Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New Cheese Guide/Cookbook Inspires Nationwide Cheese Pairing Contest

On Monday, July 1, author Tenaya Darlington, of Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings (Running Press, May 2013, Hardcover, $25), will launch a month-long national contest to encourage readers to share their love of cheese with her. Via her blog, Madame Fromage, Darlington invites cheese lovers across America to submit cheese pairings featuring a cheese from their home state, paired with a local delicacy or a recipe made with local ingredients. There will be 48 winners, one per contiguous state, and each will earn a signed copy of House of Cheese and see his or her pairing posted on Darlington’s blog, which has been featured in The New York Times. The deadline to submit is Wednesday, July 31 and winners will be announced on her blog throughout August and September.

“This book is a treat for everyone, from the ‘curd nerds’ that I know and love to relative novices, and if there’s one thing that’s apparent in House of Cheese, it’s that pairing cheese is easy – and fun!” says Darlington. “I can’t wait to see what kinds of hyper-local pairings people across the country will create.”

Readers are invited to seek out cheeses that are produced in their state, then dream up pairings that utilize other indigenous ingredients for a plate that is as representative of its terroir as a fine wine. States with established cheese producers, such as Wisconsin and New York, will appear alongside lesser-known creameries, creating a national cheese roadmap and, in the spirit of the book, a collaborative cheese guide. Every winning submission will receive a copy of House of Cheese, signed by Darlington, and will receive a dedicated post on her blog.

House of Cheese recently received praise from Philadelphia Inquirer food writer and critic Craig Laban who called it “a smartly curated guide” adding it is “full of authoritative and engaging advice on house to use cheese that should appeal to all levels of knowledge.” The book also gives readers an inside look at third-generation Philly legends and culinary pioneers Di Bruno Bros., the city’s largest and oldest cheese counter, and features: menus for a variety of cheese boards; ideas for pairings that range from beer and cocktails to olives and charcuterie; tips on how to buy, serve and store cheese; detailed cheese descriptions and tasting notes on 170 of the most loved and requested cheeses from the counters of Di Bruno Bros; and 30 cheese-focused recipes.

The first Di Bruno Bros. shop debuted in the iconic South Philadelphia Italian Market in 1939. Since then, the family has grown the company to include four retail locations in and around the city, serving their neighborhoods not only a world-class cheese selection, but gourmet prepared foods, baked goods, fresh meats and seafood and artisan products from around the world. People travel from around the country to visit the shops – including chef and food personality Anthony Bourdain, who taped a 2012 episode of his Travel Channel show, The Layover, at Di Bruno Bros.

For the cookbook, the sage and approachable “mongers” of Di Bruno Bros. worked together with Darlington to gather their ultimate list of the world’s greatest artisan cheeses, many of them found in the U.S. Chapters are listed by cheese types: Vixens are rich and decadent; Mountain Men are bold; and Stinkers give off a strong whiff. The playful personifications lend a user-friendly tone to the guide and help readers to discover new favorite cheeses based on those they already know and love. Each cheese profile incorporates perfect pairings, giving readers suggestions on what to serve alongside each cheese, as well as beverage complements.

Original recipes created by Darlington and the chefs at Di Bruno Bros, both as components of a cheese board and as stand-alone dishes, allow readers to make simple and delicious plates and accoutrements at home to showcase their favorite cheese varieties. Recipes include: Scharfe Maxx S’mores, made with dark chocolate, torrone and Scharfe Maxx, a raw cow’s milk cheese; Rogue River Sushi, made with prosciutto, membrillo and Rogue River Smokey Blue cheese; Limburger Mac ‘N’ Cheese; Caramelized Endive Marmalade; and Blue Velvet Pudding.

Themed cheese board menus, such as Fireside Party and All-Goat Blow-Out, provide road maps for fun group tastings or festive party spreads. Wheels and wedges are illustrated by brilliant full-color photos from well-known food photographer Jason Varney, making for a thorough primer on cheese from Philly’s acknowledged top experts. Sprinkled throughout the book are educational tidbits, historical fun facts and tasting notes – and it ends with a section on cheese vocabulary, sure to turn any casual cheese fan into a well-spoken pro.

For more information, or to order a copy of Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese, please visit http://www.perseusbooksgroup.com/runningpress/book_detailjsp?isbn=0762446048. For information on book signings and other interactive events, and to submit a recipe for the pairing contest, please visit http://www.dibruno.com/blog/.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Coffee Lovers “Find Their Taste” with New Online Personalized Discovery, Sampling, and Custom Blend Service by Hamptons Lane

Hamptons Lane (www.hamptonslane.com) is here to help coffee drinkers find their perfect cup. For the first time, online coffee buyers can create their own sample-filled tasting boxes, shop from small, artisanal roasters across the U.S., or build their own customized blend. With a unique “Find Your Taste Quiz,” personalized coffee blends, and tasting boxes curated to match individual flavor preferences, Hamptons Lane makes it simple for coffee drinkers to discover their perfect cup, and buy fresh, high-quality coffee online.

“We created this revolutionary tool to help our customers discover their coffee palate beyond just light, medium or dark roast,” said Hamptons Lane founder & CEO Jim Sherman. “Coffee is something most people drink every single day, and Hamptons Lane is going to change the way people think about, taste and prepare their morning brew.”

Customers start with the “Find Your Taste Quiz” on the Hamptons Lane website, which asks simple questions about their preferences for wine, fruit, and even toasted marshmallows. From there, Hamptons Lane generates personalized coffee recommendations based on the quiz findings, to guide customers toward their ideal coffee beans, roasts, and origins.

For those looking to broaden their coffee palate or for the perfect coffee-lover’s gift, elegant Tasting Boxes include four 6-ounce bags curated around a theme (like Breakfast Blends, Light Roasts, or West Coast Roasts), or customers can hand-pick four roasts for their own personalized Tasting Box using the “Create Your Own Box” tool. Hamptons Lane also provides the chance to shop directly from among some of the country’s finest micro-roasters (like Ceremony Coffee Roasters and Klatch Coffee), and signature blends like Frank Sumatra (bold and smooth), Montauk Sunrise (a balanced, refreshing breakfast blend), and The Gatsby Blend (rich, nutty, and luxurious).

And for coffee drinkers who want their java even more personalized, the Hamptons Lane custom blend tool lets users create and label their very own coffee blend. The “Name Your Blend” feature makes it easy to create personalized gifts like “Dad’s Blend” for Father’s Day, and a simple ordering guide helps tailor each custom blend to individual preferences, with tasting notes like nutty, slightly winy, earthy or sweet.

Customers can purchase or gift any Hamptons Lane products one time or opt for the ongoing program, which conveniently allows them to schedule regular shipments of their coffee in advance, with deliveries as often as once a week or as infrequent as every two months.

The world of coffee is complex, but Hamptons Lane proves that it doesn’t have to be difficult. With a belief in the importance of learning, discovery, and quality, Hamptons Lane helps coffee lovers find their unique taste, one perfect and personal cup at a time.

ABC's "The Taste" is holding casting calls in Nashville July 14

ABC is holding open casting calls for the second season of hit reality series “The Taste” where culinary superstars including Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson will coach teams of four competing pro and amateur cooks as they vie to create the best tasting dish!

In each episode, competitors face team and individual challenges with a variety of culinary themes through several elimination rounds. At the end of each episode, the Mentors judge the competitors' dishes blind, with no knowledge of whose creation they're sampling, what they're eating, how it was prepared or whom they could be eliminating.

Potential applicants that think they have what it takes to impress the best and take a bite out of the competition should sign up for an open casting call by visiting www.thetastecasting.com.

The NASHVILLE open casting call will take place:

Sunday, July 14, 2013, 10:00AM-4:00PM
The Bridge Building
2 Victory Avenue
Nashville, TN 37213

"The Taste" is executive-produced by Chris Coelen, Matilda Zoltowski, Emma Conway, Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson. Brian Smith is the director.

Monday, June 17, 2013

All-star Share Our Strength dinner with Chef Michael Paley on 7/15

On Monday, July 15th, Chef Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe in St. Louis will host some of the Midwest’s most celebrated chefs for an all-star dinner and auction to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The event brings Chicago’s Stephanie Izard (Girl & The Goat) and Jason Vincent (Nightwood) together with Cincinnati’s Michael Paley (Metropole) and St. Louis’ Gerard Craft (Niche), Kevin Willmann (Farmaus), and Nashan, to prepare a multi-course dinner for a cause essential to our nation’s health: ending childhood hunger in America.

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending childhood hunger in this nation by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day. Today, one in five children in this country struggles with hunger. When kids get the food they need, they feel better, they learn more and they grow up stronger. The good news is that, together, we can make that happen.

Guests of this philanthropic dinner will also have the opportunity to participate in auctions that include one-of-a-kind culinary, travel and lifestyle items. Since 2005, No Kid Hungry dinners have raised nearly $7 million to support the No Kid Hungry campaign, ensuring that kids across the U.S. have access to the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. The cocktail reception starts at 6:00 p.m. with dinner seating at 7:00 pm. Purchase options are $10,000 for a table of 10, $5,000 for a table of 6, and individual tickets are $150 per person. Make reservations at 917.834.5335 or visit http://ce.strength.org/events/no-kid-hungry-dinner-st-louis.

“More than 16 million children in America don’t have enough food to eat and are going hungry,” says Kevin Nashan. “As a father and chef, this is a cause close to my heart and I’m honored to share my kitchen with some of the Midwest’s brightest culinary talents who also feel passionately about ending childhood hunger, and look forward to an incredible evening.”

Here is the full chef line-up for the dinner:
Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Cafe (St. Louis, MO)
Gerard Craft, Niche (St. Louis, MO)
Stephanie Izard, Girl & The Goat (Chicago, IL)
Michael Paley, Metropole (Cincinnati, OH)
Jason Vincent, Nightwood (Chicago, IL)

Kevin Willmann, Farmhaus (St. Louis, MO) Bob Zugmaier, Sidney Street Cafe (St. Louis, MO)

About Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® Seated Dinners Share Our Strength’s national series of No Kid Hungry® dinners are hosted by renowned chefs who join together with their peers to prepare multi-course meals with a cause: ending childhood hunger in the United States. Guests enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience and by doing so, help raise funds for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. Select events feature guest speakers and unique culinary, travel and lifestyle auctions. Since 2005, these dinners have raised more than $7 million to support the work of the No Kid Hungry campaign as it connects kids to effective nutrition programs like school breakfast and summer meals, and teaches low-income families how to shop for and cook healthy, affordable meals. To learn more about the No Kid Hungry campaign and dinner series, please visit NoKidHungry.org.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Northside and Tacos

Dishcrawl Cincinnati continue its search June 26 to find the best tacos this side of the Ohio River. This time we are going to Northside a walking friendly neighborhood so don't put away your Tabasco sauce yet; Local blogger "Food Hussy" recently coined Northside as the 'Taco District." The blogger aptly named it for the three new taco joints within two blocks. Will Northside be able to defend its new title? Find out when Dishcrawl Cincinnati puts the feet to the pavement to find out whose tacos deserve the title! Purchase tickets by visiting www.dishcrawl.com/tcns

Dishcrawl is a walking tour of three to four restaurants in one night and Northside is the perfect walking neighborhood. The last four events received rave reviews from participants, especially at Taqueria Mercado, Bakersfield OTR, Arnolds, Mynt Martini, Jimmy G’s, Blue Wisp & Fusian! About Dishcrawl Dishcrawl is designed so anyone can experience multiple restaurants satisfying their cravings. Our mission is to share food with food lovers in establishments in their neighborhoods. Your local Dishcrawl Ambassador, Chef Michael Belanger, will lead you through Dishcrawls, progressive dinners, prix fixe dinners, neighborfoods, and many other fun food events! Dishcrawlers can enjoy dinning experiences in San Francisco, Columbus, Toronto, NYC, Philadelphia, Chicago, DC and many more. Visit www.dishcrawl.com

Monday, June 3, 2013

IHOP Celebrates 55th Birthday with New Summer Signature Pancakes

IHOP® restaurants will be marking its 55th year of bringing guests “everything they love about breakfast SM” with an exciting new trio of signature pancakes: Jelly Donut, Tiramisu and Banana Graham. These tasty new treats will be available in participating IHOP restaurants beginning June 3, 2013 for a limited time through July 21st. IHOP officially marks its 55th anniversary on July 7, 2013.

“We’ve decided to kick off the summer season and celebrate 55 years of IHOP in July by doing what we do best: bringing our guests three brand new signature pancakes in flavors that are fun, unexpected and most of all, absolutely delicious!” said Natalia Franco, Senior Vice President, Marketing, International House of Pancakes, LLC.

The three new signature pancakes are:

· Jelly Donut Pancakes – Fluffy buttermilk pancakes filled with layers of luscious raspberry jelly then topped with glaze, more raspberry jelly and powdered sugar.
· Tiramisu Pancakes - Buttermilk pancakes and sweet mocha cream topped with a drizzle of chocolate, whipped topping and a dusting of cocoa powder.
· Banana Graham Nut Pancakes - Sliced fresh bananas grilled inside buttermilk pancakes layered with marshmallow cream, graham cracker crumbs and crushed honey-roasted pecans then topped with cinnamon cream cheese.

These three new delicious flavors are available starting at $4.99. Guests can purchase these flavors as yummy treats alone or as part of an IHOP Combo, which can include two eggs, done the way they like them, optional choice of crispy bacon, pork sausage links or a grilled ham slice, along with IHOP restaurants’ signature golden hash browns.

Free Public Tour Series Features Ohio’s Organic and Sustainable Farms and Businesses

The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has announced its farm tours and workshops that will be included in the 2013 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series, featuring free public tours of some of Ohio’s finest sustainable and organic farms. OEFFA has offered these tours for more than 30 years, providing unique opportunities for Ohioans to see, taste, feel, and learn what sustainable food and fiber production is all about from the farmers themselves.

Consumers interested in local foods, farmers and market gardeners wanting to learn more and network with other farmers, and aspiring and beginning farmers are encouraged to attend.

“Consumer demand for fresh, locally produced food and farm products continues to grow, along with the desire to understand how food gets from the field to the dinner table. Farmers are opening their barn doors this summer to show how sustainably produced food is grown,” said Lauren Ketcham, OEFFA’s Communications Coordinator. “The tours are also designed to help farmers and gardeners learn from each other so they can improve their production and marketing techniques and grow their operations,” added Ketcham.

Seventeen tours and workshops are being sponsored by OEFFA and will be held between June and November. The 2013 farm tour and workshop series is promoted in cooperation with the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Coalition of Ohio Land Trusts, who are sponsoring additional tours. In total, the series features 24 farms and food businesses, three university research centers, and three educational workshops.

OEFFA's tours and workshops feature: dairy farming and processing, diversified organic production, pasture-raised livestock and poultry, composting, Permaculture, specialty crops, cut flowers, agri-tourism, urban farming, cover crops, season extension, food preservation, and farm business skills.

The list of events is quite extensive, so for more information visit: