http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/04/opinion/04fishkoff.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Kosher&st=cse

Red, White and Kosher

By SUE FISHKOFF

Oakland, Calif.

IN 1972, a TV commercial changed the way Americans looked at kosher food. It showed Uncle Sam munching on a Hebrew National beef hot dog as a heavenly voice assures him it is free of the additives and byproducts present in lesser processed meats.

“We answer to a higher authority,” the voice proclaims. Trust us — we’re kosher.

That message resonated at a time when Americans were growing increasingly mistrustful of the government and were starting to worry about what dangerous hidden substances might be on their dinner plates. Today, a majority of Americans believe that kosher food is safer, healthier, better in general than non-kosher food. And they’re willing to pay more for it. Kosher is the fastest-growing segment of the domestic food industry, with bigger sales than organic. One-third to one-half of the food in American supermarkets is kosher-certified, representing more than $200 billion of the country’s estimated $500 billion in annual food sales, up from $32 billion in 1993.

Given that Jews make up less than 2 percent of the population, and most of them don’t keep kosher, it’s clear that the people buying this food are mostly non-Jews. While some consumers probably aren’t aware that their pasta or cookies are kosher, many are folks who believe that “higher authority” promise.

The Hebrew National campaign also captured a pivotal moment in American Jewish history: a newly confident but still largely immigrant community, basking in Israel’s victory in the June 1967 war, was almost reflexively looking back over its shoulder, not quite sure of its position in the majority-Christian society.

American Jews have always tried to balance their desire to be fully American with an equally strong desire to preserve their Jewish identity. As the social historian Jenna Weissman Joselit points out, one way that immigrant groups cement their position in a new society is by appropriating the foods of the dominant culture while simultaneously integrating their own into the mix. What better way for Jews to signal their full acceptance into American society than by stamping their imprimatur — kosher certification — on that most American of food products, the hot dog?

Americans eat more hot dogs than any nation on earth — 20 billion of them every year, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, 150 million of them on the Fourth of July alone. Making kosher hot dogs ubiquitous would be, like getting rid of university quotas and restricted country clubs, a powerful statement that Jews have made it.

The struggle, not surprisingly, has played out on the ball fields. Observant Jewish sports fans, long used to brown-bagging it or watching the games hungry, have cheered every time another stadium has said yes to a kosher food concession. Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards started serving kosher fare in 1993; New York’s Shea and Yankee Stadiums joined the ranks in 1998.

It’s not just hot dogs. Every time a major American food product goes kosher, observant Jews are delighted. Coca-Cola in 1935. Oreos in 1997. Tootsie Rolls last year and two Gatorade drinks earlier this year. Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Smucker’s grape jam, Tropicana orange juice — every new item brought into the kosher pantry is a sign of fitting in the American mainstream while being observant.

Curiously, those dogs that answer to a higher authority aren’t kosher enough for most Jews who keep kosher. Hebrew National bills itself as one of the world’s largest kosher meat processors, churning out 720 million hot dogs last year, but virtually no Orthodox Jews will eat them.

For years the company’s kosher supervision was handled by an in-house rabbi rather than by one of the national certifying agencies, a major faux pas. His supervision was considered “unreliable” by all the national agencies and the Orthodox leadership.

In 2004, Hebrew National’s kosher supervision was handed to a well-known rabbi from Brooklyn. After a delegation of Conservative rabbis visited the company’s slaughterhouses and packing plant, the dogs were pronounced kosher enough for Conservative Jews; but Orthodox authorities still won’t condone them, saying the meat isn’t glatt kosher, a higher standard.

The world of kosher meat took a big hit in 2008 when Agriprocessors, the nation’s largest kosher slaughterhouse and meat packer, in Postville, Iowa, was raided by immigration officials. The company went bankrupt, the plant’s manager was sentenced to prison for financial fraud, and the kosher meat industry has been scrambling to restore its good name ever since.

So will kosher dogs weather the storm? This weekend should provide some answers. My guess is that, like their gentile neighbors, Jewish families will fill the grill with Hebrew National hot dogs. Unless, of course, they’re Orthodox. Or vegetarian. Or locavores, or opposed to the entire industrialized food system — in which case they won’t be having the kosher-certified Coke, bun or mustard either.

Sue Fishkoff is the author of the forthcoming “Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America’s Food Answers to a Higher Authority.”

 

 

In conjunction with Share Our Strength’s 2010 Taste of the Nation Miami (2010 TOTN), slated for Thursday, July 29 at Fairmont Turnberry IsleWhole Foods Market offers complimentary cooking demonstrations by top chef participants at the Aventura and Coral Gables stores, every Tuesday in July, 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Each live cooking demo is free of charge and will last approximately one hour, including cooking and time for Q&A.   All attendees will have a chance to win VIP entrance to 2010 TOTN Miami.  Two gift certificates for VIP entrance for two will be selected from a drawing of all attendees at the final demo at both stores on July 27.  Winners need not be present at drawing.
To purchase tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation event on July 29 at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle, call 1-877-26-TASTE or visit www.strengthflorida.org. General admission is $95 per ticket; VIP tickets are $195 each. 
 
The Taste of the Nation WFM Free Tuesday Chef’s Demo schedule :
Whole Foods Market Coral Gables, 7:00 p.m. 6701 Red Road in Coral Gables, Florida.  Reservations are required.(305) 421-9421 www.wholefoodsmarket.com/storesbeta/coralgables/
Tuesday, July 6th                                  Chef Gerdy Rodriguez of Mia at Biscayne, Miami
Tuesday, July 13th                                Chef Juan Masa of 72nd Bar + Grill, South Miami Tuesday,
Tuesdayt, July 20th                         Chefs Marc Vidal/ Michael Gilligan of Soleà at W South Beach, Miami Beach
Tuesday, July 27th                             Chef Sean Brasel of Meat Market, Miami Beach

Whole Foods Market Aventura, 7:00 p.m. 21105 Biscayne Boulevard in Aventura, Florida. Reservations are required. Phone: (305) 933-1543 www.wholefoodsmarket.com/storesbeta/aventura/
Tuesday, July 6th                           Chef Jeff O’Neill of Gibraltar at Grove Isle, Coconut Grove
Tuesday, July 13th                         Chef Gabriel Fenton of BOURBON Steak, Fairmont Turnberry Isle, Aventura
Tuesday, July 20th                         Chef Garrette Gray of Fairmont Turnberry Isle, Aventura
Tuesday, July 27th                         Chef Allen Susser of Chef Allen’s, Aventura & Taste Gastropub,  Delray Beach                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
 
 
According to the latest statistics of the International Organization of Vines and Wine (OIV), Argentina, which exports 26% of its production, is now the fifth wine producer and the ninth wine exporter world-wide,  well ahead  of its Chilean, Australian and South African competitors.   
According to the OIV’s statistics, the world’s major producer is Italy, with 17.7%, followed by France (17%) and Spain (13.1%). Italy is moreover the largest exporter of wine in the world with 21.5%, followed of Spain (16.7%) and France (14.5%).
 
To celebrate summer 2010, the wine and cheese experts at Whole Foods Market are offering their Top 10 picks  along with cheese pairings for each at special prices, and Top 10 Wine & Cheese Tastings at seven of their 16 Florida stores (for dates and locations: www.wholefoodsmarket.com ) .  
The easy-going wines, including an effervescent Vinho Verde, aromatic Albarino and racy Tempranillo, are great values at $7.99-$11.99 ($1-$6 below normal).  Prices for the suggested cheeses to accompany each wine are also reduced from $1-$4 ($7.99-$18.99 per lb), making a summertime wine and cheese party affordable and fun.   
 
“We carefully select our Top Ten Summer Wines to make it easy for shoppers to find just the right bottle to take to cookouts, beach parties and backyard gatherings,” said Doug Bell, global wine buyer for Whole Foods Market. “Three of our summer wine favorites are made with organically-grown grapes.  We always look for exceptional wines to share with our shoppers, and it’s a plus to find winemakers that advocate sustainable production practices.”
 
The Whole Foods Market Top Ten Summer Wines lineup, with suggested cheese pairings: 
 
PRESTO BRUT ROSÉ  (Italy)
• A rosy Italian sparkler
• Berry, strawberry and watermelon notes
• Ideal for brunch, dessert 
Cheese pairing: Capricho de Cabra – a Spanish goat cheese with a gentle sweetness and creamy texture
 
SOKOL BLOSSER EVOLUTION WHITE BLEND (Oregon)
• Floral aroma and tropical flavor in a juicy, off-dry Chardonnay alternative
• Blend of nine grapes, including Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer
• Shines with Mexican or Caribbean food or cheese
Cheese pairing: Epoisses – a deliciously runny French cheese with distinct aroma and mild salty flavor
 
OPALA VINHO VERDE (Portugal)
• Fresh, juicy and easy to throw back
• Citrusy Portuguese tongue tingler
• Enjoy alone or with ceviche, shrimp cocktail or grilled salmon
Cheese pairing: Robiola – a buttery, Italian soft-ripened cheese made from both cows’ and sheeps’ milk
 
PLOW AND STARS RIESLING (Washington)
Made with Organically Grown Grapes
• First-release orange blossom and honeysuckle gem
• A hint of sweetness and good acidity
• Match with spicy Thai food 
Cheese pairing: Humboldt Fog – a distinctive, soft-ripened aged goat cheese with subtle tanginess
 
PISATO PINOT GRIGIO (Italy)
Made with Organically Grown Grapes
• Grapes from 90-year-old vines in Italy’s Veneto region
•           Balanced, with lemon zest and green melon notes and a touch of minerality
• Pair the floral aroma with poultry, fish 
Cheese pairing: SarVecchio – this Wisconsin favorite, hand-selected and aged for at least 20 months, has a crumbly texture and nutty, slightly sweet flavor 
 
PAZO DE SERANTELLOS ALBARINO (Spain)
• Expansive flavor and intense aroma in an affordable Spanish white
• Apricot and blood orange notes
• Ideal with Spanish favorites like paella 
Cheese pairing: Manchego – sheep’s milk brings a touch of sweetness to this traditional, piquant Spanish cheese, which becomes firmer and sharper over time
 
GREEN TRUCK CHARDONNAY (California)
Made with Organically Grown Grapes
• Medium-bodied, with ripe citrus, green apple and peach flavor
• Biodegradable corks and recycled paper labels
• Drink with cookout favorites like fish tacos and fried chicken
Cheese pairing: Kilaree Cheddar – hand selected for Whole Foods Market and aged 15 months, this rich, creamy “Cheddar nirvana”
 
VALDEMAR TEMPRANILLO (Spain)
• A crowd-pleasing Tempranillo with a modern twist
• Elegant, racy red with ripe cherry flavor and blackberries and currants on the nose
• Pour with backyard classics, from fajitas to burgers
Cheese pairing: Gran Queso – a Wisconsin original cured for six to nine months, hand-rubbed with delectable spices, offering buttery, complex flavor
 
MALENCHINI RED LABEL CHIANTI (Italy)
• The inaugural vintage for this rustic, Italian red
• Flavors and aromas of stewed fruit and cherry pie
• Mouth-watering with summer pastas 
Cheese pairing: Parmigiano Reggiano – aged 24 months, hand-selected from single source farms and made with spring and fall milk, creating complex flavor and a nutty caramel finish
 
CONCANNON “CONSERVANCY” PETITE SIRAH (California)
• A must-have for grilled feasts
• Plummy, blackberry red with hints of white pepper
• Serve with blackened fish, heavily peppered steaks 
Cheese pairing: Reserve Gouda – smooth and a bit spicy, this Dutch cheese is aged 18 months, giving it a hint of nuttiness
 
BLOCK NO. 45 PINOT NOIR (California)
• Full-bodied and balanced
• Savor its oaky vanilla and dried cherry notes
• Sip with turkey burgers, pasta 
Cheese pairing: Amadeus – a semi-soft, creamy, mellow-flavored cow’s milk cheese from rural Austrian alpine pastures
 
ROSENBLUM ZINFANDEL VINTNER’S CUVEE XXXI (California)
• Pop open this classic Zinfandel at any summer barbecue
• Hints of raspberry make it supple and easy to drink
• Drink when you chow down on saucy barbecue, pizza 
Cheese pairing: Buttermilk Blue – an impossibly creamy blue, made from the raw milk of predominantly Jersey cows

 

 

The 6th Annual Florida International Wine Challenge (FIWC),   a 2-day event featuring a professionally judged wine competition along with a wine tasting and prix-fixe wine dinner open to the public,  will host its 2010 edition on June 24 and 25, at the Palms Hotel in Miami Beach.

The  FIWC will bring together a national and international group of wine industry professionals, including wholesalers, restaurateurs, retailers and journalists to taste and judge hundreds of wines from 16 countries including Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, United States and Uruguay. Gold and silver medal winners selected at The Palms will be featured in the “Collector’s Club” of the 2010 Miami International Wine Fair, October 16 and October 17, 2010.

After the Professional Wine Competition – Thursday, June 24 & Friday, June 25 – behind closed doors   the 2010 FIWC will be open to the public  - Thursday, June 24 & Friday, June 25 - 4:00pm to 8:00pm.   The wines sampled and judged will be offered to consumers, trade and media to make their own judgment. Tasting will be held in the Royal Palm Ballroom.   

For additional information and to purchase FIWC tickets, please call 1-866-998-8466 (VINO) or visit www.fiwc.net  Admission: $60 per day or $100 for both days (dinner not included) 4-course Prix Fixe Dinner by Executive Chef Frank Jeannetti available Thursday, June 24 & Friday, June 25 - 6:00pm to Close,  Cost: $ 70 per person plus tax & gratuity For dinner reservations, please contact 305.908.5458Complimentary valet parking with dinner

The Palms Hotel & Spa,  3025 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, 305.534.0505 www.thepalmshotel.com      

Available seven days a week from 11:30 am – 3:00 pm, Area 31’s express lunch includes four different courses served in a bento-style lunch box for only $15 in recyclable “to go” easily transported boxes.

 Created by Executive Chef John Critchley with healthy eaters in mind, the “Rush Hour” menu allows diners to choose their items from Traditional Chilled Gazpacho or Seasonal Hot Soup Selection; Key West Pink Shrimp Crudo, Frito Misto or Roasted Beet Salad; Seared Tuna Salad, Roasted Vegetable Wrap or a Chicken Sandwich; and  Key Lime Tartlet or Chocolate Mousse Tartlet in Compartment Four. For more information: 305.424.5234 or visit www.area31restaurant.com. Area 31,  on the 16th Floor of EPIC Hotel at 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way., Miami

 

 
romanee contiOne of the most prestigious Crus of Burgundy, the legendary Domaine Romanée-Conti, recently received a blackmail letter threatening to poison the vineyards against a ransom of  € 1 million earlier this year. 
 
According to Romanée-Conti co- director Aubert de Villaine, (the Decanter Man of the Year) identical letters were also sent to Domaine Comte Georges de Vogüé, threatening to poison their Musigny vines. The vineyard had a lot to lose. Situated in the Côte de Nuits region of Burgundy, the "Grand Cru" vineyard produces the highest-ranked and most expensive Burgundy wine. Each of the 6,000 bottles produced every year on the 1.8 hectare plot sell for between € 5,000 and € 18,000, with certain vintages achieving even higher prices.
 
In the second letter received in January it was written that if the Domaine didn't hand over the money, the vines would be poisoned. Furthermore, the extortionist said he had already poisoned  two vines with a product that would kill them. One of the two vines was immediately pulled out and handed over to investigators.
 
"I didn't really know what to make of the first letter," said Aubert de Villaine, co-owner of the estate. "But when a second arrived shortly afterwards, I took the affair very seriously," he said.  "The letters were well written, with a really good knowledge of our vineyard, and you never know, I didn't want to risk a hostage situation. It could have been an organised crime gang," he said.
 
Together with the police, de Villaine hatched a sting to trap the extortionist. They first said they needed time to muster the ransom money after which they were ready to hand over the cash at a drop-off in a cemetery in Chambolle-Musigny, near the estate headquarters in Vosne-Romanée.
 
The man showed up with his son to get the ransom money - the ransom bag contained only false bank notes - but he was immediately seized by police. Police said  the man is a former student at the Beaune wine school. He  now faces charges of attempted extortion and is expected to appear in court within a year.  
 

heartResearchers from the Public Assistance Hospitals in Paris concluded that those who enjoyed low or moderate intake of alcohol tended to exercise more, have higher social status and suffer from less stress compared to people who never touched a drop or drank to excess.

The nearly 150,000 volunteers - more than 97,000 men and 52,000 women – were split into five groups that consisted of no alcohol consumption, low alcohol consumption, moderate drinkers, heavy drinkers and former drinkers.

The results showed those who drank moderately were more likely to have lower cardiovascular disease risk, heart rate, stress, depression and body mass index (BMI), according to the report.

“Importantly, the findings showed moderate alcohol consumption is a powerful general indicator of optimal social status, and this could be a key reason for improved health in these subjects,” study author, Dr. Boris Hansel said. Moderate drinkers also scored higher on health measures such as respiratory function and physical activity. http://www.foxnews.com

Visitors to Paris, France can now experience exclusive wine tastings from O Château at the Montmartre Vineyard at a discount, with the Paris Pass.

In addition to a 20 Euro discount on all tastings or a free ticket to its introductory tasting, visitors to O Château will benefit from all of the savings that the Paris Pass gives its holders. 

 Paris Pass also includes a metro ticket for travel within the city centre and includes a 128-page multi-lingual guidebook complete with some exclusive special offers in selected shops and restaurants. You can also use the interactive maps available online to see and plan out your days in the City of Lights.

To find out more about the Paris Pass, the  vineyards in Paris and the attractions included or to buy a pass, visit www.parispass.com   

 Wine industry veteran Robert Bath, M.S., will now teach classes at the Accelerated Wine and Beverage Certificate Program (AWBP), Greystone Campus,  Napa Valley’s.  A third-generation Californian, Mr. Bath passed the Master Sommelier exam in 1993 and is one of 105 Master Sommeliers in the United States and 170 in the world. He has spent more than 30 years in the wine and food industry, managing high-profile, wine-oriented restaurants, working with high-profile California wineries, and teaching thousands around the world about wine.

"The Accelerated Wine and Beverage Certificate Program signals a significant new step in front-of-the-house education by the CIA, and Bob's credentials and extensive experience in the industry will play a key role in the launch of this program and its credibility in the marketplace" said Paul Dray, associate director of the CIA's Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies. Robert Bath joined The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone as an adjunct professor in 2003 to teach advanced wine programs. He writes for Santé magazine and the Sommelier Journal and is a frequent speaker at wine festivals around the world.

What is an enviable annual salary for most was a bar tab for six on a recent evening at Mayfair's five-star Westbury Hotel’s Polo Bar (www.westburymayfair.com ), a favourite haunt of the rich and famous, when a mystery "Russian billionaire" plunked down $53,000 for a Methuselah of Dom Perignon Rosé Gold 1996 and then rewarded the barman for the bubbly with a $16,000 tip, on top of the obligatory service charge of more than $6600!

The total tab paid by credit card was in excess of $76,000, more than $2,375 per glass (a Methuselah is the equivalent of 8 regular bottles of Champagne). The entire bottle was drunk by ''six friends'' - in less than 45 minutes said Bar manager Elias Yiallouris who refused to reveal the buyer's identity.

The Methuselah, a large bottle dipped in rose gold and worth more than the champagne itself, holds 6 liters (1.59 gallons). The purchase took place during an afterparty for the screening of the new movie "Boogie Woogie" – an art-based comedy by Danny Moynihan set in London -at the Westbury Hotel and according to witness reports within minutes of delivery 3 glasses of the pricey champagne had been spilled.

While some other rare bottles of Champagne have sold at auction for higher amounts, the $53,000 bottle of Dom is the most expensive ever sold in a British bar. The posh Polo Bar is one of only three in Britain that carries the pricey item, known as the "King of Champagnes," housed in a pink gold plated metal casing. Only 35 bottles are produced annually, made with grapes from specially selected vineyards from the best Grand Crus and stored for 12 years before being bottled.

According to its makers, the blend is ''characterized by the vivacious interplay between Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes'' and is ''copper pink with shades of amber and gold'' in colour and it has a fragrance of mature fruits and an after-taste marked by a slightly vanilla note. It is divine.”

In partnership with Cork ReHarvest, which has led the cork recycling movement in North America, helping collect and recycle some of the 13 billion natural corks that are produced each year,  Whole Foods Market is the first national retailer to launch a cork recycling program and will accept natural wine corks at all of its 292 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
 
  “We often forget that cork is a renewable, recyclable material that does not belong in our landfills, said Erez Klein, wine and beer buyer for Whole Foods Market’s Pacific Northwest Region, which first launched the program.
 
Through Cork ReHarvest, there is virtually zero increase in carbon footprint. Corks make their entire journey from stores to recycling centers on trucks that already are en route to each destination.
 
 West of the Rockies, corks will be delivered to Western Pulp, where they will be turned into recyclable wine shippers containing 10 percent cork. In the Midwest, corks will be sent to Yemm & Hart, which produces cork floor tiles. And on the East Coast and in the UK, corks will be transported to Jelinek Cork Group, one of the oldest cork manufacturers in North America, where old corks will be made into post-consumer products.
 
“Our winery was the first to use cork certified by the Rainforest Alliance to Forest Stewardship Council standards so Cork ReHarvest was a logical evolution in our commitment to the sustainability of the cork forests,” said Jim Bernau, Founder/President of Willamette Valley Vineyards. “As stewards of the land, the health of our planet comes first.  Additionally, wine made from naturally grown grapes tastes better.”
 
For more information on the program, visit www.corkreharvest.org    .

 

 

The 15th Annual Miami Wine and Food Festival will take place on Thursday, April 22 through Saturday, April 24,  at several events to be held the Village of Merrick Park and the InterContinental Miami Hotel, benefiting Camillus House and United Way of Miami-Dade.

This annual event brings together food and wine lovers for a three-day festival that features notable chefs, prestigious wineries and winemakers, and impressive auction lots, all to benefit the South Florida community.  One of the most decorated, respected and charismatic chefs, Todd English, will lead the Interactive Dinner on Friday, April 23, 2010.    

In its 15th year, the festival is one of South Florida’s premier wine and food events Lyn Farmer, a James Beard award-winning wine and food writer, serves as the festival’s director.  Dan Hanrahan, president and chief executive officer of Celebrity Cruises is the festival chair.  Bob Dickinson, retired president and chief executive officer of Carnival Cruise Lines, serves as the festival’s co-chair.  For more information about the festival and to purchase tickets please go to www.miamiwinefestival.org . 

   

 

where does wine come fromThe Telluride Wine Festival, Center for Wine Origins and SCHILLING studio Gallery announce the “Where in the World Does Your Wine come from?” Nationwide Poster Challenge and Art Exhibition. 

This   competition encourages artists to promote the recognition of Champagne or Port wines, or an official wine region from across the globe. Artists, photographers and graphic designers are encouraged to submit their poster design. The challenge is the first nationwide, juried poster competition celebrating the grape and regions of origin for the world’s most diverse wines. The final selections for cash awards will be chosen based on artistic excellence in reflection of this theme.

The Art Exhibition will take place in Telluride, Colorado during the Telluride Wine Festival June 24 to 27th, 2010. Each of the selected 20 finalist’s posters will be displayed during the festival and sold at SCHILLING studio Gallery with cash awards given to the “Best in Show” and “People’s Choice”.

Deadline for entries is May 15th, 2010. For addition information:  http://www.designab.com/eu-wine/art_exhibition/poster-And-art_exhibition.html

From contestants with decades of blue ribbons to a new generation of Commercial, Professional, Amateur and Junior Chefs,  pie makers will be rolling out fresh dough and carefully measuring ingredients as they prepare for the three-day APC/ Crisco® 2010 National Pie Championships® April 23-25 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate.

For 2010, Best of Show winners in the amateur and professional divisions will each win $5,000, a new Sears Kenmore range and a Crisco® gift basket, while the top winner in the Junior Chef division receive a $2000 Crisco college scholarship and a Crisco® gift basket.  First place ribbons and bragging rights will be awarded to Commercial Division winners.

To enter, APC members pay $15 per pie entry for amateurs and $20 per pie entry for professionals.  Non-members pay $35 per pie entry for either category.  Junior entries are free.

 “If you’re not familiar with the competition, you’d think a pie is just a pie,” explains Crisco’s Brenda Alten. “But this is really an art. Pie makers are serious about developing the right blend of flavors, the right taste and texture… There’s a lot that goes into a pie, which is why there’s such a serious sense of competition at the championship.”

The American Pie Council® (APC) – an organization dedicated to preserving America’s pie heritage – Great American Pie Festival sponsored by Crisco®, April 24 and 25, is a free-admission family-friendly event that attracted a record 25,000 pie lovers and dessert devotees in 2009.   

The festival will be held at Lakeside Park at 631 Sycamore St. in downtown Celebration. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, April 24; noon to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 25. Admission to the festival is free, with tickets for the Never-Ending Pie Buffet priced at ($10 adults, $5 ages 65 and up, and $5 ages 6-12.)

For more details, to become a member of the APC or to register for the National Pie Championships, visit www.piecouncil.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonathan Wright, Executive Chef at The Setai, South Beach, will cook alongside some of the culinary world’s top luminaries in the inaugural Lucky Rice Festival in New York City, April 28 – May 2.

Lucky Rice Festival  (www.luckyrice.com)   offers seminars, demos and glamorous parties that celebrate the diversity of Asian cuisine.  An all star cast of chefs from New York’s most highly regarded restaurants inspired by Asian spices and ingredients, includes   Jean Georges Vongerichten, David Chang, Eric Ripert and Pichet Ong among other  luminaries.

The Restaurant at The Setai, which offers diners dishes from Singapore, Thailand, China, India and Malaysia, prepared by chefs from those countries under Wright’s baton will be participate in the Night Market  on Friday, April 30 ,   an outdoor event  under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn’s DUMBO.  Hosted by Momofuku’s chef David Chang, the event takes its inspiration from the festive night markets of Asia, with innovative takes on traditional Asian street food, like flavorful Korean tacos stuffed with kim chee and bahn mi. Then, on Saturday May 1, Wright, along with Jean Georges, Floyd Cardoz, Singapore’s Willin Low of Wild Rocket and a line up of other top toques, will present the Grand Feast of Asian Flavors.  

Attendees at both the Night Market and the Grand Feast will have the opportunity to preview a few of the dishes that Wright plans to showcase when he unveils The Restaurant at The Setai’s new menu in early May: i.e. the Setai pork buns stuffed with crisp fried pork belly, kim chee and island creek oysters, served with chilli jam and fried shallots; and at the Grand Feast two dishes will  co-star – tongue n cheek:  a flavor packed dumpling stuffed with steamed braised veal cheek, foie gras and truffles, served with pickled veal tongue and vegetable salad; as well as a traditional Singaporean laksa lemak – a  rice noodle dish studded with tofu, shrimp,quail egg, fish cake and bean sprouts in a spicy coconut soup.

The Restaurant at The Setai is located at 2001 Collins Avenue on South Beach.  Reservations:  (305)520-6400 or setaidining@ghmamericas.com

 

The Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group that tabulates production statistics for U.S. breweries, released its annual lists reporting the top 50 brewing companies in the country, based on 2009 beer sales volume.

The two lists are the Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies, comprising small and independent craft brewers,¹ and the Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies.  The Top 50 Overall Brewing Companies list contains 76 percent craft brewing companies. www.brewersassociation.org or www.CraftBeer.com

 

 

Food & Wine Talk Radio

 GELATO WORLD TOUR, RIMINI 2014, ITALY
 
Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
 
 
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The House of Mandela Wines from South Africa

 
 

Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta

 
 

Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor

 
 

Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  

 
 

James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine

 
 

Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue

 
 

Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 

 

 

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