Issue 12 11 Volume 19
Cรณdigo 1530 Tequila
W. RE P SO HO CA TOS LF & ST NB OR PR IES O. VIS CO IT M
CONTENTS AND COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLISHER MIKE FRYER
WELCOME TO THE DECEMBER ISSUE OF THE SOCAL FOOD & BEVERAGE PROFESSIONAL and the last month/issue of the year. Once again we are offering our advertising special for both our Las Vegas and SoCal publications, and our traditional year-end Half Price Sale. From now till the end of this year you can purchase any size print ad at 50% off, so a full-page ad that was $1,200 is $600 and a half page ad at $700 is only $350. We will make it even sweeter by including a dedicated e-blast to our F&B professionals list and specials for banner ads. But this rate will only last till the end of the year, and once booked, will be for the entire 2020 issues. It’s a winner…Contact: email@example.com.
THE DECEMBER COVER FEATURE IS DEDICATED TO CÓDIGO 1530 TEQUILA by Max Solano, appropriately titled De-coding Código 1530. Max’s cover feature includes a little history on Tequila and an extensive Q & A with George Strait, who tells us that he has been involved with the development of Código 1530 since the beginning. As for the origin of the name, Código 1530, you’ll have to read the article. PAGE 5 THE BOTTOM LINE BY RESTAURANT EDITOR BEN BROWN tells us about Hard Kombucha taking customers by storm. This up-and-coming drink has enjoyed a steady growth since its inception along with a few recipe changes. High-alcohol kombucha seems to deliver it all: the alcohol content equal to that of a craft beer and the nutritional properties of the probiotic drink that’s all the rage. PAGE 22 CHEF TALK BY CHEF ALLEN ASCH—THANKSGIVING AROUND THE WORLD— where Chef Allen takes us to various parts of the world where various cultures celebrate Thanksgiving, but in their own way. So come visit with us on a culinary journey to places like New Orleans, Malaysia, Korea, Germany, China, Israel, India and Ghana. SPOILER ALERT: OUR JANUARY ISSUE OF THE SOCAL FOOD & BEVERAGE PROFESSIONAL will feature on its cover, a unique new product on the market, “ARCTIC ICE”—a proprietary, anti-aging, microencapsulated hemp formula in pure Rocky Mountain water. BACK COVER IS DEDICATED TO THE POWER OF LOVE coming in March, 2020 so consider yourself advised, since tickets always sell out for this fundraiser hosted by and at The MGM Garden Arena with exceptional cuisine by Wolfgang Puck and exquisite wines. Along with spectacular entertainment and always special celebrity appearances, this is the party of the year. And to even feel better about attending, proceeds benefit Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. CHEERS! MIKE FRYER SR. EDITOR/PUBLISHER
Page 4 Hot off the Grill! Page 5 The Bottom Line Hard Kombucha Is Taking Consumers by Storm Page 6 What’s Brewing
Page 9 Spirits Confidential with Max Solano London: At Top of the Cocktail World Part 4 of 4 Page 10 Foodie Biz
Page 14 Human Resources Insights The Value of a Sound Company Culture Page 15 Wine Talk with Alice Swift Alice’s (Sentimental) Wine Picks for the Holidays
Page 8 Product Review
Page 12 COVER FEATURE DE-CODING Código 1530 Tequila
Page 17 Best of the Best
Page 20 The Restaurant Expert Finding Your Ideal Food Cost Page 21 Vine & Dine Cut Me Off a Piece of That Page 22 Chef Talk Thanksgiving Around the World Page 23 Front & Back of the House 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Page 26
Page 18 Brett’s Vegas View
Page 19 Umami Burger
ACF Chefs of SoCal
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 3
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Restaurant Editor Ben Brown visited Terzo MdR, a new offshoot from the owners of famed pizza group Settebello. Find out more about this upscale novelty and several more culinary gems in Ben’s Foodie Biz column on page 10.
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4 The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional I December 2019
The Bottom Line High-alcohol kombucha seems to deliver it all: the alcohol content equal to that of a craft beer and the nutritional properties of the probiotic drink that’s all the rage. With national sales growth of 462% over the past year, it’s a product that a lot of restaurants and retailers are paying attention to. “Most people don't even know that they can get health-conscious alcohol. Then they see us and they realize ‘whoa, where has this been?’” said Joshua Rood, Co-Founder and CEO of Dr. Hops, a Bay Area-based vegan high-alcohol kombucha brand that’s recently expanded to Southern California. “It’s a long-awaited, high-demand product… The potential for evangelical, over-the-top fanaticism is strong,” Rood said. Growing up in Maine with a garden and constant exposure to fresh foods, Rood moved to California and became entrenched in bartending and foodservice, as well as all things health and wellness. After bouncing between Los Angeles and San Diego, Rood found himself in the Bay Area, where he met Co-Founder and Brewer Tommy Weaver. “At the time, Kombucha was booming. Craft beer was booming,” Rood said. “There was maybe one high-alcohol kombucha out there, but it wasn’t quite right. [Tommy] was like, ‘we can make it way, way better. That’s when I saw a real business opportunity.” Rood and Weaver launched Dr. Hops with the mission to deliver ‘the most delightful and health-conscious alcoholic beverage in the world.’ “We’re unfiltered and unpasteurized. Many of the other products out there right now aren’t actually live kombucha products. It’s difficult to deal with a product that’s still alive, but that’s what kombucha is all about,” Rood said. “`We do a very authentic fermentation, and we use very fresh Pacific Northwest hops. We’re the most beer-like because of the hops, and we’re the most hard-core about the kombucha culture. Our strains aren’t found in too many other high alcohol kombuchas.” Dr. Hops is classified as a high-alcohol kombucha [to be classified as a beer, it would have to also be made with some type of grain], with the ‘beer’ component paying tribute to their use of hops and ale yeast. With four labels ranging form 7–10% ABV, however, Dr. Hops packs all the punch of a rich craft beer with some key advantages. “You’re getting a lot more nutritional content and it’s easier to process…with far fewer negative consequences as found with other alcoholic products.” Rood said. But he himself is big on flavor. “We love really big beers, awesome flavors, lots of complexity, layers, www.socalfnbpro.com
Benjamin Brown, MBA is Restaurant Editor of The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional. A seasoned
writer and consultant, Ben works with Fortune 500
companies and mom & pop shops alike in Marketing, Analytics, Consumer Insights, PR and Business
Development. Contact Ben at Ben@lvfnb.com or follow him @Foodie_Biz.
Photo credit: Ben Brown
Hard Kombucha Is Taking Consumers by Storm
By Ben Brown
intrigue. That kind of flavor profile lends itself to higher alcohol levels.” Rood positions Dr. Hops as a premium product within the high-alcohol kombucha category, noting that his brand utilizes only fresh, unpasteurized ingredients rather than the pasteurized juices that his rivals incorporate. This comes with the challenge of requiring the product to be refrigerated at all times, but this hasn’t hampered Rood’s efforts in expanding Dr. Hops’ presence across California. “We’re making a product that brewers very much respect so we're starting to make some good friends in the beer business,” Rood said. “Our production capacity is pretty significant.” Dr. Hops had its first batch ready for sale and consumption in 2017, and after two years growing in the Bay Area, has expanded to Orange County, with Los Angeles and San Diego on the horizon. “We’ve known from the beginning that there’s a huge market in Southern California,” Rood said. “The weather is great, people are active, they love to party, it’s perfect for our product.” He has his eyes set on other high-growth markets, namely New York, Florida, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. But eventually, Rood
sees high-alcohol kombucha reaching high demand nationwide. “This is a new beverage category that needs to be developed. There’s maybe 10 brands like us in the whole country,” Rood said. “There’s plenty of room for all of us for now. [Dr. Hops] has a special place in the overall landscape of things, and we’re the high-end, hoppy, most complex one.” But expansion aside, rood looks to be in the business for the right reasons. As a vegan himself, he seems for the brand to ‘support the environmental and social movement that veganism is.’ “We know that we have to make a successful business and there’s a race we have to run, but we’re in it for the love of the product and what’s possible in this category,” Rood said. And while many connections could be drawn between the product’s components and its name, Dr. Hops was actually named after Rood’s wife’s pet lionhead rabbit, the original Dr. Hops. This should explain the company's intriguing logo, which has attracted a great deal of attention at brand activations and food festivals. For more information, visit DrHops.com.
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 5
By David Mulvihill
photo credit: David Mulvihill
David Mulvihill strives to experience and write about the ever-evolving face of SoCal craft beer. He also covers Orange County for Celebrator Beer News and provides business and compliance support to SoCal breweries. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The GameCraft Brewing team, appropriately costumed at this year’s OC Brewers Mash.
Beer Garden San Diego Beer Week has once again come and gone. The opening Guild Fest, followed by numerous events at breweries and businesses all across the County took place from November 1st through 10th. This reporter was able to make it to SDBW’s closing event, the coveted Beer Garden at the Lodge at Torrey Pines. 14 of San Diego’s best chefs each joined with two San Diego brewers to create dishes to couple with beers from the 28 breweries. Benefitting Chef Celebration Foundation and the San Diego Brewers Guild, the picturesque Arroyo Terrace served as the setting for enjoying unlimited food and accompanying beers. Chimney-roasted venison, spaetzle, apple mostarda, red currants and chicory from Chef Katie Weber’s team at The Lodge at Torry Pines was paired with a light-bodied Brut Saison from White Labs and Imperial Stout from Rouleur Brewing Co. Unlike many of those trendy stickysweet 17% ABV Stouts, Rouleur’s Niterideur, at 8.3% ABV, complemented the roasty notes and accompanying fruit components in the venison. A mouth-watering Tongue and Cheek Ravioli,
brought to us by Nine-Ten’s Chef Jason Knibb and team, was topped with beef-garum brown butter and fermented cavolo rosso. Ampliflied Ale Works’ Rare Form, a bourbon-barrel-aged Quadruple, possessed bourbon, malt and wood notes that provided complement and heightened flavors in the dish, as did the malty-ness in Kairoa Brewing’s Roll Call Red. Seared loin of boar with stewed gigante beans, sorrel pesto, dehydrated Serrano peppers and smoltz-roasted cipollini onion puree was paired with an Altbier from Eppig and Barleywine from Gravity Heights. Duck Foot Brewing’s Slow Burn Chile IPA added a bit of extra heat to the Hatch chili gravy that accompanied the fried chicken and biscuits from Chef Lance Repp’s team from Cove House, while the Blood Orange Saison from Border X provided a fruit and spice component. Coronado Brewing’s Oktoberfest Marzen and Second Chance Beer Co’s Mulligan Irish-style Red were there to pair with a Kielbasa dog on Challah bun topped with Baja giardiniera, coalroasted oyster aioli and cilantro from Trust Restaurant and Chef Brad Rice. Some added treats were also in store: ice cream, Tabula Rasa Robust Porter and Islander IPA. Completing
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the ballpark experience, Executive Pastry Chef Jeremy Harville created a Tabula Rasa Porter fudge ripple ice cream with caramel and toffee. Second Chance Beer Co’s triple-GABF-goldmedal winning Tabula Rasa provided a delightful pairing with the ice cream. The subtleness of Coronado Islander’s hoppy fruity notes provided contrast and palate cleansing. The ice cream was provided as a preview of the ice cream window that will be part of Trust’s new Cardelino, which is slated to open in mid-January. Later, upon arriving at Karl Strauss’ station for some Queen of Tarts (Dark Sour Ale aged in red wine barrels with Michigan tart cherries), Marty Mendiola, co-owner and brewmaster of Second Chance, was also there sharing a story. For Karl Strauss Collabapalooza 2019, his aforementioned medal winning Tabula Rasa had been blended with Karl Strauss award-winning Queen of Tarts to create “King of Beers–AKA Many Gold Medals.” Both beers were awarded gold medals at the 2016 GABF. Since they were individually available at this event, an unofficial testing of the mix was in order. The resulting combination mingled oak and bold tart cherry notes in Queen of Tarts with the toasted, roasted and subtle cocoa notes of Tabula Rasa to bring forth a complex new taste treat. www.socalfnbpro.com
Brewers Mash-A Different View The resounding success of the Orange County Brewers Guild Brewers Mash at the Fullerton Arboretum was witnessed from a somewhat different perspective this past October. During the planning stages it was encouraging to see so many individuals come together to assist with preparation and spreading the word. Helpers took to the streets, getting posters to breweries, pubs, restaurants, businesses and local universities. This definitely made a difference, given sellout of the event and many new faces in the crowd. Recognition and thanks for the success go to the OC Brewers Guild and attending brewers, the organizing crew that included Stereo Brewing’s Amanda Pearce Smets and Nicole Coram, GameCraft’s MJ Duck (and others) and their voluminous team of volunteers. On the day of the event volunteers were there early to help. This reporter, along with his wife and daughters (who had also assisted with advance promotion), were there to lend a hand with setup, pouring and festivities at the Special Release tent. In addition to beer flowing from their own booths throughout the festival grounds, most breweries also provided special packaged brews (bottles, crowlers, etc.) to be poured at the Special Release tent. Needless to say, with so many choices in one place, demand was high and pouring was fast, frantic and fun. Daughter Caroline (Stereo Brewing) was also instrumental in securing Unlicensed Nuclear Accelerator, the lively and most-entertaining opening band.
Unlicensed Nuclear Accelerator onstage at OC Brewers Mash 2019.
Wild Fields Opens
Amplified Ale Works and 32 North Brewing, two of the 28 breweries pouring at SDBW 2019 Beer Garden.
photo credit: Wild Fields.
The much anticipated opening (soft opening) of Wild Fields Brewhouse in Atascadero came on Friday, November 22. Since relocating to Atascadero last year, Co-founders Ryan and Jacque Fields have been working hard to make this day possible. Ryan, who grew up in San Luis Obispo County, began his decorated brewing career in San Diego at Port Brewing/The Lost Abbey. Following that stint, as head brewer for Pizza Port San Clemente, Ryan was honored with two Great American Beer Festival gold medals and three World Beer Cup awards (gold, silver, bronze). Julian Shrago and the Beachwood team recruited him in 2014 to fill the role of Head Brewer & Blender at Beachwood Blendery as it began. Here, Ryan’s creativity would further expand as the team crafted its Lambic-inspired, experimental and offbeat creations. Shortly after his exit from Beachwood, Funk Yeah, a beer that he and the Beachwood team took a few years to construct, was awarded 2018 GABF gold in the Belgian-style Lambic category. Jacque’s craft beer-focused career began at Beachwood BBQ in Seal Beach and continued at Pizza Port San Clemente. She later became Executive Director of the Orange County Brewers Guild, a position she held until their move. This scribe is looking forward to a visit to Wild Fields in the near future. With at least eight beers already flowing at opening, an increasing list of brews will begin to fill the twenty-plus taps. Family friendly, Wild Fields Brewhouse also sports an approachable food menu, two-lanes of minibowling, arcade games and an area for toddlers.
SDBW 2019 Beer Garden.
Wild Fields Brewhouse.
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 7
Product Review By Bob Barnes
Sebastiani Cabernet The historic Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery, founded in 1904, is one of the few wineries that persevered through Prohibition thanks to founder Samuele Sebastiani. After Bill Foley purchased Sebastiani in 2008 he dialed down the production to concentrate on making high-quality wines with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon. The 2016 Sebastiani Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from the Vinmark and Della Vista Vineyards located next to the Russian River enjoys a warmer climate than that of Sonoma and is endowed with complexity and distinct mineral notes. After aging in 14 months in new and one-year-old French oak barrels, the wine has ripe and round tannins with flavors of black cherry, baking spices and dried herbs. The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon North Coast is a medium-bodied Cab made from grapes sourced from vineyard sites within Lake County and Sonoma County. Aged in French, Hungarian and American oak barrels, small portions of Merlot, Sirah and Petite Sirah were added for balance, aromatics and flavor. The palate presents notes of blackberry, plum, currant and toasty oak with a finish of dried herbs and chocolatey tannins. www.sebastiani.com
Porter’s Small Batch Rye Prior to Prohibition in 1919, rye was the most popular form of whiskey in the US, and in recent years has been going through a resurgence. Just released in May, this rye is blended and bottled by the 10-year-old Ogden’s Own Distillery in Ogden, Utah, and is a blend of 95% small batch rye aged for over three years in heavy charred, new oak barrels, combined with 5% barley at 111 proof and blended down to 90 proof with the distillery’s signature water blend. A nice touch is the label, which is actually printed on wood veneer, and if you look carefully you’ll see the fiery face of Orrin Porter Rockwell (bodyguard of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young nicknamed “The Destroying Angel”) on the back side of the bottle peering through the glass. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about excellent spirits coming out of Utah, and based on my positive experience with this and previous expressions I’ve tried, it surely won’t be the last. www.porterswhiskeys.com/porter-s-small-batch-rye
The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8 and Master Vintage 1993 Coming out of Scotland are two releases from The GlenDronach and acclaimed Master Blender Rachel Barrie that speak to the historic distillery’s mastery of sherry cask maturation: The GlenDronach Cask Strength Batch 8 and Master Vintage 1993. The eighth release of the Cask Strength Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky is matured for ten years in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherry casks and is bottled at 61% ABV. Barrie explains, “Casks were individually selected, combined and bottled at natural cask strength to deliver maximum character and depth…and is incredibly rich and full-bodied, the result of years of slow maturation.” The Master Vintage 1993 is derived from casks laid down in 1993 and bottled at 48.2% ABV, of which Barrie says, “With a quarter of a century slowly maturing in our renowned Andalucían casks, it has developed profound layers of depth and complexity, leading to an exceedingly long, voluptuous and memorable finish.” As is the case for all The GlenDronach expressions, these two Scotch whiskies are non-chill filtered and absorb color naturally over time from aging in Spanish oak. The GlenDronach is one of Scotland’s oldest licensed distilleries, dating back to 1826. www.glendronachdistillery.com
Stone Xocoveza First brewed in 2014 with San Diego homebrewer Chris Banker after his recipe was named the winner of Stone Brewing’s annual homebrew competition, this winter favorite is released every year just in time for the holidays. This chocolaty, winter-spiced 8.1% ABV Imperial Stout is a rather complex take on Mexican hot chocolate. Infused with cocoa, coffee, pasilla peppers, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, there are multiple layers of flavor, with cocoa and cinnamon bursting forth upon your first sip and coffee, nutmeg and vanilla following, and heat from the peppers in the finish balanced by sweetness that manages to temper without being syrupy. www.stonebrewing.com/beer/special-releases/stone-xocoveza
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SPIRITS CONFIDENTIAL with Max Solano London: At Top of the Cocktail World Part 4 of 4
Artesian - Arguably, one of the most highly-coveted and awarded bars in the world in the last five years, the Artesian bar, located inside of the Langham Hotel has certainly carved out a name for itself, as well, as setting the industry standard for cocktail innovation and efficiency Highs: The menu is inspired by the mantra “less is more,” with cocktails being made from a singular flavor combination. The entire Artesian team created in their very impressive basement-level lab (which we visited) uniquely-sourced spirits paired with one other key ingredient or flavor. Lows: The menu design, itself, was very basic, unfortunately, although the cocktails were standouts. The garnishing was very minimalistic to non-existent.
American Bar - The world-renowned American Bar at the Savoy Hotel was founded in 1893 and continues to be England’s oldest surviving bar. In 2017, it was awarded “World’s Best Bar” at World’s 50 Best Bars and, “World’s Best Bar,” at Tales of the Cocktail 2018. Highs: It is very difficult to pinpoint a flaw when a bar has had this much time to perfect their bar experience! The cocktail menu dubbed “The Savoy Songbook” is very innovative and pays homage to the legendary musicians and songwriters that have www.socalfnbpro.com
Max Solano is a principal mixologist at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Nevada and is considered one of the most respected and premier authorities in the West Coast on all matters whisky. He also serves as a Spirits Judge at the coveted New York World Wine & Spirits Competition, International Whisky Competition and world-renowned San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
entertained their bar guests for decades. Each of the 20 featured cocktails are showpieces that have been inspired by some of the most iconic songs played in the bar, today, and is also accompanied by a live album. How cool is that! Lows: The average price point was considerably higher than any other bar we visited, so come prepared!
3. Oriole - The sister property of the modern
legend, Night Jar, was named in the World’s 50 Best Bars back-to-back in 2017 and 2018. Located in London’s meat-packing district, this speakeasy style bar is beautifully nestled away and will transport one to quite the unique and welcome ambience. Highs: The cocktail menu, almost encyclopedic in size, draws its major influence from a combination of Old World, New World, most noticeably the flavors of the Orient! There’s quite an array of unique ingredients utilized in their cocktails, but the quality is quite exceptional considering that most of the cocktails are pre-batched for speed of execution (except for the alcohol). The menu is not overly extravagant, but the presentation for most of the cocktails was quite beautifully done! Lows: It was difficult to even find a flaw, but the large quantity of cocktails made it somewhat overwhelming.
Photo credit: Max Solano
As we continue where we left off from last month’s Part 3 of our whirlwind three-day London cocktail experience back in August, we dwindled through the countdown of bars from nos. 10 down to 6. As we announce and discuss nos. 5-1 in this final segment, please make note that this was not at all an easy task and the difference in points scored between bars 5 through 1 were separated by merely a handful of points. But, in the end, there was a clear-cut winner! Will you agree with us? Who knows? We shall see…. Just to remind you, our intent and focus were solely on the cocktail menus and cocktail offerings so specific categories we scored each venue on were: depth of the cocktail menu’s unique offerings, cocktail menu design and creativity, overall cocktail menu depth, cocktail presentation, cocktail translation (description ties to cocktail flavors and theme), cocktail balance & quality, cocktail value, and lastly, level of difficulty & time of execution. Each of these categories had a specific scoring range attached to it and the three of us on our own time carefully evaluated and scored each venue. Once done, we got together, tallied our scores and discussed the results! So, without further adieu, let the nos. 5 through 1 countdown commence.
By Max A. Solano
Scarfe’s - I am in astonishment that this watering hole is not as vocalized as some of the other more recognized names, but highly recommended by all the local bartenders. Located at the Rosewood Hotel, this bar is breathtaking and screams good ol’ boys club from the early 1900s New York City. This spacious and luxurious bar is surrounded by rich, dark woods, a monstrous fireplace and a deep selection of spirits, including a cabinet with quite a few vintage spirits on display. Highs: By far, Scarfe’s cocktail menu is the coolest and most creative piece of art with cocktail descriptions on it we have ever come across! Only, twenty, musicianinspired cocktails were featured and each were extremely well made with a slight touch of whimsical. Lows: Simply, none. The drum roll, please! And… without, further adieu, the number 1 spot goes to……
1. Night Jar - The older brother of Oriole, this
bar is flat out, amazing! A speakeasy like its sister property with vintage relics on display throughout, but a slightly darker setting with only one small bar powering the whole venue like a dynamo. Highs: The cocktail list is very deep and
extremely intricate whose cocktails are intentionally all modern twists of classics from different eras. The cocktail menu changes yearly and the entire bar team collaborates and takes them approximately 8 months to complete a new menu. Every cocktail has a cool and curious presentation with very unique ingredients, much like at Oriole. Also, how these unique ingredients were stored and displayed was cool to see. Lows: What “Lows?” The countdown is now officially a wrap! Frankly, having experienced London’s cocktail culture really has opened our eyes and perspective. It truly is a special destination. However, alluding to my original argument, I still strongly feel compelled to mention that moving forward, anyone who writes articles that are “Best Of….” lists should consider doing things the right way. If nothing else, at least allow us the courtesy of explaining the basis and criteria of your order. Well, my friends, til next month! ~ Cheerio!
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 9
| Foodie Biz | Photos by Ben Brown
By Ben Brown Benjamin Brown, MBA is Restaurant Editor of The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional. A seasoned writer and consultant, Ben works with Fortune 500 companies and mom & pop shops alike in Marketing, Analytics, Consumer Insights, PR and Business Development. Contact Ben at Ben@socalfnbpro.com or follow him @Foodie_Biz.
Terzo°MDR Unveils Dynamic Italian in Marina Del Rey Where the famed Settebello established the groundwork for killer Neopolitan pizza, Terzo°MDR has launched as an alluring new concept and one of Settebello’s first expansions beyond pizza. Homemade pastas with rustic Italian additives and wildly creative Mediterranean antipasti highlight this case study in restaurant rebrands, along with a reinvented pizza menu that boasts Settebello’s tried-andtrue crust. Located in Marina Del Rey’s Villa Marina Marketplace Mall, Terzo°MDR (The MDR stands for Marina Del Rey, for those not in the know) sits just a short stroll from the ocean and the luxury hotel-esque apartment complexes that house some of LA’s finest. Each element of the restaurant plays to its native crowd, reflective of its namesake—‘Terzo’ comes from the Italian idea of having a ‘third place’ to spend one’s time (think Starbucks, but with delicious Italian fare). Bright, homey décor gives off an elegant feel, complemented by an open-air kitchen with the wood-burning stove inherited from Settebello as the centerpiece. The patio is lined with outdoor lounge furniture and a multitude of fireplaces. A quaint but very well stocked bar invites patrons to cozy up for some inventive drinks. Executive Chef Brian Lavin, named one of Zagat National’s ‘30 under 30,’ moved from across the country to take the helm. Hailing from Baltimore, MD with extensive travel through the Mediterranean, Lavin created a menu that pays homage to his love for seafood, olives and sweet corn, as well as classic Mediterranean flavors with just the right amount of modern invigoration. Case in point with the seared sea scallops, timed to just about the second with a perfect sear and an addictive sweet corn puree. The roasted U-5 head-on shrimp (read: 5 shrimp per pound) are absolutely massive and do quite well in a chickpea purée complemented with shishito peppers and olive vinaigrette. And, not only is Lavin’s chicken liver mousse creamy and indulgent, but it comes out in massive quantity. Pastas integrate new-age creativity with age-old flavor, with nothing as surprisingly novel as the corn and ricotta cappelletti, or sombrero-shaped pasta cooked al dente—to the point of popping in your mouth, releasing an eye-fluttering compilation of smooth ricotta and sweet corn essence. Close behind is the squid ink gnocchi, with tomato—braised calamari and spicy breadcrumbs. The ricotta cavatelli boasts wild boar sausage and just a touch of Fresno chile for a bit of heat. When it comes to great meat, however, Lavin’s roasted squash & n’duja, a classic Italian sausage spread, takes the cake. It’s the star of the show alongside roasted corn and thyme cream to highlight Terzo’s pizza menu. For dessert, the ricotta doughnuts are a house favorite. What makes them so special though, is—wait for it—corn ice cream, bringing out that same addictive flavor that lines the savory menu with even more sweet woven in. The cocktail menu is equally creative. Try the Royal 75, with gin, amaretto, lemon and prosecco, or Hemingway’s Rare Tale, with rum, Chile Ancho liqueur, maraschino, grapefruit, lime and Grenadine. A thoughtful wine and beer list rounds things out. For more information visit TerzoMDR.com.
Georgia’s Gives Long Beach Some Great Southern Soul Georgia’s is a breath of fresh air for LA’s food scene. In an age where global fusion, hyper-seasonal menus and quickly revolving food trends have gotten chefs and owners so entrenched in trying to catch ‘the next big thing’ that their restaurants lost their identity in the process, Georgia’s is a place that stays true to its roots. This steadfastness has secured the restaurant’s authentic dedication to Southern comfort and soul food, unaffected by the ever-shifting food tides on the surface. Now with two locations across Long Beach and Anaheim, Georgia’s has made its name in family recipes served in generous portions at fair prices, paired with some of that amazing Southern hospitality. Co-Owner Nika Shoemaker-Machado is the type of restaurateur you might see more of in the movies than in real life. What a rare treat to have the owner not just walk the dining room floor, but actually sit down at virtually every table and strike 10 The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional I December 2019
up a conversation with Georgia’s regulars and newcomers alike. Her warmth is contagious and the pride she takes in serving her mother’s recipes should be the envy of anyone in the business. Everyone on staff is much the same, providing unparalleled service for a fast-casual restaurant, and tending more to guests’ needs than you’ll even find at most full-service restaurants. She must take after her mother, Gretchen, who despite approaching 80, is known to be a hoot and a holler at the table, and of course a mastermind in the kitchen. Gretchen inspired a broad and delectable menu with the recipes she learned to make with her grandmother. I grew up visiting my grandparents in Atlanta, with soul food becoming a childhood staple and a source of deep nostalgia. So upon biting into Georgia’s signature fried chicken, where powerfully rich, juicy meat melds with a perfectly light and crunchy cornmeal crust, time stopped. I found myself in a simpler time, a better time, where carbs weren’t a crime and fried wasn’t an F-word. Then, as the clock began to turn again and I returned to the contemporary world around me, I sought deep relief in knowing that a place like this provides that kind respite 2,000 miles away from where it typically exists. Nika admitted that while she and her sister did get to grow up with her mom’s recipes served at home, they were only reserved for special occasions and sadly, not every-day occurrences. And with dishes like Gretchen’s special jambalaya, red beans and rice with andouille sausage, pulled pork and of course that fried chicken, such a reality seems to be both a crime (for missed opportunity) and a blessing (for arteries’ sake). Dishes like these escalated Gretchen to culinary fame within her social circle, bringing her to cater weddings, business lunches and other events for many years. To this day, Gretchen comes into the kitchen from time to time and cooks almost entirely from memory. Actually getting her recipes written down to execute at scale was a challenge. It’s safe to say, however, that Nika and team got those recipes down pat. Biting into that heavenly cornbread with a generous slathering of honey butter is the perfect segue into a meal where nutrition just needs to take a back seat. Because after a few of those BBQ pork ribs, velvety mac ‘n’ cheese and thick mashed potatoes, you’ll agree it’s worth it. Yes, you can pair it with beer, wine or even hard lemonade, but I prefer a sweet tea: teas are made quite properly here. Save room for some sweet potato pie at the end, and maybe another round of cornbread. For more information, visit Georgias-Restaurant.com.
Daphne’s Builds on Decades-Long History with Evolving Menu Daphne’s California Greek has been household name across Southern California for decades. With humble beginnings in San Diego, the Mediterranean fast-casual concept quickly evolved into a franchise with locations across the state. Now owned by Elite Restaurant Group, with brands such as Slater’s 50/50 and Paxti’s Pizza also under its wing, Daphne’s has gotten a facelift in both its modern décor and new menu novelties. Growing up in North County San Diego, Daphne’s was a family staple for me. I was one of three children, and we had very different palates. Daphne’s was one of the few places my entire family could agree on, and our go-to dinner before or after catching a movie just across the way. It didn’t take long for me to find my ‘usual’: the spicy gyro pita, with Daphne’s signature fire feta—a creamy, spicy feta cheese mix—that’s simply addictive. And so it goes with the typical Daphne’s customer, coming back time after time for those lifelong favorites. The historic customer base also poses a challenge for Daphne’s, which in turn is also looking to attract new customers with a revamped menu that reflects more of today’s food trends. Balancing the new and the old puts Daphne’s on somewhat of a tightrope, yet one that they’re getting pretty comfortable with. Daphne’s added chicken shawarma to their menu not too long ago, and it’s been a smashing success. Cooked using a centuries-old technique and served with roasted bell peppers, feta and pesto, generous layers of succulent and just-spicy-enough meat go quite well wrapped in Daphne’s perfected warm pita bread. Then there’s the new pita burger series, which subs out a traditional bun for two of those warm pitas, with a grilled burger patty plus a variety of Mediterranean toppings, from gyro meat to that iconic fire feta. The gyro fries are a must if you’re looking for Mediterranean-American indulgence, cooked with red onion and fire feta and topped with gyro meat. And if you’re wandering, you’ll find fries on menus all across Greece. On the more traditional side, Daphne’s plates and bowls bring a bit of old and new as well. Shrimp has recently made its way onto the menu, with a quality and excellent smokiness that you’d never guess would come from a fast-casual setting. Daphne’s has held onto its classics as well, keeping their long-time loyalists happy. Their gyro meat is as good as ever, shaved from a vertical rotating spit that will have your mouth water. Biting into a gyro pita with that—you guessed it—fire feta, a portal of nostalgia opened back up. For more information, visit Daphnes.biz. www.socalfnbpro.com
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 11
DE-CODING Código 1530 Tequila
By Max A. Solano | Photo Credit: Paul Risner When discussing this country’s history from its early colonial period and some of the distilled beverages that were available from that time, a spirit category like tequila would be considered very young, by this country’s historical timeline. Especially, when talking about spirits like rum, brandy and whisky that were commonly consumed by the early day settlers and many generations, thereafter.
A LITTLE TEQUILA HISTORY Tequila, in its earliest of form, has been made in Mexico since the latter part of the 16th century, after the Spanish Conquistadores established themselves in the New World and introduced distillation to the earlier Mexican civilizations. The origin of the name may have been lost in time, but many believe it derived from a Nahuatl term or phrase that alternately meant “the place where they cut.” Tequila is also the name of a town in the state of Jalisco that was officially established in 1666. Although there is some dispute, most sources point to Don Pedro Sánchez de Tagle, the Marquis of Altamira, as the first person to mass produce tequila, beginning about 1600. However, it was not until 1795 that Don José Maria Guadalupe de Cuervo was the first to receive a license to make it from King Ferdinand IV of Spain. Don Cenobio Sauza was the first to export to tequila to the US in 1873 when he shipped 3 barrels of it to El Paso, Texas. This was soon followed by a shipment from Don Cuervo, as well. Tequila became much more popular in the US during World War II, when importing whiskey from Europe became very difficult.
Per the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), only the spirit producers in the five approved states of tequila production (Jalisco, Tamaulipas, Nayarit, Michoacán and Guanajuato) that only distill the juice of the Agave Tequilana Weber plant (blue agave), may officially label it "tequila." And, only if said spirit contains at least 51% agave sugars from the blue weber agave plant (supplemented by other sugars), can it legally bear the name tequila on its label. This style of tequila is considered by most to be of lesser quality compared to those that are, nowadays, produced from 100% Blue Weber Agave sugars and labeled as such. Whether you choose to believe it or not, many credit Jimmy Buffet and his song "Margaritaville" with ensuring tequila's place in the pantheon of America's most beloved spirits! I mean, have you been to one of his concerts?! Not only has tequila come of age in terms of alltime popularity, but agave spirits, in general, have been experiencing a Renaissance where other agave spirits such as mezcal, sotol, bacanora, raicilla, etc. are steadily gaining awareness and notoriety. So, it’s without wonder why we have seen over the years more and more celebrityendorsed or -owned tequila brands. Enter Código 1530 tequila!
CÓDIGO 1530 TEQUILA Although the brand “Código 1530” was founded only a few short years ago, this lowland distillery had been producing superlative tequila for several generations. Código 1530 is produced at the Villa Tecoane/Tequilera Las Juntas, S.A. de C.V. (NOM 1500) located in Amatitán, Jalisco.
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The story behind the brand’s origins go back a few years to when co-founder Federico “Fede” Vaughan would routinely share this ‘nameless’ tequila with his close friends over a game of golf. Fede had introduced it to Ron Snyder, the former CEO of the popular Crocs Footwear Company. But rather than just occasionally enjoying the fine agave spirit, the two decided to form a company. Shortly after, another mutual friend, Superstar Country Musician George Strait, was invited to come and try this tequila. As you would have it, the three found a new common love, and as the popular saying goes: “And, the rest was history!” So, what’s the significance behind the name, you may be asking? According to the founders, the name of the brand has special meaning that honors both the way the tequila is produced as well as the place it comes from. According to Fede, the brand is not as highly produced as much as the bigger brands, but is produced the right way, which should be the only way! This is the code the brand lives by, hence the name Código. The second half of the brand name comes from the fact that their tequila is produced five minutes outside of Tequila in a town called Amatitán. The city was founded in 1530 by the Spaniards and has a slogan of “Donde Todo Empezó,” which means “Where It All Began.” This is an allusion to the fact that tequila was first produced in this part of Mexico. One very intriguing fact about Código 1530 is that it proudly bears the Jerusalem Cross as the symbol of its heritage story. Furthermore, this iconic cross sits atop the Jalisco Coat of Arms and dates back to 1530 when after colonial struggle, Amatitán was officially recognized as www.socalfnbpro.com
a city of New Galencia and Jalisco was given a coat of arms by the Spanish monarchy, which was anchored by the Jerusalem Cross. Código 1530’s name honors “Los Códigos,” the oldworld codes and customs that shaped and still live on in Amatitán and the Los Bajos region to this day. These values are at the core of the proud families who served this tequila in their homes and the artisan distilling family who has been the custodian of this private tequila for generations.
THE PROCESS When it comes to making distilled beverages, there are some parts of the production process that are more integral in shaping the final product. My colleague and good friend, James “J.R.” Starkus, is an incredibly well-respected and valuable resource of all things agave. As he so eloquently puts it, “When it comes to making tequila, every step of the process from the harvesting to the aging (if utilized), is crucial and can greatly impact the outcome of the final product.” With this said, the way every brand produces its tequila you can say is completely done deliberately to achieve that specific flavor profile consistently. So, can it be argued that some parts of the process may produce a better quality or better tasting product? Yes, most likely. Can the price point we pay for these tequilas be influenced by a brand’s method of production? Better believe it! However, it’s different strokes for different folks. And, a brand will always be able to justify why it does what is does and charge what is charges! Each of Código 1530’s expressions from the Blanco to the Orígen (Extra Añejo) uses a timehonored process that has been perfected by each passing generation that stays true stylistically with the production methods of the Los Bajos region, tequileras and jimadores. The agave, which is sourced solely from the Lowland region, is harvested at no less than seven years to assure the brix level is high enough. The Lowland agave, grown in volcanic soil, typically provides a more mineral-forward and earthy profile versus highland agave, which has a more fruit-forward profile. The agave is slowly cooked in stainless steel ovens for approximately 18 hours at a lower temperature before being processed in roller mills, so almost no solid material is in contact with the agave juice during the fermentation process. This helps ensure that no unwanted flavor characteristics develop as well as outside bacteria from flies and other bugs. Also, the yeast used comes from the local bakery and over time has adapted to the distillery environment, where now, a live strain is kept. From here, the traditional double-distillation process takes place in stainless pot stills that were designed and built by the distilling family. There are five distinct expressions that come from the post-distillation process. Blanco: On average, a 15-day process before it’s diluted down and bottled. Although it spends no time in wood, it does spend some time resting in stainless tanks. It serves as the DNA and backbone of the entire lineup. Simply put, if you have a subpar distillate, it will be almost impossible to achieve a good aged-product. Obviously, not the case, here! Rosa: Rested for 1 month in uncharred Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels. The rosa has been in contact long enough inside the Cabernet barrels to enrich the natural agave juice, without overpowering its delicate floral notes. www.socalfnbpro.com
Reposado: Aged for six months in Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels, the reposado embraces the agave-driven flavors of Los Bajos tequila, with subtle hints of many of the signature flavors found in some American whiskeys. Añejo: Aged for 18 months in Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels, this time spent in oak gives this particular expression a refined, elegant and spice forward profile. Origen (Extra Añejo): Aged for an astonishing 6 years in Napa Cabernet French White Oak barrels, making it one of the oldest and most refined Extra Añejo tequilas on the market. This expression shows deep baking spices and delicate ripe fruit notes. Q&A with George Strait To really paint a better landscape with Código, I had an opportunity to ask George Strait some fun and curious questions regarding the brand and the man himself: George, when and how did you get involved with Código 1530 tequila? I’ve been involved with Código pretty much from the start. Before it ever had a name, Fede would bring it out to the golf course for me and others to try. It was apparent the very first time I had some that it was a very special tequila. Was tequila a newly found passion of yours or have you always been deeply fond of it? Are there are any other guilty pleasures of yours that you’re willing to share with us? I wasn’t a big tequila drinker until I started spending more time in Cabo. Even then it wasn’t until I tried (unnamed at the time) Código 1530 that I truly became a tequila drinker. I mean before, it was salt and lime to get the taste out of your mouth as fast as you could. I don’t do that anymore.
In your opinion, where do you see, not just tequila as a category, but all agave spirits in 10 years? Tequila, in general, has come a long way over the past few years. It’s become way more popular due to there being more palatable brands out there. Mainly Código! The process we use is all natural. No additives in Código. Our aging process and premium Cabernet barrels that we use are the only things that change the color. The agave plant is an amazing plant. It matures in around 7 years and we’ve started making a great biodegradable straw from agave byproducts that is awesome. We hope to spread these around to the world as well. Everyone’s getting really picky about straws. This is a great solution. If you were to choose only one thing, what would you say makes Código 1530 different from any other tequila produced today? I think it’s our aging process and the barrels we use. We have truly amazing distillers watching over every aspect of the process. Also, our agaves have to be perfect or we don’t use them. Could you please tell the readers how you best enjoy drinking Código? My favorite is the añejo. I drink it on the rocks. Lastly, do you have any favorite pairings that you personally love to team up Código with? I like to pair my Código with golf, fishing, steak, seafood, sushi, fried chicken, hamburger, etc, etc, etc. Til’ next year, ladies and gentlemen… Happy Holidays! Cheers!
You are a music icon and considered “The King of Country Music” by many people, so how are you able to successfully manage a busy music career, a family and a young and growing tequila brand? Being in the tequila business has been a lot of fun. We’ve had some great events, met some really cool people and have managed to bring Código to the world. I’ve learned a lot about tequila and the work that it takes to take an unknown brand to the marketplace. There are so many tequila brands out there, so the main challenge is getting people to try yours. I feel like once people try Código they will see for themselves that it’s the best one on the shelf. Bar none. I’m busy, but I guess I like it that way. What would you say has been your biggest challenge as a partner-owner of a spirits brand? And, on the flip side, what has been your biggest joy? Like I said, the biggest challenge is getting people to try it. It’s rewarding just to see the look on their faces after they do. One of the biggest rewards though, has been the fact that we’ve come so far in just over 3 years. We’re now in all 50 states and also in a few other countries. It’s just amazing to me to think about how far we’ve come. December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 13
Human Resources Insights
By Linda Westcott-Bernstein Linda Westcott-Bernstein has provided sound human resources advice and guidance to Fortune 500 companies and others for over 25 years. Linda has recently re-published her self-help book entitled It All Comes Down to WE! This book offers guidelines for building a solid and enduring personal work ethic. You can find her book on Amazon or Google Books. Phone: 702-326-4040 Email: Vegaslinda89129@yahoo.com
The Value of a Sound Company Culture
I believe that one of the most valuable components of a good organization is the depth of and value placed on the culture of that organization. Just so you know, I believe that a culture must exemplify every aspect of what the organization stands for and what they value. When you don’t place the proper amount of focus or importance on who you are and what you stand for, you may come across as insincere, uncaring and vague. The perception, these days, is that a cultureless organization appears to be arrogant and has no integrity. A strong company culture must consist of several very important factors. I think that those factors must involve values that the average person can relate to and that attract individuals who hold those same values themselves. Here are some cultural values that I find meaningful… • Support individuality and creativity. • Emphasize the importance of each individual and support the family unit. • Stand for honesty, truthfulness, accountability and integrity. • Be receptive to new, unique and original ideas. • Value every member of the team and encourage longevity and tenure. • Encourage sound communication efforts and value the principles of open door. • Give every individual a voice and encourage contributions from all regardless of position. In order for there to be success with any cultural effort or initiative, the culture must first be exemplified by each and every member of your
leadership team. The only way to actual success in your organization is to “walk the talk” and support your culture in all that you do and say. Some organizations can talk a good game, but lack of culture is quickly evident through the way that the management acts and treats their employees. Individuals in today’s workforce will not be fooled. They know that no culture exists if employees are lied to, treated poorly and not listened to. Those same employees will leave the organization and unfortunately start to spread the word about how poorly they were treated and disrespected. When this happens, it is very difficult or may be impossible to recover from the damage that can happen with gossip, hearsay and poor leadership. If you want to develop or support a sound culture, you must start from the ground up. You must look at your past mistakes, honestly evaluate where you must improve and then begin a process of recovery and renewal. This will be a long term and arduous process, but it can have significant impact on your reputation and ability to recruit good talent from this point forward into the future. It is my recommendation that you engage a good HR vendor to help you change and revitalize your culture, and do it with direct, honest and ongoing support from the top down. To do otherwise would be an exercise in futility and a waste of resources. Your belief in the importance of a culture emphasizing who you are and what you stand for will determine your success and your legacy for the future and your future generations. Good luck!
HR Question of the month:
Please send your HR questions and concerns, or share your thoughts on your human resources challenges via email to the following address. Send input to email@example.com. Your comments, questions or concerns will help determine the direction for my next month’s column and earn you a copy of my book. Include your mailing address when sending your responses.
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By Alice Swift Alice Swift has been writing Wine Talk since 2011, and has a passion for education and hospitality/F&B. In 2016, she obtained her Ph.D. in Hospitality Administration from UNLV and moved from the “ninth island” to the island of Oʻahu. She now works for Kamehameha Schools as an instructional designer/ project manager, and teaches part-time for UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hospitality. See more at www.aliceswift.com.
with Alice Swift
Well, it’s that time of year again! With the holidays coming up, beverage demand once again grows with the big family meals and celebrations with the loved ones. From the traditional turkey dinners, hams and rib roasts, to the green bean casseroles, candied sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, what better way to celebrate than with a glass of eggnog, or spiced cider? Of course, being the writer for the “Wine Talk” column, my picks better have something to do with wine, or some type of F&B at the very least. In the past, my recommendations have been based on some theme or pairing to a traditional holiday dinner. However, when I think back over the years, each year brings more and more wonderful memories. Many of those memories are tied to a restaurant that I went to, or a favorite food item, or even beverage that I had. Next year, in 2020, my husband, Daniel Swift, and I will be celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary! In that time: three states, six moves, one bakery/cake decorating business, four schools as students, seven schools as faculty, one invention & U.S. patent and not one, but TWO more businesses in Hawai’i... the years sure have flown by! This year, I would like to share a couple wines that are tied to some wonderful memories that I share with my other half. This month’s issue is dedicated to the memories connected to the wines, but I also happen to highly recommend all of them, since they are literally my personal picks. :) 2010 – Alice & Daniel Swift’s Wedding (Kellogg House, Pomona, California) Daniel and I first met in 2007, and a short three years later, we were married! 2010 was an extremely busy year, since it was not only the year of our wedding, but also my graduation from Cal Poly Pomona (Collins College of Hospitality Management, woo hoo!). During this time, I also worked at a number of places, including Packing House Wines Restaurant and Wine Shop. The owners, Sal and Ev Medina, were kind enough to work with us to supply the wines for our evening, all great selections! The Wines: Segura Viudas (Cava) and Frank Family Vineyards (Chardonnay and Zinfandel) 2011— Pacific Northwest Road Trip Although this wasn’t our first road trip together, Daniel and I went on one of the longest road trips we had been on that year. From SoCal to NorCal (Napa/ Sonoma), to Oregon and Washington, we made plenty of pit stops for food, and of course, wine. One of our first couple stops was to the beautiful Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars and Domaine Carneros Winery, both amazing wineries with rich history stemming back as far as 1970 and 1987, respectively. The Wines: Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Domaine Carneros 2018 – First House Purchase in Kāne’ohe, O’ahu (Hawai’i) Finally, the most recent memories connected to wine would have to be our greatest achievement thus far (aside from both obtaining our doctoral degrees…), buying a house! In Hawai’i, nonetheless! On October 22nd, 2019, Daniel and I signed the papers and became homeowners to our first house together. It was no secret that we both have food and beverage backgrounds (Daniel is primarily the “food/culinary,” and I the “beverage”), so of course to celebrate the official date, both our realtor and the seller’s realtor gifted us bottles of wine. Luckily they both had great taste, and we have just celebrated living in our house for a little over a year now. The Wines: Orin Swift (Abstract Red Blend) and Moët & Chandon Champagne (Impérial Brut) ~~~ Cherish the memories that you make with good food, drink, friends and family. F&B is a universal language that brings us all together; I hope that we all will continue to create more memorable moments with the upcoming holidays and celebrations. Until next month (or year, I should say!), Cheers~! Alice www.socalfnbpro.com
Photo credit: Alice Swift
Alice’s (Sentimental) Wine Picks for the Holidays
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COLOR UP YOUR LIFE! RIEDEL.COM
By Shelley Stepanek
Best of the Best pico de gallo, chingon cheese blends with an egg and bacon on a flour tortilla. There are also burritos and Cuban toast to try, and sandwiches, of course with the headliner being the everpopular Cuban sandwich with pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban bread; or a tortilla sandwich with tomato, EVOO and tortilla Espanola (which is a potato quiche). If you like the yuca plant, the fries are great. They serve cheese-stuffed potatoes and croquets de pollo. This two-story restaurant has a great view of Fifth Ave. Each room is totally decorated with Cuban Motif. There is the side panel from Copacabana Airlines going up the stairs, and two walls filled with every Cuban Cigar box probably ever made; and on the tables are plenty of artful empty cans of Cuban coffee for your utensils. I love the place! Take a stroll down Fifth Avenue and see how the area has grown up in the last 10 years. Located at 548 Fifth Ave. 619-369-1920. www.havana1920.com
Bleu Boheme—An Elegant French Dining Place In San Diego’s Kensington District I discovered a real hidden gem in San Diego. with broccolini, parsnip purée, sherry and port While I used to live there and owned my own reduction; entrecôte de porc—curry-marinated Italian restaurant in Point Loma, this elegant Duroc bone-in pork chop with Brussels sprouts, place was not one I had heard of. Well, my pommes purée and port-fig sauce; and confit recent trip uncovered it, and it is a jewel. de canard moulard—duck leg confit, beluga Situated on a corner in the Kensington District, lentils, smoked pork belly, white kale and apple Bleu Boheme has a ton of charm. Beautiful balsamic reduction. Another great menu item candles line the tables, there are fresh flowers is the paillard de poulet—jidori chicken breast and backlit ice bins hold lovely wines. The chef with Parisian gnocchi, white kale, parsnip and restaurateur, Ken Irvine, has made this the purée, brandied mushrooms and chicken jus. Best French Restaurant named by San Diego Brioche aux canneberge et chocolat blanc Magazine from 2010-2017. brioche bread pudding with cranberries, white Let me say the staff is all superb. My guest chocolate and caramel sauce; gâteau au trois and I started with two wines picked by our fromages mascarpone with chèvre goat and waiter, Ray Aguilar: a Jean Loron Gamay cream cheeses with almond crust and raspberry Noir 2016 and a Chamonix Bordeaux Blend sauce; and crème brulée with rich vanilla 2014, which we enjoyed while waiting for the French custard topped with a crunchy sugar freshly baked bread to arrive. My friend Maria crustard are some of the desserts. Our waiter ordered a piping hot bowl of French onion did miniature portions of all three. If you wish soup, while I tried the salade de chèvre chaud to truly indulge, the profiteroles choux pastry with artisan greens, goat cheese three ways, puffs filled with vanilla ice cream and dark mustard vinaigrette, grapes and pears. As a chocolate sauce, Bohème crème glacée (chef’s shared appetizer, the epinard au gratin spinach daily selection of house-made ice cream) or was large enough for four people. It came with the les fromages imported French cheeses with thick cut house-smoked bacon, golden balsamic house-made accompaniments will certainly be glaze, white cheddar and fontina béchamel. I the finishing touch. truly believe this was the best I have ever tried. Our main courses were saumon royale—king Reservations may be made by calling 619salmon, soubise, fingerling potato, haricot vert, 255-4167. Located at 4090 Adams Ave. Bleu sorrel and pistou crème; and boeuf bourguignon Bohème is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Sunday consisting of Angus beef cheeks in red wine, through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and mushroom, house-smoked bacon, carrot, baby Saturday. Social hour is from 5 to 6 p.m. daily, serving specially-priced appetizers and drinks. potatoes and caramelized pearl. Other items on the menu include maison shiitake www.bleuboheme.com, and oyster mushroom raviolis with sautéed www.facebook.com/ fresh spinach, tomato relish and fines herb bleuboheme and Twitter and Instagram sauce; coquilles St. Jacques—diver sea scallops @BleuBohemeSD. www.socalfnbpro.com
Photo credit: Shelley Stepanek
Havana 1920 In Downtown San Diego Havana 1920, a fantastic and intimate Cuban restaurant located at 548 Fifth Ave. in the Gaslamp Quarter, just south of Market Street, was my breakfast stop on a recent Monday. Owners Joe Santos and Aleko Achtipes should be proud of their endeavor! This is a great way to start off a morning on vacation. We began with a Double Seven coffee, strong enough to send chills thru my body; I hadn’t had Cuban coffee since I was last in Tampa. On Mondays the restaurant gives you a cup on the house. The milk accompanying it is served piping hot and there just happens to be two little Cuban cookies on the saucer. I also tried another coffee, the Cubana Cortado with creamy textured milk. The food menu is an extension with empanadas, filled with a variety of ingredients, from picadillo, ham and cheese, cream cheese and guava, or portobello mushrooms, spinach and cheese. Cuban black beans, with peppers and onions with plantain chips, is another great choice. I had a tropical taco, filled with avocado,
Shelley Stepanek is President of DSA, the oldest non-profit tourist association in the state, along with being on the board of ticket brokers. Shelley has previously owned three restaurants.
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 17
By Jackie Brett Jackie is a freelance public relations specialist and writer specializing in the Las Vegas entertainment and travel scene. Her writings have appeared in magazines and newspapers nationwide and on numerous websites. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Paul Mobley
Kelly Clarkson starts a brand-new Vegasresidency, “Kelly Clarkson: Invincible,” at Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood on April 1. Tiffany Haddish will perform at Park Theater at Park MGM Saturday, Jan. 18. She plays opposite Tracy Morgan on TBS comedy series The Last O.G., hosts Kids Say The Darndest Things on ABC, and stars opposite Salma Hayek and Rose Byrne in the film Like A Boss opening Jan. 10.
Tracy Morgan will bring his new 2020 standup comedy tour, “No Disrespect,” to the Pearl Theater inside the Palms Saturday, March 28. CeeLo Green will return to the Flamingo for a limited 16-show engagement starting March 24. “Man In The Mirror” marks his third Vegasresidency partnered with Caesars Entertainment. Paula Abdul headlines her residency “Paula Abdul: Forever Your Girl” at the Flamingo through Jan. 4. Zac Brown Band is extending their summer 2019 “The Owl Tour” with a stop at T-Mobile Arena Friday, March 27. The band’s newest album is “The Owl.” The high-tech Criss Angel Theater Lobby Experience at Planet Hollywood is free to the public daily: 2:30–10 p.m. Mon.-Tue. and noon–5 p.m. Wed.-Sun. “Riverdance – 25th Anniversary Show” will play a limited five-show engagement at Paris May 22–24. Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club at The LINQ Promenade is introducing “Jill Kimmel Live” with Kimmel’s younger sister. Sixteen 10 p.m. shows will take place select Thursdays Dec. 26 through July 23. Ian Bagg has a 15-show engagement through June 29 on Thursday nights at 10 p.m. “L8NITE” is an all-new show beginning at midnight on Saturdays starting Dec. 14. America’s Got Talent finalist “trailer trash” comedienne Vicki Barbolak has been extended with weekly Tuesday night shows through Jan. 13 (except Dec. 31). Psychic medium Thomas John will start a residency on Cleopatra’s Barge inside Caesars Palace on Thursday, Jan. 16 with shows Thursday–Monday.
The 23-year-old star of E! network’s Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry will bring his tour “An Evening of Hope, Healing and Closure” to the Pearl Theater inside the Palms Saturday, Jan. 25. “Celestia” in the tent next to The STRAT offers a behind-the-scenes experience with a complimentary 30-minute open house every Friday and Sunday at 4 p.m. “Disney On Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party” at the Thomas & Mack Center will run Thursday-Sunday, Jan. 9-12. Las Vegas Big Blues Bender music festival will take over Westgate for next year’s 7th annual four-day event Sept. 10-13 with the motto “Everything, An Elevator Ride Away.” The Spare Room at Downtown Grand added “Leslie Mckinney’s PRESTO!” Wed.-Sun. 6 p.m. show featuring comedy, magic and showgirls.
Vegas natives Five Finger Death Punch have a personalized memorabilia case on display at Hard Rock. Exotics Racing celebrated its 10-year anniversary at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and expanded this year launching Vegas Superkarts, the fastest and longest go-kart track in town. Mind Twist Escapes opened at Fashion Show Las Vegas. The new escape experience offers four themed rooms each inspired by feature films. The Petrossian Bar & Lounge at Bellagio closed Aug. 26 for a facelift and reopened Nov. 15.
Photo credit: Ethan Miller for Getty Images
Cirque du Soleil’s first live-action thriller “R.U.N” opened at the Luxor. The D showroom’s closing on Jan. 5 effects five shows: “Marriage Can Be Murder,” Adam London’s “Laughternoon,” “FRIENDS! The Musical Parody,” “Defending the Caveman,” and Jokesters Comedy Club.
Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay celebrating the 15year anniversary of his first Las Vegas restaurant Mesa Grill at Caesars Palace is offering a special $75 three-course menu through year’s end. Russian-themed Red Square restaurant, which opened at Mandalay Bay in 1999, closed Nov. 17 and was famous for its beheaded replica of Vladimir Lenin at the entrance. MGM Resorts International announced Carnegie Deli at the Mirage, which opened in 2005, will close in February and be replaced by a new fast casual restaurant concept in the spring. Naked City Pizza at the El Cortez downtown has closed. Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant specializing in Xiao Long Bao, will open its first Las Vegas location at ARIA in late 2020. Las Vegas Arts District’s newest bar and restaurant 18bin is created by the team behind Bin702 at Container Park.
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“Celestia” at The STRAT transforms its courtyard into the Artists’ Square with local artists displaying their work at no cost, every Fri., Sat. and Sun., 6–7 p.m. and 8–9 p.m. KAOS, the 73,000-square-foot club at the Palms, closed suddenly last month after completing the installation of a dome. Hard Rock Café on Paradise and Harmon since 1990 until closing on Dec. 31, 2016, has been demolished. The William Hill Race & Sports Book at the Plaza was completely remodeled with Downtown’s largest seamless HD video wall. ICEBAR at The LINQ Promenade, the world’s largest and permanent bar made solely of ice, will be open in December. Magic shows, live performances and art installations are now part of The LINQ Promenade’s ongoing array of free attractions. Wynn Golf Club, which closed last year to make room for new development plans, has instead been reimagined and opened for all skill level golfers. Residential apartment building, shareDOWNTOWN, in the Las Vegas Arts District is slated to open in May 2020 with 63 one-bedroom units on three floors. www.socalfnbpro.com
By Bob Barnes
Umami Burger Launches Redesigned Menu and Commits to Using Hormoneand Antibiotic-Free Meat
Bob Barnes is a native Las Vegan, editorial director of The Las Vegas Food & Beverage Professional, regional correspondent for Celebrator Beer News and covers the LV restaurant scene for Gayot.com. He welcomes your inquiries. Email: email@example.com
The Cali Burger
Photo credit: Umami Burger and Lally Barnes
sbe’s premium burger brand, Umami Burger, recently unveiled a redesigned menu led by Umami Burger Chief Operating Officer and James Beard Awardwinning chef Nate Appleman. As part of the evolved menu, which includes more vegan options, reimagined classics and a range of new items, the brand has committed to only using hormone and antibiotic free meat in its restaurants. The refreshed and condensed menu features all-new food items such as the shareable Cauliflower Bites and Chicken Tender Bites, new sauces with vegan options and salad creations such as the New Style Caesar and All Green Everything. The menu still features Umami mainstays such as the namesake Umami, topped with crispy parmesan and shiitake mushrooms; Sam’s Crispy Chicken—chicken breast topped with creamy colseslaw, dill pickles and ‘ooh mami’ sauce; and all burgers feature protein options made from hormone and antibiotic free meat on a handmade, artisan vegan potato bun. During my visit to the Pasadena location, I experienced the new menu firsthand. This location on one of the main drags of Old Town at 49 E. Colorado Blvd. features a décor with ball-shaped hanging lights (some with utensils shaped around the globe), wood floors and large windows—one of which proclaims an appropriate slogan about the new menu: “The best just got better.” One of the best attributes of this location is Supervisor/Server Eddie Park. He initially got a part time job while in school and has worked here for three years. And, as he exudes enthusiasm and passion for his job, is the ultimate ambassador for Umami Burger. Commenting on the reason for his longevity, Eddie said, “I always liked Umami Burger and the high quality offered. I like the friendly, home feeling and have fun coming here and appreciate how the corporation is really good to employees.” Umami Burger was one of the first restaurants to offer a vegan Impossible Burger and its new and improved 2.0 Impossible Burger is now gluten-free (the previously version had a bit of wheat in it) and is already proving quite popular. My wife Lally, who after trying pretty much every option available, has become a connoisseur of Impossible Burger options, and after our visit proclaimed Umami’s version the best she has experienced thus far. And, after trying each of several vegan burgers with her, I have to agree. Another worthy offering is the Mishima Reserve Wagyu, which can be experienced in the Wag-Yu-Mami Burger topped with shaved cabbage, misohoney mustard, sesame yuzu and kimchi mayo; or you can upgrade any burger with the superior beef for $3. Those who love truffles will not want to leave without enjoying the Truffle ‘Em Fries, which are 3X truffle-ized with truffle cheese, truffle salt and truffle glaze. Anyone who loves a good milkshake needs to check out the Shake It Up! menu with the likes of Salted Caramel, Triple Chocolate, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Vegan Cookies and Cream (made with cashew milk ice cream). If you still have room for dessert, The UFO, reputedly voted the #1 Dessert in the Galaxy, is a unique offering containing a tempura fried chocolate filled oatmeal cookie topped with dulce de leche, chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. Umami Burger is known for offering an extensive beer selection and supporting local beer, and this location is no different, with local brew options of Golden Road 329 Days of Sun Lager and Eagle Rock Brewery Manifesto Belgium Witbier; as well as regional craft beers including Ballast Point Sculpin IPA (San Diego), Venice Duck Brown Ale (Venice Beach) and Towne Park Amber Ale (Anaheim). Umami Burger currently has more than 28 locations globally, including a strong presence in Southern California, with locations in Los Angeles, at LAX, Irvine Spectrum, Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Thousand Oaks, Hollywood, The Grove, Downtown LA, Los Feliz, Santa Monica and Pasadena. As part of the next phase of Umami Burger’s global growth, the brand plans to open new restaurants throughout the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and the Pacific region. For more information on Umami Burger visit www. unamiburger.com or follow @umamiburger or #umamiburger on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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The RESTAURANT EXPERT Finding Your Ideal Food Cost
Knowing your ideal food cost is important because it’s one of the numbers that helps you calculate your target food cost. Your ideal food number is what your food cost should be if your ran a perfect restaurant, where there is no theft, no waste, no spoilage. To find this number, you need accurate, up-to-date recipe costing cards and your menu mix from your POS system, which tells you what your customers actually ordered. Since a perfect restaurant doesn’t exist, this number is referred to as an ideal or theoretical number. Let me put it to you this way, menu mix is critical to finding out where your food cost should be in your restaurant, not based on a national average. Understanding menu mix and its effects on your overall food cost is what allows you to sell a frozen high cost appetizer at a 38 percent food cost out of a box and into the fryer because you sell the living heck out of your fresh hand cut French fries at a 5 percent food cost. I like to simplify this with this example. Let’s say you have a menu with only two items. You
By David Scott Peters David Scott Peters is a restaurant coach and speaker who teaches restaurant operators how to cut costs and increase profits with his trademark Restaurant Prosperity Formula. Known as the expert in the restaurant industry, he uses a no-BS style to teach and motivate restaurant owners to take control of their businesses and finally realize their full potential. Thousands of restaurants have used his formula to transform their businesses. To learn more about David Scott Peters and his formula, visit www.davidscottpeters.com.
sell one item at a 1 percent food cost and you sell the second item at a 99 percent food cost. Now imagine in a calendar month you sell 100 total items and 99 of them are at a 1 percent food cost and the other one is at a 99 percent food cost. What do you think your food cost would be? It’s 1 percent, right? Selling only one item at a higher food cost isn’t going to move the needle. Now let’s reverse that and say you sold 100 items, of which 99 items were at a 99 percent food cost and the other one at a 1 percent food cost. What do you think your food cost would be? It’s 99 percent, right? Selling one item at 1 percent food cost, again, will not move the needle. The ONLY way to know where your food cost should be based on what your customers order is to have the following information: Accurate, up-to-date recipe costing cards for EVERY item you sell. A menu price for each item you sell, before any discounts are applied. Again, this is referred to as the gross sale price.
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Last, but not least, you need your product mix from your POS system, often referred to as an item-by-item sales report, sales mix report or a velocity report. It’s just a listing of how many you sold of each item you sell. Once you have all this data, you simply total up all the product used and divide it by the gross sales. This will give you your ideal food cost. Since we are not robots and don’t run perfect restaurants when it comes to food preparation, I would give your kitchen manager or chef 1.5–2 additional points over ideal as a food cost target they should be hitting. If you needed to hit a 25 percent food cost to achieve a 55 percent prime cost (your total of cost of goods sold, which includes food, beverage, draft beer, bottle beer, wine and liquor costs, plus your total labor cost, to include taxes, benefits and insurance), then based on your current menu and customer ordering habits, you need to hit an ideal food cost of 23 percent or less. This is just one of the numbers you use to manage food cost in your restaurant, but it’s a great place to start. www.socalfnbpro.com
VINE & DINE
By Drew and Lisa Matney
Photo credit: Haley Hill
Cut Me Off a Piece of That
Drew and Lisa Matney represent the East and West Coast, as Drew is a New York transplant and Lisa was born and raised in SoCal. Together the husband and wife team explore and discover what’s new and trending in the culinary scene of Southern California’s San Diego and Orange County communities.
The Butchery, located at 3720 Caminito Court, Suite 200, in Del Mar’s bustling One Paseo outdoor shopping center offers diners a butcher shop, bistro and specialty grocer all in one spot. We recently stopped in for lunch and couldn’t leave before we ended up buying dinner and breakfast for the following morning. The attentive and knowledgeable staff took all the time they needed to help us select some steaks to cook on the grill later that night, and even sold us a dozen locally sourced eggs. Overall, the concept was a most welcome addition to San Diego and we are certainly happy owners Robert Hagopian and Brian Smith brought their 4th location here to Del Mar. We were greeted upon arrival by white subway tile back splashed walls, butcher block wood table and chairs and just about floor to ceiling windows. The windows allow diners and shoppers alike to continue to enjoy Del Mar’s sunny disposition while they dine on top shelf steaks. A classic deli counter with all manner of chicken, pork and of course a wide array of cuts of steak draws shoppers in immediately. An assortment of local as well as imported high quality products are available in the market and we are pleased to inform shoppers that many of these goods are priced significantly lower than at other high-end retail shops. A real bonus for those of us who appreciate quality brands. www.socalfnbpro.com
The Butchery offers a selection of local San Diego beers as well as an assortment of red and white wines. We went with the Colene Clemens Pinot Noir. Our first course was an amazing cheese and charcuterie plate. Soft baguettes surrounded cured meats, Marcona almonds and two delicious cheeses. The Tomme Brulee goat cheese offered a smooth, light taste which stood in contrast to the sharpness of the Alpine White. The spicy chorizo was a real showstopper on the cured meats side but the Soppressata, sliced paper thin and seasoned to perfect, really held its own. For the main event, we ordered grilled housemarinated Angus steak tips along with the house ground patty cheeseburger. The first bite of the cheeseburger was, in a word… preposterous. A beautiful beefsteak tomato, fresh arugula and a spectacular house patty. I said it out loud at the table and I’ll write it here for you now… What a sandwich. The steak tips, cooked to order and marinated in sea salt, pepper and parsley were tender and delicious. The expert sear on the outside of the steaks was one of many small shows of expert craftsmanship we noticed while we ate. Our side of macaroni salad was light and flavorful. A hint of bacon provided a nice, salty compliment to the creamy texture of the pasta, and the chopped red bell pepper embedded an additional flavor profile.
Needless to say, we were impressed. So impressed that we couldn’t dream of walking out without two fat steaks we would grill on our own. After some consultation with the knowledgeable and friendly staff, we decided on a New York strip and a bone-in ribeye steak. We inquired if The Butchery offered exotic meats or cuts and were told that customers can call or stop in to place orders. They are also fully stocked with popular holiday selections. We had a wonderful time enjoying the full Butchery experience. We dined in, ordered out and got some shopping done as well. The quality of the food, as well as its expert preparation, made for a top-notch dining experience. The Butchery is a finely executed concept and a welcome addition to One Paseo shopping district as well as the greater Del Mar neighborhood. We look forward to our next BBQ. The Butchery 3720 Caminito Court Suite 0200 San Diego, CA 92130 858-345-1524 Open Daily 9am – 8pm www.onepaseo.com/dining/the-butchery
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 21
By Chef Allen Asch Feel free to contact Chef Allen with ideas for comments or future articles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chef Talk Thanksgiving Around the World
I want to wish everyone a happy holiday season. I just finished my traditional meal of turducken, which I started enjoying when I lived in New Orleans. I have to tell you that I also tried the Pringles potato chips with the turducken flavor. This year’s version includes turkey flavored chips, a duck flavored chip and a chicken flavored chip which of course, are stackable to get the turducken sensation. This is an advance on last year’s version which had turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie flavors in three different packages. Thanksgiving is not a holiday that is solely a United States holiday. Granted our Thanksgivings include turkey, stuffing and vegetables while watching football games, but around the world the Thanksgiving tradition includes the harvesting of indigenous foods at the time that they are most harvestable. An additional aspect about Thanksgiving around the world is they are not necessarily in the fall months. It depends on when the harvest season is for that particular country. People from Malaysia, for example, believe that life is nothing without rice so they celebrate the Kadazan Festival. This festival worships rice, which they believe is an extension of the creator. There is history behind this tradition. The story goes that God sacrificed his daughter to save his people from famine. He buried parts of her all over the land, which became the original growth basis for rice paddies. Although it seems that this would be an unhappy celebration, it is not; it is celebrated with rice wine and considered a
Chef Allen Asch M. Ed., CCE is a culinary arts instructor that has earned degrees from Culinary Institute of America, Johnson and Wales University and Northern Arizona University. He is currently teaching at UNLV. He earned his Certified Culinary Educator Endorsement from the American Culinary Federation in 2003.
beautiful day for the Creator who had made the ultimate sacrifice. In Korea, the Chauseok Harvest festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar and is celebrated to respect elders and memorialize the ancestral roots of Korea. Besides spending time with family and friends, Koreans usually traditionally go back to their ancestral homelands to commemorate at their relatives’ gravesites. The traditional foods served at the celebration include rice and mushrooms. Germans celebrate Thanksgiving as a religious holiday. Like most Thanksgiving traditions it is centered on the year’s harvest of agriculture. The foods that are served are similar to what are served in the United States, but with the addition of a sweet bread with poppyseeds to bring a good year for the future. Much of the day is spent in church services for people that celebrate as Catholics or Protestants. China celebrates Thanksgiving as a three-day festival in the fall each year. It is known as the Moon Festival, which celebrates the special power that the moon has in its culture. One of the traditional dishes is moon cakes, which are semi-sweet pastries made from pastry dough and red bean paste. Israel celebrates the holiday between September and October. It is called Sukkah, which means “booths” in reference to the dwellings people lived in during the period of wandering for 40
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years of travel through the desert, after slavery in Egypt. It also celebrates the autumn harvest of fresh fruits and vegetables and is celebrated using the lunar calendar, which means the dates change every year. This holiday lasts seven days. India celebrates the holiday with a four-day celebration in the middle of January and consists of rice, sugarcane and turmeric. Each of the four days of the holiday is spent celebrating different aspects of their life. The first day is to celebrate Lord Indra, the ruler of the clouds which provides rain. The second day is dedicated to the Sun God. This is a traditional day with ceremonial clothes and traditional foods such as sugarcane, bananas and coconut. Additionally, the traditional offering of rice cooked in milk is made. The third day is set aside for the celebration of the cow. The cows are dressed up with beads and paraded around town. The final day is used to celebrate prosperity in the house and family. Traditionally, this is done with turmeric and rice washed in a specific way and laid on the ground with the Ponjal rice surrounding the turmeric. Ghana, in Africa, celebrates the festival of the Homowo, also called The Festival of Yams. Unlike the other holidays mentioned in this article, this holiday is done to pray for the hope that the crops will be plentiful for the next year. This festival is celebrated in August or September, and as the name implies, centers around the yams that are a big part of their culture and food supply. www.socalfnbpro.com
Front & Back of the House 10 Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday
By Gael Hees Gael Hees is a Las Vegas freelancer, and founder of the blog, The Steamy Side of Vegas, Living the Spa Life. She writes for national publications and has won numerous awards for printed materials and videos. Follow her at steamysideofvegas.com or email, email@example.com with questions, suggestions or comments.
Here you are, right in the middle of the holiday season and there is a high probability that you are stressed. You have family members and friends that want your time and attention (they may even have the gall to expect presents). You have a boss that has some pretty high expectations too! And, don’t forget your guests. Travelers and others have higher expectations during the holidays than at any other time. Why? They want everything to be perfect! The perfect meal, the perfect service, the perfect hotel room or event experience. They’re creating memories, and darn it, they want them to be good ones! So, here are some quick, quirky ideas to help you de-stress…. Wave a sprig of rosemary. The smell of rosemary can lift your spirits and give you an extra bit of “get up and go!” More specifically, rosemary essential oil will give you a boost of energy and help you feel refreshed and mentally focused. No rosemary sprigs? No worries. Walmart carries a rosemary essential oil roll-on. NOTE: another widely accepted oil for stress relief is lavender. Walmart carries a roll-on for this one too! Take a walk with a rock. A walk in fresh air—even a short one—will help you refocus. But while you walk, pick up a tiny stone and put it in your pocket, telling yourself that every time you touch it, you’ll be reminded to stop and simply breathe. Carry it with you throughout the holidays. Of course, any pebble you find on the ground will work perfectly, but for an extra calming experience, you may want to order stones from Amazon or Etsy. Rose quartz, blue lace agate and Amazonite have traditionally been thought to influence a calm state. Tiny gift idea—pick up extras for your co-workers and family members! Give someone a hug. Studies have shown that a kind gentle touch can actually lower one’s blood pressure. I’d say get a massage, but you might not have time. Just hug someone. They’ll hug you back. You’re good to go. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Don’t just check to make sure you don’t have a piece of spinach or something in your teeth. Give yourself a big, teeth-showing grin. We all have heard that it takes more muscles to frown than it takes to smile, so give those glowering muscles a rest. Plus, smiling may actually help one release happinessproducing endorphins, remind us of pleasant memories, and even reduce pain. Now go out there and infect everyone you see with smile syndrome (smiling is contagious you know). www.socalfnbpro.com
Practice your power pose. Amy Cuddy promoted the power pose in her TED Talk titled, “Your body language may shape who you are.” To do this, simply stand with your feet a shoulder-width apart, place your hands on your hips, hold your head up and look straight ahead. The media has dubbed this the “Superwoman pose,” so you should get the idea. Cuddy’s research shows that standing like this for at least two minutes will actually change the chemistry in your body, making you feel more powerful and success-worthy. Find a Doterra Representative. Doterra’s Peppermint Beadlets are amazing. They’re as tiny as the head of a pin and contain peppermint essential oil. Pop one or two of these in your mouth, experience the explosion of peppermint taste and go on about your business. In just a few minutes you’ll realize that your shoulders are no longer attached to your ears, your teeth aren’t clenched and your hands are open and swaying as you walk, not bundled into fists. Yes, just amazing. Give someone a compliment. It makes a person feel good to make another person feel good. Enough said. Pat yourself on the back. Literally. Just reach over your shoulder and give yourself a
good pat, reaching as far down your back as possible. Then do it with the other hand. Then pat yourself by reaching around behind your back, once with each hand. Then do a routine: over shoulder left, over-shoulder right, behind back left, behind back right. Repeat! Not quite yoga, but it’s close. You stretched. You breathed (hopefully). You maybe even giggled (you looked pretty silly, you know). Pay attention to your feet. Just take a few minutes and commune with your toes (and your arches and your ankles). Twist, stretch, flex. Your feet will thank you. Flirt with a ficus. You may have read a lot recently about how plants “exhale” oxygen and help purify the air. But just talking to a plant—complimenting it on its gorgeous greenness or its new leaves—may leave you feeling better. Plants like to be petted and even slightly shaken. And if you feel ridiculous doing this and start laughing, all the better. Happy holidays to you and yours. May it be everything you wish it to be! Excerpted from a post on Steamy Side of Vegas, Living the Spa Life, Gael’s blog, November 20, 2019.
December 2019 I The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional 23
Please enjoy our wines responsibly. ferrari-carano.com
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IN THE TIME IT TAKES TO READ THIS AD, WE’VE MADE LITTLE TO NO PROGRESS. We slow-roast the finest 100% Weber Blue Agave for more than three days and then slowly crush it with a two-ton tahona stone wheel. The result is an earthy, complex taste that’s more than worth the wait.
The perfect way to enjoy Patrón is responsibly. Handcrafted and imported exclusively from Mexico by The Patrón Spirits Company, Las Vegas, NV. 42-45% abv.
We’ve handpicked some upcoming events around Southern California. Check out what’s going on in your area:
Al Dentes’ Provisions firstname.lastname@example.org 702-642-1100
12/9: LA Times 101 Best Restaurants. This annual celebration recognizes the LA Times’ new list of the city’s 101 Best Restaurants. Tickets give patrons access to unlimited bites and pours from some of the city’s elite restaurants. Vibiana, DTLA. Eventbrite.com/e/los-angeles-times-101-best-restaurantstickets-78482911501 12/26: Opening Day Craft Beer and Cider Festival. Spend the day at the races the day after Christmas at Santa Anita Park, and celebrate another winter season of thunderous thoroughbred racing accompanied by SoCal’s best brews and ciders. General admission includes eight beer or cider tastings. Santa Anita Racetrack, Los Angeles Goldstar.com/events/arcadia-ca/opening-day-craft-beer-and-cider-festivaltickets 1/5: OC Vegan Fest. Numerous ‘cruelty-free’ vendors will gather in Santa Ana to offer a variety of vegan bites. This is a free event, with food available for purchase. Santa Ana, Orange County OCVeganFestJan5.Eventbrite.com 1/11: San Diego Brew Fest. The 10th annual San Diego Beer Fest returns to Liberty Station, and promising another fun filled day with beer, food trucks and music. The event will feature dozens of local and international craft beers, as well as San Diego’s most popular food trucks (food sold separately). Liberty Station, San Diego SanDiegoBeerFest.com
Big Dog’s Brewing Company page 26 www.bigdogsbrews.com 702-368-3715 Ferarri Carano www.ferrari-carano.com
Jay’s Sharpening Service www.jayssharpening.com 702-645-0049
Keep Memory Aliver Event Center kmaeventcenterlasvegas.com 702-263-9797
Power of Love 2020 keepmemoryalive.org/POL 702.263.9797
Roca Patron rocapatron.com
4310 W Tompkins Ave Las Vegas, NV 89103
www.jayssharpening.com • email@example.com
Mobile Service Our mobile service vans provide sharpening services on-site to even the largest resort properties, without disrupting workflow. Commercial Knife Exchange Program We furnish sharp knives to your kitchen on a weekly or biweekly rotation schedule.
Jay’s Sharpening Service
Cutting Board Resurfacing & Replacements
Equipment Sales We offer top-of-the-line knives, culinary tools, kitchen supplies and replacement parts.
W Harmon Ave
Steak & Table Knife Re-Serration / Sharpening
W Tropicana Ave
26 The SoCal Food & Beverage Professional I December 2019
•Wholesale distributor of exceptional quality dried spices and specialty foods to the finest hotels and restaurants •Owned and operated by a former chef with over 20 years of experience •Custom packed Herbs and Spices •Custom Spice Blends •Private labeling •Now Certified Kosher
MGM Grand Garden Arena Las Vegas, NV
Save the Date | Saturday, March 7, 2020 Mark your calendar and expect big surprises at the Power of Love® Gala.
Cuisine by Wolfgang Puck ♥ Tantalizing Cocktails Exquisite Wines ♥ Luxury Auction Items ♥ Spectacular Entertainment Celebrity Appearances ♥ Philanthropy and Camaraderie Proceeds Benefit:
Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health Alzheimer’s | Huntington’s | Parkinson’s | Multiple System Atrophy | Multiple Sclerosis
Seating available now: KeepMemoryAlive.org/POL 702.263.9797 | PowerofLove@KeepMemoryAlive.org