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Stirrings e-Newsletter, November 24, 2008

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Stirrings, Chef Magazine's monthly news highlights of what's going on in the foodservice industry and chef world. For daily news and online exclusives, please visit the new Stirrings blog.

In this issue of Stirrings:

Michael Garbin made lifetime member of the Honorable Order
  of the Golden Toque
ACF president receives leadership award
MenuCalc crunches nutrition numbers for restaurants
WFF Annual Leadership Conference registration open
Trend Tasting: Seasonal beers
Electrolux Professional offers Certified Chef Network
Texas Rio Star grapfruit recipe contest
The Inn-Credible Breakfast Cook-Off announces winners
Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out raises $500k
Tips for chefs looking to go green

Got a news item? Send it to us for consideration.


The Editors, Chef Magazine

If you'd like to comment on Stirrings' news below, just click the title, and you'll be brought directly to the Stirrings blog to post your comment.

Michael Garbin made lifetime member of the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque
Michael Garbin (second from left), executive chef of the Union League Club of Chicago, was recently inducted as a lifetime member of the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque, the highest recognition a chef can receive in America.

The officials of the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque who extended their congratulations to chef Garbin are: (left to right) commander treasurer James Miller, grand commander William Lyman and commander Secretary Thomas Hickey Sr.

Founded in France, the Honorable Order of the Golden Toque was established to recognize chefs who have displayed the highest level of achievement and distinguished service to the culinary profession and arts. Membership is limited to 100 lifetime members who are nominated to the honor by active members of the order.

ACF president receives leadership award
The American Culinary Federation's (ACF) national president John Kinsella, CMC, CCE, WGMC, AAC, of Cincinnati, was honored at the Annual American Academy of Chefs (AAC) Dinner, hosted by the ACF Philadelphia Chapter Sept. 22.

"John's career has been dedicated to elevating the fields of culinary arts and education, along with his relentless drive to develop young talent," AAC chair Tom Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC, said in a press release. "Our chapter is proud to recognize him as our 2008 honoree. He is an outstanding figure in our industry."

Kinsella is a distinguished leader, published author and an internationally recognized culinary figure, educator and businessman. He is one of only 61 ACF-certified master chefs in the country, a master chef of the London Institute of City and Guilds, as well as an ACF-certified culinary educator and a member of the American Academy of Chefs.

MenuCalc crunches nutrition numbers for restaurants
Promoting healthy eating is now as easy as pie for restaurants and culinary professionals, thanks to MenuCalc (formerly CookedApple), an online tool that instantly calculates the nutritional analysis of recipes. As a time-efficient, economical alternative to expensive laboratories and consultants, MenuCalc also helps identify more wholesome ingredients and appropriate portion sizes. With new menu-labeling laws going into place in different cities across the United States, MenuCalc offers venues affected by these new laws a simple and stress-free way to transition.

WFF Annual Leadership Conference registration open
The Women's Foodservice Forum (WFF) has opened registration for its 2009 Annual Leadership Development Conference. The conference, which will celebrate the organization's 20 years of elevating women leaders, will be held March 15 to 18, 2009 at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. Registrations received before Jan. 30 will qualify for special early-registration pricing. "In this challenging economic condition, it's more important than ever for organizations to invest in their talent and for individuals to invest in their professional development in order to strengthen their careers," said Linda Pharr, Chair, Women's Foodservice Forum. "The WFF's Annual Leadership Development Conference provides the perfect opportunity for women and men in foodservice to gain critical skills and network with other professionals that will spark positive change for their company and their career." Keynote speakers Robin Roberts, co-anchor, ABC News' Good Morning America, Julia Stewart, CEO/Chair of DineEquity Inc., and Tim Sanders, former leadership coach at Yahoo! will engage and inspire the 2009 WFF Annual Leadership Development Conference attendees. WFF is offering more than 50 unique educational sessions, allowing 2,800 women and men to personalize their agenda to elevate their skills, confidence and network. The sessions span three distinct tracks and one enhancement track:

  • Emerging Leader Track (Professional and Manager Level)
  • Emerging Executive Track (Director and Senior Director Level)
  • Executive Track (Vice President and C-Level)
  • Enhancement Track: Entrepreneur Track (Entrepreneurs and Aspiring Entrepreneurs)

Trend Tasting: Seasonal beers
Consider adding value to your holiday menus with seasonal beer and food pairings. According to the Brewers Association--the trade organization representing the majority of U.S. brewing companies--seasonal beer sales are on fire right now. The association has created a Web site and brand database dedicated to information on seasonal beers. Right now, seasonal beers are the number-one selling craft beer style, and information on fall and winter seasonals, and the food they pair with, are on the minds of many going into the holiday season.

Electrolux Professional offers Certified Chef Network
Electrolux Professional wants its foodservice customers to utilize everything its equipment has to offer, from saving time and energy to improving food quality. The company created its Certified Chef Network to support the North American market with both customer training and field sales support for key pieces of equipment to ensure customers are using the equipment solutions and benefits to their maximum potential.

When operators purchase an Electrolux air-o-steam combi oven, air-o-speed high-speed combi oven, air-o-chill blast chiller/freezer or the Pressure Braising Pan, they can receive on-site, hands-on demonstrations and training from Electrolux Certified Chefs. The Electrolux chefs will customize the training for each operator's individual needs and menu.

To become certified, Electrolux Certified Chefs attend a rigorous training program composed of technical courses that allow the chefs to become experts on Electrolux products, as well as courses that focus on interpersonal skill development.

The Electrolux Certified Chef Network covers the entire North American market both for customer training and field sales support. It provides customers with troubleshooting for menu development, operational savings and increased return on investment from their purchase.

Texas Rio Star grapfruit recipe contest
TexaSweet Citrus Marketing Inc. is hosting a recipe contest for Rio Star grapefruit, the super-sweet red grapefruit from Texas' Rio Grande Valley. Rio Star Challenge recipe(s) must include the sections or juice from at least one fresh Texas Rio Star grapefruit. Recipes are limited to no more than eight ingredients, excluding herbs and/or spices. Contestants must select one of three categories for each recipe entered: Salad, Entrée or Dessert.

A $500 prize will be awarded to the first-place winners of each recipe category. One grand prize of $1,000 will be chosen from the first-prize recipe winners in each division (home cook and professional).

Contestants may complete the online entry form, or they can download a printable entry form to mail in along with a copy of the recipe submission.

All entries must be original creations and never before published in print or online, infringe on third-party copyrights and never entered in any other contest. Entries must be received no later than 5 p.m. (EST), February 15, 2009.

The Inn-Credible Breakfast Cook-Off announces winners
Select Registry: Distinguished Inns of North America has announced the winners in the celebrated culinary competition, "The Inn-Credible Breakfast Cook-Off." The finalist teams, which consisted of professional chefs and innkeepers from the best B&Bs, inns and small hotels in North America, competed during a live culinary competition, at Select Registry's Annual Conference Nov. 10, 2008, at the Williamsburg Lodge in historic Colonial Williamsburg, Va. Competition entries were judged by an esteemed judging panel with superlative culinary backgrounds on the following criteria: creativity, presentation, overall appeal and taste. Chefs and innkeepers participated in the competition, creating an original breakfast "main dish." Though each recipe was unique, the one ingredient in common was eggs. Winners of the professional chef category:

  • Gold: Casa Laguna Inn & Spa, Laguna Beach, Calif., "Dungeness Crab Benedict with Choron Sauce, Fried Shallots & Curry Oil," submitted by Cale Falk (recipe below!)
  • Silver: L'Auberge Provençale, White Post, Va., "Provençale Eggs Benedict with Caramelized Onion Tartlet, Merques Sausage, Vegetable Stew and a Garden Sorrel Hollandaise," submitted by Alain Borel and Scott Myers
  • Bronze: 1906 Pine Crest Inn and Restaurant, Tryon, N.C., "North Carolina Granny Smith Apple & Sweet Vidalia Onion Quiche," submitted by April Wilson and Amanda Greene

Professional chef winner Cale Falk received an all-expense paid trip with Oneida Global Foodservice to Chicago for the National Restaurant Association's annual show in Chicago May 16 to 19, 2009. The winning chef will assist Oneida representatives with "Plate-Scaping," a method that uses the plate as a canvas for an artistic food presentation. Winners of the innkeeper category:

  • Gold: Inn at Riverbend, Pearisburg, Va., "Breakfast Sushi," submitted by Linda Hayes and Eric Hanson
  • Silver: Swann House, Washington, D.C., "Swann House Sunday Morning Swans," submitted by Patrick Richardson and Rick Verkler
  • Bronze: Goldmoor Inn, Galena, Ill., "Pumpkin Medley French Toast," submitted by Patricia Goldthorpe

Innkeeper winners Linda Hayes and Eric Hanson received an all-expense paid trip to the exquisite five-star Coeur d'Alene Resort for the opportunity to cook with executive chef Rodney Jessick, recognized by the ACF Chef's de Cuisines of the Inland Northwest as "Chef of the Year."

Dungeness Crab Roesti Benedict with Choron Sauce

Chef Cale Falk, Casa Laguna Inn & Spa, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Yield: 5 servings

3 Yukon Gold potatoes
10 oz. Dungeness crab
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
3 oz. sour cream
2 T. Old Bay
Salt and pepper, to taste
5 eggs
Arugula, as needed
Charon Sauce (recipe follows)
Fried shallots, for garnish
Curry oil, for garnish

Method (1)
Put potatoes in pot, fill with water and bring to a boil. Cook potato until skin starts to give, about 15 minutes after water comes to a boil. Remove from water, and cool. After cooled, peel off skin using your fingers then grate on large-hole cheese grater. (2) In a bowl, mix crab, garlic, shallot, sour cream and Old Bay until well-incorporated. In a 2" ring mold, layer grated potato, crab mix, then grated potato, and press to keep the potato tight. Season outside of roesti with salt and pepper. (3) Pan-fry roesti until golden brown on both sides and center is hot. (4) Poach egg in simmering water with vinegar until whites are cooked and yolk is still runny. (5) When plating, put roesti in center of plate, arugula on top of the roesti then poached egg, drizzle with Charon Sauce. Garnish with fried shallots and curry oil.

Ingredients (Charon Sauce)
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 T. tomato paste
Juice of 1 lemon
2 T. water
1 lb. butter, clarified
Salt and pepper, to taste

Method (1) In a bowl, add egg yolks, tomato paste, lemon juice, water, and set over double boiler. Start whisking until it is thick, then remove from heat. (2) Drizzle in warm clarified butter, whisking until incorporated and has a nice sheen, and season. Keep warm.

Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out raises $500k
For one week in September, nearly 4,000 restaurants across the nation and hundreds of thousands of consumers helped fight childhood hunger in America. The inaugural Share Our Strength's Great American Dine Out, presented by American Express, raised $500,000 toward ending childhood hunger. Share Our Strength, a national organization working to make sure no kid in America will grow up hungry, will use funds raised from this campaign to help:

  • increase participation in school food and nutrition programs across the country;
  • develop more community gardens, food banks and food pantries;
  • improve access to fresh produce;
  • promote use of federal child food and nutrition programs (e.g. food stamps, school breakfast, etc.); and
  • advocate for stronger child food and nutrition-related programs nationwide.

The Great American Dine Out rallied restaurants from the entire industry, from coffee shops to fine-dining establishments. Participating restaurants included: Corner Bakery, Legal Sea Foods, Buffalo Wild Wings, Caribou Coffee, Elephant Bar Restaurant, Joe's Crab Shack, Lone Star Steakhouse, The Melting Pot, Famous Dave's, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants and Union Square Hospitality Group. The second annual Great American Dine Out is set for Sept. 20 to 26, 2009. Registration is open, and restaurants are already signing up. For more information on how to get involved, visit

Tips for chefs looking to go green
Contributed by Steve Kurtz, vice president of the Going Green Program from

Going green has become a popular trend in foodservice. So far, there has been a lot of talk about using organic and local food ingredients, and organizations like Energy Star have focused their efforts on promoting the most energy-efficient equipment and advanced technologies. Meanwhile, chefs are left wondering what they can do in their day-to-day work to help the environment. The truth is that they can probably help out more than they ever thought possible, without significantly altering the quality of their cuisine or the way they run their kitchen. Using insight and advice from's Going Green Program, chefs can learn easy ways to avoid wasting energy, water and food. Here are the top five tips for chefs to go green:

1. Use cooking water wisely. Often, water is the most wasted resource in the kitchen. Chefs should be sure to fill pots only as high as needed for even boiling and cover them with lids to save both water and energy by reducing evaporation and cook times. Also, chefs and other workers in the kitchen should avoid dumping water down the drain. Instead, they can reuse clear water from boiling or steaming for simple cleaning tasks or soaking dishes.

2. Watch out for wasted heat. When opening the kitchen, chefs and kitchen workers do not need to turn on all the cooking equipment right away. Since most equipment requires less than 30 minutes to preheat, and steamers and fryers rarely need more than 15, chefs should make sure this equipment is not left idling unnecessarily. They could take other small steps, like boiling liquids at the lowest setting that will maintain the boil. Once a liquid is boiling, it cannot get any hotter without vaporizing. Chefs should also experiment with cooking full loads, as well as turning off the oven during the last few minutes of baking, since the chamber will retain heat and the food will still cook. Some recipes actually call for this method.

3. Keep composting and recycling bins nearby. By keeping the composting and recycling bins right next to the food preparation area, chefs can practically eliminate waste in their kitchen. Almost all food scraps can be composted, and much of the packaging can be recycled. As they prepare dishes, chefs should keep the bins as close as possible to make recycling convenient, although they should check with local health codes to learn about any regulations on the proximity of waste receptacles to exposed food and food-contact surfaces.

4. Choose your equipment carefully. As they create or alter recipes, chefs should try to develop the most efficient cooking methods possible. Microwaves, steamers, griddles and fryers are generally more energy-efficient than ovens, broilers, woks and open-burner gas ranges. Chefs could use an energy-efficient grooved griddle instead of a broiler to sear meat or vegetables and achieve similar grill marks, or use a braising pan instead of an oven to wet-roast meats. Chefs can also conserve energy by taking advantage of their most versatile equipment and reducing the need for other pieces of equipment to be left idling throughout the day. For example, a braising pan can be used to sauté, simmer, boil and hold warm foods, and a steamer can cook just about anything that does not require browning or a crust.

5. Be mindful of the whole kitchen. One of the easiest ways chefs can save energy in the kitchen is to pay attention to all equipment. They should watch for doors left open on refrigerators, freezers, ovens, and warming and holding cabinets. An open lid on a prep table can increase electricity consumption by up to fifty percent, so chefs should always make sure that the lids on food wells are kept closed. They can also be mindful and save energy by checking for, and turning off, unused sections of steamers or fryers, or keeping an eye out for worn-out seals or parts in their equipment.

For all chefs, the quality of the cuisine is of the utmost importance. Thankfully, the final dish does not have to suffer in order for it to be eco-friendly. By implementing a few of the above tips and guidelines from's Going Green Program, chefs can help the environment without sacrificing their art.

Fancy Food

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