FDA Releases FSMA Guidance and Pizza Tops the News

This edition of MRM’s Daily Bite has news from the FDA, Buddy’s Pizza and CapitalSpring, Young Chef’s Academy, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, and Pie Five Pizza.

Send news items to Barbara Castiglia at bcastiglia@modernrestaurantmanagement.com.

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FDA FSMA Guidance

The FDA released guidance outlining key areas where they intend to exercise enforcement discretion in four of the rules that implement aspects of Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the biggest overhaul of  food safety laws in more than 70 years.

FSMA represents a profound and fundamental change in our approach to food safety, shifting from being reactive to preventive.

“The FDA is committed to ensuring the U.S. food supply remains among the safest in the world,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. in a statement. “The law evolved from widespread concern about outbreaks of foodborne illnesses that kill thousands each year. These were true public health emergencies that compelled Congress to make this sweeping statutory reform. FSMA represents a profound and fundamental change in our approach to food safety, shifting from being reactive to preventive.”

He noted that the FDA recognizes fundamental changes in food safety approach may require adjustments  to address issues that had not been previously anticipated.

“We value the feedback we’ve received on the new rules and understand manufacturers, farmers and other stakeholders have faced certain challenges as they work to implement the new rules. We’re actively working to pursue permanent fixes to some of these remaining issues through rulemaking or other means, but this will take time.”

The provisions the agency does not intend to enforce relate to aspects of the “farm” definition, requirements related to written assurances from a manufacturer’s customers, requirements for importers of food contact substances, and requirements related to certain human food by-products for use as animal food. These provisions can be found in the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human and Animal Food Rules; Foreign Supplier Verification Programs Rule; and Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption Rule. 

“We all share the common goal of maintaining the safety and quality of the American food supply,” Gottlieb added. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the affected industry, regulatory partners and other stakeholders to make sure that they understand what’s required in a post-FSMA world and to provide the flexibility needed to implement these new standards across a very diverse food supply. FSMA holds tremendous promise for preventing foodborne illness outbreaks and we will continue to take steps to fully and effectively implement this law so Americans can realize the public health benefits.”

Buddy’s Pizza Secures Recapitalization from CapitalSpring
Buddy’s Pizza, top photo, which introduced The Original Detroit Style Square Pizza, and CapitalSpring partnered  to recapitalize and accelerate new store growth across the Midwest and beyond.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Founded in 1946, Buddy’s operates 12 restaurants throughout the Motor City and surrounding area and is set to open its 13th location, a full-service eatery at the Detroit Zoo, this spring. 
“We are thrilled to support the Buddy’s team and look forward to working together to grow the brand over the coming years,” said Erik Herrmann, Managing Director at CapitalSpring. “It’s rare to find a restaurant concept with such signature food, deep-rooted brand equity, and passionate customers, and we are honored to be their partner in accelerating the business.”
“This partnership is a significant opportunity for us to introduce Buddy’s iconic pizza, rich culture and community roots to new customers in Detroit and beyond,” said Robert Jacobs, CEO of Buddy’s. “We are extremely excited for this new chapter and to have found a partner that can not only maintain our commitment to quality food and an exceptional guest experience, but also offer substantial restaurant expertise.”
Deloitte Corporate Finance, LLC served as lead financial advisor, and Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss served as legal advisor to Buddy’s in connection with the transaction. CapitalSpring was represented by Latham & Watkins and Federman Steifman.
Young Chefs Academy Expands 
Young Chefs Academy will open four locations in new markets including Bel Air, Md., Allentown, Pa., Sunnyvale, Calif., and Wesley Chapel, Fla., by spring.
For more than a decade, Young Chefs Academy, has welcomed pint-sized chefs into its kitchens to learn the basics of food preparation. In recent years, the company focused on rebuilding its infrastructure and has since assembled a team to support sustainable growth. The company plans to add 20 new franchisees over the next year to meet the demand for the educational experience.
New franchisee, Keera Reid, will open her first Young Chefs Academy in Wesley Chapel, FL  early this year. Before committing to become a franchisee, she brought her two sons to a class in Seminole, FL to test the concept.
“As parents, we aim to provide nutritious meals for our children, but we’re often guilty of not encouraging them to create these meals for themselves or discover their passion in the kitchen. Young Chefs Academy fills that need,” said Reid. “In addition to my boys loving the class, the corporate team culture greatly impressed us. Their collective years of experience and endless support made us feel like family.”
The Young Chefs Academy is headed by founder and CEO Julie Burleson. The franchise was sparked by her young son wanting to help in the kitchen as she balanced making meals and spending time with him. Realizing she could combine both activities, Burleson planned a series of community children’s cooking classes at a local restaurant and continuously maxed out the kitchen. She opened the first permanent Young Chefs Academy in 2003.
“While we’re in the business of teaching children culinary skills, we are also helping families get together at the dinner table,” said Burleson. “Our growth has exploded in the past three years which is a testament to our unique concept and loyal franchisees. We are excited to bring Young Chefs Academy to more communities nationwide.”
Young Chefs Academy is targeting franchising growth in strong, family-friendly communities including Nashville, Denver, Minneapolis, Chicago and Indianapolis.  No formal culinary experience is necessary to become a Young Chefs Academy franchisee. The initial investment for Young Chefs Academy, which includes the franchise fee, ranges between $106,450 and $134,800, depending on size and location.
50 Best BBVA Scholarship
The World’s 50 Best Restaurants organization and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) announce the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship, which will provide unique opportunities for aspiring chefs from all around the world.

The annual scholarship scheme will identify talented chefs and seek to develop their potential with the aid of internships or ‘stages’ in the kitchens of some of the world’s best restaurants. For the inaugural scholarship in 2018, the recipient will be invited to work at Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain, and AtelierCrenn in San Francisco, USA, over a three-month period. He or she will also be flown to Spain to attend The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 awards in Bilbao next June, where they will be presented on stage in front of the world’s leading chefs and media.

Aspiring chefs with less than three years’ experience in a professional kitchen, as well as ambitious culinary students, are invited to apply online here.

The scholarship is open to chefs aged 18 and over from any part of the world. The three-stage judging process will be overseen by the 50 Best team with input from host chefs Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn, as well as representatives from BBVA. Full details of the terms and conditions of entry are outlined on the scholarship entry website.
Andoni Luis Aduriz

Andoni Luis Aduriz, chef-owner of Mugaritz, said: “We are so happy to be part of the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship. My parents didn’t have the resources to pay for my culinary studies and I couldn’t access the knowledge I was hungry for. Sometimes you need for those doors to be opened in other ways. That’s why initiatives like the 50 Best BBVA Scholarship are important, because they help democratise the idea that we need to support talent regardless of the resources they have access to. If you’re working to create a different world, you need to open new roads for those that want to do the same.”
Dominique Crenn

Dominique Crenn, chef-owner of Atelier Crenn, said: “Life is about inspiring people, but also being inspired by others; about being curious, but also offering the next generation what you have learned. Being a part of this mentorship is really a gift for us, helping us understand where we are today and where we can be tomorrow.”

William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “We are very excited to be launching our first scholarship scheme in partnership with BBVA. The World’s 50 Best Restaurants naturally celebrates the elite of the restaurant world, but this gives us a chance to help nurture the next generation of great chefs. We have been overwhelmed by the support this initiative has generated from the global restaurant community and we particularly want to thank Andoni and Dominique for offering to host the first 50 Best BBVA scholar in the summer of 2018.”

Oscar Moya, Global Head of Branded Content and Sponsorship at BBVA, said: “We are very glad to announce our partnership with 50 Best in order to create opportunities for aspiring chefs. Our purpose is ‘To bring the age of opportunity to everyone’ and we are sure that with 50 Best we will make this happen in the culinary world. In addition, we are really thankful to Mugaritz and Atelier Crenn for helping us make this dream come true.”

The scholarship recipient will document their experiences at the host restaurants and the results will be shared across The World’s 50 Best Restaurants and BBVA social media channels.

Pie Five Sprouts Cauliflower Crust LTO

Pie Five is the first fast casual pizza concept to introduce a cauliflower pizza crust to its dough line-up.

“Cauliflower is exploding in popularity due to its taste and amazing health benefits,” said Christina Coy, Vice President of Marketing for Pie Five Pizza Co. “We were inspired to incorporate this versatile veggie to create a healthier crust that is still super delicious. Now, with the debut of our cauliflower crust, health conscious guests don’t have to cut pizza out of their diet.”

The new cauliflower crust is gluten-free with only 40 net carbs. That’s less than half of the net carbs in any other Pie Five crust. The specialty crust also has less than half of the sodium found in other crusts and may be the best crust option for those with diabetes.
The new crust will be added to Pie Five’s three existing made-from-scratch crust options – crispy artisan thin, classic pan, traditional Italian along with gluten-free.  The cauliflower crust will only be available through February 11. Pie Five also accommodates dietary restrictions by offering gluten-free crust and vegan cheese options.