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World Famous Chefs Create & Deliver Spectacular Meals For Homebound Elderly New Yorkers New York City’s frail homebound elderly will now have the chance to sample spectacular creations from the world’s greatest chefs thanks to a new initiative launched last month and spearheaded by Citymeals-on-Wheels and Chefs Daniel Boulud and Charlie Palmer.


his new monthly program, “Chefs Deliver!” will feature a rotating cast of culinary stars who will lend their talents to Citymeals and its meal recipients – cooking, and sometimes personally delivering, restaurant quality food to the doors of aged New Yorkers who are too frail to leave their homes. Citymeals-on-Wheels is a not-forprofit organization that raises private funds to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals to the homebound elderly throughout the boroughs of New York City.  For the first launch held last month and first “Chefs Deliver!” delivery, Chef Boulud, Co-President of the Citymeals-on-Wheels Board of Directors, and Chef Palmer, a Citymealson-Wheels Board member, were joined by Chefs David Burke, Adin Langille, and Cesare Casella who each prepared 100 meals and personally made deliveries to Citymeals recipients living in Westbeth Artists’ Housing. The restaurants participating chefs included DANIEL (Daniel Boulud), Aureole (Charlie Palmer), Burke in the Box (David Burke), Junoon (Adin Langille), and Salumeria

Rosi and Il Ristorante Rosi (Cesare Casella). The location for the deliveries - 55 Bethune Street in the West Village provided affordable living and working spaces for artists and their families. The recipients included Toby, 80, who danced with Merce Cunningham; Wilda, 86, a painter, who de-

veloped a concept of stretching canvases over metal to create different forms; and Adrienne, 78, an actress and painter. Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals-on-Wheels, who was also on hand for the delivery, said, “Throughout our history, Citymealson-Wheels has been blessed with

Eighty-year-old Westbeth resident Toby (R) talks with chefs Charlie Palmer (L) and Daniel Boulud (2nd L), the masterminds behind Chefs Deliver in New York City

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the support of so many talented and generous chefs. “Chefs Deliver!” is yet another amazing example of the unyielding support from the culinary community. I would like to thank Chefs Boulud and Palmer for leading this effort and to all of the Chefs involved in this new and exciting Citymeals initiative. What a wonderful treat for our vulnerable, homebound neighbors to get an extra special meal from these brilliant chefs.” Chef Boulud said, "Last year I took the initiative to rally my executive chefs in NYC to prepare and deliver hundreds of home-cooked meals to

Chef Daniel Boulud, Co-President of the Citymeals-on-Wheels Board of Directors, and Chef Charlie Palmer, Citymeals-on-Wheels Board Member, Launch “Chefs Deliver!,” a new monthly program to bring good food and good company into the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors.

the homes of elderly New Yorkers. That delivery sparked the idea for “Chefs Deliver!,” a monthly program inviting my colleagues, the talented chefs of this city, to prepare and deliver wholesome meals of their own. The hope is that these soulful dishes

will brighten the days of our city’s elderly, who can no longer get to experience a chef’s cooking on a regular basis. Citymeals is a charity chefs have always taken pride in supporting, and “Chefs Deliver!” is a great testament to their generosity at heart." Chef Palmer said, “We all tend to take for granted how easy it is for us to go out for dinner or grab lunch at a great restaurant, especially living here in NYC. But, there are so many people that it is simply not an option for and that’s why we’re pulling our resources together as chefs to offer such delicious and healthful meals for the homebound elderly through Citymeals-on-Wheels.” On the menu for the inaugural “Chefs Deliver!” event was Braised Lamb Provenҫal with Nicoise Olives, Tomato Confit and Confit Fennel and Garlic Polenta by Chef Boulud; Braised Beef Bourguignon with Roasted New Potatoes, Turnips, and Green Beans by Chef Palmer; Market or Caesar Salad with Dressing, Sandwich, Chips, Beverages, Fruit, his signature Cheesecake Lollipop and Dessert by Chef Burke; Tandoori Poussin with Korma Sauce, Indian Spiced Mixed Vegetables, and Himalayan Red Rice by Chef Langille; and Lamb Buglione (pot pie), Side of Mashed Potatoes, and Brussels Sprouts by Chef Casella. Moving forward, the “Chefs Deliver!” initiative will take place the first Tuesday of each month. Feeding and caring for older New Yorkers since 1981, Citymeals-onWheels supplies a continuous lifeline of nutritious food and human company to our city’s homebound elderly. Citymeals works with 33 community-based meal centers to deliver over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals to 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors. Last year, more than 12,000 volunteers pro-

“We all tend to take for granted how easy it is for us to go out for dinner or grab lunch at a great restaurant, especially living here in NYC. But, there are so many people that it is simply not an option...”

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vided over 55,000 hours of volunteerism. One hundred percent of donations from the public goes toward the preparation and delivery of meals for our most vulnerable neighbors. Citymeals, a 501 (c)(3) charity, has a Charity Navigator 4-star rating and meets the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Standards.

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Wayfarer Restaurant Teams With ESquared To Anchor NYC’s Quin Hotel This month's opening of the much anticipated Quin Hotel in Manhattan marks the debut of a highly anticipated collaboration between Eric Marx and Lisle Richards of Metric Group and Jimmy Haber of ESquared Hospitality.


he duo will debut The Wayfarer, an artisanal American grill designed to showcase a diverse selection of regional seafood. The two-story restaurant and lounge will evoke the experience of an old gentlemen’s club historical New York glamour. Designer Meyer Davis has created a feeling of “old meets new,” drawing inspiration from the 1970’s blended with the classic New York of the 1800’s. Guests will be treated to a variety of different experiences throughout the restaurant starting with the grand parlor punctuated by a staircase that will lead to the second floor lounge and private dining areas. The 130-seat dining room will be furnished in rich leathers and woods inspired by New York’s old gentlemen’s clubs. The first floor centerpiece, the main bar, will be constructed out of grand pewter and glazed brick to generate an energetic vibe upon entry. The second floor mezzanine provides a more relaxed dining experience with a 20-foot bar and additional lounge seating. The second floor also offers three private dining rooms designed for seating combinations that can accommodate parties from 12 to 72 guests. “We are excited to be launching The

Wayfarer restaurant at the Quin,” said Lisle Richards and Eric Marx. “The hotel’s commitment to quality is akin to our philosophy that guests should always be the centerpiece of an amazing hospitality experience. The addition of The Wayfarer to the Quin will provide a level of service and refinement that welcomes diverse global communities.” Marx and Richards have managed many of New York’s venues for hospitality companies such as Ger-

ber Group, One Group, and the Gansevoort Hotel Group. “The vision for The Wayfarer is perfectly aligned with the Quin’s mission to provide an urbane retreat in the heart of Manhattan,” states Alan Kanders, principal of Three Wall Capital. “Much like the Quin, the restaurant will embrace the glamour of old New York while also offering modern comforts and services fitting for such an establishment.” Situated on 57th Street, a short block away from Carnegie Hall, stands

an elegant 18-story pre-War building with a history that is fully intertwined with an entire era of world-class music. The former Buckingham Hotel, once home to icons like Paderewski and Tebaldi, has been rechristened the Quin and re-imagined as a new luxury hotel where art, design and nature blend seamlessly to create a sanctuary from the city at an incomparably central address. The hotel is operated by Highgate Hotels, a leading independent hospitality management company, the

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Main Office: 282 Railroad Avenue Greenwich, CT 06830 Publishers: Leslie & Fred Klashman Advertising Director: Michael Scinto Creative Director: Ross Moody Contributing Writers Warren Bobrow Wyman Philbrook Noelle Ifshin Andrew Catalano Phone: 203.661.9090 Fax: 203.661.9325 Email: Web:

This month marks the opening of the much anticipated Quin Hotel in Manhattan featuring a collaboration between Eric Marx (R) and Lisle Richards (L) of Metric Group.

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Total Food Service ISSN No. 1060-8966 is published monthly by IDA Publishing, Inc., 282 Railroad Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830. Phone: 203.661.9090. This issue copyright 2014 by IDA Publishing Inc. Contents in full or part may not be reproduced without permission. Not responsible for advertisers claims or statements.Periodicals Postage paid at the post office, Greenwich, CT and additional mailing offices. Additional entry at the post office in Pittsburg, PA. Subscription rate in USA is $36 per year; single copy; $3.00. Postmaster: Send address changes to Total Food Service, P.O. Box 2507, Greenwich, CT 06836

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NYC Based Roland Names Dairyland Exec To Top Post Roland Foods Corporation (“Roland Foods”) announced last month that James Wagner, 44, has joined the company as chief executive officer, effective immediately.


harles E. Scheidt, a member of the company’s founding family and chairman and CEO of Roland Foods, remains with the company as chairman. “Jim Wagner has a great background for Roland Foods, exactly what we had in mind when we shared our intention to appoint a new CEO this past summer,” said Jim Scheidt. “His successful track record as a senior executive spans exceptional accomplishments in sales, marketing, purchasing, and new product development in the specialty foods industry. Jim is a talented leader who will help Roland Foods accelerate its growth and continue its excellent customer service.” “In the specialty foods business, Roland Foods is an iconic brand, a highly successful company in a sector with a strong growth outlook,” said Jim Wagner. “Specialty foods has a powerful upward trajectory, both near- and longterm, and I believe that Roland Foods can significantly expand its already strong leadership position. I am very familiar with Roland Foods high standards of excellence across-the-board, and it’s an honor to be working at the company. Roland Foods has a great team, and I believe that our talent and product lines form a solid foundation for growth.” Prior to joining Roland Foods, Jim Wagner served as chief operating of-

“In the specialty foods business, Roland Foods is an iconic brand, a highly successful company in a sector with a strong growth outlook,” said Jim Wagner.

ficer at The Chefs’ Warehouse (Dairyland). Before becoming COO of The Chefs’ Warehouse, he held a number of positions within the company, including chief commercial officer, director of Business Development, and vice president of the West Coast operations. Jim Wagner led significant business optimization projects and sales performance initiatives, resulting in substantial margin and revenue enhancement and, ultimately, a successful initial public offering on NASDAQ. Before joining The Chefs’ Warehouse in 2005, Jim Wagner worked as an independent consultant to a number of start-up companies, including the launch of TrueChocolate, a chocolate-

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processing company. He was also a principal at Jump Communications and a vice president at Clear!Blue; both companies provide business consulting services. Roland Foods, based in New York City, specializes in importing highquality specialty food products from

more than 40 countries. Founded in Paris in 1934 and established in the U.S. in 1939, Roland Foods provides customers with exceptional specialty foods under the Roland brand as well as the Don Bruno, Chef Susanna’s, Costamar, and Consul brands. The company has a national presence in the foodservice, retail, and industrial channels as well as international sales in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Roland Foods’ dedication to providing quality and consistency has made it a leader among food importers and suppliers. The Roland brand is synonymous with quality for the consumer and chef alike. Vestar Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm, acquired Roland Foods in September 2013.


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Interview with C-CAP Grad Chef Kelvin Fernandez Kelvin Fernandez is Executive Chef of the new restaurant Blend on the Water in Long Island City, Queens, which seats 160 guests and features upscale Latin cuisine.


hef Fernandez, who received a C-CAP (Careers through Culinary Arts Program) scholarship to the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), has graced the kitchens of Water’s Edge, Aquavit, Gotham Bar and Grill, and Café des Artistes, working with luminaries such as George Masraff, Marcus Samuelsson, Alfred Portale, and George Lang. He wowed the judges on The Food Network’s Chopped in 2011 with his instinctive and flavorful seafood dishes, and he has delighted diners’ palates at the James Beard Foundation dinners, the Vanity Fair banquet, C-CAP Junior Benefits and the C-CAP Annual Benefit. Most recently, Fernandez served as Executive Chef at The Strand, American Bistro at the renowned Strand Hotel. On March 4th at Pier Sixty, Chef Fernandez will be part of an all-star lineup of forty chefs featured at the C-CAP Annual Benefit, a grand tasting event. Also participating are luminaries Marcus Samuelsson, Daniel Boulud, Marc Murphy, Dan Barber, Michael Lomonaco and Bryce Shuman, as well as C-CAP alumni Pastry Chef Thiago Silva from The General and Chef Sean Quinn of Chadwick’s. Cooking alongside the chefs will be more than 60 New York City C-CAP high school culinary students. To purchase tickets, visit or call C-CAP at

Joyce Appelman, Director of Communications, C-CAP New York, NY j oyc e a p p e l m a n @ g m a i l .c o m

646-790-4505. When you were only 22, you were touted as the youngest Executive Chef in New York’s fine dining scene. How did mentorship play a role in your early success? I wouldn’t have come so far so fast without amazing mentors. My high school culinary teacher, Terry Matsis, saw potential in me and taught me persistence. Richard Grausman and the C-CAP staff gave me the tools to succeed through advice, job opportunities and networking. Marcus Samuelsson taught me what hard work and dedication could accomplish. Alfred Portale taught me consistency, which is key in this business. George Masraff always expected better from me and made me expect better from myself. You were raised in a Dominican household, you were trained in clas-

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sic French cooking, you were known for your inventive approach to classic American cuisine at The Strand, and now you’re exploring Latin cuisine at Blend on the Water. Can you give us a sense of your philosophy in creating a menu? I take traditional dishes and flavors and prepare them in a way that’s innovative and unexpected — in this case, from across Latin America and the Caribbean. In returning to my cultural roots, it’s important to me to push beyond Dominican food and find my inspiration from a broader Latin palate. How important is mentorship in developing a workforce? Crucial. My kitchen is small but we're a team, and we get it done together. I’m always pushing them to challenge themselves and achieve more, but we keep it fun. And we all learn from each other. My dishwasher showed me how to peel shrimp faster, while my sous chefs teach me their family recipes. What advice would you give high school students who are interested in attending culinary school? I felt that my path was ideal: high school classes, working in a restaurant, then culinary school, in that order. In addition to choosing your school, you also have to choose the restaurants you work at carefully; it will define what style of food you will develop on your own. Work for chefs you admire and want to be like one day.

Kelvin Fernandez is Executive Chef of the new restaurant Blend on the Water in Long Island City, Queens, which seats 160 guests and features upscale Latin cuisine.

What is your favorite culinary indulgence? I love desserts (especially ice cream), so I’m lucky to have Executive Pastry Chef and fellow C-CAP alum Thiago Silva as a great friend. He makes mind-blowing desserts over at Catch and The General. The Banana Brûlée Split with the Cookie Dough Bombe is to die for.


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Veteran NYC Hotel Exec Schrager Teams With Marriott To Create New Times Square Edition The new Marriott Edition Hotel will bring the creative genius of Ian Schrager back to the Times Square area for the first time in years, after his earlier Paramount and Royalton hotels were unrecognizably altered by new owners.


ut it's taken a herculean joint venture involving some formidable dealmakers to set the stage for him as is clear from the recent news of final plans for the Times Square Edition hotel at 701 Seventh Ave. Last month’s official announcement might seem anticlimactic after two years of coverage but it revealed much that's new about the project at an iconic Midtown corner - an exquisitely complex collaboration involving a remarkable cast of characters including Steven Witkoff, Marriott International Chairman J.W. Marriott Sr. and CEO Arne Sorenson, Howard Lorber, Ian Schrager and Barry Sternlicht. Among the new features: fewer guest rooms and much more retail space than was previously known, a requirement for Marriott to buy the project's hotel portion from the developers in event of a default, and the withdrawal of a former major investor. Since preliminary plans for the mixed-use tower were first announced in October 2012, numerous details have changed several times. Nothing unusual about that for a venture in-

volving so many participants, public and private companies and requiring air rights transfers from Broadway's Booth and Plymouth theaters. But the twists and turns are worth following, because the 39-story tower will bring epic change to Times Square's north end. It will rise on the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue at 47th Street, at the top of the "bowtie" and across the street from 2 Times Square with its famous Coca-Cola sign. The rendering shows the entire tower, crowned by the Edition sign, for the first time. It will be Manhattan's second Edition, following the planned completion of the first in 2015 at the landmarked Clock Tower at 5 Madison Ave. The "luxury lifestyle" Edition brand, which boutique-hotel wizard Schrager is creating in collaboration with Marriott, was conceived as Marriott's answer to competitors attuned to younger, hipper clientele especially Starwood Hotels and Resorts' W line. The Times Square Edition's jointventure developers are The Witkoff Group, Winthrop Realty Trust, Lorber's New Valley LLC and Mark Siffin's Maefield Development. Marriott International will manage

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The new Marriott Edition Hotel will bring the creative genius of Ian Schrager back to the Times Square area for the first time in years, after his earlier Paramount and Royalton hotels were unrecognizably altered by new owners.

the hotel under a long-term agreement. When opened in 2017, it will have 452 guest rooms 100,000 square feet of retail, dining, entertainment and event space and a huge, 18,000 square-foot high-def LED sign wrap-

ping around the corner. Sternlicht's Starwood Property Trust and iStar Financial provided a $815 million construction loan, and Sternlicht's Starwood Property Trust and Starwood Capital Group Global have an equity interest in the transaction. Although Sternlicht is chairman both of privately held Starwood Capital Group and publicly traded Starwood Property Group, he has not been CEO of Marriott competitor Starwood Hotels & Resorts since 2005. As additional loan collateral at 701 Seventh Ave., Marriott "has agreed to provide the lenders with the right [in event of default] to require Marriott to purchase the hotel component during the first two years after opening for $314.6 million," or $696,000 per room. As Lodging Advisors analyst/consultant Sean Hennessey explained, the so-called "put" clause" protects the developers, who "can maintain ownership if the hotel is successful," but can "force Marriott to buy it at cost if not." A failure would seem highly unlikely given Marriott's track record and the city's booming hotel market. But the "put" made it easier to finance the project because the lender doesn't have to underwrite the hotel, "since a quality operator, Marriott, is on the hook for the cost of the hotel," Hennessey explained. Preliminary plans for 701 Seventh Ave. first came to light in 2012 when Witkoff, Maefield, Infinity and New Valley after years of secret negotiations with landlords and tenants completed a $430 million acquisition of two corner buildings. Once home to tourist magnets Sbarro's, Tad's Steaks and Pig & Whistle, they're now wrapped in black netting to prepare for demolition and a new wave of higher-spending visitors three years from now.

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Tisch Taps St. Ambroeus Duo to Open New Regency Eatery Loews Regency Hotel, the landmark hotel in Midtown Manhattan, steps away from Central Park, Madison Avenue, and Museum Mile, welcomes guests back to the beloved New York institution following a year-long $100 million transformation.


he redesign of the 379-room hotel represents the dynamic vision of Jonathan Tisch, Chairman of Loews Hotels &

Resorts. The hotel features 321 apartmentstyled guestrooms and 58 suites boasting crisp lines and a fresh aesthetic, four private meeting spaces equipped with state-of-the-art technology, and introduces The Regency Bar & Grill serving lunch, dinner and the highly anticipated return of the Power Breakfast. The new Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa flagship will complete the guest experience, once it opens in March 2014. The enhancements continue to evoke the spirit and traditions of the hotel's storied past while offering guests contemporary luxury benefits and amenities, all from an unparalleled Park Avenue address. The Regency Bar & Grill is a new restaurant and dining concept managed by famed New York restaurateurs Gherardo Guarducci and Dimitri Pauli of the Sant Ambroeus Hospitality Group, and helmed by culinary heavy-hitter Executive Chef Dan Silverman, whose resume includes The Standard Grill and Union Square Cafe. Together Sant Ambroeus and Executive Chef Silverman will oversee the menu with an emphasis on market-fresh ingredients

and modern interpretations of classic dishes that combine local New York produce with international flavors. Combining the old and the new, the hotel's signature restaurant will reclaim its place as the pinnacle for the New York 'Power Breakfast,' having introduced the concept in 1975. Designed by Meyer Davis Studio Inc. the restaurant encompasses a 135-seat dining room and a 32-seat full-service bar and lounge. Sant Ambroeus at The Regency is a

Milanese style coffee bar that brings the special brand of Sant Ambroeus coffee culture to life within a pristine, jewel box atmosphere. "For more than 50 years, Loews Regency has captured the hearts of guests from around the world through distinctly personalized attention to individuals," says Jim McPartlin, Managing Director, Loews Regency Hotel. "By partnering with the city's finest talents and experts, we've put the best of New York City at our guests' finger-

For more than 50 years, Loews Regency has captured the hearts of guests from around the world through distinctly personalized attention to individuals.

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tips, so that we can continue offering the sophisticated urban traveler an unmatched New York experience." New York City's most talented design minds, including Rottet Studio, Meyer Davis Studio Inc, and Jonathan Nehmer + Associates were selected by Jonathan Tisch for the re-design of the hotel. Blending modern design with clean and classic style, the expansive 24-foot high ceiling provides a grand entrance to the lobby that invites and energizes guests, bringing New York's unmistakable Midtown vibe to life. A bar just off the lobby and in the forefront of The Regency Bar & Grill is the perfect place to watch the hustle and bustle of Park Avenue, while alluring seating and décor of the Lobby Lounge is an inviting respite to relax and mingle with other guests and visitors. The serene lobby designed by Rottet Studio offers a grand marble entrance with bespoke finishes and an urban sophisticated neutral palette. The Lobby Lounge area with rich velvet sofas, complete with power and hard-line Internet outlets, sits under a breathtaking art installation by Brooklyn-based artist Nina Helms called Brise de printemps (spring breeze). Loews Regency's guestrooms, also designed by Rottet Studio, offer a fresh aesthetic combined with luxury, comfort and style. Guest rooms feature Frette linens and bathrobes, smart televisions and complimentary highspeed Internet access. Additionally, Loews Regency will debut six signature suites in spring 2014. Ranging in size from 700 square feet to 1,550 square feet, the suites will each feature their own design concept and unparalleled views over Park Avenue and 61st Street.

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Jersey Restaurants Go Extra Yard to Extend Superbowl Savings To Diners Hudson Restaurant Week is a bi-annual two-week stretch occurring in January and July when local restaurants offer a multi-course prix fixe menu at a reduced often significantly price.


his year, HRW celebrated its tenth anniversary, and in this highly competitive marketplace, that's a long lifespan for a restaurant. Even still, Jersey City has four restaurants on the list that have been participating the entire ten years - Edward's Steakhouse, Casa Dante, Liberty House and The Merchant. There were four New Jersey City restaurants participating as well - Shanghi Best, P.J. Ryan's, Liberty Prime Steakhouse, and HopsScotch. Restaurants have opted in from Hoboken, Bayonne, Edgewater and Weehawken too. There are 45 restaurants in total and if you ate lunch as well as dinner, you could have potentially visited every one of them since there was a bonus week this year. Because the SuperBowl was held in the MetLife Stadium this month, there was an influx of out of town visitors. By extending Restaurant Week into Super Week, HRW founder Tamara Remedios "enticed out-of-town visitors to come to our area." Not that HRW relied totally on Super Week. "HRW brings in nearly 20,000 diners during the week period, which is a huge bump to the restaurants," claims Remedios. HRW began in 2005 when Remedios, in discussion with several restaurant owners figured, "If it works in

"Hudson Restaurant Week brings in nearly 20,000 diners during the week period, which is a huge bump to the restaurants," claims Remedios. New York, a restaurant week promotion would work here too." Through her company, Xplore Communications, Remedios and the participating restaurants have organized and advertised with no assistance from any of the municipalities for a decade. And it's been beneficial - HRW is good for business. It brings people in the door at a time of year when they wouldn't typically go out to eat. January and July are slow months for restaurants, so HRW brought a needed boost during the toughest times. It's good for locals too - HRW also allowed people to try new restaurants without breaking the bank, which is really handy in difficult eco-

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nomic times. Many diners even found their new favorite date-place during HRW. Let's face it - spending on three courses what one that would normally spend on just an entrée was a great reason to try a new place - like the Liberty House.

As mentioned, the Liberty House (located inside Liberty State Park) is one of Hudson Restaurant Week's founding restaurants - and according to owner Jeanne Cretella, it's worth it every time. "Coming into the park in the middle of the winter isn't as exciting as coming in during the spring and summer when people can enjoy the outdoors." People avoid the waterfront in the colder weather, she says, because they associate the water with cooler temperatures. And while that's wonderful in the summertime, it's a challenge in the winter. Not that the Liberty House is lacking for business. In addition to the busy

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Jonathan Kavourakis Chef de Cuisine at the Stanton Social Chef Jonathan Kavourakis is the Chef de Cuisine at the lower east side’s sexiest restaurant and lounge, The Stanton Social. Hailing from Livingston, NJ, Chef Jonathan was born to cook.


onathan grew up in restaurants and diners, spending every spare moment from childhood through his teens assisting his father in preparing baked goods for several restaurants in his hometown. Jonathan attended both Towson University in Baltimore and later the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan. Chef Jonathan’s mantra is "No one in my kitchen will work more than me. No one in my kitchen will work harder than me." Jonathan is known in the Beauty/ Stanton family as a chef who will get his hands dirty. In the 4 years since he completed culinary school Jonathan has worked in such acclaimed kitchens as Danielle's Feast and Fette and Commerce in various line and prep positions and served as the Sous Chef at Beauty and Essex prior to his latest move to Stanton. Total Food recently chatted with Chef Jonathan in this month’s Chefcetera. What influenced you to start a career in foodservice? Where did you study? I don’t know if it was any one person in particular who influenced me to start my career in the food service industry, or if it was my surroundings growing up that inspired me to get into the business. My father was a baker, so I

grew up working in Diners, and just loved the atmosphere and loved the people. I studied at The Broadway Diner in Baltimore, Maryland for 5 years. I learned everything about restaurants there both front and back of house. I then moved back to NYC and attended the Culinary Institute of Education. Has working in NYC helped you achieve a full scope of culinary skills?

NYC is amazing, and has definitely helped me rise in the ranks a lot faster than maybe other chefs and cooks have. NYC is kill or be killed. If you aren’t gunning for your superior’s job you are in the wrong city. You need to hustle to make it here, and you need to be ambitious and want to grow. There is so much talent and so many people gunning for the same job. If you want to land it, you don’t always necessarily need to be better than the

Chef Jonathan Kavourakis is the Chef de Cuisine at the lower east side’s sexiest restaurant and lounge, The Stanton Social. Hailing from Livingston, NJ, Chef Jonathan was born to cook.

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other person, but you need to work harder, and always be willing to do the things maybe other people wouldn’t want to do. Working in NYC made me work harder, and helped mold me into the chef I am now because of all that. You competed and won on Season 2 of The Food Network’s 24-Hour Restaurant Battle. How do you get involved and how has that experience helped your career? I was scrolling through craigslist looking at all the job postings and saw an ad for the show. I called my brother (Alexi) in the room (who I live with), and said we could definitely rock this show. My brother grew up working FOH in the diners, and knows his stuff. We sent in our application, and were called in for an interview. Gave them our background, and our vision of opening up a diner, and the producers liked it. It was a great experience and was a lot harder than it looked. I don’t really think it helped my career all that much, but it was nice to get a little exposure and be in front of a camera. Besides being located in a trendy area of Manhattan, The Stanton Social has become a celebrity hot spot as well as a favorite for local artists and hipsters. What spin do you put on your dishes that make The Stanton Social so alluring to them? The Stanton Social, and Chef Chris Santos have been putting spins on dishes well before I came to make the restaurant what it is today. I’m trying to keep the trend going, and keep us running strong in that department. Stanton has such a great vibe, and is a fun place to eat with delicious food. What separates us from other restaurants is that we make things that can be very easily shared, and we try and make sexy intimate food. At the end of the day, if the ladies love it the guys are

going to take them there, and the majority of our cliental is female. So when developing dishes I try and “channel my inner woman” and make something that sounds, looks, then tastes great. How big is the kitchen staff and how important is each member to achieve the end-result? We have a pretty big staff, about 10 line cooks on the busier nights. At the end of the day, you are only as strong as your weakest link. We have a monster crew here, starting from our prep team all the way up to the top. Everybody respects the food, kitchen, and takes pride in everything they do and are all equally important to achieve a perfect end result. We have a dozen kitchen employees who have been working here for 6 plus years, which speaks loudly to the camaraderie of our kitchen.

Walk us through a typical day at work and what are some of the challenges you face each day? I usually come in around noon. Greet all the morning prep crew, and get with the AM Sous chef to see how he is doing and if there is anything he needs before I get started with my prep. Then I check in with our events coordinator Natalie to see if we have any large parties for the night and go over any dietary restrictions, or special requests they may have. Next, I get started on my prep work for the day, which includes mostly butchering and making the more delicate items on our menu. While doing this I keep in touch with Tommy our purchaser, to go over orders for the next day, and any repairs, or equipment needs I have. I finish up with the prep around 4pm, which is when the line cooks come in. At this time, I make sure all heads are

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counted for and that they are fully prepared for that nights service. Around this time is when I can encounter some challenges. Dishwashers, prep cooks, or line cooks can no show. The dish machine, or a water pipe can break. These are all minor issues, that if not resolved right away can lead to a really rough service night. What role does the vendor community on both the equipment and food supply side play? And in your opinion, is today’s salesperson providing the level of service you need to succeed? We have a really good relationship with all of our food and equipment vendors. We have service contracts on all of our equipment and machines, and if we ever have an issue they normally take care of it that day. Our food vendors are great, we get all deliveries early morning every day, and they are really good with giving us samples

and letting us know about any special deals they have, or any new product that is arriving. The restaurant industry has a very broad range of foods…what’s your buying approach? Do you go out to bid on a regular basis or do you look for loyalty from vendors? It is a little bit of both. We have had the same vendors since I started working here, but we have 3 different produce vendors who we bid out daily and order from everyday. And we do the same thing for proteins and fish. On the equipment side, do you have pieces of equipment that you like to use that makes your job easier preparing dishes? The most important piece of equipment for me are my knives. Nothing makes a chef’s job easier than good, sharp knives. I also recently got

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// Q&A


Chef Robert Irvine

Host of Food Network's Restaurant: Impossible You probably know him from “Restaurant: Impossible,” where he takes a failing one and works a miracle with both the eating establishment and the owners and employees, or his new show, Restaurant Express, where chefs face off for the chance at their dream eatery. Now Robert Irvine is a "Man on a Mission" in Metro New York to let foodservice operators know the benefits of an innovative ice-making subscription program.


ut Food Network chef Robert Irvine has a long and star-studded history; from serving as head chef at Academy Awards celebrations to being part of the Naval Mess at the West Wing of The White House to becoming executive chef aboard numerous cruise ships, culminating with the five-star MS Crystal Harmony.

cruise ships. What did you take out of that? What did you move forward with as you built your career? These places serve thousands and thousands of meals a day and snacks with a variety of crew members from all over the world. What I took away was buying food in local areas and sourcing food. One of my biggest concerns was and is, how do we make food safe? How do we make the environment safe? Not only for the guests but also the people handling the food. Do we give them the tools they need to do their jobs? Or do we leave them hanging and expect them to do their jobs? That's very important. Sanitation and cleanliness are key.

It may seem trivial but how does the proper handling of ice enter into this issue of food safety? By going into these places and actually seeing the state of what the ice machines look like, I can tell you how

How did you get involved in the industry? I was in the U.S. Navy for 10 years as a cook with the Marines, in field and on field, and I worked for a couple of admirals and generals. When I came out of the Navy, I worked as the executive chef at the Renaissance Jamaica Grand. Then I was the executive chef in charge of operations at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. And then I went from there to one of Caesar's hotels and casino, with over 1,000 employees. And finally, I started my own business, with two restaurants, Robert Irvine's Eat!, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Robert Irvine's Nosh, Bluffton, South Carolina.

Tell me what it's like to work in something as intense and high volume as

I was in the U.S. Navy for 10 years as a cook with the Marines, in field and on field, and I worked for a couple of admirals and generals.

You probably know him from “Restaurant: Impossible,” where he takes a failing one and works a miracle with both the eating establishment and the owners, or his new show, Restaurant Express, where chefs face off for the chance at their dream eatery.

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clean and safe the whole operation is. I've seen everything that could possibly happen to an ice machine, cockroaches in it, bacteria in it, even mold growing in the ice cubes. And it's something that nobody ever thinks about, but we put it into drinks. We feed children, old

people, young people with it. Sickness has no boundaries. And what I've seen is that ice machines are very dangerous if they're not handled correctly. Because it only takes one person to ingest mold and tragically die. And if they're 80 years old or 12 years old and they get sick, they could die. I use that all the time on my show, Restaurant: Impossible. Ice is very, very dangerous.

So what's the solution for a restaurant? I knew that I would clean my ice machine once a month. Maybe twice a month if I was lucky. But if I'm not there, I couldn't trust my employees to do it. So why would I trust a restaurant that I go to when they're busy and they're short-staffed to really do it? I don't. That's why I use Easy Ice, you can get a subscription and know it's clean and safe every time. I try to get the word out that, hey, listen, why worry about these things that you don't need to worry about? Like ice and ice machines and cleaning when you have somebody to do that? Ice may seem trivial but it's really not.

How did the idea for Restaurant: Impossible come about? About four years before it started, I went to the network. At the time we were doing Dinner: Impossible. And they were not interested in doing a fixit with a restaurant because of the liability. You know, letting an English guy go in with a sledgehammer! To fix a restaurant is not without potential disasters. So we tabled it. But after finishing 100-plus episodes of Dinner: Impossible, I suggested we go back and visit Restaurant: Impossible. They said, let's greenlight it, six episodes and see how you do. It was crazy. The people loved it. And here we are. We just finished our 98th restaurant, 76 of which have been successful. and we're in the process of doing another 26 right now.

What are the common characteristics of the 76 that have been successful? That's easy. To account and record

So why would I trust a restaurant that I go to when they're busy and they're shortstaffed to really do it? I don't. That's why I use Easy Ice, you can get a subscription and know it's clean and safe every time.

what they do and what they spend. And acquire knowledge that they never had before through creating systems to achieve the common goal of hey, let's not lose money. Bring in an accounting company to make sure the books are straight. There's all these things that go on but not everyone is the same. Sometimes it's family members who are the problem and we get rid of some of them because we can't work together. You know how a business runs.

Where did this tough love come from? We trek back and see why it isn't being successful and we take it piece by piece. Is it financial? Is it staffing? Is it food? Is it service? Is it the hard physical plant itself ? Is it a color? We break it down and that way I can figure out, ok, when I leave here in 36 hours, who is going to be responsible for the running of this restaurant and are they going to be able to do it the same as me. We change the attitude of the cooks and we revamp the place and we show them how to buy fish the way it's supposed to be bought, how to use and handle it, and obviously, we teach them how critical a part ice plays because the fish has to sit on fresh ice. So I put systems in place to be able to make sure that when I do leave, it doesn't change. Those who listen, thrive, and we've proved that. We've had restaurants go from half a million

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dollars in debt to a million five in revenue. One restaurant owner texted me just last night that now you can't even get in the doors, after I was there a year ago.

Why is it so important to get the right distributor, the right specialty house? I'm the spokesperson for Sysco, which has the largest farm of people on the planet. Or at least it seems that way! It goes from the seed all the way through its growing period to the end of the table, with its products. And at any one point, we can tell you what is in that herb, what is on that lettuce. And where it comes from. Same with their fish. Sysco actually teaches growers how to farm in a different way. Not to teach them to farm, but teach them to farm so they make more money on their product, sustainability and everything. It's so important.

Can a restaurant serve healthy food and be successful? Restaurants can offer healthy food and it doesn't have to be filled with butter and cream and eggs. It has to be available, if that's what you want. But also there has to be a variety. We talk about gluten-free; we talk about all these nutrition fads. Some are health-related, some are just fads but we as chefs have to adapt to that to keep our business

going. Fresh food simply with the least amount done to it using fresh fruit and herbs, low sodium, soy sauces and honeys instead of refined sugars, that's the key. We can do the same thing, we just have to cut the butter and eggs and sugar back, and yes, my restaurants do it and they thrive.

What makes a restaurant fail? There are four things that can be wrong. It's outdated, the decor is dirty, the staff doesn't know what they're doing, the menu is old and redundant. As a business owner, I change my menu every five weeks. If I have people coming in five days a week, I don't want them seeing the same menu. I as a business owner better be on the ball as well when the guests are telling our server something isn't right, make sure they pass that on to the manager to ensure we make the changes to keep them coming back. There's no excuse why you can't change your business, and I do it every week with $10,000 in two days.

What about the popularity of all the cooking shows on TV? What has that done to our industry? Nobody wants to be in our business now – they want to be TV stars, they want to be on television, they want to make money. Or somebody sees that their wife is good at cooking and they can do really nice things with people so they deserve to have a restaurant. Come on. Before I got on TV I was working for 30-something years in the industry from hotels to cruise ships to restaurants. And in the military to get to where I am. And people think it's easy to run a restaurant. I'm the one who stands there and says, if you don't like vacations, if you don't like boyfriends, girlfriends, whatever the case may be, and you want to go work for somebody in the industry for two years for free and don't get paid, go ahead and do it. Sure, it's fun to be a star. But it's also incredibly hard work.

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East Village Chefs Create Literary Menu Scoop hears that Eric Korsh and Ginevra Iverson, the executive chefs and owners of Calliope in the East Village, have organized a series of intimate lunchtime master classes with writers of varying disciplines. Each is limited to 15 guests who sit down to a three-course lunch, while a prominent writer discusses craft and conducts writing exercises. The first, about fiction, was on Jan. 29 with Joanna Hershon, a novelist. The Feb. 4 session will focus on spiritual writing, led by Donna Schaper, a minister and author, and the Feb. 12 session is on memoirs, with Daphne Merkin, an essayist and novelist. Playwriting will be covered Feb. 27 with David Adjmi and March 6 with Lisa Kron. Calliope is located at 84 East Fourth Street.

Former NYC Headhunter Finds Fare With Suds Scoop says you may get to know Kevin Heald by the jaunty fedoras he sports, but you’ll get to love him for the jam-packed, American-focused beer and cheese he sells in his aptly

After the Great Recession hit, he decided to leave behind a 20-year career as a headhunter and be the one to build the suds and curds spot he’d

American Style, the makers of a smallbatch chili sauce, live right around the corner. Others, like Brooklyn-based Granola Lab, first came to the neighborhood via the Hester Street Fair. Taste matters, but he’s most interested in stories, which he can recount, one after the other, as he walks around the tiny store. Artisan ingredients may have been the inspiration, but over time Heald began devoting more of

dreamed of.

named Lower East Side shop, Malt & Mold. Heald moved to the neighborhood nine years ago and from the start wished for a little spot to buy great bread, cheese and charcuterie. After the Great Recession hit, he decided to leave behind a 20-year career as a headhunter and be the one to build the suds and curds spot he’d dreamed of. He opened Malt & Mold in May 2012, stocking the shelves with homegrown artisan ingredients. Heald’s buying philosophy starts with local love. Some producers, like A&B

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Heald moved to the neighborhood nine years ago and from the start wished for a little spot to buy great bread, cheese and charcuterie.

the shop to beer. His selection focuses on American, with many local brewers on the shelves and on tap: Kelso is famous for its limited-run sours; Grimm Ales, out of Gowanus, make a

brand new beer every month; Rockaway Brewer is a one-man show that opened a year ago in Astoria. He also stocks Bad Seed Cider, which he grabbed on weekly Greenmarket runs before the farm-based brand got picked up by a distributor. At Malt & Mold’s weekly tastings, Heald taps at least three to four kegs and a few bottlers, sometime serving 10 to 12 varieties at a time. He planned a Grimm tasting three months in advance, buying up a new keg with each release until he had several to serve. As for the mold, Heald curates a selection of domestic and imported cheeses, some of which star on a daily sandwich special. There’s no menu, just a recitation from Heald of what’s on offer. Heald has to wear a hat while making the food, but there are no health department hairnets for him. His shop’s philosophy extends to his headwear, too – hence the rack of fedoras alongside the cheese cooler, made by a very local artisan: His wife, a milliner, works downstairs in the same building.

Brooklyn Diner Boat Harbors Dream

Scoop sees that diners can now have a drink in Greenpoint, eat an appetizer under the Brooklyn Bridge and enjoy a main course next to Lady Liberty, all while seated at the same table. Called Brooklyn’s first diner boat” by its creators, the Water Table made its first official cruise last month, serving up mouthwatering views along with its menu. It’s all set on a World War 11-era minesweeper that’s been re-created as a floating New England tavern. “Brooklyn is more than just a geographic location,” says Sue Walsh, 34 co-founder of the Water Table. Brooklyn is also an adjective, and a dining experience on a boat reflects what people in Brooklyn are looking for right now.” Guests will board the boat at the India St. pier in Greenpoint, where commuters take off across the East River for work each weekday on Wall Street and Midtown bound ferries. The Water Table patrons take their seats around a long table in the interior cabin, where they’ll soon savor a three-course pix fixe menu. But not before placing their drink orders. The ship will make a leisurely loop around Manhattan, or might head into the harbor for a spin around the Statue of Liberty. It all depends on the tides and the captain’s mood. Over the two-and-a

half hour cruise; there will be more cocktails, an appetizer min course and dessert. While there are dinner service yachts docked in Sheepshead Bay and other Brooklyn ports, they primarily host catered private parties. The Water Table can be rented out for private parties, but it sets itself apart by being a traditional restaurant taking reservations for parties of two to six people.

Harlem Chef Tabbed By Forbes Scoop says Uptown’s golden chef has cooked his way to the top. Chef de cuisine Joseph (JJ) Johnson joined a host off heavy hitters like singers Bruno Mars and Rihanna, as well as US. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, on Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list of movers and shakers. “Last year I said, ‘What does it take to be on the Forbes list?”’ said 29-yearold Johnson, a chef at the Cecil, an Afro-Asian –American brasserie in Harlem that opened last year to rave reviews. “Then I woke up on a Monday morning last month and I’m on the list.” Johnson, winner of Bravo’s “Rocco’s Dinner Party,” was named one of the 450 brightest stars in the country by Forbes, which praised his culinary imagination, which on Cecil’s menu includes entrees ranging from Chi-



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• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

181 Marsh Hill Road 91 Brainard Road 566 Hamilton Avenue 15-06 132nd Street 1966 Broadhollow Road 720 Stewart Avenue 43-40 57th Avenue 1335 Lakeland Avenue 650 S. Columbus Avenue 305 S. Regent St. 777 Secaucus Road 45 East Wesley Street 140 South Avenue 1135 Springfield Road

cois Payard has had his own epiphany. Payard has partnered with Valrhona, the French chocolate maker, to create an extreme version of Galette des Rois, or King’s Cake, which is traditionally eaten Jan. 6 to mark Three Kings Day, a

Chef de cuisine Joseph (JJ) Johnson joined a host off heavy hitters on Forbes magazine’s annual “30 Under 30” list of movers and shakers.

nese Chicken Sausage to Veal Kimchi. “JJ works hard and he really cares about his work,” said restaurateur Alexander Smalls, who along with businessman Richard Parsons created the Cecil and solicited Johnson to be the restaurant’s chef. “I was looking for a partner chef who was not afraid to dream, to own someone else’s idea and to make it their own. No one is more deserving.”

Cronut Chef Teams With Valrhona Scoop notes that in keeping with the new tradition of dessert royalty partnering with chocolate companies – a la cronut creator Dominique Ansel’s partnership with Neuhaus, the Beglian chocolatier, famed Patissier Fran-

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Orange, CT 06477 Hartford, CT 06114 Brooklyn, NY 11232 College Point, NY 11356 Farmingdale, NY 11735 Garden City, NY 11530 Maspeth, NY 11378 Bohemia, NY 11716 Mt. Vernon, NY 10550 Port Chester, NY 10573 Secaucus, NJ 07094 S. Hackensack, NJ 07606 S. Plainfield, NJ 07080 Union, NJ 07083

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Payard has partnered with Valrhona, the French chocolate maker, to create an extreme version of Galette des Rois, or King’s Cake.

holiday in recognition of the Christian feast of the Epiphany. Payard’s flaky puff pastry is filled with almond cream and chocolate ganache. A majority of the chocolate comes from Nkwanta, Ghana, and Valrhona’s purchase of the Nkwanta cocoa bean helps fund a well-drilling project in Nkwanta, providing clean water to more than 2,500 people in the district,

203-795-9900 860-549-4000 718-768-0555 718-762-1000 631-752-3900 516-794-9200 718-707-9330 631-218-1818 914-665-6868 914-935-0220 201-601-4755 201-996-1991 908-791-2740 908-964-5544 continued on next page

800 of whom are cocoa farmers.

Flay Set to Sip In Sag Harbor Scoop says the New Year will bring more changes to once sleepy Sag Harbor in the Hamptons. With high prices pushing out many of the last mom and pop shops that made Sag Harbor so charming, celebrity chef Bobby Flay is arriving next summer. Flay will take over the space now run by Espresso Italian Specialty and Grill,

With high prices pushing out many of the last mom and pop shops that made Sag Harbor so charming, celebrity chef Bobby Flay is arriving next summer.

a sandwich shop at 184 Division St., a small residential street in the heart of the village. “The closing is slated for next month,” owner Corrado Paini said. “The real estate prices have gone crazy over here,” said Paini, who launched Espresso with co-owner Richie Camacho almost 20 years ago. The 2,000 square foot spot serves up a new platform for Flay. Flay and his wife, actress Stephanie March, have been fixtures on the Hamptons social scene for the past decade, and their Amagansett beach home was featured in Elle Decor in September. Flay, whose empire includes Bar Americain, Bobby Flay Steak in Atlan-

tic City, Bobby’s Burger Palace, along with Mesa Grills in the Bahamas and Las Vegas, will use the Sag Harbor location to launch a Southern BBQ spot.

The Economics Of The New Tavern Deal Scoop notes Tavern on the Green seems fraught as an investment, deal with the city calls for partners Jim Caiola and David Salama to owe the city a licensing fee of at least $1 million next year, or 6 percent of the total sales, whichever is greater. That figure already dwarfs the 3.5 percent the LeRoy family paid each year during its tenure, and Caiola and Salama’s rent will only go up from there. By 2033, Tavern on the Green will owe the city at least $3.3 million, or 15.5 percent of sales. In order to comfortably afford those payments and to avoid having to raise more money to pay the city, Caiola’s initial projection for next year called for Tavern on the Green to take in more

“The real estate prices have gone crazy over here,” said Paini, who launched Espresso with co-owner Richie Camacho almost 20 years ago.

Seaport Scoop hears that New York movie lovers, fond of Gotham’s art houses, will soon get a film experience that rivals that in LA’s private screening rooms. iPic, a chain of luxe theaters with seats

iPic, a chain of luxe theaters with seats and food and drink service has signed a deal for a 40,000 square-foot location at the South Street Seaport.

and food and drink service comparable to those of first-class airlines, has signed a deal for a 40,000 square-foot location at the South Street Seaport. The complex, at 11 Fulton St. in the Fulton Marketplace, is set to open in mid-2015. Seeing a movie at the 505seat, eight-auditorium iPic theaters will cost $14 to $28 per person, de-

pending on the night of the week and the level of service. Founded in Milwaukee six years ago, the fast-growing high-end movie theater concept now has eight locations scattered across the country, and will have doubled in size when it bows in the Big Apple. “iPic takes a commodity experience and turns it into an extraordinary night out by providing services and amenities that are not typically found in a movie theater but are what you would expect out of a five-star hotel,” said Chief Executive Hamid Hashemi. “Everything is being specially designed so that waiters can serve theatergoers without interrupting anyone’s entertainment experience,” Hashemi said. To this end, there will be an aisle between every two chains and personal service call buttons at each seat. The menu will feature such offerings as filet mignon slides, Thai coconut shrimp and grilled lemon chicken satay. Lower-priced tickets will offer express food from a counter with no waiter service.

Partridge Members Descend On New Skylark Venue Scoop says there is nothing more mag-

than $17 million, serving 600 sit-down meals a day on weekdays and 1,200 on weekends with an average restaurant check of $50 per person, not including tax and tip.

iPic Set to Bring Unique Dining/Movie Experience to

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Scoop hears that New York movie lovers, fond of Gotham’s art houses, will soon get a film experience that rivals that in LA’s private screening rooms.

ical than watching the sun set from three hundred feet above New York City, as the light shimmers off skyscrapers and across the Hudson River. Located in the heart of New York’s Fashion District, Partridge Club's membership got to enjoy exactly that last month as the club convened its monthly meeting at the spectacular new Skylark in midtown. Manhattan’s newest and most innovative lounge and roof deck hosted New York's preeminent scholarship and networking club.  The Partridge Club awards annual scholarships to a number of schools

(L to R) The Partridge Club toasted the New Year with notables led by Continuum Health’s Barry Schlossberg, Memorial Sloan Kettering's Tanaisha Peets and Herb Sedler of Paper Enterprises


Club members enjoyed the breathtaking panoramic views of New York City landmarks including the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Hudson River. including: The Culinary Institute of America, City Tech in Brooklyn, Johnson and Wales, Paul Smith College and Cornell University. Club members enjoyed the breathtaking panoramic views of New York City landmarks including the Empire State Building, Times Square, and the Hudson River. EYE saw Fresh and Tasty's Peter Fernandez, PBAC's Larry Cantamessa, Michael Posternak and Keith Fitzgerald, Minners Designs. Maureen Cole and Jill Ostaszweski as well as Ross Genesin and the retired to Florida Herb Sedler.  The Partridge Club toasted the New Year with notables led by Continuum Health’s Barry Schlossberg and Kings41 • February 2014 • Total Food Service •

brook Jewish MC’s Frank Coffey. Nobody does it better than Jim Kirsch and Alison Awerbuch of Abigail Kirsch Catering when it comes to creating a vision for a property. In addition to the spectacular views Partridge members and their guests enjoyed the exclusive mixologist’s cocktail menu based on classic inspirations that are rendered using only the freshest ingredients. The light fare options by Abigail Kirsch included a variety of small bites.


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IRFSNY Show Preview with General Manager Ron Mathews As the economy expands again, it's good news for restaurants. And just as it's good news for the foodservice industry, it's even greater news for those who sell to it.


t translates directly into our show in the same manner,” says Ron Mathews, general manager, International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York (IRFSNY), which takes place March 2 through 4 at the Javits Center in NYC. “When the restaurants are looking for growth, they need more equipment. They look for expansion, they look for renewal, and it becomes, how do I now look different, look better,” says Mathews. “They start a little bit of spending. They think about updating their restaurants, their front of house, their menu itself and because really what it becomes is a battle for consumer loyalty. And they achieve that through a sincerely valuable customer experience. That can happen in many ways – the specific menu they're offering, like a menu based on locally-sourced ingredients, the service levels that they might be able to increase, or where they expand a floor plan, “creating a nicer atmosphere. It's different for everyone,” Mathews points out. And that's where the show comes in. Many restaurateurs feel it's a place where they can go to see what the latest trends are, and then how to execute on those trends.

“When the restaurants are looking for growth, they need more equipment. They look for expansion, they look for renewal, and it becomes, how do I now look different, look better,” says Mathews.

Local sourcing, one of the biggest trends right now, of course, is top of mind for IRFSNY. “People want to know where the foods they eat come from, if they're coming from the local farms, local providers, local vendors. And consumers feel better about what they're eating because they are driving revenue and income into the areas that they support geographically,” explains Mathews. Another trend? “Pairing in the specialty cocktail menus are quite

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the trend and you're seeing that all around now, because restaurants are trying to increase that average check and to increase the average check, you have to give people a unique and distinct offering. If they're already picking the food, you've got to make your cocktail offering unique and distinctive – whether it's micro-brewed beers, a huge variety of wine, or just a pairing selection, or the specialty cocktails that we see on TV and in some of the clubs today,” Mathews

notes. And don't forget the celebrity chefs and mixers. “That's also become a point of distinction for a lot of restaurants, advertising that they have a professional, trained or certified or recognizable mixologist on their staff who developed that menu. It creates a unique position in the marketplace.” Mathews says the registration part of things is like a focus group for him. “What are people talking about? What are the patterns of the things I'm seeing? What's that buzz? And usually people who go to these shows come out of there with ideas. Maybe they haven't seen it in advance. But, they come out with it.” Has the Internet changed any of this? “Absolutely not,” says the show GM. “You can't touch and feel and experience firsthand on the Internet the way you can when you're faceto-face, holding a product, talking to somebody who produced the product, understanding the benefits of how it works for you. It's a lot like buying a home. You can find out online how many bathrooms, how many bedrooms, how many whatever it might have. But does it feel like home? You've got to go see it, to feel it. How many times have people gone somewhere after looking at a picture, only to find it didn't look so good when they got there. And they don't get that until they're in front of it, feel it, pick it up.” The show also presents seminars on everything from the Ferdinand Metz Food Service Forum to all kinds of contacts who help restaurateurs stay ahead of the game. “What are

continued on page 98



New Industry Initiative Gives Returning Vets Service Sector Opportunities They've given it all for our country. Yet there are 12% of the homeless (those 31 to 50 which make up the largest part of this population), they often suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, and their unemployment rate is three times what it is for others their age. We're talking, of course, about veterans.


arol Multack thought someone should do something about this. Why not offer courses that allow both male and female vets to train for positions in foodservice? That was Multack's vision to help vets get reestablished, once they're home, when she started Vet2Tech. “I come from a military family,” she says. “I had three brothers who served, as well as my father.” At the time she came up with the idea, Multack was working at Tech U 24/7, which offers online interactive courses. “And I went to George Nicholson, the president, and said, this is something that I think could be really awesome for your programs. Train vets. It's a great fit. “ That very weekend, Multack started the nonprofit by filling out all the paperwork, hiring an attorney, filing for 501 (c) 3 status, “and started hitting the foodservice industry to tell them what I was trying to do.” What she envisioned was a very well rounded program that made sure that the industry was aware that she was going to try and fill technician positions with veterans. “I needed their participation to do that. I wanted them to commit, especially to those in the National Guard and the Reserve. I said, if I send you a well-trained candidate, you have

to honor that commitment. And so, within about 15 months, I'd developed, with the help of Tech U 24/7, a database of over 800 veterans.” The companies and manufacturers she approached said that, if she trained the veterans and they passed a test, proctored by that business, they would get an interview. And it's working. “People are calling but I don't have enough veterans to fill these positions yet,” says Multack. Even better, every veteran who takes that proctored exam – whether hired or not – has his or her name entered into a proprietary database where they can be approached by another business at any time. Multack says it took her seven months to get approved by the VA for this program. “Laying the foundation took an enormous amount of time, as well as creating the database. But I have 44 veterans who have started the program. Sixteen completed the program and 11 have been hired.” What made her think veterans would do well in the foodservice industry?

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“There's no veteran who doesn't understand what it means to work hard and smart for the betterment of an organization. That's what the military is all about.” Multack says her vets are very accustomed to online training and this particular program is geared towards a younger audience. “It's 'gamified,' simulator-based. It's not read this, answer a question.” It's just a great fit, Multack says. “When they go in to see a customer, every veteran I've talked to is, yes, Ma'am. no Ma'am. Thank you Ma'am. And I'm thinking, oh, lighten up. But they're going to raise the level in the service industry because they have that integrity.“ How is the online coursework aligned with the foodservice industry? “Our introduction is created by NAFAM, so they understand what it looks like in the front of the kitchen, front of the house in a restaurant, back of the house, the equipment they'll be working on. They spend anywhere from six to 18 months in on the job training, or apprenticeship, and depending on how quick they are to learn, after following a senior technician on the job for that amount of time, they go on to the test.” Many veterans are surprised to learn that the skills they learned in the military are transferable. The businesses they go to work for are thrilled, says

Multack, because it's often hard – and costly – to train a technician. “And then they leave! These people come to them trained, experienced and ready to go.” For foodservice businesses, it couldn't be easier, Multack says. “They just go to TechU24/7, fill out a short form – basically just contact information - and they check, willing to hire veterans.” Someone from Tech U 24/7 follows up with a phone call, explains the program, and reinforces the business' commitment to hire veterans. “And then, when a veteran comes through in that area, when they're about three-quarters of the way through, we help them with their resumes,” says Multack. “We help with their interview skills. We help with everything.” Every so often, Multack comes across a veteran who makes her realize just how meaningful this work is. She recalls a veteran who had a Purple Heart but never mentioned it. Only going through paperwork did we find it. “He said, “Well, I went to Afghanistan the first time. And I was in a humvee – I'm a humvee mechanic – and we were ambushed. Everyone in my unit was killed. There was one man still breathing. I carried him out. That's when I received my first Purple Heart.'” But he wasn't done yet. This 26-yearold man was also shot in the chest and leg. “I went stateside for three months. I re-enlisted and went back,” Multack recalls his story. “They sent me to Fallujah, where I was shot again, in my arm and eye – a roadside bomb – and was sent stateside again. I re-enlisted again. They gave me a bronze medal and said, go home.” The young soldier ended up with two Purple Hearts, along with the bronze star. “And I said, 'Roderick, please finish this course, because I can't wait to get you hired,'” says Multack.

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English Headlined Annual Mohegan Sun Wine and Food Fest The Mohegan Sun mega resort and casino in Connecticut welcomed wine lovers and renowned chefs including four-time James Beard award-winner and restaurateur Todd English to this year’s Sun WineFest which took place late last month.


he Mohegan Sun, also home to Todd English's Tuscany restaurant, hosted the weekend foodie celebration that featured popular events such as the WineFest Grand Tasting and the annual Mohegan Sun Oyster Open, now in its 10th year. The three-day festival allowed guests to sample over 1,000 fine wines as well as to indulge in an impressive lineup of international beers and spirits. This year for English and his Tusca-

ny team, it was all about the Buffalo, specifically, fresh hand-pulled buffalo mozzarella from MapleBrook Farm in Vermont, and house-made, local Connecticut buffalo milk curd. English highlighted the artisanal, farmfresh creamy richness of the mozzarella. Along with the cheese was a selection of air-cured meats, salami, and a gyro-roasted Mortadella from Salumeria Biellese of New York City. Also featured was English’s famous meatballs made from local Connecticut bison. “Connecticut actually has buffalo

The Mohegan Sun, also home to Todd English's Tuscany restaurant, hosted the weekend foodie celebration that featured popular events such as the WineFest Grand Tasting and the annual Mohegan Sun Oyster Open, now in its 10th year.

farms now and the meat is nice and lean and makes for delicious meat sauces and meatballs,” says English. “We also featured a variety of fresh seasonal produce provided by Jansal Valley Farms, Sid Wainer & Son of New Bedford, MA." Other festival highlights began when English joined renowned chefs including Robert Irvine and Jasper 50 • February 2014 • Total Food Service •

White for an evening of memorable cuisine at the Celebrity Chef Dine Around. Wine enthusiasts had the opportunity to mingle with the chefs as they prepared their specialty dishes and paired them with the perfect premium wine, beer or crafted cocktail throughout the festival’s live cooking stations. “The WineFest is a unique opportunity for individuals to expand their wine knowledge and sample hundreds of vintages in a few days,” explained Chef English. “Much like cuisine, wine is often about personal taste. I have always enjoyed educating people about the pairing of food with the right vintages because I know how much it can elevate the dining experience. What I love about the WineFest is that it gives people the chance to try wines that they may have never before had the chance to.” Todd English is a renowned chef, restaurateur, author, entrepreneur, and television personality based in Boston, Massachusetts and New York City. He is a four-time James Beard Award winner and inductee into the James Beard Foundation's "Who's Who in Food and Beverage in America.” He is the CEO of Todd English Enterprises which owns, manages and licenses over 20 restaurants worldwide including Olives (New York, Las Vegas, Mexico City, Bahamas), Todd English Food Hall (New York, Manila 2014), Todd English P.U.B. (Las Vegas, Birmingham), Figs (Boston, Charlestown, Kuwait, Nantucket and Macy’s West Palm Beach), BlueZoo (Orlando), Ca Va (New York), Todd English Restaurant (Queen Mary 2), Tuscany (Mohegan Casino) and Isabelle’s CurlyCakes (Boston).

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NYC Equity Firm Apollo Adds Slice To Restaurant Portfolio The parent company of the Chuck. E. Cheese restaurant chain has agreed to be acquired by an affiliate of Apollo Global Management for about $950 million.


ounded in 1977, Chuck E. Cheese restaurants are known for their mix of games, play areas and robotic characters that provide musical entertainment. The chain has been struggling to lift sales,

even after a makeover for its rodent mascot in 2012 that was intended to refresh its outdated image. Leon Black's New York City investment firm Apollo, which buys troubled companies using borrowed money and tries to sell them for

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more, usually years later, in a transaction known as a leveraged buyout. The companies say Apollo will pay $54 per share for CEC Entertainment Inc. That's about a 25 percent premium over CEC's closing price on Jan. 7, the last trading day before media speculation regarding a transaction, the companies noted. They put the deal's value at about $1.3 billion, including debt. CEC has approximately 17.6 million outstanding shares, according to FactSet. CEC may seek out superior proposals from limited third parties until Jan. 29. The company, which recently announced that it adopted a shareholder rights plan, had been reviewing its strategic options. A shareholder rights plan, also known as a "poison pill," is commonly used by businesses to try to ward off hostile takeover attempts. CEC said its shareholder rights plan was implemented to help its board "in overseeing a fair and orderly process" and to maximize shareholder value during a sale of the company. CEC said its rights plan won't prevent or restrict any person from making a superior bid. CEC and its franchisees run 577 Chuck. E. Cheese locations in 47 states and 10 foreign countries or ter-

ritories. The restaurant was founded by Nolan Bushnell, one of the founders of the video-game company Atari. Its mascot has undergone various changes over the years; at one point, its personality was depicted as a "lovable thug" from New Jersey that sometimes held a cigar, according to fan site CEC said its board unanimously approved the transaction. The company's shares were up $6.04, or about 12 percent, at $54.47. Apollo Global Management, LLC is an American private equity firm, founded in 1990 by the former Drexel Burnham Lambert banker Leon Black. The firm specializes in leveraged buyout transactions and purchases of distressed securities involving corporate restructuring, special situations, and industry consolidations.  As of March 2013, Apollo managed over US$114 billion of investor commitments across its private equity, credit and real estate funds and other investment vehicles making it one of the largest alternative investment management firms globally.  Chuck E. Cheese joins CKE (Hardee's and Carl's Jr. Restaurants. Ltd) in the Manhattan based firm's portfolio. Among the most notable companies currently owned by Apollo are Claire's, Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Realogy (Coldwell Banker and Century 21 Real Estate), and CORE Media Group (American Idol, Elvis Presley Enterprises and Muhammad Ali Enterprises).


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Paris Gourmet Presents The 25th Annual U.S. Pastry Competition: One Of The Most Prestigious Pastry Competitions Twelve rising stars, listed below, of the pastry world have been selected to compete for the coveted title of Pastry Chef of the Year. The theme of this year's Paris Gourmet's U.S. Pastry Competition is Film Animation.


his exciting event will take place at the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York on March 2 from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm, with

• • • • • • • •

the awards ceremony at 4:00 pm. All attendees of the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York are invited to see the illustrious showpieces created by America's

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leading pastry chefs. Attendees will be dazzled by the exquisite showpieces by the following finalists:  • Bruno Feldeisen, Four Seasons Hotel - Vancouver, BC

• •

Kivanc Kaymak, FontaineBleu - Miami, FL Eric Kalaboke, St. Regis - New York, NY Pedro Gomez, Calihan Catering - Chicago, IL Monica Ng,  Sirio Ristorante New York, NY Arlety Estevez,  L'Auberge Casino & Hotel - Baton Rouge, LA Ruwan Kamburapolage, The Hurricane  - New York, NY Pierre Poulin, Aureole - New York, NY Yoshikazu Kizu, The Ritz Carlton - Orlando, FL Cher Harris, The Hotel Hershey - Hershey, PA Joseph Comm., The Pennsylvania School of Culinary Arts

Kimberly Schielke, The Pluckemin Inn - Bedminster, NJ

Board members of the Societe Culinaire Philanthropique, one of the oldest and most prestigious chef associations in the world, will preside over the judging procedures. Contest awards will total over $10,000.00. The showpieces will remain on view for the duration of the Show.  The main sponsor of the event, Paris Gourmet, is a leading specialty food importer and distributor based in New Jersey sourcing products worldwide, including North America. Other sponsors include Cacao Noel Chocolate, Pastry 1 (pastry ingredients), Beurremont Butter, Gourmand and Maison de Choix. New products

from the sponsors will be on display as well. The 21st Annual International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York will bring together thousands of foodservice, restaurant and hospitality professionals from New York State, and will feature more than 500 leading vendors, accompanying the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum education sessions and buzz building special events.  Sponsored by the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) and produced by Urban Expositions the show will be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, Sunday, March 2, 2014 through Tuesday, March 4. To learn more, visit

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SternoCandleLamp Celebrates 100th Anniversary Of Sterno Canned Heat In NYC SternoCandleLamp is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the introduction of iconic Sterno® Canned Heat. In 1914, the maker of fine chafing dishes introduced Sterno Canned Heat, advancing the quality of portable warming forever.


rom foxholes to fine dining the Sterno brand has always played an important role in the American experience. Today SternoCandleLamp produces a wide range of portable warming and creative lighting products for a global audience of foodservice professionals and consumers. “2014 marks the 100 year anniversary of the first patented chafing fuel. Few companies can boast a century of maintaining relevance with their original product line nor have the kind of universal brand name recognition of Sterno. Sterno® Canned Heat is a vital part of our heritage and a key ingredient in helping make SternoCandleLamp what it is today," said Mike Pacharis, vice president of marketing, SternoCandleLamp. With the strength of iconic Sterno® Canned Heat and continuous innovation, SternoCandleLamp develops and brings to market new products that give foodservice industry professionals greater control over food

quality and décor. SternoCandleLamp’s most recent innovations include environmentally preferable wick and gel chafing fuels (Green Restaurant Association Endorsed), the WindGuard™ Fold-Away Stainless Steel Chafer, the 15,000 BTU Butane Stove with WindBlock, and the Lumina FX2 Rechargeable Flameless Candle System. These products are available through local foodservice distributors. SternoCandleLamp, the result of the successful integration of 119-year-old Sterno and 30-yearold Candle Lamp, is proud to be the trusted provider of portable food warming and creative lighting solutions for the foodservice industry. Fueled by imagination and a genuine passion for environmentally friendly product innovation, unrivaled value, and extraordinary customer service, SternoCandleLamp’s product line includes wick and gel chafing fuels, butane stoves and accessories, more than 200 lamps, catering equipment, and liquid, traditional wax and flameless candles.

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Beverage-Air Celebrates 70 Years of American Innovation Beverage-Air, manufacturer of a complete line of commercial refrigeration products, recently announced that 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of the company.


everage-Air, founded in 1944 by John Buffington in Punxsutawney, PA, became the leader in the foodservice industry by inventing the first horizontal, forced-air cooler in the Deep Well Series. The company was then known as The Punxsutawney Company with a trade name of “Beverage-Air.” As the business steadily grew and the demand for commercial refrigeration products increased, John brought his brother Herman Buffington on board to help continue to grow the business. This venture would help to make Beverage-Air a nationwide commercial brand by the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. By 1950, Beverage-Air further developed the “air cooled beverage system” for horizontal coolers and expanded the product line to include shallow wells, club bars, dairy models, cube makers and direct draw systems. With business booming in 1958, the decision was made to build a new manufacturing facility in Spartanburg, SC. This facility became the corporate headquarters and the company was renamed Beverage-Air. The industry’s first glass door merchandisers and reach-in coolers were produced at this facility beginning in 1966. To accommodate continued growth in 1969, a second facility was built in Brookville, PA. The original Punx-

sutawney Company closed its doors and all operations were moved to Brookville and Spartanburg. These facilities would see numerous expansions between 1972 and 1990. To meet customer demands and manufacturing requirements, Beverage-Air constructed a third facility in Honea Path, SC in 1995. Throughout the years, the company changed ownership by way of several acquisitions. In 1972, Buffington sold the company to Tannetics, Inc., and was operated by Clinton G. Gerlach. Tannetics was sold to Gerlach Industries, Inc. in 1983. Gerlach Industries, Inc. made the decision to sell the company to Specialty Equipment Companies, Inc. in 1986. Beverage-Air remained a part of Specialty Equipment until it was sold to Carrier Corporation, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation in the year 2000. Finally in 2008, the Ali Group acquired Beverage-Air. The Ali Group is the largest and most diversified global leader in the foodservice equipment industry, consisting of 76 brands worldwide. In 2010, the corporate headquarters was relocated to a newly constructed, LEED® certified facility in WinstonSalem, NC where it remains today as part of the Ali Group North America Campus. In commemoration of its 70th an-

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The goal of the company is to blend its heritage of leadership, exceptional product quality, and solution based engineering to provide customers with a comprehensive range of refrigeration equipment and unmatched aftermarket service.

niversary, Beverage-Air has published a collectible 2014 Calendar that illustrates old/new model innovations with product benefits and features throughout the years. To receive a copy of the limited edition calendar, please contact Beverage-Air at sales@ For 70 years, Beverage-Air has been dedicated to being the leader in in-

novative refrigeration equipment solutions. The goal of the company is to blend its heritage of leadership, exceptional product quality, and solution based engineering to provide customers with a comprehensive range of refrigeration equipment and unmatched aftermarket service. Beverage-Air is a global leader and preferred manufacturer for commercial refrigeration products in the foodservice industry. Beverage-Air is a division of the Ali Group based in Winston-Salem, NC. Founded in 1944 by John Buffington, Beverage-Air is a leading manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment to the foodservice industry. Beverage-Air provides the best value, most diverse product offering, and unmatched quality in the commercial refrigeration equipment industry. Products include reach-in refrigerators and freezers, worktop and undercounters, sandwich and pizza food preparation units, chef bases, blast chillers, glass door merchandisers, school milk coolers,open-air merchandisers, bar equipment including: backbar, deep well, and direct draw models. With 70 years of experience in designing and building commercial refrigeration products, Beverage-Air and its employees are dedicated to excellence in engineering, manufacturing and customer service. Beverage-Air products are manufactured in Brookville, PA, with corporate headquarters located in Winston-Salem, NC. For more information on BeverageAir products and services, please visit

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Metro New York Mixology

with good reason. It is Ninety-two Proof. Or 46% alcohol by volume. Tasting Notes: Bittersweet chocolate and dollops of orange marmalade give way to black walnuts and toasted wheat bread. There is brown butter and hazelnuts in there too along with a mouth coating finish that goes on and on. This is my favorite of the tasting; even more so than the 1947 Ancient Age. Well, maybe not as much, but I can buy more Hudson Baby Bourbon. Once my grandfather’s bourbon is gone, it is gone… A nice simple cocktail for bourbon with four ingredients (ice doesn’t count)

This time of year my palate calls out for brown liquors. And because I’ve just finished my second book there is call for a small celebration of sorts.


bout ten years ago, my grandfather passed away. One of his gifts to me included several bottles of bourbon whiskey. Sitting in front of me there is a bottle of 1947 Ancient Age Bourbon Whiskey. The bottle, elegant in its simplicity and form used to contain just over a pint of the whiskey, now only a few ounces remain. Once it’s gone, then it is gone. Ancient Age is a venerable slurp of history to my family history. Sipping it reveals more than just alcohol, it exposes memories. Toasted nuts and brown butter come into view spreading thickly over my tongue. Oh, you want some? No, that’s impossible, I’m not sharing it. Quite by accident I came across a bottle of Spring Mill Bourbon from Colglazier & Hobson. This handsome ceramic bottle evokes whiskey from another generation. I imagine in the days before glass became the preferred form of transportation, ceramic provided a safe haven for this gorgeous liquor. Rolling in at Ninety Proof or 45% alcohol by volume, this bourbon whiskey provides more than sufficient heat against the chill winds of the winter. The label promises twice barreled, and I’m not quite sure what that means other than the following

Eventide Cocktail

Warren Bobrow Warren Bobrow is the cocktail writer for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista, Voda Magazine and the 501c3 not for profit Wild River Review/Wild Table, where he also serves as an editor.

statement that says charred American oak… That I do know something about because the charring causes the sweet sugars to ooze their way around each glistening drop of the bourbon whiskey. This is a bit more alcohol than the Ancient Age and it shows by forcing a couple of nervous sneezes from my nose. The finish is more like rye whiskey than corn whiskey and that probably explains the sneezing. Rye whiskey always gives me a little sniffle. The label goes on to say Straight Bourbon and that tells me that this

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bourbon is older than two years old. This also means that the bourbon is not caramel neither colored nor adulterated in any way. In other words, it’s the good stuff! My tasting notes on the Spring Mill Bourbon are pretty wine like, so pardon me if I don’t follow the rules of whiskey-speak. Candy corn nose gives way to white pepper and corn pudding finish with salubrious droplets of fire-cooked maple syrup and slathered with sweet butter. This is sophisticated stuff that acts much more grown up than the packaging. It is a fun bottle to say the least. Tuthilltown Spirits from Hudson, NY makes a bourbon whiskey that I’m quite fond of. This is called the Hudson Baby Bourbon. It is so called because of the fact that it is the first bourbon distilled in New York State since prohibition. It is aged in small oak casks that have been charred prior to the bourbon entering the barrel, giving the bourbon a dark color and rich finish. The Baby Bourbon is the most assertive I’ve tasted recently and

Named for a most marvelous restaurant in Portland, Maine Ingredients • 2 oz. Hudson Baby Bourbon • ½ oz. Fruitations Cranberry Soda and Cocktail Syrup • 1 oz. Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water (Lemon) • Fee Brothers Whiskey Barrel Bitters • Hand Cut ice in large cubes Preparation 1. In a Boston Shaker: 2. Add the Baby Bourbon and the Fruitations Cranberry Syrup 3. Fill the other side ¾ with ice and pour the bourbon and syrup over the ice then cap 4. Shake hard for 15 seconds 5. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with one large ice cube 6. Add the Perrier Sparkling Water 7. Drip 3 drops of the Fee Brothers Bitters over the top and sip.

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Consistency is King Customers should not have to spin the roulette wheel each time they visit your restaurant; they should experience the same quality of food and service every time.


t should not matter which chef or server is working on any given day, the customer experience should never be a surprise. It is one of the reasons McDonald’s is the number one restaurant in the world – you know what you’re going to get whether in New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. Consistency is the key to establishing regular clientele, and regular clients are the most important customers to have. Maintaining regular clientele is a critical factor in establishing a solid reputation that will attract newcomers. Assuming you have hired the right employees and trained them properly, here are 4 points to focus on to ensure consistency:

Consistent Messaging Your food isn't the only thing you provide your guests; you also give them an experience. A lack of consistent messaging can turn customers off and stop them from coming back. Your brand’s message has to extend to every single aspect of your restaurant, from the persona of your servers, uniforms, type of music playing in the dining room to the logo on your napkins. Also, all of your advertising, marketing and social media campaigns must be aligned to accurately depict what your restaurant is. Customers trust you to deliver on your promise and they want to know what to expect.

Consistent Food Beyond reducing waste, as referenced

Noelle Ifshin, President & CEO, 4Q Consulting New York, NY n o e l l e @ 4 Q C o n s u l t .c o m

in Measure by Measure, consistency produces the same appetizer, entrée and cocktail every time. For this reason, written recipes and standardized kitchen and bar procedures are essential. You want your signature Salmon entrée to taste the same on Monday night as it does on Friday night. Additionally, establishing correct production levels ensures menu items are available when your guests want them.

Consistent Service Whether you are fine dining, casual table service, or a neighborhood dive bar, guests have certain expectations as to the service they want to receive. How guests are greeted at the door and at the table, when and how their orders are taken, how they are served and treated, are all essential “Steps of Service.” By having these service steps codified, and adhered to, in conjunction with your brand image, ensures a uniform delivery of your product. Great service is achieved by knowing the basic steps of service that guests

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Whether you are fine dining, casual table service, or a neighborhood dive bar, guests have certain expectations as to the service they want to receive.

expect and being able to repeat them time and time again.

Consistent Vigilance You and your manager’s daily vigilance to the standards you set are crucial in order to ward off possible problems. This can be done by getting ahead of any potential issues through proper planning, training, and constant communication. All employees

must know their roles, how to execute them and what to do should they run into problems. As discussed in our previous Blog, Are Your Pre-Service Meetings a Waste of Time? Pre service meetings are the appropriate time to reinforce your expectations and standards with your staff. As an owner, you should know what’s really going on in your restaurant from the guests’ point of view. Consider using trained mystery shoppers from firms specializing in this service, or recruit your own shopper from your pool of friends, acquaintances and even regular customers.  Monitor and engage in on line review and social media sites, such as Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook to see what your guests are saying about you. These observations can serve as a way to identify where improvements need to be made and can be used to retrain, tweak and change as needed. Great dining experiences can be easily cancelled out by one bad experience and one bad experience will cause a customer serious hesitation when deciding whether or not to return to an establishment. You have thoughtfully created a product and image for your restaurant. It is imperative that you preserve that identity. Consistently providing the same quality product can determine the success or failure of your restaurant. This does not mean that your product must be high end or gourmet; it just has to be the same product day in and day out. Don’t know where to begin? 4Q Consulting can develop customized business and operational guidelines to help you start and run your business. Email us today for a free business consultation at

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Blendtec Debuts New Airflow Innovations Blender You've probably sat at a lunch counter and jumped three feet when someone requests a smoothie and the blender thunders into action. “But now, thanks to proprietary airflow innovations and a sound-dampening enclosure, the Blendtec Stealth commercial blender can put an end to all that,” says Kevan Allbee, manager, commercial marketing.


t operates at the sound level of normal conversation despite an industrial-strength 15-amp, 1800-watt, 3.8 peak horsepower motor, according to company officials. Blendtec offers a wide range of commercial countertop blenders for all types of food service businesses, all with a three-year warranty with no cycle restrictions. The Blendtec Stealth also offers a capacitive touch surface with no buttons for easy control and cleaning, a touch slider that adjusts motor speed with the swipe of a finger, 42 pre-programmed blend cycles, and easy online creation of customized blend cycles that can be uploaded to an entire fleet of Stealth blenders via USB to roll out new recipes. Allbee entered the company with a background in delivering broad marketing objectives as a creative director at a variety of businesses, including dot coms as well as firms selling health food and consumer

goods. Allbee says he was brought in to help the 25-year-old engineering and manufacturing company make the leap into marketing in the new digital world. Allbee says that his team is getting back to good core practices. “We’re focusing on establishing strong relationships with our sales partners, improving communication and distribution of our products. Foundational efforts in building our rep groups and supporting our dealers with good materials and promotional support will help them profit by recommending Blendtec to chefs, buyers, and shop owners.” “We’re letting the world know that Blendtec blenders are strong and reliable. They create consistently perfect blended products. They really are work horses that earn profits for its owners.”

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Brooklyn’s Bromberg Set To Debut London Unit Barr Gazetas has designed the interiors for Brooklyn Bowl, a new entertainment venue sited in London’s O2 centre.


he 2,973 space comprises a live music arena, a bowling alley, three bars and a restaurant run by American chef Bruce Bromberg and his Blue Ribbon Restaurants. This is the first Brooklyn Bowl to open in Europe, with the first opening in New York’s Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in 2009. A third is due to open in Las Vegas. The look and feel of London site’s interiors are inspired by its Brooklyn origins, drawing on the fairgrounds of Coney Island in the 1930s. Features include a 7m-high pink and blue neon sign, a recycled timber plank entrance bay, recycled tires for the stage and a recycled corrugated iron roof with skewed triangular lighting ‘to create external focus, and internal drama’, according to Barr Gazetas. Alistair Barr, project manager at Barr Gazetas, says, ‘When you think of bowling alleys in England they’re quite shiny, plastic places, so we did the exact opposite, with lots of solid timber and galvanized metal painted black.’ Barr Gazetas was appointed to the project in February last year, having worked with the O2 since 2004 on projects including designing the piazza in front of the centre. The consultancy initially traveled to the original Brooklyn site to analyze

The look and feel of London site’s interiors are inspired by its Brooklyn origins, drawing on the fairgrounds of Coney Island in the 1930s.

‘what was good about the original, and see it in all different modes, from a quiet Monday to a packed midnight,’ says Barr. The founders of Brooklyn Bowl, Charley Ryan and Peter Shapiro, say the original venues interiors were designed in-house, as was the logo, which is carried through to the new London branch. Barr says, “The main

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logo has been transferred but everything else is up for grabs. I took the owners to Wilton’s Music Hall in east London, as I think there’s a lot of crossover with that sort of look and the Coney Island idea.” Brothers, chefs and restaurateurs Bruce and Eric Bromberg have set trends and ignited passions for almost 20 years with their famed Blue Ribbon Restaurants. They have built their reputation on American comfort foods, and chops and fillets, all with an Asian flair. Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill is a gastronomic tour of the brothers’ culinary affections from their New Jersey boyhoods, education at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and New York City culinary eclecticism. In their early twenties, Bruce and Eric Bromberg attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, graduating with the highest honors with Eric holding the distinction of being the first American to teach classes at the prestigious school. In the late 80s and early 90s, Eric followed cooking school with apprenticeships at top restaurants in France, including Le Recamier in Paris. He then cooked at Raoul’s and Jonathan Waxman’s JAMS in New York City, the American Hotel in Sag Harbor, and Nick and Eddie in Manhattan. Bruce also worked at the American Hotel before attending Le Cordon

Bleu, and then apprenticed in Paris at Le Recamier, Bistro du Louvre and the Michelin two-star Duquesnoy. He learned the art of bread baking at Boulangerie Poilâne in Paris and haute cuisine at Michelin three-star restaurant Pierre Gagnaire in Saint-Etienne. In 1992, the brothers created the first Blue Ribbon in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood, and it was an immediate breakthrough success. Blue Ribbon, or the English translation of Cordon Bleu, represents first prize, top quality, and references Bruce and Eric Bromberg’s culinary experience in France. The original Blue Ribbon restaurant ushered in a new era in dining, one with no reservations and an eclectic mix of familiar and fine foods dressed up or down. The Brombergs’ only rule is that everything served be a simple, delicious and top-notch take on something they love to cook and eat. Blue Ribbon was a trailblazer, a fine dining establishment serving customers from 4:00 PM to 4:00 AM daily. As such, Blue Ribbon became a permanent destination for cooks, waiters, bartenders and other knowledgeable restaurant industry workers in search of an after-work clubhouse where they can always find food that is both delicious and interesting. Bruce and Eric Bromberg released their first cookbook, The Blue Ribbon Cookbook, Better Home Cooking in April 2010 to rave reviews. In it, they share culinary secrets and wisdom learned serving and entertaining their clientele of culinary luminaries and neighborhood regulars alike. Most of the recipes are dishes from their restaurants that the Brombergs have carefully honed over the last 18 years.

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Chocolate & Wine Adds to Bottom Line If you are looking to create a memorable and profitable program for your Valentine’s Day menu, you might consider adding chocolate and wine pairings.


t is estimated that 69% of Americans prefer chocolate over flowers on Valentine’s Day according to a survey conducted by the National Confectioners Association. It’s important to note that a good pairing will depend on the type of chocolate you’re using in your recipe. Overall, you want to match bolder, darker chocolates with bigger wines and lighter, sweeter chocolates, like white or milk, with lighter wines. In general, sweet and fortified wines work better with chocolate than dry wines but there are some dry red wines, like Cabernet or Zinfandel that can work too. Here are my suggested pairings for dark, milk and white chocolate. All you need to do is create a delicious chocolate dessert, add some love and make sure your front of house offers these to every diner. Who can resist chocolate and wine on Valentine’s? Not me!

It’s important to note that a good pairing will depend on the type of chocolate you’re using in your recipe. Overall, you want to match bolder, darker chocolates with bigger Laurie Forster, The Wine Coach, is a certified sommelier, award-winning author and media personality. Forster is the host of her radio show The Sipping Point and her mobile application “The Wine Coach” was listed as one of

sweeter chocolates, like white or milk, with lighter wines.

the Top 8 Wine Apps in Wine Enthusiast. To find out more visit: | @thewinecoach |

Dark There are actually several great choices when choosing a perfect partner for dark chocolate. One of my favorites is Brachetto d’Acqui from the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy. Made primarily from the Brachetto grape, this red sparkling dessert wine

wines and lighter,

has intense raspberry flavors with the perfect amount of sweetness for dark chocolate. Think of it as a raspberry sauce for your chocolate. The bubbles also act to cleanse your palate before each new bite of dark chocolate.

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The traditional favorite of chocolate lovers is Port and I especially like Tawny Port with chocolate. Tawny Ports are known for their dark rich flavors of raisins, toffee, caramel and nuts, which happen to all be great toppings for chocolate. These ports are named after their tawny color, which is obtained by aging the wine

in oak. True Port wines are fortified wines from Portugal (called Porto), but great Tawny Port-style wines are made in Australia, the United States and South Africa. Another fortified wine that is a great partner with dark chocolate is Banyuls. This dessert wine is made from the red grape, Grenache, in the Roussillon region of southern France. Like port, this wine is fortified with a distilled spirit made from grapes. This fortification takes place before fermentation is complete which leaves residual sugar (i.e. sweetness) in the wine. With a rich texture and flavors of raisins, plums, mocha and black cherries, this is the perfect partner to dark chocolate or, to enjoy all by itself!

Milk & White White and milk chocolate require more delicate pairings. These are sweeter chocolates and don’t work with dry wines like dark chocolate does. One of my favorite pairings for these types of chocolates is Moscato d’Asti. Semi-sparkling or frizzante, this sweet white bubbly is made from the Moscato Bianco grape in Piedmont Italy, just like its red relative Brachetto. Perfumed floral aromas mix with flavors of ripe peach and pear. Moscato’s acidity keeps it from seeming too sweet and is a nice contrast to the creaminess of these chocolates. Also, due to its having a lower alcohol content than most wines (57%), it’s a great choice for the end of a meal. Another great partner for white or milk chocolate is a fortified Muscat wine. There are some great French examples such as Beaumes de Venise and Muscat de Riveslates which are the classic standards. New world

countries make their own versions of these Muscat based dessert wines, including South Africa, California and Australia. In Australia, they call dessert wines, like Muscats, “stickies” referring to their full, rich consistency. I especially like the Australian Muscats coming from the Rutherglen region because they are not only delicious but also a good value. Muscats are sweet and full-bodied with the aromas of rose petal, ginger and orange as well as raisins. This Valentine’s Day, as you add chocolate offerings to your holiday menus, take into consideration the type of chocolate when choosing the right wine partner. Not only will this be the perfect ending to your client’s meal but it will add to your bottom line as well!

The Domaine de la Rectorie Banyuls is full and smooth with flavors of red berries and a touch of spice.

Milk Chocolate Pairing Yalumba Museum Muscat (Australia) Made from the red and pink varieties of Muscat, this “sticky” from Yalumba is the perfect sip with milk chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Pairings Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui (Piedmont, Italy) One whiff of the Banfi Brachetto brings images of roses and raspberries to mind. This sweet sparkler has a clean finish that is perfect for chocolate. The acidity of this wine also makes it a good paring for spicy Asian dishes or salads with berry vinaigrettes. Warre’s “Otima” 20 year Tawny Port (Portugal) Aged for 20 years in seasoned oak barrels, this tawny port has perfectly balanced tannins and acids making each sip bright and elegant. Flavors of nuts and raisins make it a great match for chocolate mousse or chocolate with nuts. Aged tawnies are made for consumption and will not improve significantly with added age. Domaine de la Rectorie Banyuls (Roussillon, France) Made from slightly raisinated Grenache grapes, this is a definite soul mate for chocolate! This fortified wine is a great crossover for people who already know and love ruby Port. 75 • February 2014 • Total Food Service •

Yalumba is one of the oldest family run wineries in Australia and delivers great value across all its wines. This sweet Muscat is amber in color with ginger and orange aromas and a touch of rose petal.

White Chocolate Pairing Ceretto Santo Stefano Moscato d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy)

Capitalize on the Moscato craze! Fruity, Fizzy and aromatic, this Moscato will make them as giddy as their first crush. Delicious with every sip and only 5.5% alcohol, this is a great lunch or brunch wine, too. Pair with your white chocolate treats for a heavenly combination.

// EYE


Crain’s New York's "The Business Of Restaurants: How The Eatery Industry Serves New York" EYE thoroughly enjoyed Crain’s New York's panel late last month. The local business trade publication hosted: "The Business of Restaurants: How the eatery industry serves New York" at John Jay College on the West Side.


rain's publisher Jill Kaplan and beat writer Lisa Fickenscher teamed to bring together an all-star panel which was highlighted by Mathew Glazier, President, The Glazier Group, Carolyn D. Richmond, Co-Chair, Hospitality Practice Group Fox Rothschild LLP, Andrew Rigie, Executive Director, NYC Hospi-

The Crain’s event gave industry professionals including Con Ed’s Nathaniel Doyno (L) and Tracks’ restaurants’ Bruce Caulfield the opportunity to trade ideas

Mathew Glazier (L) of the Glazer Group welcomed guests

tality Alliance and Andrew Schnipper, CEO, Schnipper Restaurants. Kudos to Crain’s NY for bringing the industry issues to the forefront. Fickenscher led the panel through a fast paced discussion of topics including PAID SICK LEAVE.  Clearly the abuses of paid sick leave was of major concern to the panel. The group advised rethinking how to

react to the early morning employee sick call. Richmond noted that tip credit issues will not be resolved until governor Andrew Cuomo convenes a new wage board later this Spring.  The panel indicated that the AMERICAN DISABILITIES ACT-ADA continues to challenge the restaurateur in that the operator truly wants to adhere to the concept but often finds the

Crain’s reporter Lisa Fickenscher (C) visited with guests

(L to R) Myriad Restaurant group’s Tracy Nieporent and Drew Davis

(L to R) Fox Rothschild's Greg Davis with Jeffrey Lin and Jonathan Eisenberg of Spark Hospitality

(L to R) Hill Country Hospitality’s Marc Glosserman and Dina Millan

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obstacle of unrealistic litigation. EYE found the IMMIGRATION discussion fascinating. Schnipper outlined the challenge of undocumented workers with high quality counterfeit documents and the inability of the Everify system to manage the issue.  Rigie outlined the positive potential changes coming as new Mayor Bill DeBlasio sees to take the shackles off the punitive LETTER GRADE/HEALTH INSPECTION laws put in place by the Bloomberg administration.  We never knew that today's health inspection program came as the result to the textile/garmet industry leaving the industry and its inspectors being reassigned.  EYE notes it’s a good thing that Kaplan thanked and dismissed the group by 10 because the scintillating discussion could have continued long into the afternoon.

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Rigie of the NY Hospitality Alliance

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Health Care Reform: The Reinsurance Fee and Related Guidance for 2015 A provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that establishes a reinsurance program for health insurance plans in the state health care Exchanges is expected to have a financial impact on employer health care costs.

Bob Fiorito, Vice President of Business Development at Hub International Robert.Fiorito@


his new health reform fee is often called the reinsurance fee. This year, the federal government will assess a $63 fee ($5.25 per month) per covered life based on group health plan participation. Although carriers and third party administrators will pay the assessment directly to the agency on behalf of the plan, the final cost will be passed through to employers sponsoring health plans. In 2014, the federal government will assess a $63 fee ($5.25 per month) per covered life based on group health plan participation. In 2015, the annual contribution rate will drop to $44 per covered life per year. Although the slightly lower fee is welcome news, other sources have estimated a need for higher payments due to adverse selection against the carriers in the individual and small group markets. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) also announced that they are lowering the at-

tachment point at which carriers who incur claims could be eligible for payment through the reinsurance fund. That adjustment is also anticipated to drive pressure for higher future fees. The total amount of fees expected to be collected over the three-year period is $25 billion. Of that amount, approximately $20 billion will fund the reinsurance program, while the remaining $5 billion is to be paid to the U.S. Treasury. HHS has published proposed regulations that would modify the transitional reinsurance program established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The new guidance also addresses other key health care reform provisions, many of which govern health coverage obtained through the Exchange/Marketplace system.

Key Changes Include Reinsurance Program Starting next year and planned for assessments through 2016, group health plans (whether insured or self funded) must make contributions to a “reinsurance program.” The funds are intended to help stabilize premiums for coverage obtained through the Exchange. The new guidance announces planned assessment fees and revises the definitions controlling affected groups with

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In 2014, the federal government will assess a $63 fee ($5.25 per month) per covered life based on group health plan participation.

the changes generally taking effect in 2015. Exchange Enrollment. This year’s initial enrollment for the public exchange runs for a full six month period. The next annual enrollment period for coverage purchased through an Exchange is considerably different. The new guidance specifies that the public exchange enrollment cycle will run from November 15, 2014 to January 15, 2015, and coverage would have to be effective January 1,

2015 for applications received by December 15, 2014. Individuals already enrolled in a “qualified health plan” would have until January 15, 2015 to switch their coverage. Composite Premiums When a small-group insurer offers an aggregated average premium based on a target group’s composition, the insurer must lock into that same composite premium for all new enrollees during the year. The carrier is thereby precluded from adjusting premium based on mid-year enrollment changes. This rule means small employers will be better able to set employee premiums once a year without concern for off-renewal adjustments of employee cost sharing and without concern for whether the employer would have been on the hook for any cost fluctuations. Strategic planning for health reform is fast becoming more imperative than ever. Specific actions must be taken to help address the financial impact of fees like the one described in this article, as well as to adapt to the other new announcements. Consult with your broker to review your particular circumstances and decide on the optimal financial and compliance strategy. Robert Fiorito, serves as Vice President, Hub International Northeast, where he specializes in providing insurance brokerage services to the restaurant industry. As a 20-year veteran and former restaurateur himself, Bob has worked with a wide array of restaurant and food service businesses, ranging from fast-food chains to upscale, “white tablecloth" dining establishments. For more information, please visit www.

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Jersey, from page 28 fine dining a la carte restaurant component of the business, they also host lavish special events like weddings and corporate parties. They're constantly awarded for their ambiance, and were even chosen for an episode of WE TV's My Fair Wedding with David Tutera. That's what makes them an ideal candidate. Their Restaurant Week prices were at the top end ($18 lunch/$38 dinner), but they're consistent with other high end Jersey City restaurants, including the Hamilton Inn, Casa Dante, Edward's Steakhouse, Fire & Oak, Liberty Prime Steakhouse, and Max's of Manila. And their menu looks delicious. The dinner prix fixe included three courses - an appetizer, entrée, and dessert - which, again, is consistent with most participating restaurants. "If I were choosing from the prix fixe," says Cretella, "I would have started with the Harvest Salad. That

comes with apples and pistachios...'s delicious. Then, depending on whether I was cheating or not, I would have either had the Salmon (with lentils) or the Pappardelle with Pork Bolognese. And we have an amazing cranberry apple crostata for dessert, which could always be switched out if someone wanted something else, of course." The point, according to Cretella, is to share the Liberty House experience with guests who haven't yet visited. That's why, she says, "We've always chosen items off of our regular menu. Hudson Restaurant Week brings new people into the restaurant. We feel it's important to have guests experience items that are actually on the menu." And for regular guests - folks who frequent the restaurant? "They use the discounted menu too! It's a great way to save some money!"


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Riese Launches Annual Roundup To Benefit NYC Citymeals On Wheels Throughout February and March 2014, diners at New York City restaurants owned by The Riese Organization will be asked to donate funds to help feed the city’s homebound elderly as part of the initiative known as “Round-Up for Citymeals-on-Wheels.”


ustomers will be asked to round up their guest check to the next dollar or donate

an amount of their choice to support Citymeals, a not-for-profit organization that prepares and delivers week-

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end, holiday and emergency meals to the frail aged throughout the boroughs of New York City.

The Riese Organization, one of the largest restaurant management companies in the area, owns and operates nearly 50 restaurants in New York City proper. Since 1994, when Riese Restaurants first participated in the Round-Up initiative, the organization has raised $2,500,000.  Dennis Riese, CEO of The Riese Organization, is one of the longest tenured members of Citymeals-onWheels’ Board of Directors. Dennis Riese said, “Every year we are honored to take part in the ‘Round-Up’ program with Citymeals-on-Wheels. After passing $2,500,000 last year, we are eager to keep going strong to help our city’s seniors.” Participating restaurants include T.G.I. Friday’s®, Tad’s Broiled Steaks,

Lindy’s, Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, Tim Hortons Café & Bake Shop, HäagenDazs®, Roy Rogers, Nathan’s and for the first time this year, FATBURGER. There will be point of sale materials at each location encouraging guests to round up their check and learn more about the impact they have on feeding elderly in our community. Beth Shapiro, Executive Director of Citymeals, said, “No matter what you

gram. Dennis Riese was honored at the Citymeals-on-Wheels annual “Power Lunch for Women” in 2012 for his work with Citymeals. Feeding and caring for older New Yorkers since 1981, Citymeals-onWheels ( supplies a continuous lifeline of nutritious food

Feeding and caring for older New Yorkers since 1981, Citymeals-on-Wheels ( supplies a continuous lifeline of nutritious food and human company to the city’s homebound elderly.

can give, your donation is a lifeline to your isolated neighbors in need. Thank you to Dennis Riese, all of the participating establishments at The Riese Organization and its customers for their continued generosity.  Their compassion keeps our vulnerable New Yorkers nourished.  We encourage New Yorkers to visit these wonderful restaurants and to help feed their ‘invisible’ neighbors.”  Over the years, Citymeals has raised over $5 million through the “RoundUp for Citymeals-on-Wheels” pro85 • February 2014 • Total Food Service •

and human company to the city’s homebound elderly. Citymeals works with 33 community-based meal centers to deliver over 2 million weekend, holiday and emergency meals to 18,000 of our frail aged neighbors. Last year, more than 12,000 volunteers provided over 55,000 hours of

service. One hundred percent of donations from the public goes toward the preparation and delivery of meals for our most vulnerable neighbors. Citymeals, a 501 (c)(3) charity, has a Charity Navigator 4-star rating and meets the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance Standards.

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Understanding What Training Is Required In Your Food Establishment It will depend on what you do and where you are located.


s a food service operator you need to determine what skills and knowledge are required by you and/ or your staff members to meet regulatory & company expectations and regulations. These can be broken out into basic and advanced bodies of knowledge based on what your food operation is providing to the public and who your customers are.

Wyman Philbrook

Owner of Philbrook Food & Beverage Consulting And Training

The Basics Food Safety- A general requirement is that the Person-in-Charge (PIC) has the knowledge and understanding to apply the regulatory requirements in their food establishment. The FDA’s Food Code is a recognized standard that is used in most states. It is a recommended model from the Food & Drug Administration that is based on input from the Conference for Food Protection (CFP). The biennial CFP meeting is made up of regulatory, academia and industry representatives who identify problems, formulate recommendations, and develop and implement practices that ensure food safety based on the most current science and generally recognized risks. The states have the authority to use or adapt the current or past versions of the Food Code as their food safety regulation and add additional

As a manager part of your responsibility is insuring that your employee understands the requirements for the task that they are responsible for. Some regulations want to see documented food safety training for all the staff. amendments to it. Local regional regulatory agencies can add their own supplements, which can be stricter but cannot conflict with the overriding state regulations. A manager/operator must understand what the town, city, county

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and state regulations are based on the location of their food establishment. So as an example one state may require a hot holding temperature of 1350 F and another may mandate a temperature of 1400 F based on which version or supplement of the food code they are following or using as a reference. There are some states that develop their own regulations but the majority use one of the dated versions+ of the Food Code because the research into risk and preventive action have been accomplished. The CFP currently recognizes 3 food safety training programs that have been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as meeting the requirements of the body of knowledge the PIC should know. (ServSafe, National Registry of Food Safety Professionals (NRFSP) and Prometic) Taking the course and successfully passing the exam will result in a certificate, which has an expiration date.

States have the authority to recognize these certificates, add requirements of retraining & recertification earlier than the expiration or having their own in-state course & certification exam. Your local regulatory inspector will be verifying the validity of training and certification based on the state & local requirements. Validating is accomplished by checking the certificate, asking the PIC questions and observing the operation on the day of the visit. The inspector is gauging the knowledge, understanding and the APPLICATION of that knowledge to the food operation. The local requirement may be that there is always a trained manager on site whenever the food establishment is open, so based on the operating schedule there may be a need for more than one individual to be trained and certified in an establishment. Inspectors will also be verifying the knowledge and understanding of line employees as they conduct their tasks. Typical questions an inspector will ask are: • What personal health symptoms should you report to your manager/supervisor? • What temperature are you cooking this product to? • What should the temperature be for the food items in the steam table or salad bar? • How are you going to cool down this batch of chili? • When should you wash your hands? • What should the final rinse temperature be on this dishwasher? • What should the strength be on this sanitizer? As a manager part of your responsibility is insuring that your employee understands the requirements for

the task that they are responsible for. Some regulations want to see documented food safety training for all the staff.

Advanced Subject Knowledge & Skills HACCP- Regulatory offices will require that high-risk establishments, high-risk procedures or variances from the state & local requirements need a HACCP plan. An understanding of the HACCP principles and their application in an operation will assist in the development of a plan that addresses the specific risks in a food establishment. There are several organizations, and individuals who are recognized as trainers/ instructors of HACCP by the International HACCP Alliance (IHA) and the Association of Food & Drug Officials (AFDO) for Seafood HACCP. Curriculums have been reviewed and approved as meeting the Body of Knowledge required for this specialized system of food safety. Individuals who take the courses will receive certificates with either the IHA seal or from AFDO. Special Processes- Certain procedures are recognized as carrying unique food safety risks and will

When using specialized skills and knowledge in your operation you will need to consider having alternates on your staff that can step into the role when a designated individual is not on-site or leaves your establishment. require both the HACCP plan previously addressed and specialized training and knowledge. Some of these processes and the required training & knowledge that would be required/expected by the regulatory agency prior to approval are: Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) – this category includes Sous-Vide, Cook-Chill, Vacuum Packaging and has the risks of Clostridium Botu-

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linum and Listeria Monocytogenes that need to be addressed. Knowledge & training in the process, the equipment, the food product risks and the control measures for the bacterial pathogens would need to be validated & verified. Specific employees that will use the equipment and processes need to be identified. Smoking- for preservation not for flavor would need to have knowledge verified. Cold smoking of seafood has additional risks. Curing & Fermenting- require knowledge and understanding of water activity, temperature, pH and the specific food products & seasonings that will be used in these processes. When using specialized skills and knowledge in your operation you will need to consider having alternates on your staff that can step into the role when a designated individual is not on-site or leaves your establishment. Cross-training and developing replacements for employees have been mentioned in previous columns but are critical when it comes to specific skills and knowledge. Keep your records on training and designated individuals up to date in your establishment and

with the regulatory agency. Document all updated training and plan to annually retrain and verify the skills & knowledge of your designated staff. Updates in the Food Code and the industry should always be addressed to insure all risks. As stated every state and local regulatory law are different and the PIC needs to understand their compliance needs. There are other functions that have laws & regulations such as human Resource & Employment and Workplace Safety. This column addresses those requirements in Food Safety. In the coming months we will be addressing Cross-Contamination, Cross Contact, Cleaning & Sanitizing.



Predictions Vs. Trends for 2014 Every year there seems to be a contest with predicting the future. What is the next big or changing thing that will make people behave or act differently.

Andrew Catalano, Director of Hospitality & Service Excellence SUNY Downstate at LICH New York, NY


o further explain a prediction is a statement about a way things will happen in the future. Unfortunately, many predictions are not well researched or for that matter have any real relevance other than a person's gut feeling. To the end the reality of most predictions are based on trends. Predictions of food and the enormous amount of likes and dislikes within the world of food is simply based on what is selling to a specific targeted audience. Since food is one of those things that everyone has an opinion, the reality is when it comes to a prediction it is more of a guessing game than a scientific process. Don’t take my word for this, Google 2014 food predictions and you have more hits, opinions, suggestion, experts, critics, and alike telling us what we should be eating in 2014. There is one article that is published

Don’t take my word for this, Google 2014 food predictions and you have more hits, opinions, suggestions, experts, critics, and alike telling us what we should be eating in 2014.

by the National Restaurant Association that is called 2014 Culinary Forecast. This article slices and dices trends as to products, each stage of a meal, movers and shakers, alcohol and the list goes on and on. In my opinion this data has some process of putting numbers to trends. But what is it really telling us? What we need to do is stay focused on borrowing the word that was used in the National Restaurant Association articles called perennial foods.

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This is a list of items from our unhealthy fried foods to what is known as comfort foods. These items lasted through all the trends and changes we face in our competitive food world. With all the changes we cannot lose sight of what are the stable items that create the foundation of our business. Now for my humble food prediction for 2014 and what is in store for our food world. We all know people are talking healthy and there is no

question our food world has been heading in that direction. The difference is, people are putting their money where their mouth is…. Meaning, people are taking the initiative to learn about foods. Many are taking classes not only to talk about health food but to actually cook the stuff. That should not be a surprise with all the cooking and culinary celebrities of today. I can speak first hand as an instructor for CUNY and the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE). More and more people are finally taking our business seriously and food professional have now another challenge to keep up with the knowledge of their customers. One other humble prediction, there will be a focus with equipment and changes to what we are accustomed to and a shift to more sophisticated equipment, that builds efficiencies and expedient performance. Our business is and will remain a tight margin business, and with higher food cost items, tight margins, competition madness, business owners will need to break the paradigm of the food world to balance efficiencies, good tasting, and healthy foods. It will not matter whether we are operating a fast food, casual dining, catering hall, and high end eatery owners need to listen to their customers, keep impeccable data of what is selling and then make good business decisions on what needs to be on the menu. What if your prediction is based on what your customers are saying – just ask them!

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Work Ethic: Minimize Your Trips and Maximize Your Steps Waiters and waitresses are constantly being thrown all around the restaurant. Fetch this, pick up that, take orders, run plates, bring drinks, etc.  It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle and you can wind up looking like a chicken with its head cut off.  The key to being a productive and organized server is learning to minimize your trips and maximize your steps.


hat does it mean to “Minimize Your Trips”? “Minimizing your trips” means organizing yourself so what you’re not constantly going back and forth throughout the entire restaurant when it isn’t necessary. What is important to avoid is to remain calm and focused. Ask yourself “What needs to be done?” and put your tasks in order of importance as well as taking into consideration who has priority. Completing tasks one by one without planning ahead will waste your time…as well as your customer’s. For example, let’s say your Table #1 needs more water and Table #2 needs the debit machine to pay. There are two ways you could possibly go about this. You could: 1. Get the water pitcher 2. Walk to Table #1 to fill up the glasses 3. Go back and put the water pitcher away 4. Pick up the debit machine 5. Walk to Table #2 and have them pay 6. Put back the debit machine and continue on your way

Don’t just take one table’s beverage from the bar. Take the initiative and bring several drink orders at once.  It clears the bar faster, the customers get their drinks quicker, and you don’t have to keep going back to run the next order.   Or you could: 1. Pick up the water pitcher and debit machine at the same time 2. Fill the water on Table #1 3. Have Table #2 pay 4. Bring the water pitcher and debit machine back where they belong and continue on your way. The second way is most obviously the better route to take. Going back and forth for things leads to slower services, less tables and therefore fewer tips in your pocket. Multitasking is a key factor in minimizing your trips. Learn how to do many things at once and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches. If you’re having trouble minimizing your steps, take a good look at your sec-

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tion and your tables from afar, see what needs to be done, and plan accordingly. You will always find yourself at one point or another going back and forth for things, but sometimes that’s out of your control (ex: a customer asks for another beer at the last second). Taking that second to say to yourself “Table #1 needs to pay, I need to greet Table #4, I need to check back on Table #5 and Table #2 needs more water” and then going on to organizing the tasks by priority and importance will help you in the long run. You’ll accomplish more in less time and save you from feeling more tired at the end of your shift.

What does it mean to “Maximize Your Steps”? “Maximizing your steps” basically means “Make every step you take count!” Wandering around aimlessly wondering what the heck you’re doing is going to tire you out. So how do you make every step count? Well, if you’re walking by a table that’s finished eating, why not clear as much as you can? Bringing water to a table? Walk by all your tables to refill water glasses before you put the pitcher away.  Passing by your tables empty handed? Manicure your tables to a tee by picking up dirty napkins, unused cutlery and empty glasses. Do everything you can possibly do while walking through your section before heading off to the bar or to the back of the house. This also applies to running drinks and plates. Don’t just take one table’s beverage from the bar.  Take the initiative and bring several drink orders at once.  It clears the bar faster, the customers get their drinks quicker, and you don’t have to keep going back to run the next order.  Instead of just taking one plate from the kitchen, make your other hand useful by taking a cup or coffee with you or picking up a salad that needs to be taken to a table. Maximizing your steps will help you minimize your trips. You should constantly be having your hands full when entering the dining room or leaving it. Keeping that “hands full” attitude will grab your manager’s attention, letting them know you can handle many different things at once. Remember, if you are capable of multitasking, turning your tables over quickly while at the same time giving an excellent service then everybody wins and your boss

continued on page 98

Chefcetera, from page 31 a meat grinder after I tore through 3 of the pastry chef’s kitchen aids grinding hundreds of pounds of meat. I like it a lot. Do you feel that the restaurant industry suffers too much from Zagat, Yelp, and other consumer review sights? Are consumers depending too much on review? No. I think that all review sights, and publications are great. They are a good place for us to learn from. I read all our reviews, and take some with a grain of salt, and use others to fix things that I either missed or am unaware of. We cook for our customers, and if they

are unhappy, or disappointed on the service we give them, I want to know about it and do my best to fix it. Whether good, bad or a mix of both, what are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in our industry over the years? I’m not sure if it’s good or bad, but I feel like the industry and most restaurants are turning more corporate, and you have to be more sympathetic, and not as hard on employees. When I was coming up in the industry it was no holds barred in the kitchens I worked in. A lot of screaming and yelling, pots and pans being thrown, and

a lot of hazing to newcomers. Some people can take it and some can’t, but the screaming and yelling, and all of that stuff put a lot of pressure on me and pushed me to be perfect. The hazing and messing around brought us closer and there was always a family feeling to the kitchen. It’s not that I condone that kind of behavior all the time, but when it is necessary, it’s nice to have workers that understand and feed off of it. What advice would you give to young chefs just getting started? My advice to young chefs coming out of culinary school, or just starting in

the business is to put your head down and say, “Yes chef!” You don’t know better than the people that have been doing this for years just because you just finished culinary school. Do the job nobody else wants to do… get dirty. If somebody isn’t doing their job, pick up the slack don’t tell on them. I promise somebody will notice, and that will create opportunities for you! Just be hungry, be the first one in and the last one to leave and keep that work ethic and attitude even when you are on top.


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Bloomberg to de Blasio: A NYC Restaurateur's Guide to Understanding the Transition Alot more has changed in New York City than the mayor's name.


t's a good time to be a restaurateur, to be sure, but some new challenges for the foodservice industry are emerging. For the first time ever, restaurant employees will now earn sick days. Not every employee, however, only those working at a food service establishment with five or more em-

Mitchell Segal, Principal, Segal Law LLC Queens, NY g a l b r i @ m s n .c o m

ployees. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg originally set the bar at 15, but NYC's new mayor, Bill DeBlasio, wants to push the law further. The ruling will not go into effect until April, but establishments with five or more employees will now have to award five paid sick days a year to all fulltime employees. Is it good for the employees? Of


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course. But it may put smaller foodservice operations – such as small takeout establishments – out of business, with the potential to affect food trucks, small hospitality employers and the like in the future. The way to get around it is to have no employees working more than 30 hours per week. As long as you keep four or fewer employees working less than 30 hours, the law will not affect you.  Another issue that will cause restaurants an additional expense is the American Disabilities Act (ADA). DeBlasio believes very strongly in enforcing this legislation and restaurateurs have to conform. Make sure if you're building a new restaurant, or modifying an older one, you have handicapped access, to bathrooms as well as entrances and exits. Otherwise, you're potentially going to face city penalties.  Bars and clubs face similar requirements, but in addition, it appears the state liquor authority is cracking down on violations, as well. Don't allow under-age drinking, overcrowding, reckless operation, you name it. Any of these infractions could result in stiff fines. The authority these days is administering troubling and expensive fines, in my opinion. It's very hard for small businesses to pay $2500 for one violation, or $10-15k for a couple, believe me.  Understand and follow the laws because it can be very debilitating if you get caught. Good training up front, experienced bartenders who know the rules, the proper security and identification – these are all critical to stay on the right side of the law.  Another thing DeBlasio is stepping up is health inspections, like what Bloomberg has done. But he's taking

Some may choose to pay the fine. Look, you may get fined $100 but if you can’t go to court and need an attorney, it may cost more to pay the attorney than the fine.

New York City's restaurant community is looking for a move towards a more business friendly environment as Mayor Bill de Blasio takes the City's reigns from three term chief Michael Bloomberg.

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it one step further. Under Bloomberg, sometimes the letter grades were subjectively applied so DeBlasio is looking to have more standards applied, more consistency, so no one gets a “D” just because they didn't smile enough at the inspector. Some may choose to pay the fine. Look, you may get fined $100 but if you can’t go to court and need an attorney, it may cost more to pay the attorney than the fine. I don't know what DeBlasio's going to do about that.   Finally, there's some really good news about easing restrictions on immigrants. DeBlasio is all for that – he wants ID cards from the state so immigrants can get licenses, as well as establish more identification for employers so they can potentially get more jobs. He's also behind changing the number of non-severe crimes immigrants can be arrested for before facing deportation. The restaurant world relies on immigration and now small violations will not put them at risk of deportation as much as they did in the past. So, what's ahead for restaurateurs under the DeBlasio administration? While Bloomberg was certainly probusiness, and DeBIasio seems somewhat more concerned about “the little man,” I still see mostly positives. It doesn't mean you can play fast and loose with the rules, but if you abide by what we've outlined here, this should be a very good year for operators, employees and the eating public alike.

Quin Hotel, from page 8 Quin lies in the midst of the 57th Street gallery district, a mere block away from the grandest of the Fifth Avenue retailers, and within easy walking-distance to Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art and Rockefeller Plaza. The Quin aims to deliver nothing less than the essence of New York in an atmosphere of serene elegance that is perfectly calibrated to revitalize travelers partaking in the multifarious forms of magic that lie just outside its doors. In 1929, the handsome Buckingham Hotel opened its doors on one of Manhattan's choicest corners: 57th Street and Sixth Avenue. One of its first tenants was also one of the world's most famous musicians: Legacy Jan Paderewski, the pianist and composer who was the first Prime Minister of Poland. Paderewski lived in the hotel until his death in 1941, when mourners lined up around the block to pay their respects. Others who made their home at The Buckingham in the first half of the 20th Century include Academy Award-winning composer Dmitri Tiomkin, Metropolitan Opera stars Giuseppe De Luca and Giovanni Martinelli, and actor Max Hoffman Jr. From the '50s onward, its reputation as the preferred home for the musical elite firmly established, The Buckingham was the Manhattan address for Met stalwarts Paul Schöffler, Victoria de los Angeles, and for almost 20 years celebrated soprano Renata Tebaldi. Broadway's Bobby Van and legendary saxophonist Gato Barbieri were also guests, as was opera star Regina Resnik, who generously loaned the hotel her husband Arbit Blatas's oil portraits of cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and pianist Arthur Rubenstein. Today, this storied address is being re-fashioned as the ultimate urban refuge and perhaps the city's most ideally situated luxury hotel. This sanctuary from the city in the center of the city will offer unparalleled personal service, including dedicated "Quintessential Assistants" who are there to anticipate

guests' every need; a signature hauteAmerican restaurant with a major chef at its helm; a state-of-the-art Fitness Center with top-of-the-line Technogym equipment, and trainers offering customized exercise plans; a spa partnership with Fresh®; and a state of the art Business Center. Luxurious public spaces will celebrate the hotel's artistic heritage, with a permanent gallery featuring the works of acclaimed Irish painter Patrick Graham, and a restau-

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rant menu featuring light fare, destined to become a prime addition to the city's roster of pre- and post-show gathering spots. As re-conceived by renowned architecture and design firm Perkins Eastman, the Quin's 200 elegantly appointed rooms will include 11 junior suites, 10 one-bedroom suites, and specialty suites including the Iegendary Paderewski Suite, the Georgia O'Keefe Suite, the Blackbird Suite, including a

corner terrace and named after Irish artist Patrick Graham's series of artwork located in the hotel lobby. Additionally, the Quin will offer a breathtaking triplex specialty suite that is among the city's largest and most exquisite accommodations. The 2 -bedroom, 2 1/2 bath marvel is appointed with Carrera Venetino marble, rich walnut floors, a 1,200 square foot terrace overlooking Central Park and two additional terraces flanking the suite's two

bedrooms. Guests of the triplex specialty suite will enjoy in-suite check-in, complimentary breakfast, and ongoing use of a Quintessential Assistant. When it opens its doors in winter 2012, the Quin will occupy a unique place in the city's firmament of luxury hotels. Seamlessly uniting its rich musical history with distinctly 21st-Century finesse, the hotel serves up timeless elegance and contemporary flair in equal parts. The team behind the transformation speaks of the Quin as a "refined refuge," a "sanctuary in the city" and "a haven of Arcadian calm." But they are also quick to point out its peerless location at "the crossroads of cosmopolitan cool," making the Quin an ideal home base for daytime shopping sprees at Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany and Henri Bendel; magical nights at the symphony, opera and Broadway stage; leisurely strolls through Central Park; feasting on art at nearby mu-

seums and the 80+ galleries that line the surrounding blocks; and dining in some of the city's (if not the world's) finest restaurants - Per Se, Masa, and Le Bernardin among them. Uniting the stimulating world around the Quin and the peaceful retreat within its walls is an incomparable group of hospitality pros. The Quin staff place a premium on warmth and welcome, personal attention, and (fittingly, given the building's illustrious heritage) creating a home for those whose personal or professional ambitions have led them to the very center of the city - this remarkable crossroads of art, culture, commerce and leisure. In their capable hands, the traveler is able to experience exactly the city that he or she came to see. And just as the Quin provides a gateway to the magic of Manhattan, it also delivers on the promise of what a great urban hotel should be.

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Mathews, from page 47 the areas that are affecting technology in the mobile world, from not only making reservations and looking at menus off your phone, but paying through your phone? A couple of years from now, more than fifty percent of restaurants will literally take the payment directly through the phone. It's all tracked. It's clean, it's easy. And I think that's the place we're going,” says Mathews. “Mobile technology is really changing the restaurant world and our goal is to help restaurants stay on top of that. We definitely have some sessions that are addressing mobile payments and building loyalty through mobile payments. It's learning from the leaders and the peers in the industry. “ You can't have a show without exhibitors. “They connect with you at the show, right when you get there. Who really is going to stand out with something unique and something very different. Showing something new in the dry goods area. Or it might be on a new spice, a Thai spice, the trend now, that will be added to a menu that's not Thai- infused at all. It's that 'ah ha' moment that people can catch on to.” And what about competitions? “We're bringing in the best of the best in terms of competitors. Why an attendee would want to walk by to see what these guys are doing is because they should emulate being the best, or at least upping their own game. They don't have to create four- foot sugar displays based on a theme in their restaurant to be impressive. But if they see the level of product coming out of what these amazing chefs are producing, they can up their game in the restaurant itself,” says Mathews. And for the exhibitors themselves? “There's a million-dollar-moment at just about every given moment during this show. There are huge buyers coming down that aisle. I like to call them million-dollar buyers. It de-

Waitress, from page 92 pends on what somebody is selling, and what that deal is worth. Here's some more advice. “Stay off your phones. Keep your head up. And extend that hand. Because, you know, lifetime deals are made with a handshake. And lifetime customers can be lost by the handshake your competitor makes. So you have to be on your best level.” Mathews points out that the show is the optimum place to make contacts. “It's the annual gathering for the restaurant and food service industry for New York, it's the time to renew old relationships. It's time to confirm current relationships. It's time to make connections that are going to drive value to everybody, both sides equally, for the entire year and then some. So you can't miss it.”

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may just give you the better tables or sections in the restaurant. Remember, maximizing your steps helps minimize your trips. Different restaurants, different rules… Of course, these things vary from each restaurant you may work at. A “teamwork” environment may work differently than a restaurant where servers ONLY take care of their guest. Either way, generally you do want to organize the priorities in your section without feeling like you keep going back and forth, whether you’re getting help from other servers or not. Sometimes you just need to take a second and take in all the things you need to do, put them in order, and find the most effective

way to get each task done. Mastering the art of minimizing your trips and maximizing your steps takes time, but if you’re constantly trying and aware of what you are doing then all it comes down to is practice and time. You’ll get the hang of it and you’ll be happy you did.


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The Handling of Complaints Is Important A survey by a major consumer group reports that the handling of complaints by various industries, retail and food service in particular, has not improved. In fact, the number of complaints has grown.


thought it would be appropriate to refresh and recycle a column I wrote about six years ago. To “complain” has been described as any of the following: disapprove, deplore, criticize, denounce, differ, dissent, charge, report adversely, reproach, oppose, grumble, whimper, remonstrate, fret, protest, fuss, moan, make a fuss, take exception to, object to, deprecate, enter a demurrer, defy, carp, impute, attack, refute, grouse, kick, bitch, grouch, grunt, beef, bellyache, and kick up a fuss. No matter what you call it, a customer complaint must be handled without delay. Fifteen percent of unresolved complaints will result in a loss of business. Most complaints deal with poor service and/or a poor attitude, according to Bill Marvin, The Restaurant Doctor. “A typical business hears from only 4 percent of its dissatisfied guests; the other 96 percent quietly go away, and 91 percent will never come back.” Think about this—angry customers tell up to 20 other people when they are dissatisfied. Unattended complaints can be injurious to your business health. The most deadly complaint is the silent one, the one that you never get a chance to correct and, unfortunately, the customer never returns. I think it’s fair to say that today’s con-

Fred G. Sampson,

President of Sampson Consulting, Inc.

sumer has become more critical, especially of service. I’m not just talking about our industry. I’m talking about service in general: voicemail systems where you never come in contact with a non-recorded human voice; toll-free calls where you hold for five, ten, or more minutes and a recording keeps telling you how important your call is; automated phone systems that have so many options you forget why you called; check-out counters where they can’t find the bar code on a product you want to purchase, and they practically have to call the manufacturer to get the price—and you chose this line because it was the super speedy one. As a result of this kind of environment, consumers are more sensitive and conditioned to what they perceive to be impersonal service that is not meeting their expectations. They are more demanding and defensive and

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thus more critical. This puts an additional burden on an industry such as ours, where human contact is so important. It begins from the time guests enter the front door until they leave, which can be anywhere from five to 75 minutes. Multiply that by the number of customers you serve in the course of a day and you soon realize how exposed to complaints you can be. Are you prepared to deal with complaints effectively? Do you have a written or at least a verbal policy, procedure, or strategy for dealing with complaints? Is every member of your staff/team aware of it? If not, they should be; dealing with complaints can be a risky business unless you have a plan. There are many areas to consider, such as: What is the problem? When does a staff member send for management? What is the customer’s level of

emotion? Is there potential liability for circumstances such as the spilling of a hot beverage or the soiling of a customer’s garment? Then there are the actions of other guests, such as talking loudly when using a cellphone or allowing unruly children to run through a dining room. All of these are common occurrences, and handling them properly and promptly sends a positive message to your guests. Many establishments consider the handling of customer complaints so crucial that they not only have a written policy which is reviewed with every new hire, but they have the team/staff member sign off on it to make sure they understand how important it is to deal with a complaint. In a survey I conducted with a group of consumers, I asked the following question: “When you find the need to register a complaint about an aspect of eating out, such as food, food temperature, or service, how do you feel it is handled?” Fifty percent said the complaint was handled satisfactorily; 20 percent said they felt they were receiving lip service; and 30 percent said that they didn’t complain, they just would not return to the establishment. If the group I surveyed is representative of consumers in general—and I believe they are—then 50 percent of the public is satisfied and 50 percent is not. Perhaps it’s time to review your policy as it relates to complaints. I will add that when an observant waitstaff or manager notices and asks about uneaten food set to the side by the customer, this may prevent a silent complaint, and even inspire recommendations from the customer. It costs five times as much to get a customer as it does to keep one. Don’t let the customer walk out the door, never to return, because of something you didn’t do—and that was not responding to their complaint.



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Call Vic Rose: 732-864-2220


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February 2014  

Total Food Service's February 2014 Digital Edition featuring Foodservice news in the Metro New York area.

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