Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ingredients for a Great Gift

More than likely, you have a friend who is the consummate hostess. Every party she hosts seems to have the perfect balance of ambience, food, conversation and of course, cocktails. So what do you get the hostess who already is (and has) the mostess? The Bubbly Bar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion -- and a basket full of goodies to go with it. Flip through the book and find ingredients she may not have on hand like, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, Tuaca and Chambord. Package the book and the liqueur in an attractive basket and wait patiently for your next party invite!

Yo (Ho) Ho Ho

There’s just something about rum that we love. It has a warmth to it you just don’t find in most liquors. And Mount Gay Rum is simply the best in our humble opinions. Know a friend or family member who cherishes tradition and appreciates the finer things in life? Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection, at $100, will make the quintessential gift. Know a friend or family member who’s not quite worth a $100 gift? Mount Gay Extra Old is just $50 a bottle!

For Your (Blues) Brother

We have to admit, we have a tendency to get a bit star-struck at times. We’re suckers for anything remotely associated with celebrities. Maybe that’s why we adore Crystal Head Vodka. Created by Dan Akroyd, this super-premium, quadruple distilled, triple crystal-filtered vodka tastes amazing and comes in the coolest bottle we’ve ever seen! We can’t think of a better gift for the super stars on your list.

Vermouth for the Couth

Where would the martini (arguably the world’s hippest drink) be without vermouth? Exactly. That’s why Carpano Antica Formula is never far from our liquor cabinet. Quite possibly the perfect vermouth, its warming flavors of vanilla, dried fruit and orange peel will delight even the most discriminating aficionado. If nothing else, the gorgeous packaging alone is worth the $29.99.

Put a Stag in their Stocking

The Dalmore, with its stag’s head logo, could not be more perfect for the outdoorsmen (or women) in your life. Whether they’re hunting for waterfowl or Waterford, your friends and family will warm up to this gift after the first sip. Frankly, we could cozy up to the fireplace and drink this all day long (it’s like a down comforter for the inside of your body!). From the basic 12-Year-Old to the limited edition 1263 King Alexander, The Dalmore just makes life better – inside and out.

Gifts That Suit Them to a Tea

Heidi Kyser knows a thing or two about tea. She should. After all, she’s editor of World Tea News. So when she recommends gifts, we’re all ears (and taste buds).

Take the Breville Variable-Temperature Electric Kettle. It allows for customized temperature and steeping time to produce the perfectly
personalized tea drinking experience for just $50.

Second on her list is the Flowering Tea Gift Set with Glass Tea Mug. The set includes four flowering tea buds and a unique glass tea-brewing mug. A truly tasteful gift for only $20.

Rishi Tea has won 1st place at the World Tea Championship for two years in a row. So when they announced their new Taste of Origin gifts, we got all tea-ngly inside! The Taste of Origin program launches with three exclusive Organic and Fair Trade Certified gift sets. Each set features unique teas from exceptional micro-lots, hand selected during peak harvest season. And the best part? Proceeds from the Taste of Origin gifts directly support environmental and social initiatives in Mannong Manmai’s ancient tea villages, including improved clean water distribution and better educational opportunities.

The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook

The Hot and Hot Fish Club Restaurant in Birmingham, AL is driven by a simple philosophy: foods eaten so close to their source, prepared in a fashion that allows their pure, unadulterated flavors to shine, is the key to the meal’s success. Because of that simple winning understanding, owners Chris and Idie Hastings’ restaurant has become widely known one of the best in the South. They insist the food is uncomplicated and unassuming because they want their guests to experience the glory of tasting a locally sourced heirloom tomato or the slice of cheese made with milk from a nearby dairy farmer, or the blackberries and Vidalia onions from local Garfrerick Farms of Alpine, Alabama, Hot and Hot Fish Club goes to great lengths to make sure that what goes into every dish is always fresh and in season, and in short…magical.

THE HOT AND HOT FISH CLUB COOKBOOK (Running Press Books, October 2009, $35) is as much a work of passion for Chris and Idie as their restaurant and their home life are. Far more than a recipe book, the pages offer a glimpse of the authors home and work life on a month-by- month basis and how they gather at the table with family and friends to celebrate the passing seasons.

“Seasonality is the cornerstone to our menu-planning success,” says Chef Chris Hastings and the book contains more than 200 creative and delicious recipes that are organized into two-month chapters to reflect the seasonal nature of local ingredients.

Some of the recipes readers will find include:
Grouper with Tomato, Avocado and Grilled Vidalia Onions, with Basil-Lime Vinaigrette
Oven-Roasted Duck Breast on Crawfish Risotto with Spicy Ham Hock Broth
Hot and Hot Tomato Salad
Southern Bouillabaisse
Smoked and Grilled Quail with Winter Vegetables and White BBQ Sauce
Raspberry and White Chocolate Bread Pudding

In addition to the mouthwatering recipes and wonderful anecdotes and stories from the Hastings’ personal history, it also includes the profiles of dozens of purveyors who supply the restaurant with the freshest ingredients, and numerous how-to tips from grilling fish to roasting the pig.

With more than 50 full-color photographs, lifestyle menus complete with cocktail, wine and beer pairings, and an expertly researched sourcing section, THE HOT AND HOT FISH CLUB COOKBOOK is your guide to preparing exquisite, fresh cuisine from one of the most celebrated and successful restaurants in the South. Add a little magic into your own cooking.

Chris Hastings graduated from the Johnson & Wales Culinary School in Providence in 1984. After graduating he worked for Frank Stitt as Chef D’ Cuisine of Highlands Bar and Grill and helped launch the opening of Bottega. In 1989 he helped Bradley Ogden launch the Lark Creek Inn in Larkspur, California. He was nominated for James Beard’s Best Chef in the South award in 2007 and 2008. Idie Hastings attended the California Culinary Academy and worked at Jeremiah Towers’ famed Stars Café and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio. She honed her skills as a baker at Patisserie Francaise. In 1995, the Hastings returned to the South and opened the Hot and Hot Fish Club. In 1998 they received the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence and since then have been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and Food and Wine. Idie and Chris live in Birmingham with their two sons. Please visit them at

By Chris and Idie Hastings
Running Press Books
October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7624-3552-4

Welcome the Spirits this Halloween

Even if you choose not to wear a costume this Halloween, the holiday for all things sinfully sweet and “creepy, crawly” serves as the perfect occasion to dress up your cocktails. Simple drinks turn festive with the use of fun cocktail glasses and gory garnishes; all designed to bring out the frightful fun of Halloween, with a sophisticated twist. So while you may be tempted to partake in some of the more traditional Halloween activities such as bobbing for apples and pumpkin carving, we all know that there is only one way to really drink in the spooky spirit of the season!

This year, All Natural SKYY Infusions are serving up a truly bewitching cocktail menu, featuring the line of fresh fruit-infused vodkas that offer an unrivaled true-to-fruit taste year round. Each inspired by one of the many hallowed Halloween traditions, these SKYY Infusions cocktails will help you get into the spirit of Halloween, whether you’re in a packed house or with a few friends at home. To add a bit of glamour to your regular Halloween celebrations, try mixing up some of the sweet treats below – no tricks necessary.


2 oz. SKYY Infusions Citrus
1 oz. Mango Nectar or Juice
0.5 oz. Orange Juice
0.5 oz. Fresh Sour*

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a goblet glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a mint leaf laid flat on top.
*Combine 0.25 oz fresh lime juice and 0.75 oz simple syrup.

Vampire’s Elixir

1.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Raspberry
.75 oz. White Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz. Half and Half
Strawberry Syrup

Dress strawberry syrup on the inside and rim of a chilled martini glass. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with vampire teeth.

Black Widow

1.5 oz. SKYY Infusions Raspberry
0.5 oz. Triple Sec
2 oz. Pomegranate Juice
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice
Raspberry Syrup

Draw a spider web on the inside of a chilled martini glass with raspberry syrup. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with plastic spider.

Red Zombie
1.5 oz. SKYY Vodka
3 oz. Tomato Juice
0.5 tsp. Finely Grated Horseradish
1 tsp. Barbeque Sauce
3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
3 Dashes Tabasco Sauce
0.5 tsp. Finely Chopped Chipotle en Adobo
Pinch of Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Generous Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Pinch of Celery Seeds
1 Celery Stick
2 Large Green Olives
2 Lychee Fruits

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with green eye balls, laid across the rim of the glass*.
*Cut the end of a stalk of celery so it measures 5-6 inches long and split the stick in half lengthwise. Slide the green olives into two lychee fruits to make eye balls and push the thin celery stick through both as garnish.

Wicked Witch Apple Punch

1 750 ml bottle SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
1 750 ml bottle Sparkling Apple Cider
1 64 oz. bottle Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 Liter Ginger Ale
2 cups Pineapple Juice
Red Apple Slices

Combine all ingredients in a large black witch’s cauldron with ice and stir. Garnish with large slices of red apple floating on top and dry ice.

Water is the New Wine

Dr. Michael Mascha is turning water into wine, one bottle at a time. The world’s only “water sommelier,” Mascha has established himself as an authority on the art of water tasting—recognizing each sip as a refined epicurean experience.

His book Fine Waters, A Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Most Distinctive Bottled Waters illustrates how consumers can discern between quality bottled waters from around the world. These can vary from highly mineralized, older waters to young, high alkaline waters like Hawaiian Springs. Named by Mascha as one of the world’s finest waters, Hawaiian Springs, long a favorite in Hawaii is now available on the U.S. mainland.

Its high alkalinity, naturally sweet taste and purity derive from its unique source. Much like wine appellations, the source and terroir of the water is what makes it one of a kind and the rightful companion to specific foods or consumption occasions. Dr. Mascha has successfully conducted tastings that make these subtle characteristics understandable and meaningful to chefs, sommeliers and everyday consumers.

For more information about what makes a world-class water and how water is the new wine, Dr. Mascha is available for editorial tasting events or additional comment.


NOTE: It is not often we venture away from food on this blog, but we were fortunate to receive samples of this product and thought you might be interested in what the lady of the house had to say: "I am not big on moisturizes but this one is very light. I like it a lot and would purchase it in the future."

There are thousands of products and procedures on the market today that claim to turn back the hands of time. Traditionally these treatments focus on restoring collagen, but fail to address all of the factors that play into the anti-aging equation and contribute to the appearance of youthful skin.

Relastin, the skincare brand known for shifting the anti-aging focus to include elastin – the other essential protein in skin, has once again set a new standard in skincare. Ultra EmollientTM is the latest addition to the company’s cult favorite and award-winning line of products. This multitasking cream solves the anti-aging equation by addressing each cause of aging skin – elastin breakdown, loss of moisture and decreased collagen. Ultra EmollientTM’s groundbreaking formula combines Relastin’s signature Zinc Firming Complex™, the first ingredient proven to increase functional elastin content, with the vitamins, peptides and extracts necessary for total skin rejuvenation.

The first part of the equation is hydration. Loss of moisture is a very common problem for older skin, and parched skin makes lines and wrinkles more apparent. Ultra EmollientTM is a luxurious cream that comforts and soothes dry skin – leaving it soft, plump, and velvety smooth. In fact, recent clinical testing shows that 91% of users experienced increased moisture in the skin.
Ultra Emollient is enriched with a cocktail of cell penetrating vitamins and peptides to improve skin tone and texture. Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, works to fight free radical damage, brighten the complexion and encourage collagen production. Vitamin A reduces the appearance of wrinkles and stimulates production of collagen. Peptides further minimize surface wrinkles and improve skin firmness.

Relastin’s patent-pending, functional elastin boosting Zinc Firming Complex™ completes the age defying equation and sets Ultra Emollient apart from the competition. Elastin is an essential protein in skin that gives it firmness, tone and elasticity. As we age the protein fibers created in our youth breakdown and weaken, causing the skin to lose firmness, sag and wrinkle. Relastin Ultra EmollientTM is proven to dramatically improve skin elasticity and firmness by boosting the production of functional elastin fibers. Clinical tests show that roughly 90% of users saw visibly reduced fine lines and wrinkles, while 81% experienced improved epidermal elasticity.

Relastin Ultra EmollientTM is more than just a moisturizer or a skin treatment; it is a complete anti-aging solution. This all-encompassing new product offers hydration, visibly reduced wrinkles, increased elasticity and firmness in as little as 2 weeks.


1. Relastin Ultra Emollient contains Relastin’s patent pending Zinc Firming Complex, which has been clinically proven to help increase the production of functional elastin for firmer skin and diminished fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.

2. Key added anti-aging ingredients include:
· Vitamin C – antioxidant that helps brighten, moisturize and encourage collagen production
· Vitamin A – encourages collagen production, reduces fine lines and wrinkles
· Peptides that reduce surface wrinkles and improve skin firmness

3. The new rich, creamy formula provides extra moisturization, so skin is smoother, firmer, and more hydrated.

4. Real women who used Relastin Ultra Emollient in clinical studies saw visible results in as little as two to four weeks:
• · 87% saw visible reduction in fine lines and wrinkles
• · 91% saw increased moisture in the skin
• · 81% experienced improved elasticity
• · 76% saw visible reduction in puffiness around the eyes
• · 81% felt like it was working

5. Elastin stops being produced in our teens. The result over time is elastosis, in which there is a loss of function in the skin’s elastin. This causes skin to wrinkle and sag.

6. Functional elastin is a long, healthy elastic protein fiber capable of rebounding, like a rubber band. In contrast, elastin fragments are much shorter. Similar to chopped up rubber bands, they are incapable of springing back.

7. Functional elastin promotes firmer and younger skin. Products that increase elastin fragments do not solve the problem of decreased elasticity.

8. A randomized, double-blind, vehicle-controlled clinical study* was conducted to quantitatively measure functional elastin. The study was conducted on skin at baseline and after four weeks of twice-daily Relastin application. A “Snap Test” was used to determine the number of seconds it took for the skin to snap back to baseline after being pulled a specified distance from the skin. The results showed statistically significant improvement of 40 percent, or 2.1 seconds, in skin treated with Relastin compared to a leading copper peptide product.

9. Relastin Ultra Emollient will launch in 2008. The product will retail for $99.00 and be available at

Readers interested in learning more about Relastin Ultra Emollient should visit

Relastin is the first and only clinically proven product to increase the production of elastin, a natural protein that gives the skin elasticity. Relastin penetrates the skin to work with the cells to promote the formation of elastin, which the body ceases producing at puberty.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chef Guy Fieri gives guys a reason to get into the kitchen...

Today's food industry is a high-glamour, high-appeal and high-profit machine, giving rise to a variety of chefs who seem as influenced by Bret Michaels as Julia Child. Enter Guy Fieri. Melding a rocker's appeal with a chef's talent and sensibility, Fieri is the epitome of style and sense in the kitchen, which is precisely why he chose to partner with Ergo Chef to introduce his new line of knives. The "Knuckle Sandwich" Series of knives couple Guy Fieri-inspired knife handles with ergonomic design. Glitz and glam aside, cooks everywhere still suffer from the same hand and wrist issues they always have. The Guy Fieri "Knuckle Sandwich" Series will be available to the public in November 2009, and is currently available for pre-order at

"In 2007 I met the designers of Ergo Chef at a gourmet show. I used the cutlery on stage during my demo and was given a set to take home," said Fieri. "After a year of wear and tear in my kitchen, I was hooked on the quality and design of their product. Before I knew it, I was teaming up with them to develop my own collection. We sketched a range of designs lookin' for the select few that really rocked technically and aesthetically!"

The Knuckle Sandwich Series includes two knives-the 8" Chef knife with crisscross crusher ($76) and the 5-1/2" Utility knife, which Fieri nicknamed the "Dragon Dagger" ($45). The two knives are forged and feature a black and red handle with a flame-wave design. The design is accented with a polished star to complete Guy's look. The steel is high-carbon German stainless steel (X50CrMoV15) for long edge life, durability and stain resistance, and the blade is artistically etched with the "Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich" logo and flames as a bold expression of Guy Fieri's Hot Rod/Rock 'n' Roll attitude.

Ergo Chef is the brainchild of Mike and Scott Staib, who merged their talents to address the most common ailments afflicting chefs: repetitive stress injuries resulting from constant cutting and chopping. Scott, a practicing chef and Johnson & Wales graduate who knew firsthand the physical challenge of the kitchen, and Mike, a business guy with a talent for building and fixing things, came together to create a high-quality, ergonomically-designed line of knives specifically for chefs.

"Just like the corporate world introduced ergonomically-shaped keyboards and chairs to offices to address physical ailments and discomfort in the workplace, we've created a collection of high-quality knives that address very real and prevalent issues in the food world without sparing quality in the process," said Mike Staib.

Since meeting Scott and Mike Staib in 2007, Fieri has continued to use the Ergo Chef Pro-Series Knives at home, on his Food Network Shows, "Guys Big Bite" and "Guy off the Hook", as well as at his live demos across the country.

About Ergo Chef
Ergo Chef ( is revolutionizing the culinary industry with ergonomically-designed cutlery that matches user comfort with the highest quality craftsmanship. Designed with both the professional chef and kitchen enthusiast in mind, Ergo Chef's cutlery boasts high balance, comfort, and carbon steel precision ground blades that simply stay sharp longer. In November 2009, Ergo Chef will introduce its new Chef Guy Fieri "Knuckle Sandwich" Knife Series. The Ergo Chef Pro-Series line is backed with a 30-day money back guarantee and a lifetime warranty against manufacturers' defects in workmanship.

Kids eat free at Piccadilly

Beginning Thursday, October 1, for a limited time, all Piccadilly Restaurant locations will offer free kids meals after 4 p.m., to children six years of age and younger, with the purchase of an adult meal. Recently named �Best Place to feed the Whole Family” by New Orleans’ Gambit Weekly, Piccadilly is dedicated to help parents stretch their dollar even further during these difficult economic times.

“Piccadilly has been a family institution since its inception in 1944,” said Tom Sandeman, Piccadilly CFO. “With the current economic downturn, offering kids specials is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to our guests’ loyal support over the past 65 years.”

Another bonus for families with older children

In an effort to expand guests’ value even more, kids, twelve and younger, can eat for 99 cents all day every Thursday, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., with the purchase of an adult meal. Piccadilly offers a wide variety of well-balanced kid meals, from shrimp specials and fish, to chicken tenders and roast beef. Adult meals start at Piccadilly’s every day low price of $4.99, which includes an entrée, two sides and bread, and kids’ meals also include a drink and dessert.

Limit one free kid meal per adult meal purchase. Offer valid for dine-in only.
- Kids six and under eat free every day starting at 4 p.m.
- Kids 12 and younger eat for 99 cents all day every Thursday, and Saturdays 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
- Kid meals include an entrée, two sides, a drink and dessert
- Kids meal offers only valid for dine-in and with purchase of adult meal
- Adult meals start at Piccadilly’s every day low price of $4.99
- Adult entrees include two sides and bread

Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Piccadilly Restaurants, LLC has been serving Louisiana families since 1944. Currently, Piccadilly operates approximately 120 food service operations with more than 4,500 team members primarily located in the Southeastern United States. For more information please visit the company Web site at

Organic Green SuperFoods Leader Launches Nationwide in Canada at CHFA Show this Weekend in Toronto

While most brands in Canada are trying to find ways to expand their exports to the huge United States marketplace, a forward-thinking company from California is turning the tables and is headed in the other direction. Amazing Grass, the well-known nutrition convenience pioneer, is pleased to announce that they are rapidly expanding distribution of their products throughout Canada.

To help get their products into Canadian stores the company has teamed up with some of the biggest and most reputable natural health product distributors in Canada, including Purity Life Health Products, Christmas Natural Foods and Directa Distribution. According to Christmas Natural Foods, Amazing Grass has already proven to be one of their best new product launches in 17 years.

"Over the past couple of years, we have been receiving many inquiries from people in Canada about the availability of our products at stores in their area,” says Todd Habermehl, co-founder of Amazing Grass. “While we have already been filling email and phone orders and shipping to customers north of the border, it is not the most cost-effective or timely way for people in Canada to enjoy our certified organic products,” adds Habermehl.

Thanks to the new partnerships with Canadian distributors, Canadians will be able to purchase some of the most popular Amazing Grass products. Their innovative line of drink powder mixes, which feature their popular Green SuperFood blend, and their Organic Wheat Grass will be available in a wide range of natural grocery and independent health food stores, including retail chains such as Whole Foods Markets, Planet Organic, Thrifty Foods and Choices Markets.

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood is a premium blend of alkalizing greens, antioxidant rich whole food fruits and vegetables, immune boosting support herbs, probiotics and digestive enzymes that features more organic greens per gram than any other "green" drink on the market. It offers health conscious consumers a naturally balanced source of antioxidants, B-vitamins, carotenoids, phytonutrients, enzymes, dietary fiber and essential fatty acids. It also features some of the hottest ingredients such as organic acai from industry leader Sambazon, and maca.

Amazing Grass Chocolate Green SuperFood offers a combination of nature's most nourishing, cleansing and rebuilding SuperFoods in a delicious chocolate drink powder. By infusing their top-selling Green SuperFood with organic cacao, this drink powder offers an even tastier way for consumers to get their greens. The polyphenols found in cacao support healthy cholesterol levels.

Berry Green SuperFood is the latest addition to the Amazing Grass Drink Powder family. It unites the full spectrum of their alkalizing Green SuperFood, antioxidant rich fruits including acai and goji berries, support herbs and maca to provide a powerful dose of whole food nutrition with a robust berry flavor.

Amazing Grass Drink Powders provide consumers with a delicious and convenient means to achieve the recommended 5 to 9 daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, these drink powders contain every amino acid, vitamin and mineral necessary to sustain human life. And since the human body is designed to obtain nutrition from whole foods, the body is able to efficiently and rapidly absorb the nutrients in these products and quickly convert them into fuel. They are complete raw food powders that work synergistically to fight free radicals, remove toxins and repair damaged cells.

Amazing Grass Organic whole-leaf Wheat Grass, one of the most powerful sources of leafy green vegetable nutrition available, offers up to 30x more nutrition and 10x more chlorophyll than tray-grown wheatgrass juice. Its high alkalinity helps balance acidic pH levels and its insoluble fiber gently cleanses the digestive tract and promotes regularity. It is an excellent source of folic acid, beta carotene and vitamin C. The mild taste mixes easily with any favorite drink and offers sustained energy all day long.

All of the Amazing Grass Drink Powders boost energy and the immune system and unlike others on the market they do not contain soy lecithin fillers and they are nitrogen packed for freshness. They are also gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, low in calories and fat and have no added sugar. They can be mixed with water, fruit juice, dairy and non-dairy milk and also make a healthy and tasty addition to smoothies.

They will be sold in Canada in an 8.5 ounce container that includes 30 eight-gram servings (scoop provided) and a 15-count box of individual serving packets. Consumers can learn more about Amazing Grass and the many nutritional benefits of their products on the company's informative website at

"We see great potential in tapping into the robust natural products marketplace in Canada," says Habermehl. "We have made exports there a top priority despite the challenges of the exchange rate and language barrier," adds Habermehl.

It is always a challenge to conduct international business, but after assessing the potential rewards Amazing Grass determined it was well worth the effort. Creating bilingual brochures and packaging is another one of the hurdles that the company has faced, but french-speaking Canadians are sure to benefit from the effort to do so.

Since hockey is a big pastime in English and French-speaking Canada, fans might be interested to learn that some of Amazing Grass’s biggest endorsers are leaders of the Boston Bruins NHL team. “Our products are enjoyed by amazing athletes around the world, including Zdeno Chara, the league's Defensive Player of the Year and Canada's own Andrew Ferrence,” says Brandon Bert, co-founder of Amazing Grass.

“Amazing Grass is on my table every morning during the season,” says Zee. “It helps me maintain my energy and enhances my performance - and it tastes great, too.” With all the travel and the hectic 82 game regular season schedule plus the playoffs, having a convenient, whole food means to ensure proper nutrition is critical for elite athletes like the Boston Bruins.

Amazing Grass' mission is to educate the world about the benefits of Green SuperFoods and the improved quality of life derived from healthy eating habits. Amazing Grass is a friends-and family-owned company with roots that date back over 60 years of growing and dehydrating green foods. The company produces certified organic wheat grass, barley grass, oat grass, rye grass and alfalfa at a family farm in Kansas, and markets the most nutritious, convenient and affordable green SuperFoods to help families thrive.

Amazing Grass stands out because the grasses are field-grown throughout the winter allowing the roots to soak up nutrients from mineral-rich soil for over 6 months. “The young leaves are harvested just one time each year at their nutritional peak,” says Bert. "The greens are carefully flash dehydrated at low temperatures, frozen as whole leaf powders and then packed in nitrogen to maintain freshness. The extra steps ensure customers get the most nutrient-dense raw green food powders in the world," adds Bert.

Naturally Wheatgrass, Pomegranate Plus Resveratrol, and AloePure

After the recent successful launch of Acai Daily Cleanse™, Acai Immune Booster™, and Peaceful Sleep™, AgroLabs, Inc. announces three new products to its collection of liquid nutrition supplements for the fall: Naturally Wheatgrass™, Pomegranate Plus Resveratrol™ and AloePure™.

Joining the impressive lineup of innovative health-minded supplements, three new additions to the AgroLabs arsenal include Naturally Wheatgrass™, Pomegranate® Plus Resveratrol and AloePure™. Known widely through heath food stores and juice bars, Naturally Wheatgrass™ provides an all-natural, nutrient-enriched juice that is free of harmful bacteria, preservatives or chemicals. It has everything you want from wheatgrass with the convenience of having in your own home without having to visit a health food store or juice bar. Helping to neutralize free radicals, increase cardiovascular health and boost antioxidant defenses, Pomegranate® Plus Resveratrol contains Punicalagin, a powerful tannin that when combined with the antioxidants in pomegranates and heart-healthy Resveratrol promotes overall circulatory wellness. Certified by the exclusive International Aloe Science Council, AloePure™ is a concentrated organic aloe supplement that is convenient, environmentally friendly and a great value. It hasverything you expect from aloe in a new, concentrated form.

Naturally Wheatgrass™, Pomegranate® Plus Resveratrol, and AloePure™ will be available to consumers this fall in major club stores nationwide and also select drug, grocery, and mass-market outlets in the United States and Canada. AgroLabs brings clinical science and natural health benefits to liquid nutrition, promoting a healthy lifestyle to their consumers and the environment with nutritional dietary supplements in aseptic packaging.

Harnessing the superfruit of the Amazon, Acai Daily Cleanse™ and Acai Immune Booster™ are enhanced with acai berry, powerful antioxidants and scientific innovation to create health-boosting supplements targeting the immune and digestive systems. Acai Daily Cleanse™ fiber enriched formula boasts LuraLean®, an all-natural water-soluble ingredient designed to expand only when it reaches the stomach to help to regulate proper intestinal and colon function and help you feel slimmer and energized. Acai Immune Booster™ is the first ever nationally distributed liquid supplement to include EpiCor®, a clinically-researched, nutrient-rich complex that educates the immune system how to work more efficiently by providing the proper immune response to both over and under stimulation. The Peaceful Sleep™ formula is designed to rejuvenate the mind and body by assisting in a healthy night’s sleep. Containing a powerful mixture of ingredients such as lavender, chamomile, and passion flower, Peaceful Sleep™ allows the body to rest and recover.

For more information about AgroLabs, please visit:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chaya Restaurant turns 390

As CHAYA Brasserie celebrates 25 years in Beverly Hills, it honors an unprecedented history of restaurants owned and operated by the same family both in Japan and California for 390 years. To mark the occasion, CHAYA Brasserie is launching a new menu, a new charity partnership and a month-long anniversary campaign in October.

Centuries before arriving in the U.S., the Tsunoda family began offering tea, sweets, and respite for weary horseback travelers, under an enormous shade tree in Hayama, Japan. Eventually, the Tsunoda family opened a small inn, called Hikage Chaya (the little tea house in the shade) and their tradition of hospitality extended hundreds of years. Hikage Chaya was renovated into a traditional Japanese restaurant which is still opened today, along with La Marée de Chaya, which serves French cuisine. In the early 80s, the family brought cuisine with a French Japanese sensibility, to California.

“When we came from Japan to the U.S., everything was different,” said Yuji Tsunoda, president of CHAYA Restaurant Group. “But, everyone is a human being and hospitality is the same everywhere, from Japan, to London, to Los Angeles and good food is a universal language.”

Within the past quarter of a century, the family successfully opened restaurants in Los Feliz, Beverly Hills, Venice, San Francisco, and Downtown Los Angeles. This year, the family is celebrating the 1984 opening of CHAYA Brasserie, known for celebrity regulars and awards show parties over the years.

(Re) Discover CHAYA

Famous for 25+ years of serving imaginative, French Japanese food, Executive Chef Shigefumi Tachibe has commanded the menus and the kitchens of California CHAYA restaurants since the early 80s. Now, nationally-acclaimed Chef Tachibe, who invented Tuna Tartare, has created a new menu, featuring fresh, innovative offerings and familiar CHAYA classics. From its infamous Seaweed Salad and CHAYA Rib Eye, to Pork and Duck Rillettes, Braised Lamb Osso Bucco, and Bacon wrapped Monk Fish, the new menu offers a unique blend of French Japanese cuisine. As a tribute to the very first California restaurant the CHAYA family opened in 1982 in Los Feliz, the new bar menu bears its name “La Petite Chaya” and features small plates, sushi and dessert.

In conjunction with the anniversary, guests of CHAYA Brasserie can enjoy the launch of an art retrospective campaign. The first installment is a tribute to its signature food fair and event posters through the years, as well as art collected by the Tsunoda family from around the world. CHAYA plans to regularly refresh its art pieces and host exhibits through gallery partnerships in 2010 and beyond.

During the entire month of October, CHAYA restaurant group will offer its customers at all three Los Angeles’ locations a $25.00 dinner prix-fixe and will serve special anniversary-edition wines by the glass (Chardonnay and Sangovese, Au Bon Climat Winery). CHAYA Brasserie will host a celebration on Sunday, October 25, with a percentage of $25.00 ticket proceeds benefiting its new charity partner, C-CAP. Go to for ticket information.

Supporting Culinary Arts Education

CHAYA is kicking off a year-long partnership with Careers through Culinary Arts Programs (C-CAP) to help underserved high school students who are interested in pursuing a career in culinary arts, get the education they deserve.

To keep the C-CAP program from being cut from the 2009-2010 Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) curriculum, CHAYA is adopting Hollywood, West Adams and Westchester high schools, providing financial support and hands-on training for the students. Each executive chef plans to guest teach a class during the school year and arrange for the students to visit CHAYA restaurants to job shadow.

CHAYA’s Executive Chef, Shigefumi Tachibe will kick off the program by paying a visit to the culinary arts classroom at Hollywood High school on September 24 to meet the students; serve his renowned tuna tartare, which he invented in 1984; and issue a recipe challenge for the fall semester.


With an unprecedented 390-year history of restaurants owned and operated by the same Tsunoda family both in Japan and California, CHAYA began under an enormous shade tree in Hayama, Japan, centuries ago, where they offered tea, sweets and respite to weary horseback travelers. Today, there are two locations in Japan (Hikage Chaya and La Marée de Chaya) and four locations in California (Beverly Hills, Venice, Downtown LA, and San Francisco). Famous for serving imaginative, French Japanese cuisine and for a tradition of unmatched hospitality, the company is celebrating the 25th anniversary of CHAYA Brasserie, Beverly Hills in October 2009.

Buca di Beppo to Donate Proceeds to Lance Armstrong Foundation

On September 30 and October 1, the casual-dining Italian-eatery Buca di Beppo is giving guests a delicious opportunity to show their support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s LIVESTRONG Day.

All Buca di Beppo locations nation-wide will participate in LIVESTRONG Day by donating a percentage of proceeds from each meal served to the foundation. When guests bring in a special flyer, Buca will donate 20% of the proceeds from the meal. To print out this special flyer visit

“We take pride in giving back to the community and are very pleased to support such a worthy charity as LIVESTRONG,” said Robert Earl, Chairman CEO of Planet Hollywood international Inc., the parent company that recently acquired the Buca di Beppo chain of restaurants. “This is a great opportunity for the Buca family to do our part in fighting against cancer.”

LIVESTRONG Day is the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s one-day initiative to unite people affected by cancer in raising awareness of cancer issues on a global level and in communities across the country.

About Buca di BeppoRecently acquired by Planet Hollywood International, Inc., with eighty seven locations from Albany to Honolulu, Buca di Beppo restaurants embody the Italian traditions of food, friendship and hospitality. Dishes enjoyed for generations in villages throughout Italy inspire the menu, which features Northern and Southern Italian favorites. While the food has pleased millions of palates coast-to-coast, Buca di Beppo is equally famous for its quirky décor and upbeat atmosphere. Most Buca di Beppo locations are open daily for lunch and dinner. Catering is also available at numerous locations nationwide. Visit for locations, hours of operation, menus, reservations, or to place an order for Buca To Go.

A Forkable Feast Thanksgiving Menu

The Thanksgiving Menu and Holiday Menus are finally here and our staff is here to help you celebrate the season! Our menus have been carefully designed and each and every item will be painstakingly prepared, as you have come to expect from A Forkable Feast! We are dedicated to creating a mouth-watering, worry free meal for you and your guests, so that you can simply enjoy the festivities. We have attached both the Thanksgiving pick up menu and the Holiday pick up menu, as well as the Thanksgiving order form for your convenience. Please note that we will not take Thanksgiving orders after Monday, November 23rd. It is not too early to place your orders now! Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about the menus.

On an equally important note, the holidays are right around the corner and we are already reserving dates for holiday parties. Our catering menus are readily available at, or we can fax or mail a catering menu if necessary. We also welcome the opportunity to meet with you and discuss your event. We will be happy to individualize most catering events to meet your requests.

We look forward to helping you create the perfect holiday event!

Gingered Butternut Squash Bisque/3.25
Crab & Artichoke bake/$3.95
Duck breast with Cranberry Jus/$9.95
Leg of Lamb with Fig & Apricot Compote/$9.95
Roasted Beets with Goats cheese/$2.95
Caramelized Brussel Sprouts w/wo Pancetta/$2.95
Roasted Vegetables/$2.95
Butternut Squash Gratin/$2.95
Red Velvet Cupcake/$1.50
Gingerbread with Cream Cheese frosting/$3.95
(All items above are available in gluten-free)

LA's New Movie/Dining Theater Destination

Gold Class Cinemas, the distinctive movie theatre company that has reinvented the movie-going experience with its iconic orange chairs and by introducing the concept of going to "dinner and a movie" under the same roof, today announced the upcoming holiday season opening of its newest location in Pasadena, Calif. at One Colorado located at 24 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103.

Gold Class Cinemas provides the ultimate escape for movie-lovers by offering great food, comfortable one-of-a-kind seats, first run films, full bar and signature ninja-like servers. At Gold Class Cinemas guests enjoy wine, full bar, a meal and a movie together. There is no more need to rush through lunch or dinner just to get to a movie on time. Guests can check in 30 minutes before the movie, place their order and the server will take them to their reserved seat where their food will be delivered. Add in a pillow, blanket and personal service throughout the movie, and that is what it means to Go Gold Class.
The experience at Gold Class Cinemas is multi-sensory. For James Bond Quantum of Solace, Gold Class Cinemas offered advanced ticket purchasers a free martini 'shaken not stirred.' During the recent hit film Julie & Julia, a special menu of Julia Child's recipes was featured and before specific showings of the film, Gold Class chef's offered cooking demonstrations showcasing Child's famed culinary creations.

Since its U.S. launch in October 2008, Gold Class Cinemas has opened two locations (South Barrington, Ill. and Redmond, Wash.) and will have a third location opening in the Chicagoland area on October 30, 2009 in Bolingbrook, Ill. "We are ecstatic about bringing Gold Class Cinemas to Southern California," explains Kirk Senior, CEO, Gold Class Cinemas. "There is always something special happening at our theatres. Besides the comfort and service, what makes Gold Class Cinemas so unique is that we combine the food experience with what you are seeing on the screen. Once a guest discovers everything that is offered, they realize Gold Class Cinemas are both a destination and an experience."
In conjunction with its new opening, Gold Class Cinemas is running a "Go Gold Class" Dinner And A Movie Giveaway promotion for the chance to win "Dinner And A Movie" for a year at the new location--customers can simply go to and register to become a member. They will then be automatically entered to win a year of great movies and dining!
"We couldn't be more excited about the arrival of Gold Class Cinemas to One Colorado," notes David Friedman on behalf of the owner of One Colorado. "A movie theatre is always a gathering place and hub of activity, but with Gold Class Cinemas we will be a destination for movie-lovers from all over Los Angeles. I have no doubt that people will make the trip from outside of Pasadena to see a movie here."
Gold Class Cinemas feature online ticket purchasing, reserved seats, private and corporate event buy-outs and special onsite promotions.
Follow Gold Class Cinemas on Facebook and Twitter:

Gold Class Cinemas in Pasadena is located at One Colorado: 24 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91103

One Colorado is Pasadena's alfresco downtown experience, situated between Colorado Boulevard, Fair Oaks, Delacey and Union Street. Consisting of 25 unique shops and restaurants in beautifully restored historic buildings, the property spans one city block in the heart of Old Pasadena. The Courtyard, designed in the tradition of European town squares, is Pasadena's main public space for film festivals, concerts and major art exhibitions. Convenient parking is located in the adjacent multi-lev el structure at Fair Oaks and Union. For more information, please call 626-564-1066 or visit

Friday, September 25, 2009

Put A New Pink Twist on that Traditional New Year's Celebration

The dawn of the New Year has finally arrived.

Whether you’re throwing your own party or crashing someone else’s, offer a delicious twist to the inevitable champagne drink. After the requisite bottles of champagne have been secured, opt to add a spirited and playful splash of pink to the glass and the party with X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, a sensuous fusion of ultra premium French vodka and blood oranges, mangoes and passion fruits.

Bring a bottle of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur to the bash and top off everyone’s champagne with it to really make the toast glisten at midnight. Here’s how some of the local Mixologists and bars are mixing up a traditional champagne cocktail. You’ll find – as they know – that the sophisticated, smooth, and not-too-sweet flavor of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur makes for the perfect complement to the bubbly crispness of champagne. If you’re planning on smooching when that ball drops, the flavor of X-Rated Fusion Liqueur lingering on your lips will make the moment all the more sweeter.

Bitter Bubbles
1 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
0.5 oz SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
0.25 oz Campari
Top with Champagne, serve in a flute

Pink Fusion – originally served at Carlucci Lombard, Chicago
1 oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz SKYY Infusions Citrus
Splash of Fresh Lemonade
Top with Champagne, serve in martini glass with lemon twist

Passion Punch
2 parts X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 parts SKYY Infusions Passion Fruit
0.5 parts Passion Fruit of Mango Puree (or orange juice)
Top with Champagne, serve in a flute

Bessito - originally served at Asia De Cuba, New York
1 oz X Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 oz Grapefruit Juice
Top with Champagne, serve in a flute


Sprinkles Cupcakes to Open in Chicago Spring 2010

Candace and Charles Nelson, owners of Sprinkles, The Original Cupcake Bakery, announced today the impending opening of their first Midwest retail location. This highly-anticipated opening will bring the country’s most coveted cupcakes to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile district in March 2010.

“Ever since we were featured on Oprah in February 2006, we’ve felt a special connection with Chicago,” owner Candace Nelson said. “Chicago has led our online poll for the next Sprinkles location for the past three years. It has taken some time to find the perfect spot, but we are incredibly excited to finally bring Sprinkles cupcakes to all our fans in this great city.”

Since opening in Beverly Hills in 2005, Sprinkles, the first cupcake-only bakery, has been credited with inspiring a national cupcake craze as reported by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, NBC’s The Today Show and ABC’s Nightline.

Sprinkles Chicago, to be located at 50 East Walton Street between Michigan and Rush, will be the company’s sixth retail location. In addition to brick and mortar boutiques in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Palo Alto, CA, Dallas, TX and Scottsdale, AZ, the Sprinklesmobile, a mobile cupcake truck, was launched in Los Angeles this summer.

# # #

Since opening the world’s first cupcake bakery in Beverly Hills, Sprinkles cupcakes have offered fans handcrafted confections from the finest ingredients, containing no preservatives, trans fats or artificial flavors. Sprinkles has locations in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Palo Alto, CA, Dallas, TX, Scottsdale, AZ, as well as a traveling Sprinklesmobile. Sprinkles also sells its cupcake mixes at over 250 Williams-Sonoma stores throughout the US and Canada.

Sprinkles has successfully employed multiple forms of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, to grow its dedicated fan base, reveal daily “whisper” words to redeem free cupcakes and update fans on seasonal offerings, off-the-menu flavors and the growth of the Sprinkles brand overall. This outreach has been instrumental in solidifying Sprinkles as a leader in the evolution of modern media by making the brand, team and product accessible to customers and the curious nationwide. For additional information and a list of future locations, please visit or contact

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free Pasta!

October 26 is official World Pasta Day and to mark the special occasion Buca di Beppo, the family-style Italian restaurant, is serving up a Pasta-rific promotion.

On October 26, all guests who purchase a Buca Small or Buca Large pasta or entrée will receive a FREE serving of Spaghetti with your choice of Meat Sauce or Marinara, plus guests will also receive a 16-ounce package of Rummo-brand Italian Pasta to take home and prepare at their leisure. Guests are invited to sign up for the Buca di Beppo eClub at to receive a special Buca recipe that can be prepared using their high-quality Italian Pasta.

World Pasta Day has been observed since 1995 as an international celebration of pasta. This year’s theme is “Pasta Meals on Every Table,” and Buca di Beppo – never a place to let anyone leave hungry – is doing its part to promote the food loved the world over.

Buca di Beppo is famous for its homemade marinara and meat sauces served over a bed of imported Rummo Italian Spaghetti. The casual Italian eatery also offers a variety of budget-friendly pastas and entrées including Lasagna, Fettuccine Alfredo and Chicken Parmigiana. In addition, Buca recently introduced 10 new menu items that include Prosciutto Stuffed Chicken, Chianti Braised Short Ribs, Penne San Remo, Baked Rigatoni and many more delectable dishes.

Terms of the Free Pasta program:

Valid at any Buca di Beppo location throughout the country, the free pasta offer is valid for dine-in only customers on October 26, 2009. To receive the free spaghetti and package of pasta, guests must purchase a Buca Small or Buca Large pasta or entrée. Available while supplies last. The free offer is not valid on Buca To Go orders, but may be boxed and taken home by dine-in guests. For more information, please visit

About Buca di Beppo

Recently acquired by Planet Hollywood International, Inc., with locations from Albany to Honolulu, Buca di Beppo restaurants embody the Italian traditions of food, friendship and hospitality. Dishes enjoyed for generations in villages throughout Italy inspire the menu, which features both Northern and Southern Italian favorites. While the food has pleased millions of palates from coast-to-coast, Buca di Beppo is equally famous for its quirky décor and upbeat atmosphere. Most Buca di Beppo locations are open daily for lunch and dinner. Catering is also available at many locations nationwide. Visit for locations, hours of operation, menus, reservations or to place an online order for Buca To Go.

About Rummo Pasta

Rummo SpA, is one of the main Italian pasta manufacturers in the world The company has a 160-year history, and continues to be family-owned and run through five generations. Rummo SpA is a worldwide producer and retailer of a wide variety of high quality pasta including enriched pasta, durum wheat pasta, dry egg pasta, organic pasta, whole wheat pasta, tricolor pasta, and others. Rummo Lenta Lavorazione pasta is made with an exclusive method that revives the old tradition of pasta making to maintain the high protein content, flavor and aroma of the finest durum wheat.

Favorite Comfort Foods Made Easy with Slow Cooker Comfort FoodsCookbook

Although comfort food means something different to each of us – a fact that is essentially clear in our increasingly diverse, globalized world - it always means a dish that is deliciously soothing and emotionally evocative, like the enticing aroma of chicken soup simmering on the stove or hot baked apples fresh from the oven. Best-selling author Judith Finlayson brings comfort and convenience to home cooks everywhere with her latest cookbook — SLOW COOKER COMFORT FOOD: 275 Soul-Satisfying Recipes (Robert Rose; September 2009; softcover/$24.95; ISBN: 978-0-7788-0224-2). Throughout the book, Judith demonstrates how the time-saving slow cooker can be used to create delicious, home-style recipes that are particularly warm and welcoming, often evoking a sense of nostalgia.

Food as a comfort and historical connector is, perhaps, most evident in immigrant communities, where traditional dishes function as a link with the homeland and increase the connection to a new environment. In writing SLOW COOKER COMFORT FOOD, Judith worked hard to "nail" exactly what comfort food is all about. “While comfort food is strongly linked with a person’s past, certain recipes have the potential to transcend time and place and work their way into our hearts,” she explains. “For instance, I discovered many of the dishes while traveling internationally, but over time they worked their way into my culinary repertoire. I’ve tried to capture all these essentials in this book, building the recipes around wholesome, robust dishes, many of which have retro appeal.”

As with any cookbook by Judith, the results are always tasty and innovative. And by adding a slow cooker to the mix, home cooks can be away from the kitchen all day and return to a hot, comforting, and satisfying meal. Because the holiday season can make us even busier than usual, Judith has included several make-ahead ideas, tips and techniques that will truly maximize the use of a slow cooker and ensure outstanding results every time.

Judith has provided a wide array of recipes to choose from, from everyday favorites to dishes perfect for an elegant holiday dinner. These include:

- French-Style Pumpkin Soup with Leeks
- Mom’s Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings
- Coq au Vin
- Poached Halibut with Dill Hollandaise
- Hot ‘n’ Smokey Brisket Splashed with Whiskey
- Viennese-Style Beef Paprikash
- African-Style Jambalaya
- Down-Home Shrimp with Okra
- Saffron-Spiked Squash Tagine with Couscous
- Cider Baked Apples with Cranberry Apricot Filling
- Upside-Down Pineapple Gingerbread
- Chocolate Bread-and-Butter Pudding

In 1977, Webster’s Dictionary broke new ground when it added a definition of comfort food as “food prepared in a traditional style having an usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” This idea is easy to grasp — most of us have a repertoire of cherished recollections involving food, from a favorite relative’s home-baked pie to the dishes served at special occasions and holiday meals. SLOW COOKER COMFORT FOOD brings it all together in one book where we can find new comfort foods to enjoy while indulging in old favorites.

About the Author

Judith Finlayson strongly believes that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and has spent significant parts of her adult life searching out memorable food experiences. She is a well-respected food writer, journalist, and best-selling author. Her slow cooker books, The Healthy Slow Cooker, 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics, The Best Diabetes Slow Cooker Recipes, The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, and Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes, have sold more than 750,000 copies. Using her recipes, thousands of people have discovered not only how delicious and convenient food prepared in the slow cooker can be, but also how this handy appliance can be used to create an extraordinary range of dishes not typically associated with a slow cooker. She is also the author of 125 Best Rotisserie Oven Recipes, The Convenience Cook, and The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook. In addition to cookbooks, Judith is the author of four other books including The New Woman’s Diary: A Journal for Women in Search of Themselves. She has a long history of community involvement and has served on numerous committees and boards, focusing on the arts and social issues. Judith lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

LA Restaurant Week Food Trucks

dineLA and RoadStoves team up for the first-ever dineLA Restaurant Week food truck. The dineLA Restaurant Week food truck, sponsored by RoadStoves (outfitter of the Kogi and Nom Nom trucks), will be out cruising the streets of Los Angeles five days prior to the launch of this Fall's dineLA Restaurant Week: Monday, September 28 through Friday, October 2.

Each day a different restaurant will be hosting the dineLA Restaurant Week food truck serving tasty, complimentary fare throughout its respective neighborhood from 11am to 4pm along with the chance to win dinners for two at each restaurant. Participating restaurants and executive chefs are: Dakota at the Hollywood Roosevelt Executive Chef, Jason Johnston; The Foundry on Melrose Executive Chef, Eric Greenspan; Anisette Brasserie Executive Chef, Alain Giraud; Lawry's The Prime Rib Executive Chef , Walter Eckstein; Rosa Mexicano Executive Chef, John England.

"We're thrilled to unveil the dineLA Restaurant Week food truck," comments Carrie Kommers, Director, dineLA. "The foodie public has really gravitated towards this new phenomenon, so we're capitalizing on that as a way to get the word out about the program and promote our incredible brick-and-mortar restaurants as the same time. We're taking chefs on the road-- what could be more fun?"

dineLA Restaurant Week food truck event details:
Sept. 28, Hollywood: Dakota at the Hollywood Roosevelt Executive Chef, Jason Johnston
Sept. 29, Mid City: The Foundry on Melrose Executive Chef, Eric Greenspan
Sept. 30, Santa Monica: Anisette Brasserie Executive Chef, Alain Giraud
Oct. 1, Beverly Hills: Lawry's, The Prime Rib Executive Chef, Walter Eckstein
Oct. 2, Downtown: Rosa Mexicano, Executive Chef John England

Go to or the dineLA Facebook Fan Page daily to find out more information and exact locations for the first-ever dineLA Restaurant Week food truck or

American Express® Cardmembers will be able to register their American Express® Card to receive a $20 statement credit when they dine three or more times during dineLA Restaurant Week at participating restaurants. This exclusive promotion is designed to encourage Cardmembers to take full advantage of the special three-course meals offered at some of LA's best restaurants. Cardmembers can register beginning September 15, 2009 by going to

About dineLA Restaurant Week:
dineLA Restaurant Week returns for the first-ever fall run October 4-9, 2009 and October 11-16, 2009. Presented by LA INC. The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with American Express, dineLA Restaurant Week presents the diverse and extraordinary talent that exists in Los Angeles. From local neighborhood family-owned eateries to upscale celebrity chef restaurants, dineLA Restaurant Week unites cafes, restaurants and bistros from all corners of the county. This unique gastronomic celebration provides local Angelenos and visitors alike the opportunity to treat themselves to a selection of specially priced three-course menus from a variety of LA's best establishments.

About RoadStoves:
RoadStoves ( is the premier mobile food service provider. With a fleet of custom, fully equipped "mobile restaurants" and over 40 years of experience, RoadStoves is the only one-stop shop for going mobile. Trucks, permits, licensing, insurance, unrivaled promotional opportunities and a wealth of experience. RoadStoves makes going mobile easy. RoadStoves' unmatched client roster includes Kogi, Green Truck, NomNom, Marked5, Barbies Q, Dosa, Baby's Bad-Ass Burgers, and The South Philly Experience, just to name a few.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Classic Lebanese Cookbook

The cuisine of Lebanon epitomizes the best of the Mediterranean diet, which is highly regarded for its positive health benefits. It includes an abundance of vegetables, grains, fresh herbs and spices, poultry, meats, seafood and stews — creating meals that are full of robust and earthy flavors. Chef Kamal Al-Faqih invites readers to join him on a trip to his ancestral homeland and to taste the healthy flavorful foods of Lebanon.

CLASSIC LEBANESE CUISINE (Three Forks, September 2009, $24.95) features a dazzling collection of 170 recipes from appetizers and salads to side dishes, entrees and desserts. Readers will discover new flavors as Chef Kamal introduces these time-honored recipes steeped in the authenticity and ethos of the dishes he grew up with. Accompanied by easy to follow step-by-step instructions, CLASSIC LEBANESE CUISINE makes Lebanese cooking accessible to everyone who seeks to prepare it for the first time or reproduce their favorite flavors and dishes. Chef Kamal ’s expert narrative and mouthwatering recipes will pave the way for the journey.

Inside, readers will find recipes including:
· Pomegranate-Beef Crescents (Sambousik bi Lahmi)
· Smoked Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghannouj)
· Eggplant Salad (Salata Batanjan)
· Cod Baked in Citrus Tahini (Tajen)
· Jute Mallow and Garlic-Cilantro Stew with Lamb (Mloukhiyeh)
· Lentil Soup with Ruby Swiss Chard and Lemon (Adas bi Hamood)
· Semolina Pistachio Cookies (Mamoul bi Fistouk)

More than just recipes, the book features striking full-color photographs, and a section describing techniques such as rinsing and storing produce, handling filo dough, the recommended procedure for measuring flour, and more. The “pantry�� section describes and defines ingredients, sauces, flavorings, oils, and spices. There is a section of suggested menus, which recommends combinations of recipes that you may want to consider when planning a cocktail party, brunch, afternoon luncheon, or dinner. Readers will also find information on how to prepare for a Lebanese feast before the guests arrive.

CLASSIC LEBANESE CUISINE is linked to Chef Kamal’s website,, where additional cooking techniques and demonstration videos aide readers in the preparation of these delicious dishes. In addition, his recently-launched e-commerce site,, provides easy access to specialty ingredients for the pantry.

About the Author

Born in the United States as the son of a diplomat, Chef Kamal Al-Faqih was quickly introduced to Lebanese cuisine at his parent’s home in Washington D.C. where he would assist his mother in the kitchen as they prepared time-honored family recipes. His background and upbringing instilled in him a natural authenticity and palate for Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine. In 1986, the chef made his debut as the owner and head chef of the first exclusively Mediterranean catering company in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area (Med Catering). He has cooked for major American celebrities and foreign dignitaries alike, including Francis Ford Coppola, Angelica Houston, the Jordanian Royal family, and the White House. In addition to his professional catering business, from the early 1990s to the present, Chef Kamal has led a variety of cooking demonstrations across North America. From Georgetown University and the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. to dozens of private homes on the West Coast, Chef Kamal’s charm and natural skills in the kitchen has introduced hundreds of individuals to heart-healthy Mediterranean foods for both formal entertaining and casual dining.

by Kamal Al-Faqih
Three Forks
September 2009
Hardcover Original/$24.95
ISBN: 978-0762752782

TastingRoom Finder iPhone Application is Here!

World of Wine Events, LLC, creator of the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival, announced today the launch of its "TastingRoom Finder" iPhone application. The application is the ultimate wine traveler's guide to wine tasting rooms around the country, said Ken Loyst, partner at Fast Forward Ventures, the management arm of World of Wine Events, LLC.

"Wine enthusiasts can now travel the United States with the most indispensable wine tasting guide at their fingertips," adds Loyst. "Whether you are in the heart of Napa Valley, or in the middle of the nation, the 'TastingRoom Finder' application brings wine country to you, with a complete wine collection feature, and an exceptional locator that makes connecting with winery tasting rooms a cinch. Unlike any other iPhone application on the market today, 'TastingRoom Finder' allows travelers the luxury of effortlessly mapping and planning a wine tasting experience directly on their iPhones, and collect wine data, including an instance photo of the label, in the 'My Wines' feature."

"TastingRoom Finder" is now available for download on the Apple iPhone App Store for $4.99. The features of the application include:

Find the location of 3,180 wine tasting rooms throughout the United States on a map
A pop-up menu of name, address, and clickable phone numbers for each tasting room shown on the map
Shows the user's map position in relation to the tasting room
Search tasting rooms by state, by nearest, and alphabetically
Save tasting rooms in a favorites and get driving directions to each tasting room selected for your visit
Rate individual tasting rooms in your favorite list

Collect favorite wines in a list with photo of label, name, winery, year, varietal, price, rating, and notes for each
Take a picture of your wine label to complete recognition in your favorite wines
Browse your favorite list by rating or most recent
A quick reference guide to 96 white and 83 red grape varieties with a description of each, including Classic Varieties, Major Varieties, and Significant Regional Varieties
A reference guide to the American Viticulture Areas sorted by state, by AVA region, or alphabetically
A separate bookmark function to find the most recent tasting rooms, or favorite wines
A most recent function to find the most recent tasting rooms
A Top Rated function to show the user's top rated tasting rooms in order of highest to lowest rating

"The application serves as a great wine tasting resource for those who love wine and love to travel," says Loyst. "Offering a wide range of functions and features, the 'TastingRoom Finder' application is the first wine tasting guide that wine lovers will not want to be without."

ABOUT TastingRoom Finder

The TastingRoom Finder iPhone application is a complete traveler's guide to wine tasting rooms throughout the United States. Features of the application include finding the location of over 3,100 tasting rooms, full directions with GPS tracking, user lists of favorite tasting rooms, reference guides to wine varietals, and much more. The TastingRoom Finder application was developed by World of Wine Events, LLC and is managed by Fast Forward Ventures. To purchase the TastingRoom Finder application, please search "TastingRoom Finder" in the iTunes App Store or click here.


Fast Forward Ventures, a full service event management and production agency specializing in events in the wine, food, and travel industries, is a turnkey event management and marketing solutions provider specializing in the creation of world-class trade and consumer events, brand activation and experiential marketing strategies, street team and mobile marketing tours. In addition to its history of successful event production, Fast Forward Ventures provides strategic guidance, logistics, operations, marketing, and industry insights for a wide range of b-to-b, and b-to-c events, festivals, tradeshows and conferences. For inquiries, please contact Michelle Metter at 858-578-9463.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chef Jacques Pépin To Host 4th Annual Manischewitz Cook Off

Just in time for the holiday season, The Manischewitz Company announces the launch of the 4th Annual Man-O-Manischewitz Cook-Off, a cooking contest designed to encourage home cooks to challenge themselves in preparing a meal that is kosher, simple and delicious. The contest encourages home chefs to experiment with different ethnic foods and to think of preparing a Kosher inspired meal as part of that experience, in the same way people enjoy preparing Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Chinese and other popular ethnic cuisine.

Entrants will compete for a chance to be crowned the "King or Queen of Kosher" and win the $25,000 grand prize package including GE Profile kitchen appliances, cash and more. Five finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to NYC to compete live on March 18th at the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan. The contestants will be judged by an on-site cooking panel consisting of food media and other culinary experts.

This year the cook-off will be bigger and better than ever with legendary acclaimed chef, Jacques Pépin as the celebrity guest of honor who will act as MC, head judge and award prizes. Pépin is one of America's best-known chefs, widelyrecognized as the host of eleven acclaimed public television cooking series and the author and publisher of twenty-six cookbooks. He is also a founder of The American Institute of Wine and Food (WIWF) and has been the Dean of Special Programs at the French Culinary Insitute (New York) since 1988.

"I am thrilled to be a part of the 4th Annual Manischewitz Cook-Off!" said Chef Pépin. "I always encourage people to experiment with new types of ethnic cuisine and products."

Chef Jacques Pepin has created some exciting recipes using the new Manischewitz Broth which will be available in the recipe section of

"Over the past three years over 10,000 people across the country, spanning all ethnic backgrounds, have shared some amazing recipes." says David Yale, President and CEO, of The Manischewitz Company. "As the leader in the kosher market, we pride ourselves on our wide range of specialty products that inspire cooks of all types to create exciting kosher inspired recipes."

Just-in-time for the Cook-Off, The Manischewitz Company has added a new line of ready-to-serve broths to its extensive portfolio of kosher products, giving you additional items to add to your creative recipe! New Manischewitz Broth starts with a recipe, not a formula, and is slow cooked in small batches. Filtered water is added to all natural ingredients and real kosher chicken and beef stock to deliver that homemade taste. Manischewitz Broth is packaged in a 14 ounce, easy open, pop-top can or a 32 ounce easy to pour reusable carton and is available in three flavors: Chicken, Reduced Sodium Chicken and Beef. Look for these wholesome broths inthe kosher and soup section of supermarkets nationwide.Suggested retail price for the can is $1.69 and $2.99 for the carton.

As an added bonus, this year's event will benefit Jewish American Heritage Month (JAHM), a national month of recognition of the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. Updates on JAHM will be available on shortly and will continue through the end of JAHM on May 31, 2010. The Manischewitz Company is the official corporate sponsor of JAHM, and will work with the JAHM steering committee to drive awareness of events and programs.

How it works

The Manischewitz Cook-Off invites U.S. residents 18 or older to submit an original, easy-to-prepare entrée. All recipes must be original, kosher, include a new Manischewitz Broth product, have no more than a total of eight ingredients and be prepared and cooked in one hour or less. For official contest details log onto and complete the official entry form and submit your recipe online. You can also enter by mail by sending your recipe entry to: Manischewitz Cook-Off, c/o BHGPR, 546 Valley Road Upper Montclair, NJ 07043. All entries must be received by January 31, 2010

For more information, prize details, rules and regulations, log onto For media inquiries please contact Helen Magg at

To inspire you for Cook-Off try this delicious chicken dish:

Pot of Olive Oil Broth Poached Chicken with Artichokes and TomatoeS


1 whole chicken, cut up
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups onions, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
42 oz Manischewitz® Chicken Broth (3 cans)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cans artichoke hearts, drained and halved
2 whole tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, cut into thin strips

1. In a large stock pot sear chicken skin side down in olive oil; remove.
2. In same pot, sauté onions, celery and garlic.
3. Add Manischewitz® Chicken Broth, thyme and bay leaves; bring to a boil, then reduce heat
4. And chicken.
5. Simmer 30 to 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and tender, skimming off any fat or
broth that comes to the surface; add water if necessary to keep chicken covered.
6. Remove chicken and set aside on serving platter.
7. Skim off any remaining fat or froth; add artichokes, tomatoes and basil; simmer briefly.
8. Serve with chicken.

Serving Suggestion: Strain 1 1/2 cups of stock and add to 1 1/2 cups of couscous for a quick side dish.

· Servings per Recipe: 6
· Calories (kcal): 709
· Total Fat: 47g
· Cholesterol: 226mg
· Total Carbs: 24g
· Dietary Fiber: 9g
· Protein: 50g

About The Manischewitz Company
In August 2004, the company changed its name from The B. Manischewitz Company, LLC to R.A.B. Food Group, LLC and today is now known as The Manischewitz Company. The Manischewitz Company is a specialty food company that includes the Manischewitz®, Season®, Guiltless Gourmet®, Asian Harvest®, Rokeach®, Mispacha®, Horowitz Margareten®, Jason®, Mother's®, Carmel®, Croyden House®, Mrs. Adler's® and Goodman's® brands. The company offers a diversified line of premium kosher food products that covers over 60 different categories.

The Manischewitz brand was founded in a small bakery built to make Passover matzo in 1888 by Rabbi Dov Behr Manischewitz in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1932, Rabbi Manischewitz opened a plant in Jersey City, NJ, replacing the operation in Cincinnati. This move paved the way for the introduction of new products like Tam Tam Crackers, Chicken Soup, Noodles and Gefilte Fish. Today, all plant operations take place in Newark, NJ. Manischewitz continues to introduce unique, delicious, premium specialty food products such as coating crumbs, dairy-free frostings and more.

For more information, log onto

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Celebrates 5th Birthday With Tweets, Margaritas

Starting Today, Friday, Sept. 18 Flay to Tweet Top Favorite Tequilas,
Counting Down to Mesa Grill's Birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 23


Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace is turning five. To celebrate this culinary milestone, Flay is turning to his Twitter @BFlay followers.

Beginning today through Tuesday, Sept. 22, each day, Flay will Tweet about his top five favorite tequilas.

Then on the actual day of the birthday, Wednesday, Sept. 23, Twitter followers who bring in their cell phones and show their Tweet of "Happy Birthday Mesa Grill @CaesarsPalace" will receive a free mini Mesa Margarita on Bobby.

From premium Partida Blanco to Chinaco Negro, his notable tequila menu boasts more than 40 tequila selections to sip or to build the perfect margarita. Pair the cocktail with one of Flay's Southwest-inspired signature dishes including Smoked Chicken and Black Bean Quesadilla or the New Mexican Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin.

Over the years, Flay has developed his signature Southwestern style masterfully incorporating ingredients such as chiles, avocados, and beans and of course, one of the cornerstones to the style: tequila. He works tirelessly to make food bold, zesty and always fun.
WHERE: Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill
Caesars Palace Las Vegas


Flay's first Tweet to hit earlier today; Flay will tweet the countdown of his top favorite tequilas each day with the final Tweet on Tuesday, Sept. 22.

Bobby Flay's culinary versatility is evident in the multiple talents he brings to the field as a critically-acclaimed chef/restaurateur; award-winning cook book author and television personality including the Food Network's Emmy-winning "Boy Meets Grill" and is a food correspondent for "The Early Show on CBS."

Mesa Grill Caesars Palace offers lunch Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served seven nights weekly from 5 to 11 p.m. Reservations are recommended; phone (702) 731-7731. Group reservations for 11 or more guests are available by calling (702) 731-7845.
High-res images and additional information available upon request.

Follow Bobby Flay on Twitter at

Find Caesars Palace on Facebook at
and follow

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Decadent and Doable Vegan Recipes

“When I first went vegan, it was a bit of a mystery to me. I was totally amazed that you didn’t need eggs and dairy for baking, and that the resulting treat tasted just as good. Or, that with a little imagination and a few swaps, you could make decadent treats like doughnuts, cupcakes, and macaroni and cheese, that rivaled my mom’s — enjoyable recipes that were not pathetic vegan stand-ins for the ‘real’ versions.”

So writes Lauren Ulm, the Boston-based blogger who turned her passion for vegan cooking and baking into a blog and now a book. From appetizers that will please even the most meat-inclined to decadent dairy-free desserts, from lazy weekend breakfasts to speedy weeknight dinners, Lauren shows home cooks everywhere how to create tasty, healthful meals with easy-to-find ingredients and step-by-step instructions.

And you need not be vegan to enjoy these recipes! Lauren’s recipes are lively and delicious, but that’s not their only appeal. Her vegan recipes offer health benefits because they are low in saturated fats, have no cholesterol, and are high in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Vegan Yum Yum does indeed put the “yum” into nutritious meals.

“One of my main goals with the book was to provide vegans with an array of fantastic recipes that they can serve to their non-vegan friends and family,” says Lauren. “Most people usually think of vegan dishes as unappetizing steamed vegetables, a pile of beans with a sprig of parsley on top, or a block of wobbly tofu.”

Chapters in Vegan Yum Yum range from Breakfast and Brunch to Appetizers, Main Dishes, Side Dishes and Light Meals, Pasta, and Desserts. Lauren has even provided chapters dedicated to Drinks and Sauces, Dips and Spreads. Her recipes include:

· Blueberry Waffles with Lemon Icing
· Eggplant Napoleons
· Caramelized Leek and Spaghetti Squash Polenta with White Sauce
· Coconut Lime Tofu
· Hurry Up Alfredo
· British Lemon Maple Scones with Mock Clotted Cream
· Honeydew Coconut Tapioca

“If you have just made the decision to become vegan and find yourself in need of kitchen skills fast, I wanted to create a cookbook full of easy-to-follow recipes and instructions that will make the novice vegan feel like a pro in no time. But you don’t have to be a vegan to put together a vegan meal. You don’t have to be a vegan to like vegan food.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Celebrate Fall With Seasonal Cuisine from The American Lighthouse Cookbook

The leaves will soon be changing colors and the weather will turn brisk as fall officially arrives later this month. What better way to celebrate than with seasonal cuisine inspired by America’s lighthouses?

Veteran food and wine writer Becky Sue Epstein and seasoned chef Ed Jackson combine their passion for food and fascination with lighthouses in The American Lighthouse Cookbook: The Best Recipes and Stories From America’s Shorelines.

The American Lighthouse Cookbook couples food with the romance of the seacoast, adding a dash of history and wrapping it in the “eat local” movement. Readers embark on a culinary journey along America’s shorelines showcasing regional cuisine and the history and lore of 47 selected lighthouses from coast-to-coast.

Fall menus and recipes from The American Lighthouse Cookbook include:

Split Rock Lighthouse’s Fall Dinner – The site of the shipwreck made famous by folk singer Gordon Lightfoot’s ballad “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” Minnesota’s Split Rock Lighthouse is also reportedly haunted by two ghosts. Recipes incorporate the wild rice and meat found by Native Americans and Northern European vegetables brought by settlers and include Leek and Parsnip Soup, Wild Rice with Mushrooms and Walnuts, Broiled Walleye Pike with Parsley Butter and Apple Pudding Cake.

Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse’s Fall Supper – In New Hampshire, the last of the corn is ready for chowder, and turnips, apples and squash are still fresh from the farms. Recipes include Corn Chowder, Baked Butternut Squash with Cranberries and Maples Syrup, Roasted Striped Bass with Onion and Fennel, and Upside-Down Apple Pandowdy.

Cape Flattery Lighthouse’s Early Fall Dinner – Northern Washington is known for its geoduck clams, Cameo apples and sweet Walla Walla onions included in recipes such as Walla Wall Onion Pie, Chicken Fried Geoduck and Baked Apples with Huckleberry Jam.

The all-natural, kids’ frozen food company, Pitter Patties

Over scheduled moms guilty of offering up chicken fingers and hot dogs as nutritious meals to their kids are getting some more help in the frozen food aisle, thanks to Pitter Patties (, the healthy frozen food line for youngsters.

Viva Vegan, a tasty blend of legumes, whole grain quinoa, carrots, tomato, peas & spices, is Pitter Patties’ latest and greatest superfood for superkids! Gluten and dairy free, Viva Vegan Pitter Patties are fully cooked muffin shaped casseroles that you simply pop in the microwave to warm before serving, and a perfect option for allergy-prone children.

When you compare the popular vegan alternative--a peanut butter & jelly sandwich—to a Viva Vegan casserole, the proof is in the Patties: Viva Vegan it has 49% less sodium, 87% less fat, and 87% less sugar! Wondering if you have to be a vegan to enjoy Pitter Patties Viva Vegan mini casseroles? Let’s just say they were thoroughly kid-tested…and devoured each and every time.

Created by proud moms Susan Stahly and Kerry Williams, the Pitter Patties concept came to life when they realized, like all moms, the day is never long enough. “Life can get hectic juggling everyday responsibilities,” says Susan, “and unfortunately, cooking meals from scratch daily is not realistic.”

That’s when Susan began experimenting with healthy recipes free of salt, sugar and white flour. She’d bake large batches adding different whole grains and spices, divide them into individual servings and store them in the freezer. When lunch and dinner came along, out they came. To make a long story short, once Susan realized the real need for a fast kid-friendly fix like this in the marketplace, she and Kerry took a chance and created Pitter Patties!

Other available varieties of Pitter Patties’ muffin shaped frozen entrées include:

Yammy Chicken--a sweet combination of hormone free chicken, yams, apples and whole grain brown rice
Pasghetti--a tasty combination of whole grain pasta, savory tomato sauce and natural cheeses
Zucchini Cheezini--a delightful blend of zucchini, mushrooms, natural cheeses and whole grain oats
Spinach Patch--a vegetarian mix of spinach and mushrooms, all-natural ricotta cheese and farm fresh eggs

Pitter Patties do NOT contain artificial ingredients, preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, white flour, antibiotics, hormones or trans fats. They are baked, not fried. They DO contain the needed vitamins, calcium, iron and protein necessary for young children and cater from ages 1 on up. Parents, too, have been known to sneak some Pitter Patties here and there.

*For a fast and healthy breakfast, treat your kids to a Spinach Patch. Got a lunch box? Heat and wrap up your Pitter Patties in foil.

Pitter Patties are available at select Whole Foods stores throughout California and online through Ramona’s Family Natural Grocer ( Prices range from $6.99-$8.99 for a box of four casseroles. (Pitter Patties donates a portion of their proceeds to a variety of childrens' charities.)

New Cocktail for #1 Bestseller's Launch Party

A timely story: an exclusive cocktail for the launch party of Dan Brown’s #1 bestselling new book, “The Lost Symbol”
This is the backstory:

Award-Winning Mixologists Paul Zablocki and Steve Schul of the popular Web site have just created a hot new signature cocktail for the New York launch of Dan Brown’s latest best seller The Lost Symbol. The cocktail made its exclusive debut at Gotham Hall in Manhattan last night to an eager crowd of 350 invited guests. “Langdon’s Folly,” named after the novel’s sleuthing Harvard professor of religious symbology who appeared in Brown’s novels Angels & Demons (2000) and The Da Vinci Code (2003), is a beguiling mix of POM, vodka, and St-Germain elderflower liqueur (see below for picture and recipe).

“The nice people at Doubleday asked us to create a martini-style cocktail that reflected the book’s red jacket. We started playing with POM pomegranate juice, which mixes nicely with many spirits and makes any drink glow a deep rich red. The St-Germain adds a delightful herbal touch. We ended up making three drinks we just loved, and the folks at Doubleday chose one.”

Both Steve and Paul were told nothing about the book, which has been shrouded in mystery but quickly rose to number one on Amazon in presales, except the title and that it featured Robert Langdon, who was played by Tom Hanks in the film version of The Da Vinci Code. After doing a little Google sleuthing of their own, they discovered that the Freemasons and George Washington’s putative treasonous acts were perhaps the focus of this new book.

“We’re delighted with the results. The ‘Langdon’s Folly’ reminds us of white grapes bursting with juicy tangy sweetness.

Langdon’s Folly
(created by Steve Schul and Paul Zablocki, Cocktail Buzz)

1 1/2 oz. POM (pomegranate juice)
1 oz. vodka
1/4 oz. St-Germain elderflower liqueur

Shake in ice for 15 seconds. Strain into chilled cocktail glass. You can add an orange twist to this drink. Do not twist above cocktail—simply toss into the drink. A small peel (using a vegetable peeler and about 1/2 inch by 1 1/2 inches without the pith) would float nicely.

About Steve Schul and Paul Zablocki

Steve Schul and Paul Zablocki have been plying their love for cocktails, mixology, and food pairings on their Web site, Cocktail Buzz, and their blog “Buzzings” from Cocktail Buzz. They present videos that offer demonstrations of cocktail/appetizer pairings, recipes for meals to follow your cocktail, as well as photo essays about cocktail bars and restaurants in NYC and other cities. They love to share cocktail info and recipes to those who want to have fun at home and celebrate the joys of imbibing, yet like an occasional night at the bar. So check out what they have to say at and watch them create intoxicating delights.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alternative Cook offers up healthy baked goods for those on a special diet

Love to bake? On a special diet or have family members with food allergies? Millions of Americans with dietary restrictions feel deprived daily as they forgo delicious baked goods due to hidden allergens. But things are looking up – help has finally arrived. BAKE DELICIOUSLY! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook (May 2009, $24.95) by Jean Duane, Alternative Cook, shows at-home cooks how to make more than 150 beautiful baked items without gluten, dairy (GFCF) and other common allergens.

This must-have cookbook is for anyone following a special diet. Inside Ms. Duane shows readers how to make appetizing cakes, muffins, quick breads, truffles, cookies, soufflés, crackers, desserts, snacks, breakfast treats, tarts, pies and crisps. In addition to the easy-to-follow recipes, most of which can be completed in five steps or less, the book also features hundreds of mouth-watering photos as well as notes on what happens in a recipe when one ingredient is changed. Those with Celiac disease, gluten or dairy intolerance, food allergies, Autism, ADD, Crohn’s disease, asthma, IBS, ADHD, Aspergers or those looking for a healthier approach to baking will find the book especially useful.

Inside readers will find 150+ recipes for elegant baked items, all gluten and dairy-free including:

· Berry Cream Tarts

· Lemon Chiffon Cake

· Pizza and Focaccia

· Red Velvet Cake with White Icing
· Sesame Sticks
· Pecan Sandies
· Cinnamon Raisin Bread
· Orange Cream Pie
· Lady Fingers
· French Bread

So many gluten-free cookbooks feature flour mixes that contain 60-75% highly refined starches such as tapioca flour, cornstarch, sweet rice flour and potato starch. Ms, Duane focuses on using a higher percentage of whole grains and offers innovative substitutions for dairy products and other allergens. Special diets can be expensive, and BAKE DELICIOUSLY! Gluten and Dairy Free gives many money-saving tips as well as a host of baking techniques unique to gluten and dairy free baking.

After two years in recipe development and triple-testing and packed with baked items that rival those made with traditional ingredients, BAKE DELICIOUSLY! Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook will find a coveted place on any cook’s bookshelf or as a great gift for someone you know struggling with food intolerances. The book is available nationwide or by visiting

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dubai Food Exports Reach AED 3.5 Billion

Dubai is increasingly exporting food products around the world with around AED 3.5 billion traded last year according to recent figures from Dubai Export Development Corporation. Dubai also re-exported AED 4.1 billion worth of food products in 2008.

Sugar and Confectionery ranked at the top of the list of food exports, making up 37 percent of the export value of all food products.

In a new move to encourage more local businesses to export food products around the world, Dubai Municipality will be hosting an ‘International Buyer’s Centre’ at Sweets Middle East, which takes place 2 – 4 November 2009 at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The exhibition is organised by Dubai World Trade Centre in conjunction with Koelnmesse, organiser of the world’s leading confectionary show ISM.

“The UAE has many great food products to sell to the world,” said Bobby Krishna, Senior Food Studies Officer, Dubai Municipality. “Dubai was built around the trade industry, and with the Arab Free Trade Agreement and the close proximity of our neighbours, we are well positioned to export many great products to the region.

“There will be experienced staff at the International Buyers Centre in Sweets Middle East to provide advice and guidance on the opportunities abroad. We will also be able to provide on-site support to international exhibitors at the show who are looking to sell food in Dubai,” he added.

In addition to the new International Buyers Centre, Dubai Municipality is also helping to organise a workshop on ‘Understanding Food Trade Regulations in Dubai’ to provide further support and guidance to the hundreds of international companies who will be showcasing their latest products at the show.

“Sweets Middle East plays an important role in attracting new trade opportunities to the confectionery industry in Dubai,” said Mark Napier, Exhibitions Director, Dubai World Trade Centre. “Dubai has traditionally been known for its food imports, and while Dubai Municipality will be able to offer invaluable advice to our international clients, we will also welcome many local companies looking to export more products around the GCC.”

Many new companies have already signed up for this year’s Sweets Middle East including Al Nassma, Burg Lauenstein, Caribou Coffee, ChoCo’a, Gulf Confectionery & Biscuits, La Roche, Pastor, The Nut Tree and United Dates.

New companies in the Sweet & SnackTec Middle East exhibition, which runs alongside Sweet Middle East, include Al Khaleej Sugar, A.M.P. Rose, Ecomec, Integrated Plastics Packaging, Hans Brunner and Showcolate.

Sweets Middle East and Sweets and SnackTec Middle East will run from 2 - 4 November in Hall 2 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. The exhibition is for Trade and Business Professionals only and will be open from 10am - 6pm daily. General public and persons under the age of 18 will not be permitted entry. Registration is available onsite or alternatively visitors can pre-register in advance at &

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dry Sack Stirring Up in Chefs' Kitchens

Dry Sack, one of the world's leading medium dry sherries, produced since 1906 by Spain's venerable Williams & Humbert, is widely known as an aperitif. Lately, Dry Sack has also been showing up on dinner menus in savory recipes at many of America's renowned fine-dining and casual restaurants around the country.

While the majority of sherry usage is for drinking, it has always had a place in the kitchen and is known to be a staple ingredient in many traditional dishes. Sherry can be used in a variety of cuisines and dishes from traditional to ethnic. Patrick Sheerin, executive chef at The Signature Room at the top of the Hancock building in Chicago, serves a popular lobster bisque with Dry Sack. Capital Grille, an upscale chain of steakhouses makes its lobster bisque with Dry Sack as a base. Chevy's Fresh Mex, a national chain known for its delicious Mexican food, uses Dry Sack in its Chipotle Cream Sauce, developed by Executive Chef Alan Sversky. Chef Kevin Rathbun prepares a Mock Turtle Soup topped with Dry Sack at his eponymous restaurant Rathbun's in Atlanta.

"Our marketing focus has always been to highlight Dry Sack to be enjoyed as a delicious aperitif. With its toasted aromas and nutty flavors the brand provides the perfect balance for priming one's palate before dinner," said Joel Gosler, president of Kindred Spirits of North America, Inc., Dry Sack's U.S. importer. Kindred Spirits launched a successful campaign called "Bon Aperitif" to market Dry Sack as an aperitif in 2006.

According to Gosler, annual sales of Dry Sack average 20,000 cases. He estimates that one quarter of the product is being used for cooking, which helps support why Dry Sack sales are remaining flat while the sherry category as a whole is down by nine percent. He noted the biggest selling markets are California and Illinois, followed by Florida and Washington D.C.

"We observed that sales of Dry Sack were considerably higher in certain markets like Chicago, where we found the increase in sales was traced to The Signature Room, the market's largest account, where Chef Patrick Sheerin was using Dry Sack in the lobster bisque. " Gosler said. "California sales were directly attributed to the fact that Chevy's has 48 restaurants in that state alone."

The Signature Room's Patrick Sheerin said he selected Dry Sack to make his bisque specifically for its distinctive flavor. "We use Dry Sack sherry in two applications for our lobster bisque. Traditionally sherry is served on the side with the bisque, so we wanted to incorporate the sweetness and rich nuances that pair very well with the lobster in the production portion of the soup. To incorporate the sherry "on the side" we make an agar gel of the sherry with really nice aged sherry vinegar and a local maple syrup so there are bright flavor pockets of the gelee in the soup. Dry Sack was selected because it is a tasty sherry that is well-made and affordable. As a wine to cook with it adds a lot of nuance to a dish in the reduction stages that translate to a well balanced sweetness at the end."

Sheerin added, "When you are cooking classic dishes with reductions-like with sherry or any alcohol for that matter, the beverage has to taste good, but it also has to have structure so that its nuances are showcased in the reduction process. Cook off a bottle of Dry Sack sherry and as it cooks down, the alcohol dissipates, and you are left with these beautiful flavors of maple syrup, smoke and wood that also offer sweetness. I think that's what hooked me... those flavors on the nose."

This sentiment was echoed by Alan Sversky of Chevy's Fresh Mex, "I wanted to use a sherry for flavor, I chose Dry Sack for its depth and richness. It has just the right amount of sweetness, too, without even a hint of bitterness. We use it in our Chipotle Sherry Cream sauce which tops one of our enchilada dishes and is a component in our tamale filling."

Kindred Spirits is now educating its sales team on the flavor profiles of Dry Sack. The company will continue to promote the cooking platform to the trade throughout 2009, along with the branding message of "Bon Aperitif!" to consumers.

Dry Sack is a distinctive blend of Palomino and Pedro Ximénez grapes that undergoes fractional blending under Spain's time honored solera system and is aged for six years in oak casks. The aromas are in the style of an amontillado sherry: a fragrant nut aroma and delicate nut taste with just a hint of sweetness.

Dry Sack's name is taken from the Shakespearean word for Sherry, "sack." Williams & Humbert has the exclusive rights to use the word sack in the brand's name. Dry Sack's distinctive burlap cloth sack packaging also sets it apart. Williams & Humbert first starting producing Dry Sack in 1906. Today it is the world's top selling sherry brand. A bottle of Dry Sack retails for $14.99 (750 ml.) and is 19.5% alcohol by volume.

Based in Jerez de la Frontera in the region of Andalucia, Williams & Humbert is the largest winery in Europe with more than 1200 acres of vineyards. Other sherries in Williams & Humbert portfolio include Dry Sack Especial 15-year-old rare- aged sherry, Dos Cortados Rare Old Palo Cortado Especal 20-year-old sherry, Don Guido Rare Old Sweet Solera Especial, aged a minimum of 20 years, Jalifa Rare Old Amontillado Solera Especial, aged a minimum of 30 years. Wiliams & Humbert also produces Gran Duque de Alba Solera Gran Reserva Brandy de Jerez, Crema de Alba crème liqueur, Dos Maderas dual aged rum and Dos Maderas PX. All are importers by Kindred Spirits of North America, Miami.

Developed by Patrick Sheerin, The Signature Room, Chicago, IL

Ingredients: Lobster Stock (1gallon):

10 whole lobster heads, cleaned, placed in a bag and whacked with a mallet
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup white wine
1(6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 head fennel tops, reserve the bulb for the bisque, chopped
1 whole onion, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, washed and chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 ½ gallon water

Preparation: Lobster Stock:
Sauté the lobster heads in the canola oil until they turn bright red and become very fragrant. It is important to cook out all of the liquid in the oil and get a nice fond (the sticky stuff) at the bottom. Deglaze with white wine, add the tomato paste, vegetables, and thyme. Cover the ingredients with water. Bring to a boil, skim, cut to a simmer, and let simmer for 45 minutes. Strain.

Ingredients: Bisque:

½ pound butter
1 whole white onion, peeled and rough chop
1 stalk celery, washed and rough chop
1 whole fennel, reserved from the stock recipe, washed and rough chopped
1 whole leek, white to light green part chopped and washed in warm water
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups Dry Sack sherry
1 cup Gran Duque de Alba Spanish brandy
1 gallon lobster stock
½ cup Arborio rice
2 quarts heavy cream
2 tablespoon fresh tarragon
salt and pepper to taste
Tabasco to taste

Preparation: Bisque:
Add butter, onions, celery, fennel and leeks to a heavy bottom soup pot, season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables soften, but do not brown. If necessary, add water to the pan of cover with its lid to help the vegetables steam and cook. Add the tomato paste and thoroughly combine with the vegetables. Add the sherry and brandy and cook until the mixture becomes very thick-the alcohol flavor should have evaporated and a sweet smell comes off the vegetables. Add the lobster stock and Arborio rice. Reduce by 40%, check the bottom of the pan and make sure nothing is sticking. Add the heavy cream and reduce again. Add the tarragon and blend the soup in small batches in the blender. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and Tabasco. To make a truly luxuriously smooth soup, pass it through a fine mesh strainer.

Ingredients: Sherry Gelee

2/3 cups Dry Sack medium sherry
3 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
3 whole cloves
1 star anise
15 whole peppercorns
½ cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup water
4 tablespoons Eden Brand Agar Flakes (available at Whole Foods)

It is important to hydrate (soak) and cook the agar in water before adding the sherry and sherry vinegar to prepare the gel.

Preparation: Sherry Gelee:
Combine the sherry, sherry vinegar, spices and maple syrup in a pot. Bring to a boil and let steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. In a separate pot combine the water and the agar and whisk. Bring to a boil, whisk and simmer for 5 minutes add the sherry reduction, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Allow to set in the refrigerator before cutting into desired shape.

Place the sherry gelee and freshly minced chives into a bowl for presentation before ladling the soup in.

Developed by Kevin Rathbun, Rathbun's, Atlanta, GA

Ingredients: Roux

1/2 cup clarified butter
1/2 cup all purpose flour

Ingredients: Soup:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, small diced
1 cup red bell pepper, small diced
1/2 cup celery, small diced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 cups 7/11 tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 pound veal, ground
4 each hard-boiled eggs, grated
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 each bay leaf
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt


For the Roux: Place clarified butter in a small sauce pot. Add flour and brown slowly stirring constantly to avoid scorching. Reserve.

For the Soup: In soup pot place oil and sweat onions, peppers and celery until tender. Add garlic, tomatoes, chicken broth and veal, bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add grated eggs, lemon, seasonings and vinegar. Continue to simmer.

Place small amounts of roux into soup while simmering to flavor and to adjust thickness.

Once desired thickness is achieved serve with a 1/2 shot of Dry Sack Sherry on top and some crusty French bread.