Thursday, October 28, 2010

Air Canada's enRoute magazine announcesCanada's Best New Restaurants 2010

October 28th 2010, Montreal – One writer. Over 200 dishes consumed. After a grand tour of the nation with fork in hand, enRoute magazine and its contributing food writer, Sarah Musgrave, have come up with an exciting taste of the country’s Top 10 new restaurants for its 9th annual survey, Canada’s most respected restaurant honours. The winning restaurants (opened between summer 2009 and summer 2010) offered diners a whole new approach to eating out, from a star chef’s hand-crafted restaurant in rural Ontario to a next-generation Chinese restaurant in Vancouver. Air Canada’s enRoute magazine is proud to honour the winning restaurant.

enRoute names
Haisai (Singhampton, Ontario)
Canada’s Best New Restaurant 2010

“Dinner here is a fairy tale, the kind with a very happy ending.”
Sarah Musgrave on Haisai, Canada’s Best New Restaurant 2010.

The Top Ten Best New Restaurants in Canada on enRoute’s 2010 list are:

2. Bao Bei Vancouver. “…chef Joel Watanabe…homespins ingredients from close by with flavours from far away, irreverently and intelligently reminding us that comfort food doesn’t have to be white-bread.”
3. Cava Montreal. “…Greece isn’t all shoreline. And if Cava is anomalous in being a Greek steakhouse, it’s also a showcase for the country’s mainland cuisine.”
4. Local Kitchen & Wine Bar Toronto. “The earnest energy and post-pretentious attitude – down to the name – belies the finely tuned offerings: scratch food so close to the heart, they wouldn’t dream of writing ‘homemade’ on the chalkboard.”
5. Stone Soup Inn Cowichan Valley, B.C. “The scent of ocean-dashed cedar emanates in little huffs and puffs from a bentwood box … the wooden container cooks the seafood in no time, caressing it with the essence of land and sea. Eaten plain, it’s elemental. With duck-egg mayo, it’s elevated.”
6. Charcut Roast House Calgary. “In a city of steakhouses, Charcut is a meathouse. Their version of the Cowtown standby, the prime rib special, sees locally sourced, range-fed beef strung up, smoked, spit-roasted and dripping with jus.”
7. Quatrefoil Dundas, Ontario. “…that’s where Quatrefoil’s skill lies: in reconstituting French classics with just enough regional sensibility to repatriate rather than replay them..”
8. EdGe Sooke, B.C. “EdGe’s rare combination of back-country cool and culinary chops suits Sookies and travelling foodies alike.”
9. Buca Toronto. “The funghi pie is superlative... Cut the rectangular crust with scissors. Add something green – wild dandelion salad with figs – and something salty – delicate coppa or crispy-chewy fried pigs’ ears. When less is this good, who needs more?”
10. Le Quartier Général Montréal. “Yes, that’s right, the Stanstead rabbit loin is stuffed with rabbit confit and rabbit chorizo – three ways in one. Suckling pig encased in the faintest of phyllo comes on black quinoa, the goth version of the grain. Food here is, above all, pretty.”

Air Canada’s enRoute magazine looks for new restaurants that advance the Canadian culinary identity; they are places where the overall dining experience will have a lasting and significant impact on our restaurant culture. Pick up a copy of enRoute’s November issue or visit the magazine at to read the full article and also discover the latest trends in Canadian dining. You can also follow us on Twitter at enRouteOnline. These new establishments from Canada’s best chefs and restaurateurs are changing the way we will dine in 2011 and beyond.

The Dining Room at the Hotel Shangri-La, Los Angeles, Features New Menu

The Dining Room at Hotel Shangri-La mirrors the iconic hotel’s stylish yet relaxed ambience; a cozy, urbane meeting place that revolves around great food and conversation. This fall, the Dining Room broadens its culinary focus. Endearing landmark dishes and casual fare make the Dining Room’s new lunch, dinner and late night menu timeless and progressive.

Described by Los Angeles Times food critic Irene Virbilla as “accessible, heartwarming comfort food” in a recent rave review. The new menu, combined with owner Tamie Adaya’s cultural transformation of the hotel and designer/restaurateur Marc Smith’s vision for a hybrid dining experience signifies the Dining Room at the Hotel Shangri-la has entered into a new era.

“The Dining Room is such an integral part of the Hotel Shangri-La,” comments Tamie Adaya, hotel owner and visionary. “The concept is about the sharing of great food and conversation in an intimate and culturally stimulating environment. This new menu really brings that ethos to life.”

At the culinary helm is Executive Chef Dakota Weiss. Weiss keeps with the integrity of beloved, classic dishes while updating them with a contemporary spin. The Beef Stroganoff incorporates braised short ribs, embellishing the dish without changing it. The Cordon Blue is enhanced with speck, in lei of ham, giving it a smoky savuer, while served with Foie Gras Mash Potatoes. Of course, the Dining Room always uses whaterver fresh, seasonal veggies and herbs are found at the Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Other lunch and dinner entrée stables include: Truffled egg toast, toasted Brioche topped with melted Fontina, a sunny side up egg, black truffle oil and truflled salt; linguini with clams ‘n’ caviar in white wine and Bucatini Bolognese, house made Bucatini with veal, pork and beef Bolognese topped with a fried egg. Other dinner highlights include Sautéed Veal Liver with shitake mushrooms; grilled filet with port braised onions and blue cheese gratin; and the succulent Truffle Roasted Chicken, with preserved lemon and rapini. Dessert features White Coffee Crème Brulee and decadent Mini Chocolate Cupcakes.

Tuesday Night Supper, feturing Weiss’s take on the perennial Coq Au Vin, has quickly become a favorite amongst patrons. Priced at just $15 for three courses, the velvety dish comes with house made egg noodles, a market fresh ‘Grandma’s salad’ and seasonal fruit cobbler. Add a 6 oz. pour of wine for an additional $5.

“I believe people want this kind ofdining experience right now,” explains Marc Smith, co-owner/designer, The Dining Room. “The Dining Room is about relaxing into a leather booth with friends; sharing a chicken pot pie our signiture lobster sliders and then heading up Suite 700 for a night of cocktails and great music.”

The Dining Room also introduces the late night Lucky 7 Menu. Offered 9 p.m. to midnight, Tuesday through Saturday, the Lucky 7 menu features 7 cocktails items and 7 entrees all priced at $7 making the Dining Room the perfect stop for late night dining and revelry.

“The Hotel Shangri-La is a true classic. There is no other hotel like it in Los Angeles. We felt the Dining Room’s atmosphere and menu should reflect the same enduring qualities: timeless, comforting, nurturing and delicious!” concludes Adaya.

The Dining Room at the Hotel Shangir-La is located at 1301 Ocean Ave. Santa Monica; 310-394-2791.
Hours of operation: Sunday and Monday 7am-5pm; to 9pm on Tuesday- Thursday; to midnight Friday and Saturday.
Brunch served Saturday and Sunday.

New iPhone App for Indy's "Food for Thought"

The Spirit & Place Festival offers an iPhone application to make finding the “Food for Thought” events a piece of cake.

Features of the new app include:

Shake & Find (randomly displays clickable event choice)
Events (shows events by date/category, event date/name, event detail)
Map (shows event locations as clickable pins)
Twitter stream (features tweets with #spiritandplace)
Contest via
Join (sign up for e-list)

For a handheld guide to all 40 Spirit & Place events, download the new Spirit & Place iPhone app at App developed by Boost Media Entertainment.
“The Spirit & Place iPhone app is a great tool to navigate one’s way around the festival,” says Pam Blevins Hinkle, festival director. “We hope each user finds the application is helpful in identifying the dates, locations and types of events he or she is interested in attending, plus following the action as the festival unfolds.”

Win Michael Pollan tickets
One lucky iPhone app downloader will win two tickets to see food author and advocate Michael Pollan, sponsored by Wishard Health Services, plus two passes to the exclusive pre-event VIP reception on Nov. 12 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Pollan comes to Indianapolis to talk about the places where nature and culture intersect: on our plates, in our farms and gardens and in the built environment. Named to Time magazine’s 2010 list of the world’s 100 most influential people, Pollan is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual.

How to win: Download the new Spirit & Place iPhone application at to enter. Contest runs Nov. 4 –10. Apple is not a sponsor of, or responsible for conducting, the promotion.

Michael Pollan
Presenting Sponsor: Wishard Health Services
Nov. 12, noon-1:30 p.m.
Scottish Rite Cathedral
For ticket information, visit

Pollan’s presentation is part of the 15th annual Spirit & Place Festival. “Food for Thought” is the theme of this year’s event, which annually stimulates conversation, collaboration, community building, and civic action based on the artistic, spiritual and civic traditions that inform community life. Unlike most festivals, which have tangible borders and entrance/exit gates, Spirit & Place engages more than 100 organizations offering nearly 40 programs at various times from Nov. 5-14.

For details on all Spirit & Place programs and events, visit
The Spirit & Place Festival promotes civic engagement, respect for diversity, and public imagination through collaborations among arts, religious, and civic organizations. Spirit & Place is a collaborative community project managed by The Polis Center, part of the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Major financial contributors include Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Wishard Health Services, The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of CICF; Eli Lilly and Company; IUPUI/IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; and the University of Indianapolis, as well as more than 200 other community partners and donors. For more information, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit This year's festival takes place Nov. 5-14, 2010.

Thanksgiving Recipes from Nielsen-Massey Vanillas

The tastes and scents of Thanksgiving food are a source of cherished memories over generations. The feasting table will always have room for time-honored traditions, as well as new interpretations of classic recipes. Chefs at restaurants and home cooks alike often have a secret weapon in their kitchen to give dishes that extra "something." Many times this weapon comes in the form of pure flavor extracts.

Adding pure flavor extracts to dishes can offer convenience and flavor without compromising your dishes. When Pure Coffee Extract is added to cocoa it makes a delicious mocha drink and you can punch up the flavor of tea by adding a touch of Pure Lemon Extract. Manufacturers like Nielsen-Massey Vanillas offer top quality pure flavor extracts that are ideal for both sweet and savory fare.

The most exciting part of working with pure flavor extracts, for many cooks, is finding out how to make new and creative flavor pairings that are unexpected, and delicious. Vanilla and sweetness will always go hand in hand, but the flavor and scent profile of different types of vanillas can vary widely. Nielsen-Massey's Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract has a creamy, sweet, velvety flavor that is perfect for a range of products from baked goods to ice creams, salad dressings to barbeque sauces, while Nielsen-Massey's Mexican Pure Vanilla Extract is known by its creamy, spicy flavor that has a special affinity for dishes that contain chocolate, cinnamon and other warm spices, and Nielsen-Massey's Tahitian Pure Vanilla Extract is especially symbiotic with fruit-based products such as fruited yogurt and sorbet.

It's the variety and complexity that make vanilla perfect to experiment with in new and treasured Thanksgiving recipes. Home cooks can also intensify tastes with other pure flavor extracts such as Pure Chocolate Extract that can add a rich character, without sweetness, or Pure Peppermint Extract that can bring the standard pairing of lamb chops and mint jelly up to date.

Thanksgiving feasts are the perfect opportunity to get in the kitchen and prepare delicious cool weather treats. The savory flavors of fall are ideal to accent with extracts like Orange, Lemon or Coffee. Wow the crowd this Thanksgiving with an added twist to these autumn favorites.

Rich Corn Bread
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup unbleached flour, sifted
1 teaspoon each salt and sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12 x 16 inch pan or large cast iron skillet. Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and vanilla. Add eggs lightly beaten with milk and beat until the batter is thoroughly blended. Stir in heavy cream and butter. Spread the batter into baking pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until well browned.

Golden Squash Bisque
2 acorn squash, peeled and quartered (about 2 cups)
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups (or more) organic chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 whole fresh sage leaves
1 cup heavy whipping cream, warmed
1/2 teaspoon Pure Orange Extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the squash in a covered baking dish with the water. Bake for 30 minutes or until fork tender. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and saute until golden brown. Whisk in the flour until blended. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock gradually, whisking constantly. Add the squash, salt and white pepper. Mash with a potato masher. Add the bay leaf and sage leaves. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Remove the bay leaf and sage leaves. Spoon the squash mixture into a blender. Add the warm cream a little at a time, pureeing after each addition. Add the orange extract. Pour into the saucepan and reheat thoroughly. If the bisque is too thick, you may change the consistency by adding additional stock 1/4 cup at a time.

Serves 4 to 6.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Zagat's 2011 America's Top Restaurants Guide Reveals That The Weak Economy Continues To Cut Into Dining Habits

Fun and Healthy Snacks for Active Kids

Fueling busy kids with fun and healthy snacks they like can be tricky business, but Crispy Green’s FruitziO freeze-dried fruit snacks just made it a bit easier. FruitziO snacks are made with only the finest freeze-dried fruits slices with just a hint of sugar to create a light, sweet and crunchy snack to provide the fruit that kids need with the taste they crave.

Neatly packaged in 100-calorie, .88-ounce resealable bags that are portable, mess-free and are perfect for grabbing when hunger strikes, all-natural delicious FruitziO treats might just be as tempting for adults as they are for kids. FruitziO is a smart alternative to greasy potato chips and the fruit takes a light and crunchy form with a texture reminiscent of astronaut food and is available in four flavors: Apples & Strawberries, Apricots, Peaches and Strawberries.

The products do not contain preservatives (including sulfides), fat, cholesterol or sodium and are vegan-friendly and are peanut/tree nut free, gluten-free and dairy free and are kosher certified. The MSRP for FruitziO is $ 3.49.

FruitziO can be found in the produce and grocery aisles of many leading supermarkets such as Acme, Diebergs, Earth Fare, The Fresh Market, Heinens, Kings, Market District, Shop Rite, Ukrops and Whole Foods Markets and natural and specialty food stores such as Balducci’s, Carmine’s Gourmet, Garden of Eden, Market Baskets and Natural Frontier located throughout the United States.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Taste of Belgium is Now open at the Wexner Center, OSU

From A Taste of Belgium's press release:

We have very exciting news. We've been talking about it cryptically on Twitter and Facebook for quite some time but we could not formally announce it until we sign the contract. We kept saying, we'll have good news to annouce soon. Well, ... here is the annoucement.

It's now signed and official ... Taste of Belgium is the new operator of the café at the Wexner Center on OSU Campus in Columbus.

We are open Monday through Friday 8am till 4pm. We have been operating the café for several weeks as an interim operator but yesterday was our first official day. And it went very well.

We have expanded our menu. We are of course serving our fabulours waffles and our crêpes but we also have a selection of sandwiches, daily soup and we have a full espresso bar. We just unwrapped a brand new La Marzocco espresso machine, we have hired a few new people and we have a kitchen a lot bigger than what we are used to work with! This will be a lot of fun.

On a side note, we are also the preferred caterer at the Wexner Center; so if you're looking for a fun place to host a party or a corporate event give us a call.

JORY Restaurant at The Allison: Where Willamette Valley Vintners Gather for Oregon Wine Country Cuisine and World-Class Pinot Noir

On any given evening at JORY Restaurant in The Allison Inn & Spa, Manager and Sommelier Tom Bean can look around and point out the movers and shakers of the Willamette Valley. The vintners in particular have consecrated JORY the favorite new gathering place because of the culinary team’s relentless passion for Oregon Wine Country cuisine that complements the winemakers’ pinot noirs so exquisitely. “Local vintners hold formal meetings in the private dining room or spur-of-the-moment casual dinners here nightly,” Bean says. “That’s the biggest compliment we could ask for.”

Designed for leisure getaways, foodies and executive retreats, The Allison sprouted from the fertile ground in late 2009 much like the crops and vineyards that surround and support the resort. “In all my years running hotels around the world, I have never witnessed a level of commitment to cuisine that matches what we have been given at The Allison,” notes Pierre Zreik, Managing Director. “Nearly a half-acre has been dedicated to the Chef’s Garden, enabling our chefs to create the freshest seasonal cuisine for guests each week.”

With more than 70 varietals tended by a master gardener, the Chef’s Garden is like a foodie’s ultimate playground. In addition, Oregon’s finest produce purveyors bring their best crops into The Allison on a daily basis. Eggs come from a family farm just up the road from the resort. The model is most like cooking in Europe.

“Every morning on my way into work, I first stop at the Chef’s Garden to see what’s ready,” says Sunny Jin, who was recently promoted from Chef de Cuisine to Executive Chef. “I sit on the ground with my notebook and brainstorm menus. I love how ‘in the moment’ our cooking is at The Allison.” After graduating at the top of his class from Portland’s Western Culinary Institute where he received the Grand Toque Award, Jin worked for Napa Valley’s famed French Laundry, Sydney’s Tetsuya, the top-rated restaurant in the southern hemisphere, then El Bulli, the world’s top-rated restaurant in Catalonia, Spain. Known for spending his day off foraging chanterelle mushrooms, Jin is already on his way to making JORY (also vernacular for one of the beloved wine grape-growing soil types of this region) one of America’s finest examples of farm-to-table, sustainable wine country cooking. Esquire magazine just named JORY one of the U.S.’s “Restaurants Not To Be Missed” in their Best New Restaurants of 2010 feature. If world-class cuisine isn’t enough, The Oregonian also just singled JORY out as the restaurant with the best view in Oregon: “…dramatic views of Yamhill County’s rolling hills…while watching the sun set.”

JORY’s new pastry chef, Shelly du Plessis, who had the distinction of working with Managing Director Pierre Zreik also enjoys the bounty of the Chef’s Garden. “Good pastry starts in the ground,” she says. Fresh Allison strawberries, raspberries and all kinds of herbs find their way into her delectable dessert creations. du Plessis can appreciate the finer points of the quality that an on-site organic garden imparts to the cuisine – before chef school, du Plessis graduated from UC-Davis in plant biology and did a fellowship at Harvard: “I like the ingredients to be able to speak for themselves.” One of her Chef’s Garden-inspired trademarks is lavender crème caramel with primrose sauce.

JORY’s ‘Garden-to-Table’ culinary concept, a step beyond the ‘Farm-to-Table’ trend, was a key ingredient in the creation of the 100-seat restaurant, Open Kitchen, Chef’s Table and private dining rooms as well as a 12,000 square foot event space for catering and meetings and the 24-hour in-room dining for the 85 accommodations. JORY also takes advantage of the many delicious native edibles that make up Oregon Wine Country cuisine including mushrooms like morels and wild truffles, hazelnuts, cherries, huckleberries, blueberries, Dungeness crab and salmon. “The Allison has received immediate acclaim for its food and wine programs, which is deeply gratifying,” states Food & Wine Director, Ercolino Crugnale.

Food & Wine Magazine recognized The Allison for having one of the top seven sommeliers in the U.S. for JORY’s wine list, which features more than 700 labels and 50 wines-by-the-glass, including more than 100 pinot noir producers from Oregon. According to Food & Wine’s Megan Krigbaum, the “list has the perfect balance of Oregon wines and terrific selections from the rest of the world.”

Tom Bean, recently promoted to JORY Manager and Sommelier, was influential in choosing the award-winning wine list. Having earned three Wine Spectator awards for wine lists he created throughout his career, Bean worked with Zreik at another Oregon property before The Allison. Bean has been an indispensable principal in the creation of JORY’s dining experience.

The Allison will produce its own wine bottled in 2011 from its five-acre vineyard located amidst the property’s rolling 35-acre setting. The vineyard is being managed by Oregon’s renowned vintner David Adelsheim and features three of the state’s best-known soil types, Willa-Kenzie, Woodburn and Jory, all of which are anticipated to provide signature wines with great distinction.

But guests do not have to wait until 2011 to experience viticultural variety at The Allison. The restaurant promotes a weekly wine-tender program featuring a local ‘celebrity’ from Oregon’s wine industry sharing complimentary pourings of their varietals for guests and neighborsalike. A full calendar of upcoming wine-tender appearances, jazz entertainment on Friday and Saturdays evenings in the Living Room and holiday menus can be found on the event calendar at

JORY’s beverage selections extend beyond wine to include signature cocktails and an exciting offering of beer, befitting a state and region well known for rare Oregon microbrews, from McMinnville’s Heater-Allen beers and Ashland’s Rogue Mocha Porter to Eugene’s Ninkasi ‘Tricerahops’ Double IPA. The bar’s extensive appetizer menu may also be enjoyed in the Living Room or on the terrace.

As more accolades roll in each month for The Allison (The New York Times,Oct. 14, 2010: “an idyllic retreat”), it continues to enjoy many sold-out dates, even during weekdays. As one Californian enjoying breakfast at the Chef’s Counter recently put it: “Why would you stay -- or eat -- anywhere else?”

# # #

About The Allison Inn & Spa

Sitting on 35 hillside acres with views of adjacent Willamette Valley vineyards, meadows and gardens, The Allison Inn & Spa features 85 deluxe guest rooms, inclusive of 8 suites (all with fireplaces, terrace or balcony, window seat and spa-like bathrooms). The Allison Spa consists of 15,000 sq.ft. with twelve treatment rooms, swimming pool, Jacuzzi and Fitness Studio. There is a dedicated entrance with 12,000 sq. ft. of function space with views and outdoor access as well as a dedicated Board Room. Opened in September, 2009, the property achieved LEED Gold certification in April 2010.

Their 100-seat signature restaurant, JORY, showcases Oregon Wine Country cuisine, a five-acre working vineyard and a half-acre Chef’s Garden

Located 60 minutes from Portland International Airport, less than an hour from downtown and two hours to the Oregon Coast, The Allison Inn is a proud member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts Boutique segment and has received the AAA Four Diamond Award. The Allison is located at 2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, Oregon 97132 (503) 554-2525 or toll free 877 294-2525.

Secret Recipes from Little St. Simons Island's Kitchen, Just in Time for the Holidays!

Little St. Simons Island’s Gingerbread Bread Pudding

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup whole milk

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat the bottom of a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with canola oil and line with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat brown sugar, molasses, eggs, and canola oil on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a separate bowl.
4. Add flour mixture to egg mixture. Stir with a spoon to combine.
5. Add milk and mix until all ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over paper in prepared pan.
6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and vanilla on medium heat and stir until sugar is dissolved. Cool slightly.
8. Crack eggs for pudding in a separate bowl and beat with a wire whisk. Slowly whisk in warm milk mixture. Strain through a fine mesh strainer if mixture is lumpy.
9. Remove gingerbread from sheet pan and lift off parchment paper.
10. Cut into 1/4-inch squares and evenly divide among 12 ramekins.
11. Pour 1/4 cup custard over gingerbread in each ramekin. Place ramekins in a large baking dish and add enough hot water to meet the level of the filling in the cups.
12. Bake for 45 minutes in a 325° oven until custard is set. Serve warm.

Coastal Georgia Oyster Bisque
Serves 4
For bisque:
2 cups shucked Coastal Georgia oysters, with juice, chopped fine
½ cup Vidalia Onions, chopped fine
½ cup celery, chopped fine
½ cup carrots, chopped fine
2 large russet potatoes, diced small
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoon Cognac
3 ½ cups fish stock or clam broth
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
½ cup chives, chopped fine

For Oyster Garnish:
8 Coastal Georgia oysters
2 cups rice flour
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Panko bread crumbs

For Bisque:
1. Melt butter in a medium size saucepan.
2. Add onions, celery and carrots.
3. Sauté on medium-low heat, until vegetables soften ( about 5 minutes).
4. Add flour to vegetables and stir until flour is well incorporated.
5. Cook mixture and stir for 1 minute.
6. Carefully add cognac as it will ignite if added too quickly.
7. Let cognac simmer until evaporated.
8. Add broth, cream, and diced potatoes.
9. Simmer on medium heat until potatoes are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
10. Add chopped oysters and stir over medium heat until they are just cooked through.
11. Remove 2 cups of the bisque and puree in a blender until smooth.
12. Return pureed mixture to saucepan and gently stir.
13. Season with salt and pepper.
14. Ladle soup into soup bowls and top with a fried oyster and sprinkle with chopped fresh chives.

Fried Oyster Garnish:
1. Place rice flour in a large plastic bag.
2. Add oysters to flour and toss to coat well.
3. Shake off oysters one at a time and add to the egg mixture.
4. Add Panko bread crumbs to a large plastic bag.
5. Remove oysters one at time, add to bread crumbs and toss to coat well.
6. Place oysters on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and place in freezer for 20 minutes.
7. Heat oil in deep fryer to 375°.
8. Remove oysters from freezer and fry for approximately 2 minutes until light brown and oysters are just cooked through.
9. Remove oysters from fryer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

About Little St. Simons Island:
Virtually untouched for centuries, Little St. Simons Island is a barrier island off Georgia’s coast that features seven miles of pristine beaches, cottages for just 32 overnight guests, ancient maritime forests, tidal creeks and shimmering marshes. The island offers a rare combination of complete privacy in an unspoiled wilderness with the genuine Southern hospitality of the island’s attentive and knowledgeable staff. Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island retains that charm and unhurried pace of coastal living where time is measured only by the rise and fall of the tides and the ringing of the gong at meal times.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Signorello Estate Napa, Advances ‘Dream Team’ with Full-time Chef Hire

In his signature idealistic style, Ray Signorello Jr. has done it again: the founder and proprietor of Signorello Estate has hired an Executive Estate Chef, a rare move for a small estate winery.

“The culinary arts, along with wine, have always been a passion of mine. The Signorello Estate wines are meant to be enjoyed with fine food and having a dedicated chef allows for the best appreciation of both,” says Signorello. “We chose Michael for his affection for Napa Valley wines, background in creating imaginative menus paired well with California wines, years of experience managing a great restaurant and gracious attitude with guests. He is a true, innovative Executive Chef.”

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, McMillan worked as saucier at The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, sous chef at The West Street Grill in Litchfield, CT, and interned at Trois Jean Bistro in New York City. For the past eight years, McMillan was the Executive Chef and Owner of Opus 39, a highly acclaimed fine dining restaurant in St Augustine, Florida, which won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in each of the past five years. Simultaneously, he also managed a retail wine cellar, owned and served as Executive Chef of The Tasting Room, a tapas restaurant, owned a bakery and published a cookbook, True to Flavor; Opus 39’s Progression of Tastes in Five Courses.

“I was working 100 hours a week and hardly saw my wife and kids,” McMillan says. “I had to realign my priorities.” Napa Valley was one of his favorite places in the world, which he visited with his wife annually, so they moved to the valley without work lined up. “This is an area of the country that really appreciates fine food and wine so it just feels like home,” he says. Back in Florida, if he wanted to order a whole pig, for example, it was an ordeal. “Here, they ask you what kind of pig you want.”

Being a chef at a winery fits into the new family lifestyle McMillan has been dreaming of and offers other benefits. “Working at Signorello Estate gives me the wonderful freedom to be creative every day – and allows that to be my only concern, unlike when I was an owner of a restaurant,” he says. “And Signorello wines are very food-friendly, so I can use a myriad of local ingredients to create fresh dishes to pair with them.”

“Chef Michael’s main focus will be overseeing and executing the seasonal menu of the Enoteca Signorello, a world-renowned food- and wine-pairing experience,” adds Frank McCormick, Signorello’s Director of Operations. McMillan will also expand the two culinary gardens on the property, developing a garden-to-table program to incorporate seasonal products into the cuisine presented with the wine. He’s looking into heirloom-variety seed banks and would like to plant a ‘Cabernet Garden’ that will allow guests to enjoy individual herbal aromas like cassis that are characteristic of a cabernet sauvignon wine.

He is working with the chef of Snake River Farms, the first and largest purveyor of Wagyu beef, to develop recipes using their meats, widely considered the finest in the world.

McMillan will host several winemaker dinners throughout the year, cook for charity events, and may even do an Enoteca Signorello cookbook.

“The Enoteca Signorello is one of the finest food and wine experiences in Napa Valley,” says Ray Signorello. “We’re looking to Michael to take it to even greater heights.” Knowing Signorello, that’s already a done deal.

For more information on Signorello Estate wine, please visit

Sparkling ICE - Add a Spark to Your Water

Delicious, zero calories and healthy? Sounds too good to be true…but prevail…it exists! Sparkling ICE combines fresh mountain spring water, natural fruit juices and six essential vitamins and antioxidants to create tasty, lightly-carbonated, healthy refreshments in assorted thirst-quenching flavors. With states in the beginning stages of taxing sodas at retail levels due to the link between soda and obesity, Sparking ICE is a great alternative to soft drinks appealing to all age groups, diabetics and the health-conscious.

What’s inside:

Zero Calories
Natural Flavors
Vitamins & Antioxidant Enhanced
Lightly Carbonated
Sweetened with Splenda

Crafted from the TalkingRain Beverage Company – a Pacific North West company with a 20-year reputation for making big splashes in natural beverages – Sparkling ICE is healthy hydration with just the right amount of bubbles. Sparkling ICE is an excellent source of B-vitamins, vitamin D, Green Tea Extracts and antioxidants.

Bottled in clear, vibrant packaging, Sparkling ICE is available in six distinct, delicious flavors, all of which are Caffeine Free, Kosher U and contain no carbs, no sodium and sweetened with Splenda to keep taste buds lively:
· Black Raspberry – Rich full flavor of berries – like a little sip of summertime
· Kiwi Strawberry – Light, tart and slightly sweet all at the same time
· Lemon Lime – An energizing, cleansing, zesty spin on a tried-and-true twosome
· Orange Mango – Citrusy sweet orange mango that’s sweetly invigorating
· Pink Grapefruit – Grapefruit’s wakeful tang finds its perfect balance
· Pomegranate Berry – A fresh blend of berries and heart-healthy pomegranate

Prices: $.99 - $2.49 (sizes include 17 oz & 1 liter)
Availability: Sparkling ICE is available at Costco, Sam’s Club, Fred Meyer, QFC, Haggen, Top Foods, Winco, Jewel, Walgreens and online at and

About TalkingRain
TalkingRain™ Beverage Company has been refreshing consumers with its innovative products for more than 20 years. Creating a national splash with brands such as twist, actiVwater and sparkling ICE, these delicious, thirst-quenching drinks suit every lifestyle. TalkingRain’s community involvement goes beyond providing high-quality beverages. TalkingRain teams up with leading organizations such as the Susan G Komen for the Cure, Medical Teams International, The Donna Foundation, Children’s Hospital, American Diabetes Association to sponsor more than 200 cause-related, sporting, cultural and education events every year. Visit

Tommy Bahama at Town Square Las Vegas Unveils Fall/Winter Collection for "Drink of the Month"

Guests have a brand new special cocktail to experience every month at Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar at Town Square Las Vegas where "Life is One Long Weekend." Tommy Bahama is unveiling its fall/winter collection of cocktails. The price: $10 to $11, a great value for ultra premium rum mixed with seasonal fruits and juices.

The cocktails are created by Tommy Bahama bartenders from their 12 restaurant locations spanning the country and are inspired by only the freshest, seasonal ingredients then crafted with the Tommy Bahama-island flare. Every month, they create their own specialty cocktail and one is selected to be served at all 12 Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bars across the country.

“It’s a great job when we just have to sit around and sample all of these signature cocktails and go through the process of selecting just one,” says Rob Goldberg, senior vice president of restaurants, Tommy Bahama. “We have a great group of bartenders who have been with us for years and understand what our guests want and at which time of the year.”

The fall/winter collection through end of Jan. is as follows:

Tropical Harvest (Created in Naples, Fla.)
1 part Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum®
1 part vanilla rum
1 part mango rum
½ part orange Juice
½ part pineapple juice
Splash sour mix
Mix first six ingredients and shake 20 times and pour into martini glass. Sink ¼ oz. grenadine and then layer ½ oz. Midori on top of grenadine. Garnish with an orange wheel wrapped around a cherry on a bamboo skewer on the rim of the glass. The skewer doubles as a stir stick to stir the layers.

Kiwi-tini (Created in Sandestin, Fla.)
2 parts Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum®
½ Kiwi pulp plus juice (1/2 the kiwi goes thru the lime press, the pulp separates easily from the rind and goes into the drink. The other half is used making the kiwi wheel for the garnish.)
1 part simple syrup
1 part pineapple juice
Shake 20 times and pour into martini glass. Garnish with a ¼” thick fresh kiwi wheel.

Frost Bite (Created in Newport Beach, Calif.)
2 .5 oz. Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum®
.75 oz. triple sec
.75 oz. sour mix
.25 oz. raspberry liqueur
Pour rum, triple sec and sour mix into a mixing glass with ice. Shake 20 times and strain into a chilled martini glass rimmed with sugar in the raw. Slowly pour in the raspberry liqueur so it sinks to the bottom of the glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Meyer Lemon Drop (Created in Mauna Lani, the Big Island of Hawaii)
2.5 oz. Tommy Bahama White Sand Rum®
.75 oz. triple sec
1 oz. sour mix
.50 oz. Meyer lemon juice
Squeeze juice from a ¼ slice of Meyer lemon into a mixing glass. Add remaining ingredients. Shake 20 times and strain into a martini glass rimmed with sugar in the raw. Serve in a martini glass.

Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar is located at Town Square at 6635 Las Vegas Boulevard South. The restaurant is open daily, beginning at 11 a.m. and serves lunch and dinner. For more information, go to or find Tommy Bahama on Facebook at For reservations, call (702) 948-9006.

Tommy Bahama is owned by Tommy Bahama Group, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxford Industries, Inc. (NYSE:OXM). Established in August 1992, with corporate headquarters in Seattle, Tommy Bahama is a lifestyle company that defines elegant tropical living with men’s and women’s sportswear, denim, swimwear, accessories and a complete home furnishings collection. Tommy Bahama is available at the country’s finest retailers, including Nordstrom, as well as high profile resort locations around the world. There are more than 80 Tommy Bahama’s retail locations across the country, 12 of which include a Tommy Bahama’s Restaurant & Bar. Additional stores will be opening this year.

Halloween Treats for Grownups - Spooky Cocktail Hour from Riazul

"Fake Blood"
1 oz. Riazul Silver Tequila
1 oz. Creme de Cassis
1 lime wedge
Ginger Beer
Combine Riazul Silver, creme de cassis and squeezed lime juice with ice, shake and strain into a chilled glass. Fill with ginger beer.
Bonus points: garnish with glow-in-the-dark candy vampire fangs!

And if you don't happen to have a bottle of Creme de Cassis in your liquor cabinet, here is a simplified version.

"Fake Blood" (Part Deux)
1 1/2 oz. Riazul Silver
1 oz. cranberry juice
Lime wedge
1/2 oz. simple sugar
1 splash ginger ale
Combine Riazul Silver, cranberry juice, squeezed lime juice and simple sugar with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled glass. Fill with a splash of ginger ale.

Truco o Trato
2 oz. Riazul premium anejo tequila
2.5 oz dark Mexican chocolate
2 oz. heavy cream
4 oz. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbs. granulated sugar

Drinking Chocolate Instructions:
In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate. Add cream, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Heat for ten minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and refrigerate.
Serve dark chocolate cold in cabaillitos or snifters with corresponding shots of Riazul anjeo tequila. The drinking chocolate will provide maximum detection of the anejo's own chocolate notes.

Blanco y Negro
2 oz. of Riazul premium blanco tequila
2 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 oz. heavy cream
4 oz. whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbs granulated sugar
1 bar of white chocolate

Drinking Chocolate Instructions:
In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate. Add Riazul blanco tequila, cream, milk, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Heat for ten minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and refrigerate.
Serve in a snifter garnished with white chocolate shavings over the surface.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kusmi Tea Introduces Newest Blend: BOOST

Kusmi Tea of Paris, a brand known for its traditional Russian style teas for the last 140 years, introduces BOOST, their newest blend for the holiday season. A surprising blend that naturally stimulates body and mind, BOOST reawakens the tea addict's taste buds. Completing its wellness line (already consisting of Detox, Be Cool and Sweet Love), BOOST is an energizing and all-natural recipe composed of mate, green tea and spices.

Kusmi has created BOOST to lift energy levels first thing in the morning, get drinker's going again after a heavy meal or keep concentration levels up all day long. Combining the properties of mate, green tea and spices, BOOST is the perfect tea to fortify the body throughout the day, refueling it with the energy it needs. BOOST is the ideal blend for anyone with a busy lifestyle, and fans of natural products can use it as a “cure treatment” to regain well-being and energy in a delightful, tasty way.

Consumed for thousands of years by the native Indians of Brazil and Paraguay, mate only arrived in Europe in the 16th century brought by Spanish explorers. According to legend, the Indians prepared an uplifting fusion of leaves able to dispel fatigue. Used later as a “potion” by South African miners and high-altitude porters for its “anti-fatigue” effects, this traditional, energizing drink draws its stimulating powers from mateine, which has similar properties to caffeine. (Caffeine, present in green tea and recognized for its revitalizing properties, is a powerful nervous system stimulant. It is gradually diffused in the body and therefore allows you to stay alert and focused longer. Tannins, more concentrated in green tea than black tea, lessen the negative effects sometimes associated with caffeine such as nervousness and insomnia.) Unanimously recognized in Latin American tradition for its ability to combat physical and mental fatigue, mate is also used in traditional medicine to treat headaches, fatigue and rheumatism.

BOOST combines mate and Chinese green tea. Rich in flavonoids, green tea promotes the body's vitamin C absorption. Therefore, drinking green tea during the day allows the body to draw maximum benefits from the Vitamin C naturally present in food consumed throughout the day.

A blend of naturally energizing and revitalizing spices adds the finishing touch to the recipe: cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, for a warming, powerful taste. Considered a stimulating remedy in Greek and Roman phytotherapy, cinnamon allows energy to “flow freely throughout the body” according to aromatherapy. Cinnamon bark is also reputed to sooth mental fatigue and improve concentration. The beneficial properties of ginger are combined with cinnamon's qualities. Renowned for its stimulating and revitalizing assets, medieval pharmacists praised ginger as an invigorating plant. Cardamom completes the delicious blend of this spiced tea. Widely used in ayurvedic medicine, this plant is recognized for its uplifting effects.

About Kusmi Tea
Founded in 1867 in St. Petersburg, Kusmi Tea was brought over to Paris in 1917. Over the past 140 years, they have perfected the art of blending unique teas distinguished by their exceptional flavor, aroma and quality. Kusmi Tea blends the finest natural ingredients from around the world, making each tea distinct. Invigorating to all senses, each aspect is glorified by master blenders at Kusmi, ensuring the smallest detail is never overlooked.

SEA Brings Thai Fusion Cuisine to Ballys Las Vegas

SEA: The Thai Experience joins the culinary lineup at Bally’s Las Vegas bringing its unique Thai fusion cuisine to the Strip. The restaurant is now open for lunch, dinner and late night bites.

SEA: The Thai Experience opened its first location in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2002. The restaurant’s sleek modern design made it a perfect backdrop for films such as “Garden State” and “Sex and the City.” After seven successful years in Brooklyn, SEA opened a second location in the Meat Packing District, becoming a favorite dining location for many New Yorkers. Now making its way to the Las Vegas Strip, SEA at Bally’s Las Vegas offers guests a fresh, exotic destination to experience the flavorful taste of Thai food and the aroma of Asian spices as they enjoy the ambiance of the Bangkok-inspired modern design.

The diverse menu offers guests a variety of specialty Thai and Vietnamese dishes including grilled lemongrass chicken, Tamarind whole fish, classic pork chop, volcanic chicken and pineapple curry duck. To complete the dining experience, guests can pair their entrées with beer, wine or specialty cocktails such as the suwanmalee, a Thai lychee martini, or the sakuntala, SEA’s signature mojito.

SEA: The Thai Experience is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and is located next to Bally’s Steakhouse. For reservations, please call (702) 967-3888.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Toast the Holidays with Dry Rosé

Once consigned to the role of summertime staple, rosé wines from the Provence region of France are now increasingly sought out by discerning wine drinkers throughout the year, especially during the holiday season.

“Rosé wines from Provence bring a distinctive flavor and elegant air to the holiday table, plus our rosés pair well with so many seasonal foods,” said Francois Millo, director of the Counseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), known in the U.S. as the Provence Wine Council.

With their fresh, dry taste, rosés from Provence complement all manner of holiday foods – oysters, shrimp, caviar, lobster, pork and lamb roasts, a variety of savories, even chocolate and fresh fruit – offering a quality taste experience at an attractive price. Yet these versatile wines from France’s oldest wine region are as serious as the highest quality reds, whites and Champagnes.

In addition, their tall, elegant bottles and lovely pink hues lend a festive touch to the holiday tablescape.
The rosé category includes varying styles – some fuller, some more crisp. Even within the renowned rosé region of Provence, pink wines display a range of colors, textures, and flavors. Yet all Provence rosés tend to be fresh, bright, and dry on the palate.

Rosé from Provence is made from red grapes, just as red wine is, but rosé producers keep the dark skins in contact with the pale juice for only a brief time – just long enough to achieve rosé’s lovely pink color and distinctive flavor.
To locate shops that carry Provence rosé, visit the Retailers section of Use the interactive map or state-by-state dropdown menu to access a list of retailers offering one or more of the region’s celebrated rosés. Retailers may also offer red and white Provence wines.

The Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), known in the United States as the Provence Wine Council, is an organization representing more than 600 Provence wine producers and 72 trade companies. Its mission is to promote and advance the wines of the Provence region of France. The organization’s members together produce 95 percent of Provence’s Appellation d’Origine Controlee (AOC) wines. Its U.S. web address is

Simply Ming One-Pot Meals

Ming Tsai, the Emmy Award-winning host of PBS’s “Simply Ming” and James Beard Award-winning chef of Blue Ginger, firmly believes that there are four basic needs in everyday cooking: taste, healthfulness, simplicity, and affordability. So with these principles in mind, Ming has created a groundbreaking cookbook, his first in five years, in which he tackles all four all combined together in one pot. Simply Ming One-Pot Meals: Quick, Healthy & Affordable Recipes (Kyle Books; November 2010; Hardcover; $24.95) showcases 80 mouth-watering recipes using the seven techniques of one-pot cooking – braising, wokking, sautéing, roasting, flash-frying, tossing, and soups. No matter which pot he uses, the results are simply delicious.

“I love to cook,” says Ming Tsai, “But like other busy people, I don’t always have the time. The chef in me aims to make the best, most excitingly delicious food possible; the dad and home cook in me wants those meals to be prepared hassle-free with minimum clean-up.” One-pot cooking began for Ming at home and was introduced to his legion of fans in season four of his hit television show. With Ming’s techniques and recipes; a good stock pot, wok pan, and Dutch oven in the kitchen; and good, simple, and affordable ingredients in the pantry, a full range of fabulous dishes, from soups and salads to simple suppers and dishes for entertaining, are at your fingertips. And, you will marvel at the pots’ time-saving versatility.

These stellar recipes demonstrate Chef Ming Tsai’s mastery of ingredients and flavors from around the world: Aromatic Short Ribs with Root Vegetables; Garlic Osso Buco with Celeriac; Scallop and Bacon Fettuccine; Wanton Shrimp and Noodle Soup; Sweet Potato Ravioli with Thai Basil Butter; Chicken and Tri-Bell Pepper Chow Mein; Moroccan Spiced Lamb Shoulder with Bell Pepper Couscous; Pork Kimchee with Noodles; and, once you try Ming’s Asian Spaghetti and Asian Sloppy Joes, you will never want to go back to the old standard recipe. Each recipe is accompanied by a stunning full-color photograph and a beverage pairing suggestion, and many feature Ming’s signature cooking tips.

Exploring technique through Ming’s one-pot system – taking underutilized woks and stockpots out for a spin – will also show you how cooking actually works, so you’ll be better at it. The proof though is in the eating, and in that regard, Simply Ming One-Pot Meals guarantees serious pleasure.

About the Author:
Ming Tsai is the Emmy Award-winning television host and producer of “Simply Ming.” His restaurant, Blue Ginger in Wellesley, Massachusetts, has earned him a James Beard Foundation award and Esquire’s “Chef of the Year.” He is the author of three bestselling cookbooks, including Blue Ginger and Simply Ming. He is also a member of the Harvard School of Public Health’s Nutrition Roundtable, as well as the national spokesperson for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). In the summer of 2008, Ming traveled to the Beijing Olympics with NBC’s “Today” show to provide viewers with insight into food customs and traditions that define his Chinese heritage. Ming lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. Visit Ming online at

Arthur Boehm writes about food for a number of national publications and is co-author of Modern Seafood Cook, The Empire Kosher Kitchen, Blue Ginger, and Simply Ming. He lives in New York City.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Adopt" An Authentic Italian Olive Tree

The family run business Tre Olive is offering a taste of Italy by allowing customers to "adopt" authentic Italian olive trees, then enjoy the harvest of the extra virgin olive oil from their own trees.

It's the perfect, unforgettable gift for food lovers this holiday season.

According to new research from the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, consumers have returned to specialty foods like olive oil with a big increase in spending this year. Quality olive oil can turn a good dish into a great dish.

Tre Olive was started by three cousins and the family has owned olive oil mills in Calabria, Italy since 1934. Many of the trees in the Tre Olive grove are nearly a century old and the temperature and climate are perfect for growing olives. All are cared for by hand by dedicated family members who have worked in the groves for decades, with experience that has been passed on through generations. Extra virgin olive oil is the highest quality olive oil and Tre Olive's extra virgin olive oil meets the standards of the International Olive Oil Council.

The process to harvest the finest extra virgin olive oil begins with the tilling of the land at the beautiful Southern Italy grove. Careful pruning by hand, masterful nurturing through tree growth, hand-picked harvesting with perfect, optimal timing and advanced pressing techniques make up the process to create the Tre Olive extra virgin olive oil.

"We wanted to create a unique opportunity for our customers that allows them to be a bigger part of what we do," said Joe Maruca of Tre Olive. "When you receive the olive oil from your tree in the spring, it means more, it tastes amazing and it comes with a story that you can share with your family and friends."

Olive oil is now the third best-selling cooking oil in the United States. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat and, unlike butter, lard and other fats, contains a large proportion of easily digested fats and no cholesterol. Olive oil is also a good source of vitamin E, which is thought to help protect against cancer and heart disease. Italy is known to product the highest rated olive oils in Europe.

With the adoption of a tree for a year, at a cost of only $110, olive oil lovers receive:

A customized hard-cover display holder with a certificate of adoption beautifully gift wrapped.
An informational brochure and welcome letter.
A photo of the adopted tree, with all its graceful beauty and naturally imperfect glory.
Your tree is tagged with your name for the adoption year.
Three liters of extra virgin olive oil from the adopted tree will arrive in the spring.

For more information or to adopt a Tre Olive tree, visit

Recipes From The Shrimp Council

Shrimp & Pumpkin Risotto

Number of Servings: 6
1 (32 oz.) carton all-natural chicken broth (4 cups)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cups Arborio rice (risotto)
1 cup white wine or apple juice
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound jumbo shrimp, raw (16 to 20 count), shelled and de-veined
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, optional

Pour the chicken broth into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat to keep the broth hot. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir well to coat. Add the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Start to add the chicken broth, about ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently. Allow the broth to be absorbed into the rice before adding the next ½ cup. When all the broth has been added and absorbed (this should take about 20 minutes), stir in the pumpkin, nutmeg, and Parmesan cheese. Reduce the heat to low. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over high heat. Add the shrimp and cook about 2 minute per side or until just cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the risotto evenly between plates or pasta bowls and top with the shrimp. Sprinkle with the parsley as desired.

Nutrition Information:
450 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated, 0.4g omega-3), 680mg sodium, 59g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 28g protein, 130% vitamin A, 10% vitamin C, 15% calcium, 20% iron

Recipe Courtesy of: The Shrimp Council and Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD & Liz Weiss, MS, RD Authors, The Moms' Guide to Meal Makeovers,

Garlic Herb Shrimp Stuffing

Number of Servings: 9 (1/2 cup) servings
1 (12 oz) package SeaPak® Shrimp Scampi, frozen
Nonstick cooking spray
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium carrot, shredded
3/4 cup hot water
1 (6 oz) carton stuffing mix (such as Stove Top – Savory Herbs)

Spray non-stick cooking spray (3-4 seconds) into large skillet. Preheat skillet on medium-high for 1-2 minutes. Add diced onion and celery and sauté for 3 minutes. Add shredded carrots. Stir to incorporate and continue sautéing for 1 minute. Add frozen shrimp scampi and stir to incorporate breaking up any shrimp that are frozen together. Sauté for 6-7 minutes or until shrimp are fully cooked. Add 3/4 cup hot water. Bring mixture up to a simmer, then remove from heat. Add stuffing mix and stir to incorporate. Cover with a tight fitting lid and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Sea Best Seafood Launches New Website

Sea Best, a Beaver Street Fisheries brand which provides frozen seafood and shellfish to grocery stores and restaurants coast to coast, has launched a new website. aims to attract and educate everyone, even those unfamiliar with seafood, about the unique benefits and proper preparation of seafood. The site features a number of elements designed specifically to respond to current perceptions surrounding frozen seafood including: enticing photography of prepared Sea Best seafood, chef-developed recipes exclusively for Sea Best products, a series of instructional videos on seafood cooking methods, a “Seafood 101” section discussing important health benefits, and special promotions and offers.

Visitors to the website will find the Sea Best story which details the history of this family business and their longstanding commitment to quality. To support this, visitors will see an accompanying rotating slideshow of Sea Best products, recipes and commercial fishing imagery to remind them that Sea Best products are frozen at their freshest, right when they’re caught

The website will launch with over 50 recipes which have been crafted by a renowned culinary team exclusively for Sea Best products. Recipes address a variety of shopper need states and include meals for a broad range of cuisines, occasions, courses, cooking expertise, prep time and ages. There are recipes that will help people feel confident preparing virtually every Sea Best product.

Sea Best’s goal of educating visitors on all aspects of the seafood category is achieved in the Seafood 101 section of the website. Topics covered include factual information regarding the importance of incorporating seafood into a weekly diet, nutritional content and the value of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to health information, this section also aims to make visitors more familiar and comfortable with the seafood category. Visitors will find flavor profiles, step-by-step preparation instructions and a series of how-to-cook videos on everything from breaded shrimp, scallops, calamari and clam strips to ahi tuna, catfish, cod, mahi mahi and tilapia.

To encourage visitors to get acquainted with the brand, the website will also periodically feature special promotions and coupons available for download.

In addition to the new website, Sea Best has updated the design of all its packaging and included recipes and food pairings. The package redesign communicates the fact that Sea Best is seafood frozen at its freshest so it delivers the flavor and quality of fresh seafood.

“Sea Best has a long history of providing high-quality frozen seafood from around the world,” said Mark Frisch, the company’s executive vice president and grandson of its co-founder. “An updated look will help draw shoppers to the frozen food case.”

As Americans seek more choices for protein and learn more the benefits of incorporating fish into their diet, Sea Best is taking every opportunity to broaden its appeal. Sea Best offers restaurant-quality seafood with home-cooked from frozen convenience.

About Sea Best

Sea Best is the flagship brand of Beaver Street Fisheries Inc., a family-owned and operated company started 60 years ago in a storefront on West Beaver Street in Jacksonville, Fla. The brand offers a full line of frozen fish fillets including premium varieties (ahi tuna, mahi mahi, grouper, snapper), value varieties (cod, catfish, whiting), breaded seafood (shrimp, calamari, scallops) and un-breaded shellfish (lobster, crab). The company reported $480 million in revenue in 2009, making it the eighth-largest seafood importer and distributor in North America. Some 400 people work at the Beaver Street facility in Jacksonville and at a separate operation in the Bahamas.

For more information, visit

Reyka Vodka Annonces Strong Results for 2010

Fresh from its July re-launch, Reyka Vodka announced today positive growth in 2010, with sales for the month of July up 43%, and year to date sales up 7%, showing extremely positive signs for the small-batch Icelandic vodka as it makes an impact in an exceptionally competitive market.

July saw Reyka roll out a strategy to bring its brand offering to the next level, launching a brand new packaging design and cutting edge marketing strategy, supported by lifestyle partnerships and a dedicated online presence. Micro-targeting audiences in Brooklyn (New York), the Mission (San Francisco), Wicker Park (Chicago) and Boston, the campaign has paid dividends, with consumers and bartenders alike showing great enthusiasm for the brand.

The brand’s activity has not only resonated in the on and off-premise, as Reyka has also brought its brand to life through its revamped digital strategy, including a revived web site at and dedicated social media presences on Facebook and Twitter, which were designed to build a creative community around the brand.

“We are very excited about the response to our new positioning for Reyka,” said Jennifer Logan, Senior Brand Manager for Reyka Vodka. “Reyka Vodka is as unique as the land that inspires it, and these positive trends show very encouraging signs that this unique spirit from Iceland is being adopted
by people across America.”

Reyka Vodka is well-known for its distinguishing characteristics such as its lava rock filtration, Carter Head still distillation and use of some of the naturally purest water in the world, which have helped to elevate Reyka to high esteem since the distillery’s founding in 2005. Judges of the Fifty Best Competition recently gave Reyka high marks, praising it as smooth, clean, assertive, rich, silky, with a medium body, strong taste, nice, long finish.

ny is run by the fifth generation of his family. Among the most recent accolades for the well-awarded company, William Grant & Sons was honored as the “Distiller of the Year” for the third time in four years by the prestigious International Spirits Challenge.

Founded in 1964, William Grant & Sons USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of William Grant & Sons, Ltd. and features one of the fastest growing spirits portfolios in the USA with super-premium brands including Stolichnaya vodka, the world’s best-selling single malt Scotch whisky Glenfiddich, The Balvenie range of handcrafted single malts, Grant’s blended Scotch, Hendrick’s® Gin, Sailor Jerry® Spiced Navy Rum, the award-winning Milagro® Tequila, Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, Licor 43, BOLS Liqueurs, Galliano, Lillet and Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur.

William Grant & Sons USA has offices in New York City (sales and marketing) and Edison, NJ (bottling and warehouse facilities). For more information on the company and its brands, please visit

Fourth Generation of Kern’s Kitchen Brings Another Classic Kentucky Recipe to the Marketplace

After over 50 years of baking the iconic Derby-Pie® chocolate nut pie for eager fans, Kern’s Kitchen has announced the debut of a new product called Golden Pecan pie. The heritage recipe for the Golden Pecan pie was pulled from the same source as Kern’s world famous Derby-Pie®: straight from Great-Grandma Kern’s personal recipe box. Loaded with choice southern pecans, a scrumptious custard-like filling imbued with pure vanilla and a delicate, flaky crust, the pie is Southern cuisine at its finest.

Golden Pecan pie was launched after a year-long effort spearheaded by Jon Rupp, great-grandson of Walter and Leaudra Kern and the newest member of the family to join the operation. Rupp and his father Alan were committed to bringing the secret family recipe to the marketplace.

“I felt very strongly about adding another product to complement the Derby-Pie®,” said Jon Rupp. “Our family’s recipe is a part of Bluegrass heritage that will be available to the public for the first time. We are proud to share Great-Grandma Kern’s finest with our admirers.”

Golden Pecan pie is a Kentucky Proud product and can be purchased locally at A Taste of Kentucky, in Liquor Barn stores in Louisville and Lexington or through mail order from A Taste of Kentucky and the HoneyBaked Ham catalog. Several local restaurants also offer the Golden Pecan pie, including Bistro 301, Burning Bush Grille, Derby Dinner Playhouse, the Blue Horse Bar & Terrace at the Crowne Plaza and the Holiday Inn Hurstbourne. Visit for more information.

About Kern’s Kitchen, Inc.
Kern’s Kitchen, maker of the world-famous chocolate nut Derby-Pie®, is a small family operation in Louisville, Ky. The iconic recipe was born over a half century ago as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Ky. George Kern developed Derby-Pie®with the help of his parents Walter and Leaudra. Many hours were spent trying to find the unique blend of ingredients that make up this classic dessert. The recipe remains a family secret today, and is baked solely by Kern’s Kitchen. Once developed, a proper name for the pie had to be given. Because each family member had a favorite, the name Derby-Pie® was actually pulled from a hat. By 1968, Derby-Pie® had become so successful that the name was registered with the U.S. Patent Office and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Today, the Kern grandchildren take the same pride in preparing Kern’s Kitchen products that their grandparents did over a half century ago. Only the highest quality ingredients are used and each pie is carefully filled by hand. For more information, visit

Monday, October 18, 2010

Cook’s Country, Season 3 Shares Fool-Proof Recipes That Will Enhance Any Home-Cooked Menu

America’s Test Kitchen serves home cooking at its best with Cook’s Country, Season 3, brought to DVD by PBS. Delicious, country-style comfort food is just a simple recipe away with this great new DVD set featuring 29 new recipes. With thoroughly tested, clearly written recipes, even the most inexperienced cook has the chance to be a chef, cooking up favorites like pork chops, chicken parmesan, and pie. , Plus, the DVD set includes printable recipes for every featured dish, giving viewers the details needed to recreate every meal covered in the 13-episode DVD set. Cooks Country, Season 3 is set for release on November 2.

Cook’s Country, Season 3

Cook’s Country from America’s Test Kitchen features the best regional home cooking in the country and relies on the same practical, no-nonsense food approach that has made Cook’s Country magazine a success. Filmed in a renovated 1806 farmhouse, this is where family-friendly recipes are scientifically re-imagined for the modern home cook.

In season three, host Christopher Kimball and your favorite chefs from America's Test Kitchen uncover blue-ribbon regional specialties from across the country like Texas Beef Ribs and Easy Chicken Tacos, bake up a few “lost” specialties like Monkey Bread and Shaker Lemon Pie, and tackle classic American fare in need of makeovers, including Crispy Fried Pork Chops, Crusty Grilled Steak, and Skillet Chicken Parmesan. Find out which cookware, kitchen tools, and supermarket foods are worth the dough, and learn more about the history of American food.

This set contains all 13 episodes from Season 3 of Cook's Country and features 29 printable recipes:

Two Perfect Pies
Family Dinner Favorites
Old Fashioned Pork
Southern Comfort Food
Beef Meets Grill
Everybody Loves Chocolate
Hearty Italian Meals
Northern Cookout
The Chemistry of Cakes
Southwestern Suppers
Breakfast Show Stoppers
Chicken Two Ways
Ultimate Ham Dinner

To order a copy of Cook’s Country, Season 3, please call (800) PLAY-PBS or visit To purchase DVDs with public performance rights, please visit

PBS Distribution is the leading media distributor for the public television community, both domestically and internationally. Jointly owned by PBS (Arlington, VA) and WGBH (Boston, MA), PBS Distribution extends the reach of public television programs beyond broadcast while generating revenue for the public television system and our production partners. PBS Distribution offers a diverse range of programming to our customers, including Ken Burns’s films (The National Parks, The Civil War, Baseball,), documentaries from award-winning series NOVA (The Elegant Universe, The Miracle of Life), FRONTLINE (Growing Up Online, Bush’s War), and American Experience (Earth Days, We Shall Remain), dramas from Masterpiece (Jane Eyre, Inspector Lewis), films from independent producers (The Buddha, The Story of India), and popular children’s programming from Super Why!, Wordgirl, Cyberchase, and Arthur.

TITLE: Cook’s Country, Season 3
SERIES: Cook’s Country
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 5.5 hours on 2 discs
SRP: $29.99

2nd Annual Coastal Uncorked Food and Wine Festival

Representatives from Coastal Uncorked today announced the dates for the second annual Coastal Uncorked Food & Wine Festival. The 2011 festival will take place May 8 through the 15.

Coastal Uncorked Food & Wine Festival is the Myrtle Beach, S.C. area’s premier food and wine festival. The second annual festival will feature a restaurant week; a wine tasting trolley tour of Myrtle Beach; outdoor entertainment at Market Common and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade; the Coastal Uncorked Golf Tournament; and the Coastal Uncorked Food Fight fundraiser. All funds raised during the festival will be used for future events and a portion will be donated to the Horry Georgetown Technical College Culinary School and the Clay Brittain Hospitality Program at Coastal Carolina University.

The inaugural festival saw great success selling more than 4,000 tickets to both area residents and vacationers.

“We are very excited about our second annual festival,” said Candace Howell, executive director for Coastal Uncorked Food & Wine Festival. “Our inaugural festival was a great success We could not have been more pleased with the number of tickets sold and the way Myrtle Beach residents truly embraced the events. We are positive our 2011 festival will continue to exceed the expectations of all of our guests.”

For more information about Coastal Uncorked Food & Wine Festival, email or visit or

Make the Switch to a Bento Lunch Box and Fulfill Your 2011 New Year’s Resolutions

Whether your 2011 New Year’s Resolutions involve losing weight, eating better, living a greener lifestyle, or cutting down on spending, making the decision to pack your lunch every day can help you achieve your goals. We all know that New Year’s Resolutions are easy to make but hard to keep, so Laptop Lunches® has created a line of bento lunch boxes that simplify the process of creating a healthy, waste-free lunch. Try a Lunch Date kit or Power Lunch system to pack nutritious meals for work or travel!

Carry your lunch in style with the Designer Lunch Date, which features a purse-style designer bento bag with a Persian red leaf exterior and black interior. The red leaf pattern on the bag is a perfect complement to the black and red bento set, which fits neatly inside a black insulated bento sleeve. The Casual Lunch Date kit includes a black bento bag with avocado interior, a matching black and avocado bento set, and a black insulated bento sleeve. All-stainless utensils are also included with both of these kits.

Perfect for packing lunch for a day at the office, the Power Lunch system features an American-style bento box with 5 stay-fresh containers, stainless steel utensils and a water bottle, all zipped inside an insulated tote. The bento box keeps food fresh and well preserved all day long. Laptop Lunches® offers a Black/Red Power Lunch System and a Black/Blue Power Lunch System.

Laptop Lunches® bento lunch boxes help with portion control and encourage balanced, wholesome meals. Each lunch system also comes with The Laptop Lunch User’s Guide, which is filled with healthy lunch ideas and recipes. Those looking to become more eco-friendly in 2011 will be happy to learn that just one bento system replaces a mountain of baggies, foil, plastic wrap, and plastic utensils. Plus, by packing your lunch instead of eating out or ordering in, you can save money each week.

Start the New Year off right with a new Laptop Lunches® lunch box, and make 2011 the year that you stick to your resolutions! Visit to learn more.

About Laptop Lunches®
Obentec, Inc. was founded in 2001 by two California moms, with the mission of helping families improve lunchtime nutrition while reducing waste. Laptop Lunches® are affordable, high quality, made-in-the-USA meal containers designed for people on the go, and are perfect for school, work, play, travel, and take out. The founders of Obentec, Inc. believe that healthy kids come from healthy communities; thus Obentec is committed to giving back to schools and environmental organizations. Learn more at

Kentucky Parks Thanksgiving Buffet

November is almost here and that means the Kentucky State Park restaurants are preparing for one of the busiest days of the year – Thanksgiving Day.

All 17 resort park restaurants will be serving the annual Thanksgiving Day buffet on Nov. 25, 2010, a tradition for the parks and many families across Kentucky.

“The Kentucky State Parks look forward to being part of the Thanksgiving tradition for many families,” said Parks Commissioner Gerry van der Meer. “Our resort parks are proud to provide this special holiday meal for our guests.”

The buffet will include soups, cheeses and salads for starters. Entrees include turkey and dressing, baked ham, carved roast beef and fried chicken. Vegetables include old fashioned candied yams, country-style green beans and mashed potatoes with giblet gravy. There will be a variety of desserts including pecan pie and pumpkin pie.

The cost for the buffet will be $17.95 plus tax (drink included) for adults; $6.95 for children ages 6-12 and children 5 and under are free.

The buffet will operate from noon to 8 p.m. For more information about state parks and other park events, visit

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Red Celery introduced at PMA Convention

After nearly twenty years of research, Duda Farm Fresh Foods, the world’s largest grower and processor of celery, once again showcased its commitment to innovation and quality with the introduction of Red Celery at this year’s Produce Marketing Association’s annual Fresh Summit Trade Show in Orlando, Fla.

Red Celery, under the brand name Celery Sensations, is a new and truly unique variety. Horticulturist Larry Pierce, Ph.D., Duda’s manager of celery seed research, started working on this project back in 1991. Using traditional techniques and natural plant breeding methods, Dr. Pierce cross-pollinated an existing commercial variety with an old-world heritage celery root, or celeriac variety, which was red in color, to produce a commercially viable variety for today’s consumer’s taste profile.

“We are so excited to unveil our ‘red celery.’ It has the same great crisp fresh flavor as regular celery with added crunch that consumers like so much,” said Dan Duda, president/chief operating officer, Duda Farm Fresh Foods. “Many of our customers and fellow growers were extremely curious about today’s reveal. Most thought we were launching a new radish variety, which would have been a close bet, as we did launch our Radish Ministicks, a new julienned packaged product. But the real buzz is all about our red celery; it turned heads and captured everyone’s attention and we are confident its superior quality, great taste and vibrant color will build incremental category sales.”

Duda continues, “From consumer trends to product evolvement and technological developments, we’re proud of our track record of innovation in the fresh produce industry. Our patents for new commercial celery varieties are a testament to that.”

Duda’s commitment to innovation is not only in the field, but can be evidenced in its smart packaging too. Celery Sensations will be sold with Microsoft® Tags. Placed directly on packaging, this high-capacity color barcode (HCCB) contains encoded information that consumers can easily access by scanning the URL Tag with a mobile device like their cell phone. The encoded information consists of product information, storage and usage tips and even recipes and meal suggestions.

“We aim to continually explore and utilize packaging that maintains strict sustainability guidelines, and reduces transportation and handling costs throughout the supply chain in addition to protecting the freshness, safety and integrity of our natural products” concludes Sammy Duda, vice president, Western Vegetable Operations.

For more information about Red Celery and access to photographs, videos, etc., please visit

Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a major grower, shipper and marketer of fresh citrus and fresh and fresh-cut vegetables with primary locations in Florida, California, Arizona, Georgia and Michigan. Duda Farm Fresh Foods is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DUDA, a family-owned, diversified land company headquartered in Oviedo, Fla. To learn more about Duda Farm Fresh Foods and its line of products, visit

Friday, October 15, 2010

Eddie Merlot's Introduces New Menu Items

Whether you’re hungry for one of the classics or something a little different, Eddie Merlot’s new menu items are sure to satisfy.

Eddie’s has added a new selection of appetizers and entrees that complement the eatery’s signature prime aged beef and seafood selections.

Start your evening off with refreshing appetizers like Eddie’s new Buttermilk Fried Lobster, the Artisanal Cheese Plate, or Oysters Rockefeller. For a larger appetite, try the tableside Shrimp Scampi for Two, a New York roll, or the Iced Shellfish Platter.

Go green with Eddie’s new Spinach Salad—baby spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, onion, candied bacon, and hot bacon dressing.

In addition to new appetizer and salad selections, Eddie’s now offers specialty entrees like Wagyu Meatloaf, a Wagyu Flat Iron Steak, a Dakota Farms Bison Filet, or the Chef’s Fresh Catch—changing fresh seafood offerings using the finest available each day.

If it’s Eddie’s prime beef you’re craving, try one of the new reserve cuts, including the Dakota Farms Natural Strip, Bone-in Filet, or Wagyu Ribeye AA5 Grade. And don’t forget Eddie’s steak enhancements—Winemaker’s style, Bacon Gorgonzola Crust, Foie Gras slices, or Truffle Butter.

Don’t leave without trying a new decadent dessert: Strawberries Romanoff tableside for two, Caramel Macchiato Torte, or Red Velvet Cake.

To make your evening even more enjoyable, Eddie’s now offers their menu in a new look and layout that allows guests to view the full menu more conveniently in a two page format.

Guests are encouraged to make reservations online at, or by calling Eddie Merlot’s at one of these locations:

Cincinnati, 10808 Montgomery Rd. at the I-275 interchange, 513-489-1212

Columbus, 1570 Polaris Parkway at the I-71 interchange, 614-433-7307

Fort Wayne, 14 and 24 at Jefferson Pointe, 260-459-2222

Indianapolis, 96th and Keystone, 317-846-8303

Eddie Merlot’s is a premier American steakhouse featuring exceptional prime aged steaks and an extensive selection of the finest wines. A division of Platinum Restaurant Group, Inc., Eddie Merlot’s restaurants are located in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis, Indiana and Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.

Celebrate the Holidays with Favorite Recipes from L’Auberge Chez Francois

The holidays are a time when friends and family to gather together and celebrate - - usually over a meal. No celebration is complete without the pleasures that a joyful meal provides. Chef Jacques Haeringer of Washington DC’s legendary restaurant, L’Auberge Chez Francois, believes that the combination of great food served in a warm, welcoming setting always creates a memorable evening.

“Unforgettable meals are a tradition at L’Auberge Chez François,” explains Chef Jacques. “It’s a tradition based on our philosophy that life’s memorable moments are not complete without a festive meal.” The ambience, the artful presentation and the anticipation of delightful tastes merge together to indulge the senses and help create a wonderful holiday experience.
This year create your own memorable holiday meal with these great recipes from L’Auberge Chez Francois.

Serves 6

2 small pumpkins, 2 pounds each (or one 28 ounce can pumpkin purée)
1 large pumpkin (for tureen)
2 cups white stock or chicken stock
1 cup water
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 cup half and half
6 teaspoons raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
1 one pound lobster

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the 2 medium pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until soft. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh into a food processor and purée until smooth. Pour puréed pumpkin into a saucepan and add the white stock, water, maple syrup and spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Fill a pot fitted with a steamer top with salted water and bring to a boil. Place the lobster in the steamer, cover, and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes until the lobster is just cooked through. Remove and allow to cool.

Crack the claws to remove the meat. Split the lobster tail down the center and remove the meat. Reserve with the lobster claws.

Cut the top off the large pumpkin to create the soup tureen. The hole should be wide enough to fit a ladle. Hollow out, scraping out the seeds and checking for holes. Remove the soup from heat and stir in the half and half.

Divide the lobster meat between 6 warm serving bowls.

Pour the hot soup into the pumpkin tureen and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds before serving. Ladle the soup into the warm, garnished serving bowls.

Serves 2

2 pound sea bass
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and chopped
3 branches dried fennel stalks
1 bunch tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup dry white vermouth

¾ cup dry white vermouth
1 bunch tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
¼ cup heavy cream, warmed
8 ounces butter, diced and chilled
juice of 2 lemons
sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lay a large sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan.

Rinse the cavity of the sea bass under cold, running water and pat dry. Season the inside of the fish with salt and pepper, stuff with fresh and dried fennel and tarragon, and coat the outside with oil.

Place the sea bass in the center of the parchment paper. Gather the edges, partially close, and pour the vermouth over the fish. Seal the edges of the parchment paper, place in the oven, and roast for 18 minutes or to desired doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside, keeping warm.

In a medium sauté pan, bring the vermouth, tarragon, and pepper to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until reduced to one tablespoon. Remove from the heat, strain, and return to low heat.

Whisk in half of the cream. Gradually whisk in the butter to form an emulsion. Add the remaining cream to desired consistency. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice, and season.

No holiday meal is complete without a little bit of the “bubbly.” Try this delightfully light mousse.


2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or sugar
2/3 cup champagne
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Whip the heavy cream and refrigerate.

Combine the yolks and evaporated cane juice in a glass or stainless steel bowl and whisk thoroughly until the mixture whitens. Add the champagne and whisk together completely.

Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and cook, beating constantly until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a light hollandaise sauce. Remove from heat and continue whisking for about 1 minute. Set aside and allow to cool.

Combine the gelatin and water in a small bowl and let stand for 5 minutes to soften the gelatin. Heat the softened gelatin mixture until the gelatin dissolves and the liquid clears.

Whisk the dissolved gelatin into the champagne mixture. Then fold in the whipped cream with the aid of a rubber spatula. Chill for 1 hour before piping the mousse into champagne glasses or dessert dishes.

Garnish with fruit marinated in champagne.

All recipies
Copyright Chef Jacques Haeringer from Two for Tonight,
Bartleby Press; $26.95; ISBN: 0-910155-43-7


Chef Jacques is one of America’s most respected and innovative culinary personalities. Continuing in his father’s footsteps, Jacques loves to create and serve contemporary French fare at his restaurant, L’Auberge Chez François, in Great Falls, Virginia. His menus feature reinterpreted Alsatian and French cuisine for American palates. When he isn’t in the kitchen, he can be found teaching his popular gourmet cooking classes. Jacques is often asked to author magazine articles, cook up recipes at culinary events, and to be a guest on television and radio shows across the country.

Jacques is the author of Two for Tonight, a collection of recipes that inspire romance through food and togetherness, and the Chez François Cookbook,the bible of classic Alsatian cuisine featuring some of the restaurant’s most popular recipes. He lives in Northern Virginia and is currently working on a new cookbook and television show.

“Tradition Lives on at L’Auberge Chez Francois” - The Washington Post features L’Auberge Chez François in their Spring 2010 Dining Guide. And for a video visit of the restaurant, go to:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Build a Holiday Gingerbread House

Have you ever wanted to make a gingerbread house but had no idea how to do it or thought it would take all sorts of special gadgets? Think again. Now you can perfect the art of gingerbread construction with the gentle guidance of Food Network’s Gingerbread Challenge winner Christina Banner and her book, HOW TO BUILD a GINGERBREAD HOUSE: A Step-by-Step Guide to Sweet Results (Penny Publishing; 2nd printing 2010; $19.95/softcover; ISBN: 978-0-9815806-1-6).

HOW TO BUILD A GINGERBREAD HOUSE is the definitive guide to gingerbread houses, providing step-by-step instructions, and using a basic house pattern as the foundation for eight uniquely themed gingerbread houses that can be enjoyed throughout the year. From Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Easter or birthdays, a gingerbread house is a unique way to celebrate.
As a little girl, author Christina Banner loved baking and cake-decorating with family. “I was always at the heels of my mother and grandmother when they were in the kitchen,” she says. It’s this collaborative spirit that Christina wants to share, especially during the holiday season. “Not only do kids love to eat gingerbread houses, but my recipes create an opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children creating something fun.”

Within the pages of HOW TO BUILD A GINGERBREAD HOUSE, Christina teaches home cooks how to bake and build a gingerbread house from start to finish. She even includes trouble-shooting topics like fixing a warped piece of Gingerbread. Her suggested decorations are all completely edible and easily found in the aisles of your local grocery store. From candy corn roof tiles on a Halloween house to peanut-butter cup birthday cakes for a party-themed house, Christina’s decorating tips will surprise and impress you. With individual sections devoted to architectural details like chimneys and corner joints, your gingerbread house is bound to be a success. Her invaluable tips and techniques are for all levels of experience – even beginners.
“I always noticed that many people enjoy and appreciate gingerbread creations, whether on a grand scale for competition or a simple, fun family project. I thought that there should be a book that would teach anyone how to make a gingerbread house from start to finish, but didn’t require its readers to purchase all sorts of special equipment or ingredients,” Christina says.
Inside the pages of HOW TO BUILD A GINGERBREAD HOUSE you will discover:

How to bake and build a gingerbread house from start to finish
Easy to follow recipes, including two types of gingerbread dough, homemade snow, and cookie roof shingles
Best construction techniques
Timelines for baking, assembling, and decorating your creations
Ideas for improvised decorations
Step-by-step decorating instructions for eight uniquely themed gingerbread houses:

Valentine’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
A Summer Sand Castle

“I really wanted this book to be practical and fun, too,” Christina adds. “Whether someone makes one of the designs I’ve provided or creates their own work of art, I want them have a fun and memorable experience, and a gingerbread house to be proud of!”

This holiday season create family memories that will last a lifetime. HOW TO BUILD A GINGERBREAD HOUSE will guide you through building a beautiful gingerbread house with everyday ingredients and basic kitchen equipment.

Christina Banner has been creating gingerbread houses competitively since 1999. In 2004 she was the Grand Prize Winner of the National Gingerbread House Competition at the Grove Park Inn Resort in Asheville, North Carolina and winner of the Food Network's Gingerbread Challenge in 2005. Her journey to stardom began much earlier in her mother’s kitchen baking and decorating with her mother and grandmother. In high school, she worked in the kitchen of a large restaurant and banquet facility. After graduation, she attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, graduating in 1993. She and her husband Joe live in North Carolina. How to Build a Gingerbread House is her first cookbook. To learn more about Christina, visit her website,

Tree and Greenery Mix

This easy mixture is a great way to make evergreen trees of any size to add to your gingerbread house landscaping. It is also perfect to shape into wreaths, garland, bushes, or shrubbery.

4 tablespoons butter
10 oz. large marshmallows
2 teaspoons green liquid food color
1 teaspoon water
5 cups cornflakes

Lightly grease a medium glass bowl; set aside.

In a heavy bottomed, medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.

Add the marshmallows and stir constantly until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat.

Whisk or stir in the liquid food color and the water until combined.

Add the cornflakes and gently stir until they are completely coated with the melted marshmallow mixture. Be patient and keep stirring gently; this could take up to 3 or 4 minutes. A few uncovered pieces are okay, as they will fill in as the mixture rests, but be sure to get the cornflakes as covered as possible.

Scrape the mixture out into the greased bowl and allow the mixture to rest at room temperature until it is firm enough to hold its shape (15 to 30 minutes).

Lightly grease your hands and shape the mixture as desired. Place your greenery pieces on waxed or parchment paper and allow them to firm up overnight. Once set, they can be attached to your gingerbread house or landscape.

Recipes from HOW TO BUILD A GINGERBREAD HOUSE: A Step-by Step Guide to Sweet Results
by Christina Banner
Penny Publishing; Second Printing 2010; Softcover/$19.95

Mountain Bread Wraps Wins ‘Best in Show’ at Kosherfest 2010 New Products Competition

It took five judges and five hours to determine the best new kosher products of 2010, sponsored by the largest international kosher food trade show, Kosherfest (

A line of gourmet Mountain Bread Wraps, took Best in Show at the 22nd Annual Kosherfest New Products Competition, held at the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan on Oct 13th. Mountain Bread Wraps is a product of Australia, distributed by No Worries Natural Foods of Fremantle, WA.

Winners in 19 separate categories of new kosher products were crowned by a panel of kosher food professionals as well as two consumer judges, who sampled from among 179 new kosher food entries.

In addition to Best In Show, the Washington-state based company also won for the same product line in the Best New Baked Good, Bread, Grain or Cereal category. Best in Show Runner- Up was Lily Bloom’s Kitchen (Shoreview, MN) for their Chocolate Macaroons.

The judges included: Yakov Yarmove, Corporate Business Manager, Ethnic Marketing & Specialty Foods, SuperValu (Eden Prairie, MN); Marty Stein, Account Manager, Tree of Life/Kehe, (St. Augustine, FL); Jeff Nathan, Chef/Proprietor Abigael’s On Broadway, NYC, (and a noted cookbook author and TV cooking show host), and two consumer judges from West Orange, NJ, Michelle Gross and Randi Hershkowitz.

The two-day Kosherfest trade show will follow at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, Oct 26 - 27, 2010 with more than 300 exhibitors from around the world, where the New Products Competition winners will receive their engraved awards.

“This year’s Kosherfest New Products Competition had the highest number of entries we’ve seen to-date, and reflected a high quality as well,” said Bill Springer, Group Vice President, Diversified Business Communications and Kosherfest Show Producer. “There was a big increase in the number of entries in the meat & seafood category in particular, as well as the dessert, candy, cookie or cracker category. There were so many great entries to the competition this year, and I think the show will reflect the scope, breadth, quality and uniqueness of this year’s exhibitors.”

The new kosher food product entries were judged on the basis of such criteria as their newness, quality, taste, salability and retail price point. The complete list of winners are:

Kosherfest 2010 New Product Competition Winners

1. Best New Jam, Preserve or Spread, Healthy Top Whipping Cream, Green Rabbit, Albany, NY)
2. Best New Cheese or Dairy Product, Les Petit Fermieres-Reduced Fat Cheddar Sticks, Anderson Int. Foods, Mineola, NY)
3. Best New Foodservice Product,, Manna-Soy gourmet meat alternative, Luck Chen, Brooklyn, NY )
4. Best New Kosher Organic Product, Petite Select Shepherd’s Pie baby cuisine, Nature’s Select Food Group, Miami Beach, FL
5. Best New Packaging/Design, Pop N’ Box Microwave Popcorn, Golden Fluff, Lakewood, NJ
6. Best New Passover Product, Yidels gluten–free chocolate rolls, Cinderella Sweets, Woodmere, NY
7. Best New Snack Food, Klein’s Natural Dried Guava, Klein’s Naturals Brooklyn, NY
8. Best New Health & Wellness, Cacao Powder, Health Matters America, Cheektowaga, NY
9. Best New Pasta Rice Bean or Soup, Garden Lites Zucchini Marinara, Classic Cooking, Jamaica, NY
10. Best New Dessert, Candy, Cookie or Cracker, Chocolate Coconut Macaroons, Lily Bloom’s Kitchen, Shoreview, MN
11. Best New Baked Good, Bread, Grain or Cereal, Mountain Bread wraps, No Worries Natural Foods, Fremantle, WA
12. Best New Fine Food From Israel, Vegetali Vegetarian Hot Dog in Blanket, Blue & White Foods, Long island City, NY
13. Best New Giftware and Novelty Product, Challah Dough Covers, The Kosher Cook, Woodmere, NY)
14. Best New Savory Condiment, Spice, Sauce, Oil, Vinegar or Salad Dressing, Zeta Olive Oil with Garlic & Basil, Kedem, Bayonne, NJ
15. Best New Beverage, Elite Natural Watermelon Juice, Elite Natural/Organic Juice USA, Bohemia, NY
16. Best New Meat, Seafood or Poultry Product, Dr. Praeger’s Sensible foods Lightly Breaded Tilapia, Dr. Praegers Sensible Foods, Elmwood Park, NJ
17. Best New Wine, Beer or Spirit, Vodka & Vanilla Liqueur, Kedem, Bayonne, NJ

Mountain Bread Wraps (8 varieties), No Worries Natural Foods, Fremantle, WA

Runner Up Best In Show
Chocolate Macaroons, Lily Blooms Kitchen, Shoreview, MN

According to Bill Springer of Diversified Business Communications, Producer of Kosherfest,
“This year was very competitive, with a large number of exceptional products competing in almost every category. The judges were very impressed with all the entries.”

Kosherfest 2010 is sold out with an excess of 300 exhibitors. The show is expected to attract more than 6,000 professional attendees from all over the world, and will showcase thousands of kosher products. For information visit

Kosherfest is co-produced by Diversified Business Communications of Portland, ME ( and Menachem Lubinsky, president and CEO of LUBICOM (

Diversified Business Communications (DBC) specializes in producing international trade events in the food and beverage industry, and brings more than 40 years experience to buyers and sellers together. DBC’s food industry expositions include four internationally recognized seafood shows, the New England Foodservice & Lodging Expo in Boston, All Things Organic in Chicago, three Fine Food and Hospitality shows in Australia, Expo Comida Latina, All Asia Food and Kosherfest.

Menachem Lubinsky is the chairman & CEO of LUBICOM Marketing Consulting, a strategic marketing firm that also markets kosher foods. He is the founder of Kosherfest, the world's largest international kosher food trade show and a prominent figure in the Orthodox Jewish Community.

Kosherfest 2010
Meadowlands Exposition Center
355 Plaza Drive
Secaucus, NJ 07094; 201-330-7773
OCT 26: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
OCT 27: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm