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Nation’s Largest Regional Food Show Kicks Off with Innovation Awards

The 2014 Fresno Food Expo, presented by Union Bank, is excited to debut the innovative new products, varietals and packaging concepts entered into the New Product Awards, presented by Baker Peterson Franklin CPA, LLP, that recognize industry trendsetters and look to build community and consumer awareness about the diverse food products grown and manufactured in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

A total of 44 new products were submitted to the New Product Awards from 35 different San Joaquin Valley-based companies, ranging from fresh and frozen produce; to flavor-infused water, tea, wines and liquor; to specialty ethnic foods and value-add fruits and nuts; to specialty dips, sauces and seasonings; and everything in between – all highlighting the rich diversity of food and beverage products coming from the region. All products entered are competing for the Buyer’s Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award.

Public voting for the People’s Choice Award is now open, and members of the public are encouraged to share their thoughts as a consumer on what innovative new products stand apart in the marketplace and pique their interest. A photo and brief description of all 43 products submitted as part of the Fresno Food Expo New Product Awards can be viewed at www.FresnoFoodExpo.com by clicking on New Product Showcase or by visiting the Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/FresnoFoodExpo.

Votes are counted by the number of “Likes” on Facebook combined with the votes cast by email through the Fresno Food Expo website between now and the Fresno Food Expo public event. After voting for their favorite new products, the public is encouraged to buy their tickets for the Fresno Food Expo on July 24, 2014 in order to take advantage of the opportunity to discover the local thriving food industry and create a renewed sense of pride in what is offered in the San Joaquin Valley. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced that night by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin at approximately 6 p.m.

Last year, public voting on the Fresno Food Expo website and Facebook page captured more than 5,000 votes during the three-week voting period – eventually crowning Rosa Brothers Milk Company as the People’s Choice Award winner. The attention garnered through the People’s Choice Award boosted product awareness online and gave added promotional value and marketplace energy to all 33 participating companies and the San Joaquin Valley as a whole. Additionally last year, Cold House Vodka’s Cake Batter Vodka and Bella Viva Orchards Pure & Natural Dried Fruit Slices were awarded the “Industry Award” – renamed this year as the Buyer’s Choice Award – after a tie was determined by the judging panel.

“The Fresno Food Expo provided an opportunity to build an awareness of our products in the San Joaquin Valley, helping to drive consumer demand, as well as connect us with new buyers who didn’t have us on their radar,” said Brean Bettencourt of Bella Viva Orchards, winner of the 2013 Fresno Food Expo “Industry Award.”

During an exclusive New Product Awards preview event on June 18, all New Product Award entries were reviewed, ranked and narrowed to 10 products by a panel of marketing and food industry leaders, and the finalists for the Buyer’s Choice Award were announced by Mayor Swearengin.

Finalists for the 2014 Buyer’s Choice Award are:

  • Balonian Farms Squash Salute Kits,
  • Bella Viva Orchards Pure & Natural Dried Apple Slices,
  • Casa de Tamales Pepperoni Tamale,
  • Flicks Candy Company Milk & Dark Chocolate Covered Pistachios,
  • G. Debbas Chocolatier Cabernet Sauvignon Liquid Wine Filled Chocolates,
  • L.T. Sue Company San Joaquin Valley Tea,
  • Sunrise Fresh Dark Sweet Dried Cherries,
  • Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company Rush Hour Breakfast Stout,
  • Wawona Frozen Foods Gluten Free Peach Gems, and
  • Wawona Frozen Foods Organic Day Break Cups.

These products will be advancing to the Celebrity Judging Panel comprised of industry experts, including world-renowned chef Erna Kubin-Clanin, owner of five-star Erna’s Elderberry House and Chateau du Sureau; Whole Foods “local sourcing guru” Harvinder Singh; and Matt Jones, an influential buyer from Kroger – who will judge the finalists during the Fresno Food Expo on July 24.

The celebrity judges bring extensive experience to the awards with their unique understanding of an ever-changing consumer market from different categories within the food buying industry, but equally value the introduction of new, innovative products and concepts within an astute and very competitive industry.

Often referred to as the bread basket of the world, the San Joaquin Valley grows, manufactures and distributes enough food to feed over one-third of the nation every single day. The region has branded itself as an ideal place to find local sourcing solutions, innovative products and leading-edge packaging. The region’s proximity to fresh products and access to markets around the world, has not only made this region the most productive place for growing and processing food and beverage products, but has become the powerhouse for innovation in the food industry.

Food and beverage companies located within the eight-county San Joaquin Valley region can still sign up as an exhibitor for the 2014 Fresno Food Expo at http://fresnofoodexpo.com/registration/exhibitor-registration.

The 2014 Fresno Food Expo will be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014, at the Fresno Convention & Entertainment Center New Exhibit Hall. There is a closed business-to-business portion starting at 9 a.m. that is only open to pre-registered and pre-qualified buyers and a public event in the evening from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Tickets to the public portion are $40 and can be purchased at any Ticketmaster Box Office or online at http://fresnofoodexpo.com/registration/public-tickets. For more information about the public event and ticket discount opportunities, visit www.FresnoFoodExpo.com.

The 2014 Fresno Food Expo is made possible in part by the support of the following well-known Valley businesses that have signed on as sponsors in support of the regional food show and its mission:

  • Baker Peterson Franklin, CPA, LLP
  • Lyons
  • Busseto Foods
  • Mid Valley Disposal
  • California Center for International Trade Development
  • The Produce News
  • Certified Meat Products
  • Saladinos
  • City of Fresno
  • State Center Community College District
  • ENZO Olive Oil Company
  • Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company
  • Fowler Packing Company
  • Union Bank
  • Gerawan Farming Prima® Brand
  • United States Cold Storage
  • Johanson Transportation Service
  • Wawona Frozen Foods
  • KMJ Newstalk 580
  • Wells Fargo.

B.R. Cohn Olive Oil Co. Offers Limited-Release Sonoma Syrah Vinegar

B.R. Cohn Olive Oil Co., a pioneer in modern-day California extra virgin olive oil and other locally-made food products, is taking a page from the fine wine business with the introduction of its new limited-release Sonoma Syrah Vinegar. Small-lot production and aging in French oak casks characterize this new vinegar, which makes its debut at the Fancy Food Show, June 29, in New York City.

With the release of the Sonoma Syrah Vinegar ($19.99/200ml), B.R. Cohn is the first specialty food company in California to introduce the concept of limited-release vinegars to the U.S. Made from 100 percent Syrah grapes from Sonoma County using the Orleans vinegar process, the Sonoma Syrah Vinegar ages for three years in French oak casks, which provide the ideal environment for cultured vinegar bacteria. B.R. Cohn’s Sonoma Syrah Vinegar contains no additives or preservatives. Total production is 170 cases.

“For our vinegars we use a time-consuming production process that dates back to the Middle Ages,” noted CEO Dan Cohn. “Our hand-crafted Sonoma Syrah Vinegar starts with the finest Syrah grapes and, like fine wine, it develops exceptional complexity and nuance of flavor with the aging process. We cut no corners and limit production so we can make a truly distinctive vinegar of the finest quality.”

The B.R. Cohn Sonoma Syrah Vinegar shows notes of berry, lavender and sweet plum and has six percent acidity.  Cohn notes that in addition to its myriad uses with meat and vegetable dishes, the Sonoma Syrah Vinegar is an ideal ingredient for cocktails. One of the hottest trends among mixologists is using vinegar in specialty cocktails as part of a ‘shrub’ base (fresh fruit, sugar, water) to blend with spirits.

B.R. Cohn Olive Oil Co. is one of the top award winning producers of fine oils and vinegars, and B.R. Cohn olive oils and vinegars have captured more than 120 awards, including frequent Best of Show, Double Gold and Gold medals at leading competitions.  Additional information is available at www.brcohn.com/oliveoilcompany or by calling 877-933-9675, extension 141.

B.R. Cohn Olive Oil Co. will be at the New York Fancy Food Show June 29 – July 1 at the Jacob Javits Center, booth #2166.

 

Lindt EXCELLENCE Introduces New Lemon Bar

Premium chocolatier Lindt USA introduces EXCELLENCE Lemon into its dark chocolate collection as the most recent innovation to join the brand’s sophisticated offerings. The new bar will first be featured at the 2014 FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen from June 20-22, where Lindt EXCELLENCE will serve as the Official Chocolate Sponsor.

The Lindt EXCELLENCE collection is the world’s most exceptionally crafted premium chocolate, and with the start of the summer season, EXCELLENCE Lemon is a timely addition. Created with passion by the Lindt Master Chocolatiers and made with the finest ingredients, its bright citrus flavor is pure and nostalgic of summertime year-round. EXCELLENCE Lemon masterfully combines silky dark chocolate with the refreshing taste of lemon and the delicate crunch of almond slivers. The thin, refined profile and harmonious duo of elegant contrasts offer consumers a unique sensory experience.

“EXCELLENCE Lemon tantalizes the five senses with its vibrant citrus flavor, smooth dark chocolate and crunch of almond slivers,” said Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja. “We’re excited to share this new fruit innovation, offering consumers a refreshing and palate-pleasing experience just in time for summer.”

EXCELLENCE at the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen
During the three-day FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, Lindt will host a special seminar and tastings, showcasing its premium dark chocolate collection to culinary experts, tastemakers and consumers. In addition to formally introducing EXCELLENCE Lemon during Grand Tastings, Lindt will also offer attendees an exclusive first taste of EXCELLENCE Pineapple with Toasted Hazelnuts, developed with fine wine partner J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines to pair perfectly with J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay. The “Perfect Pairing” will be available to consumers nationwide in the fall.

The Perfect Chocolate and Wine Pairings
To celebrate the summer season and J. Lohr’s 40th year of family winemaking, Lindt Master Chocolatier Ann Czaja and J. Lohr Red Winemaker Steve Peck worked together to create the perfect dark chocolate and wine pairings, elevating the tasting experience. Exclusive pairings will be highlighted at the Classic, including the newest Lindt EXCELLENCE offerings and limited-edition J. Lohr anniversary varietals:

  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Pinot Blanc from Arroyo Seco in Monterey County
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE 70% Cocoa paired with limited-edition J. Lohr 40th Anniversary Red Wine from Paso Robles
  • Lindt EXCELLENCE Chili paired with 2012 J. Lohr Estates Falcon’s Perch Pinot Noir from Monterey County

The 3.5-ounce Lindt EXCELLENCE Lemon bar will be available at retail locations nationwide including Target, Lindt Chocolate Shops and www.Lindt.com. To learn more about the Lindt EXCELLENCE collection and perfect wine pairings, visit www.Lindt.com. For additional Lindt news and images from the Classic, “like” the company’s Facebook page or follow Lindt on Twitter.

Wild Rose Marketing has hired Don Martineau as Brand Manager

 

With 20 years in the food industry at his back, Don Martineau has joined Wild Rose Marketing, where he will work with distributors, vendors, and sales reps to develop programs to grow select brands. Martineau brings a comprehensive view of the industry with experience that includes retail management, sales, customer training, brand development and production management. Throughout his career he has maintained the steadfast belief that success is achieved by keeping the focus on the end customer. In his spare time, Martineau enjoys cycling, hiking and music.

Wild Rose Marketing is a natural and specialty group of professional representatives founded in 1996 in Boulder, Colorado. Wild Rose Marketing was recently named one of Boulder County’s top fastest growing independently owned companies.

 

Anthony Anderson Discovers America’s Best Food Festivals On New Food Network Series Food Fest Nation

Anthony Anderson is on a mission to discover the most flavorful food festivals in the country on the new primetime series, “Food Fest Nation,” premiering Monday, July 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Food Network. Tasting everything from classic interpretations of regional fare to surprising twists of favorite foods, Anthony uncovers what is truly at the heart of America – one delicious food festival at a time.

“Viewers got a taste of Anthony Anderson’s true passion for food during his appearances as a judge on ‘Iron Chef America’ and ‘Chopped,’” said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Food Network. “Anthony’s love of food, quick humor, and engaging way with people make him the perfect guide through the quirky and wonderful world of food festivals.”

Over the course of eight half-hour episodes, Anthony visits the most unique food fairs in the nation, sampling local specialties and meeting the characters devoted to the regional cuisine. Along the way, Anthony visits the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival in Fernandina Beach, Fla. and highlights delicious classics such as shrimp tacos, shrimp boil and shrimp jambalaya, as well as innovative shrimp ice cream. In one episode, he attends the Magnolia Blossom Festival & World Championship Steak Cook-Off inMagnolia, Ark., where more than 4,000 different kinds of mouthwatering ribeye steaks compete to be the best of the best and for a $10,000 prize. Anthony also visits the Long Grove Strawberry Festival, where over 20,000 attendees flock to Long Grove, Ill. for three “berry” special days of enjoying all things strawberry, including Strawberry Ricotta Ravioli and Strawberry Balsamic Chicken. In another episode, he stops by Ribfest Chicago for a world-class rib-eating showdown that draws top competitive eaters from around the globe.  Throughout the season, Anthony also gets a taste of the South Carolina Poultry Festival in Batesberg, S.C., the Jambalaya Festival in Gonzalez, La., the Blue Ridge BBQ Festival in Tyron, N.C., as well as the Rockwood Ice Cream Festival in Wilmington, Del.

Fans can visit FoodNetwork.com/FoodFestNation all season long for additional video, blogs and photo galleries from Anthony’s travels, as well as connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FoodFestNation.

Anthony Anderson is no stranger to the Food Network audience, having competed on “Chopped” and appeared as both a judge and competitor on “Iron Chef America,” making his transition to host of “Food Fest Nation” a natural and delicious progression.  He is an accomplished actor with roles on both the big and small screen, including more than 20 films and the Emmy® Award-winning drama “Law & Order,” playing Detective Kevin Bernard. His performance on that series earned him four consecutive NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series. Anthony also appeared in the DreamWorks’ blockbuster “Transformers,” directed by Michael Bay; as well as in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar® winning feature, “The Departed.” Anthony can also be seen in the upcoming ABC sitcom, “Black-ish,” this fall, in which he will both star and produce.

Food Fest Nation is produced by Magnetic Productions.

International Dairy Foods Association Names J. David Carlin Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has named J. David Carlin to the position of senior vice president of legislative affairs. In this role, Carlin will be responsible for managing all of the association’s legislative, political and economic policy activities. He replaces Jerry Slominski, who left IDFA earlier this year.

IDFA J David CarlinCarlin, who was a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP until joining IDFA, has extensive experience in food and agriculture policy. He has represented numerous food and agricultural companies, cooperatives and trade associations before the House and Senate Agriculture Committees and at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“Dave knows agriculture policy well, having served as assistant secretary for Congressional Relations under Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman,” said Connie Tipton, IDFA president and CEO.

Carlin was an associate at Akin Gump when President Bill Clinton appointed him in 1995 to serve with Glickman at USDA. As head of the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Carlin served as the primary USDA liaison with Congress and the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. He returned to Akin Gump in 1998 to focus his practice on public law and policy matters.

But his interest in agricultural and public policy began on the family dairy farm.

“Dave grew up on a dairy farm founded by his grandfather in 1940. He reports that during the early days, they sold their milk to JoMar Dairy in Salina, but by the time he was active on the farm, they sold their milk to a Wichita coop,” said Tipton. “They milked about 40 cows and had the top producing herd in Kansas in 1977 and 1978. His father, John William Carlin, ran the operation from 1962 until he became governor of the State of Kansas in 1979. “

In Washington, D.C., Carlin also is active in many community, civic and charitable organizations. He co-founded the Homeless Children’s Tutorial Project, Inc., a volunteer program serving children in Washington, D.C. He also is chairman of the board of directors for Video/Action, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization and serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Capitol Hill Day School along with Tipton.

Carlin received a B.A. summa cum laude in political science and modern languages from Kansas State University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as co-chairman of the Harvard Law School Legislative Research Bureau. He is a member of the District of Columbia and Missouri bars.

Coe’s Noodles: A Trip Back to Your Grandmother’s Kitchen

In the summer of 1983, Judy Coe and her daughter were walking through a farmers market in Richmond, Ind. where people where selling pies, cakes and other foods. This prompted Judy to say to her daughter, “Do you suppose people would buy our noodles?”

The next week they made 52 pounds of noodles to offer for sale out of the back of their station wagon. Forty-three pounds sold. Soon Coe and her daughter were giving out recipes and selling 100 pounds a week. It was at this time that they knew there was a need for their product at local stores. Customers kept saying that the noodles were like the noodles their grandmother made.

Coe’s Noodles come in wide and thin. They are packaged in a combination six-pack: three wide and three thin; six-pack of wide noodles, six-pack of thin noodles or in cases of 16 one-pound packs wide or thin or half wide and half thin. The wide noodles are uncooked and become twice the size when cooked; the thin noodles are cut half as thick and are excellent for soups and casseroles. Noodle recipes are available online at www.coesnoodles.com. Coe’s noodles are being used by leading chefs, caterers and gourmets across America.

Coe’s Noodles are available at leading grocery retailers and food services, gourmet and specialty retailers, gift and gift basket retailers, food catalogs or online at www.coesnoodles.com. Email: coesnoodles@gmail.com 765-277-9779.

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine Introduces New Picnics

 

Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine kicks off its 10th anniversary season with new picnics, sandwiches and salads, plus small production wine and beer pairings that have all been thoughtfully selected and created to celebrate summer in Chicago. Pastoral’s new summer offerings are available at all three store locations and also include cheese and charcuterie plates-to-go, plus a selection of handcrafted sides, sodas, locally made sweets, confections and accompaniments which can all be enjoyed on-the-go or at Pastoral’s al fresco dining patios open now throughout the season. Pastoral’s picnic offerings are ideal for two people to share, and designed with Chicago’s summer concert season and outdoor festivals in mind.

Pastoral 1“This summer marks Pastoral’s 10th anniversary in business, and we took this milestone as a chance to create our favorite summer menu to date—picnics, sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, drink pairings and more that showcase some of Pastoral’s most delicious offerings and favorite culinary producers that have worked with us since we opened in 2004,” said Greg O’Neill, Co-founder and Co-proprietor of Pastoral and Bar Pastoral. “Every menu item reflects our commitment to bring customers the best small production and specialty products available from the most wonderful and talented culinary producers near and far. We want guests to taste this effort in every bite and sip from Pastoral this summer.”

Pastoral’s new picnics are designed for two people to enjoy together, and all include a wine or beer pairing recommendation from Pastoral’s team of experts. New picnics include:

Decadent Picnic (Heirloom Tamworth Prosciutto (Iowa), indulgent Brillat Savarin triple crème (FR – cow), smooth and seasonal Snowfields (Wis. – raw cow), rich and complex 5-Year Gouda (NL – cow), pate de fruits Jugglers (Ill.), rich and fair trade Madecasse Mini Bar (MG), handmade caramels from Katherine Anne Confections (Ill.), plus soft and delicious cookies house-made at Pastoral);

Bavarian Picnic (tangy house-made pimento cheese featuring two Wisconsin cheddars (cow), fresh and creamy Quark (Wis. – cow), Alsatian-style Saucisson d’Alsace salami (Ore.), La Fournette Bakery’s original recipe soft Bretzel (Ill.), plus Pastoral’s house-made toastettes, pickled cauliflower and grainy mustard);

Francophile Picnic (country-style Pig and Fig Terrine (Ind.), buttery Spring Brook Raclette (Vt. – raw, cow), herbed Prairie Fruits Farm chevre (Ill. – goat), fruity and bright Zingerman’s Manchester (Mich. – cow), single varietal Ames Mini Honey (Minn.), Pastoral’s house-made artichoke tapenade, cornichons and grainy mustard);

Pastoral 2Quesophile Picnic (buttery Spring Brook Raclette (Vt. – cow, raw), Pecorino Fioretto (IT – sheep), tangy Clock Shadow Creamery chevre (Wis. – goat), Salemville Blue (Wis. – cow), smooth and seasonal Snowfields (Wis. – cow, raw), traditional and award-winning 1655 Gruyere (SZ – cow, raw), Pastoral’s own house-made spiced almonds and fig preserves);

Taste of the Midwest Picnic (Borsellino Salami (Iowa.), silky smooth Mortadella from Smoking Goose (Ind.), creamy and slightly funky Aged Widmer’s Brick (Wis. – cow), subtly smoky Marieke Smoked Cumin Gouda (Wisc. – cow, raw), tangy Clock Shadow Creamery chevre (Wis. – goat), shallot confit and dried Michigan cherries);

Carnivore’s Feast Picnic (dry-cured Salametti (Calif.), spice-cured aged Coppa (N.Y.), intense and rich Jamon Serrano (SP), silky smooth Mortadella (Ind.), Pastoral’s house-made pimento cheese featuring two Wisconsin cheddars (cow), cornichons, pickled vegetables and grainy mustard);

Grand Picnic (smooth and silky Prosciutto San Daniele (IT), Dodge City Salume from Smoking Goose Meatery (Ind.), fruity and complex Prairie Breeze (Iowa – cow), buttery and rich Brabander Gouda (NL – goat), bold and nutty Maxx Extra (SZ – cow, raw), smooth and lemony Driftless (Wisc. – sheep), single varietal Ames Mini Honey (Minn.), sweet and salty Effie’s Mini Oatcakes (Mass.), Pastoral’s house-made spiced almonds and a duo of handmade truffles from Chicago’s own Katherine Anne Confections.

Vegetarian options are available for select Pastoral picnics. All picnics are $39.99 with the exception of the Grand Picnic which is $69.99 and features some of Pastoral’s most indulgent products.

All Pastoral’s picnics are eco-friendly with biodegradable packaging including plates and utensils made from potato starch, recyclable paper bags and napkins. Additionally, many of Pastoral’s wines, beers, ciders and spirits focus on organic, biodynamic or sustainably produced selections that are both food- and earth-friendly.

The Pastoral team is available to help customers pair a bottle of small production wine, craft beer or cider with their picnics from the shop’s thoughtfully-selected collection of wines, beers, ciders and spirits. Pastoral’s beverage director, Mark Wrobel, has selected his favorite bottles for summer 2014, most of which feature a screw top or champagne-style stopper⎯no corkscrew required⎯making these selections ideal for summer concert and festival season.