holly Hill Inn, Midway
80 percent of Chef Quita Michel’s menu is local food. By the way, she’s an amazing cook.

Stella’s Deli, Lexington
Passionate about local farmers, supporting local food economies and using seasonally available ingredients.

Le Relais, Louisville
Chef Daniel Stage favors fresh, local ingredients for his French cuisine.

Jonathan at Gratz Park Inn, Lexington
Chef Jonathan Lundy always comes to mind for culinary creativity and local foods.

Ramsey’s, Lexington
A leading independent casual restaurant whose menu strongly supports local foods.

Chaney’s Dairy Barn, Bowling Green
Carl Chaney takes milk from his dairy farm and makes ice cream.

New Place - Presented by Kentucky Bison

Heirloom, Midway
Midway adds another notch on its belt as Kentucky’s best small town for restaurants.

Courthouse Bakery, Versailles
Pastry chef/owner Ginny Richardson pleasantly surprises everyone with an upscale bakery in Versailles.

The Brickyard Restaurant, Franklin
The boys from Bosnia via Bowling Green do it again on the border of Tennessee.

Basa, Louisville
Upscale, dinner only, Vietnamese restaurant has been an instant success in Crescent Hill.

Shiraz, Louisville
Everyone needs help ordering this Persian food and then they just love it.

Mojito’s, Louisville
The creators of Havana Rumba Restaurant are two-for-two with this new tapas concept.

Smashing Tomato, Lexington
The founder of Fazoli’s is rolling out this new fast casual Italian concept that looks like a winner.

Veranese, Louisville
Solid reviews from The Courier-Journal and Hotbytes blog.

Independent Steak Restaurant - Presented by the Kentucky Beef Council

Malone’s, Lexington
Its popularity just keeps growing with a third Lexington location on the drawing board.

Mike and Jimmy’s Chophouse, Crestview Hills
Chef/owners Jim Gerhardt and Michael Cunha bring a nice style to northern Kentucky.

Jeff Ruby’s, Louisville
This place is dripping with opulence and great food. You feel famous just by eating there.

Charlie’s Steakhouse, Oak Grove
Fort Campbell marches in for steaks that hang over the edge of the plate.

Little Taste of Texas, Glasgow
Winners of the Beef Backer award for their choice of meats.

Cattleman’s Roadhouse, Shelbyville
Steak and salad bar have been the right combination to launch growing venture off I-64, at exit 32.

Business Lunch Restaurant - Presented by The Lane Report

Bellini’s, Lexington
Excellent Italian food in a renovated downtown space that now includes a bakery, banquet room and classy martini bar.

440 Main, Bowling Green
Upscale and casual, a downtown favorite for food and drinks.

Vincenzo’s, Louisville
The way fine dining was meant to be. Your clients will be impressed.

Bristol Bar & Grille, Louisville
Selecting Bristol’s as the place for a business lunch is always a good choice.

Sarafini’s, Frankfort
The obvious choice for a business lunch in Kentucky’s state capital.

Z’s Oyster Bar, Louisville
On restaurant row (Hurstbourne Lane) in Louisville, Z’s stands up to the chains.

Briar Patch, Owensboro
A steak and prime rib restaurant found in the BBQ capital.

Exploring Kentucky Award

Courthouse Café, Whitesburg
Mary Richardson offers five different daily specials. Son Jared is partner in Wallace Station in Midway.

Chirico Ristorante, Pikeville
Known for enormous portions by those dining in the Pensan Hotel.

Billy Ray’s, Prestonsburg
A three-meals-a-day restaurant, with hamburgers that go three hands high. Incredible desserts.

Hot Diggity Dog, Cadiz
Serving Nathan’s hot dogs to provide taste of NYC in Western Kentucky.

Patti’s Settlement, Grand Rivers
A restaurant that comprises an entire town, with shopping, dining and mile-high meringue pies.

The Feed Mill Restaurant, Morganfield
Jambalaya, red beans and rice and etouffee - Cajun cooking in the country.

DiFabio’s, Madisonville
Pure Italian with great atmosphere.

Doe Run Inn, Brandenburg
Scenic, quiet setting known for fried chicken and other country cooking.

Kentucky Winery-Presented by Kentucky Grape and Wine Council

Talon Winery, Lexington
Tobacco barn became reception hall.

Equus Run Winery, Midway
Concerts have grown to attract thousands.

Springhill Winery, Springhill
Historic bed and breakfast near Bardstown.

Lover’s Leap Winery, Lawrenceburg
Nestled in the hills by the Kentucky River.

Jean Farris Winery, Lexington
Horse country winery with nice café.

Chrisman Mill Winery, Nicholasville
Celebrate their winery’s 10th anniversary this December.

Elk Creek Winery, Owenton
Winery includes a spectacular lodge with three-story stone hearth fireplace.

Smith-Berry Winery, New Castle
They converted a dairy barn into an art gallery.

In Town Winery, Louisville
Buying grapes in Kentucky and making wine in downtown Louisville bistro.

Acres of Land Winery, Richmond
A scenic drive off the beaten path.

Lawsuits Announced Against Nation's Biggest Organic Dairy

Acting on behalf of organic food
consumers in 27 states, class action lawsuits are being filed in U.S.
federal courts, in St. Louis and Denver, against the nation’s largest
organic dairy. The suits charge Aurora Dairy Corporation, based in
Boulder, Colorado, with allegations of consumer fraud, negligence,
and unjust enrichment concerning the sale of organic milk by the
company. This past April, Aurora officials received a notice from
the USDA detailing multiple and “willful” violations of federal
organic law that were found by federal investigators.

“This is the largest scandal in the history of the organic industry,”
said Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based farm
policy research group. Cornucopia’s 2005 formal legal complaint
first alerted USDA investigators to the improprieties occurring at
Aurora. “Aurora was taking advantage of the consumer’s good will in
the marketplace toward organics, and the USDA has allowed this
scofflaw-corporation to continue to operate,” Kastel added.

Law firms based in Ohio, Illinois, and Missouri have so far have
filed one of the lawsuits in Missouri, with another suit, covering
dozens of additional states where plaintiffs live, due to be filed in
Denver tomorrow. The attorneys are seeking damages from Aurora to
reimburse consumers harmed by the company’s actions and are
requesting that the U.S. District Courts put an injunction in place
to halt the ongoing sale of Aurora’s organic milk in the nation’s
grocery stores until it can be demonstrated that the company is
complying with federal organic regulations.

Aurora, with $100 million in annual sales, provides milk that is sold
as organic and packaged as private label, store-brand products for
some of the nation’s biggest chains, including Wal-Mart, Target,
Costco, Safeway, Wild Oats, and about 20 others.

Independent investigators at the USDA concluded earlier this year
that Aurora—with five dairy facilities in Colorado and Texas, each
milking thousands of cows—had 14 “willful” violations of federal
organic regulations. One of the most egregious of the findings was
that from December 5, 2003, to April 16, 2007, the Aurora Dairy
“labeled and represented milk as organically produced, when such milk
was not produced and handled in accordance with the National Organic
Program regulations.”

Cornucopia's research, since confirmed by a two-year investigation by
federal law enforcement agents, found that Aurora was confining their
cows to pens and sheds in feedlots rather than grazing the animals as
the federal law requires. Furthermore, Aurora brought conventional
animals into their organic milking operation in a manner prohibited
by the Organic Food Production Act, a law passed by Congress in 1990
and implemented in 2002 by the USDA.

“We believe that there are tens of thousands of consumers across the
United States who have been directly impacted by Aurora’s practices,”
said Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association. “We are
pleased to see this legal action. We will do what we can to ensure
that organic continues to mean organic and that consumers get exactly
that when they are paying premium prices for organic food,” Cummins

“I feel cheated by Aurora’s organic misrepresentations,” said Sandie
Regan, an organic consumer from Crown Point, Indiana, and one of the
parties to the lawsuit. “I am willing to pay more at the grocery
store for organic milk because I believe the milk is healthier for
me. But it doesn’t look like I was getting what I paid for,” Regan

In addition to Missouri plaintiffs being represented by the St.
Louis, Missouri–based law firm Simon Passanante, the larger
multistate Denver suit is being handled by, attorneys from Lane,
Alton, Horst in Columbus, Ohio, Wolf, Haldenstein, Adler, Freeman,
and Herz in Chicago, Illinois, and Gray, Ritter, and Graham, also
based in St. Louis.

“We encourage anyone who has purchased some of Aurora’s private-label
products to contact OCA or Cornucopia, and we will help them obtain
justice,” the Cornucopia's Kastel added. Although not plaintiffs
themselves, the two public-interest groups have supported the lawsuit
through research and organizing. A list of the grocery chains
supplied by Aurora, the nation's largest private-label bottler, can
be secured by contacting OCA or Cornucopia.

Cornucopia and OCA point out that Aurora is a "horrible aberration"
and that the vast majority of all organic dairy products are produced
with high integrity. In a scorecard published last year, and
available on their web site, Cornucopia rates over 90% of organic
name-brand dairy products as truly subscribing to the letter and
spirit of the law (available at

“Aurora’s actions have injured the reputation of the more than 1500
legitimate organic dairy farmers who are faithfully following federal
organic rules and regulations,” noted Kastel. “We cannot allow these
families to be placed at a competitive disadvantage.”

Many industry observers feel that the USDA’s enforcement mechanism
broke down in the Aurora case. After career USDA staff drafted a
Letter of Proposed Revocation, seeking to prevent Aurora from
engaging in organic commerce, political appointees at the agency
intervened, crafting an agreement allowing Aurora to remain in business.

"It is unconscionable that the USDA allowed Aurora to continue, after
making millions of dollars, in this ‘ethics-based’ industry, when
they had concluded that Aurora willfully violated the law," Kastel
added. "However, there is a higher authority in terms of organic
integrity than the USDA—that's the organic consumer. And they are
about to make their voices heard through the courts."

The first wines for Christian consumers

It was at a wedding in Galilee where, 2,000 years ago, Jesus turned water into wine. Today, this region is home to The Grapes of GalileeTM, wines of exceptional quality crafted with the modern Christian in mind.

The Grapes of Galilee are grown by the Sea of Galilee and watered by the Jordan River, where Jesus was baptized. They are ideal for celebrations such as wedding receptions and communions, or any festive occasions when Christians seek a physical connection to their spiritual homeland.

“The history of this wine is something that we can all share together,” says UC San Diego student Adam Haroz, who founded import company Haroz Vintners with his father, Pini, after being inspired by a trip to Israel. “I hope to provide a way to strengthen the bond between Israel and many other people through bringing wine from Galilee to the houses of the Christian community.”

Israeli wines have made great strides in recent decades, and the Galilee region is best suited for viticulture. The high elevation, cool breezes, marked day and night temperature changes and rich, well-drained soils make the area ideal for The Grapes of Galilee’s cabernet, merlot and chardonnay varietals. All three Grapes of Galilee wines are currently available in the United States.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 - Deep royal purple, showing herbal and black olive flavors backed up nicely by currants and wild berries. Soft tannins and good balance make the wine fun to drink.
Merlot 2005 - Medium bodied, with soft tannins and generous berry and black cherry fruits; very pleasant.
Chardonnay 2006 - Light gold, medium bodied, with citrus and tropical fruits on a lightly earthy background. Good balancing acidity keeps the wine lively and fruity.
The wines retail for $13.99 and are currently available in retail stores in Connecticut, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York -- and wholesale distributors in several other states are in the works. “This is a completely unique venture,” says president Pini Haroz. “No one else is doing anything like this.”

To learn more about The Grapes of Galilee, purchase wine or inquire about wholesale distribution, visit

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Great American Beer Festival Winners Announced

More than 100 judges labored for three days to evaluate 2,793 beers and pick the best entries and top breweries for this year’s Great American Beer Festival. A total of 222 medals were awarded in 75 beer style categories and top breweries and brewers were designated based on the total number of medals won. The five top awards recognize small, medium and large breweries and small and large brewpubs. The awards went to the following breweries:

Large Brewing Company and Large Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Pabst Brewing Company, Woodridge, IL
Bob Newman

Mid-Size Brewing Company and Mid-Size Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by HopUnion CBS, LLC
Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Paso Robles, California
Matt Brynildson

Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Microstar Keg Management
Port Brewing & The Lost Abbey, San Marcos, California
Tomme Arthur

Large Brewpub and Large Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Brewery Supply Group
Redrock Brewing Company, Salt Lake City, Utah
Kevin Templin

Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year
Sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients Co.
Montana Brewing Co., Billings, Montana
Travis Zelstra

Bronze, silver and gold medals were awarded in each of the 75 style categories. For a complete list of winners please see

Brewers covet Great American Beer Festival (GABF) medals as the highest recognition of their brewing talents and beer quality. Each year brewers send their beers to Denver to be evaluated by the festival's Professional Judge Panel which looks to select the three beers that best represent each style. Winners tout their awards to customers and their communities to help build their sales and reputations.

This year 473 breweries entered 2,793 beers making 2007 the most competitive GABF on record. Only 8 percent of all beers entered earned a medal. Only one percent of the breweries entered were recognized with “Brewery of the Year” awards. In total 142 breweries—30 percent of all those participating—won at least one medal this year. Only 62 breweries—13 percent of all those participating—won at least one gold medal this year.

As in recent years, American-style India Pale Ale drew the largest number of entries with 120 in total. This year the competition saw explosive growth in the Fruit and Vegetable Beer category from 46 entries in 2006 to 94 entries in 2007. The Wood- Barrel-Aged Beer category also grew, going from 58 entries in 2006 to 72 entries in 2007. The newest category of Gluten Free Beer had just 8 entries this year, and Judge Director Chris Swersey believes it will grow dramatically in the future.

Pro-Am Competition

Medals for the 2nd annual GABF Pro-Am Competition, sponsored by Briess Malt & Ingredients, Co. and HopUnion CBS, LLC, were also awarded. The GABF Pro-Am entries are brewed by professional craft brewers based on award winning homebrew recipes from American Homebrewers Association (AHA) members. Homebrew recipes are scaled up and brewed at a craft brewery for submission into the competition. The winner of the GABF Pro-Am Bronze medal is Sculpin IPA brewed by Ballast Point Brewing Co., San Diego, CA with AHA member Doug Duffield. The winner of the GABF Pro-Am Silver medal is Kentucky Weissbier brewed by Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Co., Lexington, KY with AHA member Bill Caldwell. The GABF Pro-Am Gold medal winner is English Style India Pale Ale brewed by Allentown/Bethlehem Brew, Allentown, PA with AHA member Chris Bowen. The medals for the GABF Pro-Am competition do not count toward the Brewery or Brewpub of the Year award.

Additional Awards Given

During the GABF awards ceremony, journalists and distributors were also recognized for their important role in the craft beer industry.

For the fourth year, the Brewers Association Beer Journalism Awards recognized journalistic excellence in the coverage of American beer. 2007 sponsors are Brooklyn Brewery, Rogue Ales and Samuel Adams. The winner in the Consumer Print media category was Marnie Old for “Beer Takes the High Road” published in Santé magazine in June 2007. In the Consumer Electronic media category the winners were Roger Sherman and Jesse Sweet of Florentine Films for THE AMERICAN BREW which first aired in April 2007 on the History Channel. The Trade and Specialty Beer media winner was Julie Johnson Bradford for “The Men in the Tall Rubber Boots” published in All About Beer magazine’s May 2007 issue.

The National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and the Brewers Association (BA) presented the Craft Beer Distributor of the Year Award to Monarch Beverage Co. of Indiana. The award recognizes the beer distributor in America who does the most to market, sell and promote craft beer in their market. The Craft Beer Distributor Achievement Award went to Louis Glunz Beer Co. of Illinois, and the Craft Beer Distributor Recognition Award went to Cavalier Distributing of Ohio. This was the first year these awards were presented.

2007 GABF Official Sponsors are: DRAFT, Anheuser-Busch, Miller Brewing Company, Coors Brewing Company, Micro Star Keg Management, 97.3 KBCO, AM760, and 1035 The Fox. Associate Sponsors include: Boston Beer Company, Four Points by Sheraton, Here’s to Beer, Reyes Holdings, Westword, Summit Graphics, Comedy Works, Winter Park Resort, and Copper Mountain.