Lamb in Japan, More Slices of Pizza Museum and 2018 Food Tourism Trends
15 Min Read By MRM Staff
This edition of MRM's News Bites features Superior Farms, DoorDash, Roosevelt Collection, Pupatella, B.GOOD, Ordrslip and Square, Inc., The American Food Association, The Gluten Intolerance Group, CheapOair.com and Wylie Dufresne and BlueStar® appliances.
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Lamb in Japan After 15 Years
Superior Farms, a purveyor of farm-to-table American lamb, today announced it has exported the first shipment of American lamb to Japan since the country’s doors reopened after a 15 year absence. Superior Farms is working closely with its producer partners to deliver an exceptional product that will exceed the expectations of the Japanese consumer. The Japanese distributor, Farmland Trading will be working with Superior Farms to introduce premium Superior Farms American lamb to high-end restaurants and retail outlets.
“We have continued our relationship with Farmland Trading for fifteen years anticipating this day,” said Rick Stott, chief executive officer at Superior Farms. “This shipment represents a first step in a long-term strategic plan to grow the presence and appetite for American lamb in Japan. The potential to develop Japan into an excellent export country for American lamb is clearly there, but it will take time, investment and a long-term strategy to make that happen.”
Superior Farms is working closely with their family farmer partners to raise grain-fed lambs that are raised and hand selected at just the right time to deliver a rich, mild flavor with the size and yield that only Superior Farms American Lamb can deliver. While the Japanese market has been served by other countries, Superior Farms American Lamb brings a unique dining experience to Japan both inside and outside the home, with recipe versatility and unparalleled taste and quality that cannot be matched.
The company’s 412 employee owners are excited about the opportunity for Japanese consumers to experience the pleasure of the product that they so proudly bring to market. “We’ve always known that Superior Farms brings something special to people’s lives,” said Shaylynn Beam, sales and marketing coordinator. “It’s great to think of others who haven’t experienced us and will now get to enjoy American lamb.”
DoorDash Launches in New Hampshire
DoorDash launched across three counties in the New Hampshire area, delivering from more than 500 local restaurants. DoorDash currently operates in more than 1,200 cities across the country. DoorDash will be available in the following 18 cities across Merrimack, Hillsborough, and Rockingham counties:
"We are thrilled to expand our platform to the state of New Hampshire with this launch into 18 new cities across the region," said Tony Xu, CEO and Co-founder of DoorDash. "With family favorite restaurants that locals gravitate towards, we're pleased to now offer our platform to these favorite neighborhood hot spots."
Pizza Museum Extends Stay
U.S. Pizza Museum is extending its stay, according to the Roosevelt Collection. Open on Fridays from 5-8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., the museum features Founder Kendall Bruns’ personal collection of pizza-themed memorabilia – including menus, rare pizza boxes, vinyl records, vintage ads, toys, video games, and more. New additions to the museum include an authentic Forno Bravo wood-fired oven and a vintage coal bucket that accompanies the Coalfire Pizza sign.
“The U.S. Pizza Museum staying at Roosevelt Collection through the holiday season is great news for Chicagoans and visitors alike,” says Shannon Ridgeway, General Manager of Roosevelt Collection Shops. “We are thrilled to offer guests a fun and truly unique experience in a location where they can also shop, work out, and see a movie.”
Bruns’ museum preserves and interprets pizza-related items in both a present-day and historical context. Entry to the U.S. Pizza Museum is free with required online reservation for timed entry.
“Roosevelt Collection has been a wonderfully supportive partner to the U.S. Pizza Museum and as I’ve had time in the space and gotten to know the neighborhood, I continue to get new ideas for events, exhibits, and additions,” says Bruns. “As we make more tickets available, now even more people can come visit to learn about the history and recent developments in the world of pizza.”
Pupatella Fuels Expansion
Pupatella secured an investment of $3.75 million from several notable private investors to fuel expansion in the Washington, DC metro area. As many as eight company-owned pizzerias are planned over the next 36 months.
Husband and wife founders Enzo and Anastasiya Algarme started Pupatella as a food truck in 2007, then opened their first pizzeria to great accolades in Arlington in 2010. “In my home of Naples, classic Neapolitan pizza can be found on every corner. After not finding pizza like home, I became passionate about sharing the delicious food of my youth. We are thrilled to bring more Pupatella pizzerias to our Washington-area neighbors,” said Enzo Algarme.
Pupatella’s “back to the basics” approach to classic Neapolitan pizza was a resounding success and prompted a partnership with founding partners of Elevation Burger in 2016 to grow the brand through franchising and corporate development. Most recently, the company has brought in Adam Winder as a partner and chief financial officer. An experienced banker specializing in corporate strategy, Winder led the recent capital raise. “The Pupatella leadership team and its unique position in the marketplace as an authentic Neapolitan, neighborhood-centric, casual format pizzeria makes for an exciting niche and rapid growth opportunity,” said Winder.
Pupatella’s first franchisee, Zeeshan Kaba, opened a successful pizzeria in Richmond’s Fan District in 2017 and is debuting his second of four pizzerias in Glen Allen this fall. While Kaba continues the company’s success in Richmond, the Pupatella team is focused on corporate expansion in the DC Metro area. “With our established brand and the strength of our investment partners, we are positioned for successful and well-paced growth in the Washington metro area and beyond,” says Michael Berger, founding partner and head of real estate & supply chain.
Pupatella achieved certification by the Naples-based Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN) and remains obsessed with maintaining the authenticity and quality of the pizza in all of its upcoming pizzerias. The pizza is made according to nearly 150-year-old Neapolitan techniques, and the dough is prepared with only four ingredients: 00 Italian flour, sea salt, fresh yeast, and water. Each pizza is baked in a traditional wood-fired oven made of brick from Mount Vesuvius and cooks in around 90 seconds. Ingredients are imported weekly from Naples.
B.GOOD in the Midwest
B.GOOD opened three new stores in the Chicago metropolitan area – marking its foray into not only Chicago, but also the Midwest. The farm-to-table restaurant will open its doors in Vernon Hills on October 25 followed by openings in Schaumburg and Naperville in mid-December.
Founded in 2003, the Boston-based company proudly serves “Food with Roots” – sustainably-grown, fresh and wholesome food prepared fresh in-house. With a diverse range of menu options, B.GOOD offers consumers ingredients sourced from local, independent farmers, customers can expect to see seasonal menu changes that align with the local harvests. Local sourcing partners for Chicago include Bobtail Ice Cream Company, Gotham Greens, Russell Costanza Farms, MightyVine, and Highland Baking Co.
“We have always wanted to be in Chicago, and in looking at our growth plans, the timing was right. We found the Chicago market has been underserved when it comes to locally grown, healthy fast-casual options, and I am excited to introduce B.GOOD and all we have to offer to help fill that void,” said Chris Fuqua, CEO of B.GOOD. “Whether customers want a seasonal salad, a burger and fries, a healthy spin on spaghetti and meatballs or a smoothie, we have options they can feel good about eating – and giving their kids. I am thrilled to expand to this new market and bring Chicagoans food made with great tasting, high-quality ingredients – and partner with local farmers to make that happen.”
B.GOOD currently has 70 locations across the globe, with more than 50 in the U.S. alone and additional openings slated in the greater Albany and Charlotte markets later this year. The three new Chicago stores are located at:
- Vernon Hills, IL: Mellody Farm, 875 North Milwaukee Avenue, Vernon Hills, IL 60061 (Opening October 25, 2018)
- Naperville, IL: Springbrook Prairie Pavilion, 2555 W. 75th Street, Naperville, IL 60540
- Schaumburg, IL: Woodfield Gatherings, 1721 East Golf Road, Schaumburg, IL 60173
Ordrslip Teams with Square
Ordrslip has teamed up with Square, Inc. to help bring independent restaurants, food trucks and eateries of all sizes into the mobile era. The first-of-its-kind partnership for Ordrslip will give Square customers instant access to Ordrslip in the Square App Marketplace on Nov. 1.
"Mobile ordering is the biggest trend affecting the food service industry, and smaller restaurants that don't have the expertise or resources to create their own mobile ordering apps risk falling behind," said Miguel Alarcon, product manager, Ordrslip. "Now that Square is supporting Ordrslip, we are thrilled that even more restaurants will have access to our technology and can compete on the same level as the largest chains when it comes to mobile ordering."
"When we opened our first location, we knew we wanted to offer a mobile app and Ordrslip allows us to do that in a cost-effective way," said Miguel Reyes, owner, Quesadilla Gorilla. "With Ordrslip, customers can create customized quesadillas, just like when they order at the restaurant. And, the app improves our to-go order accuracy, while also being faster and more efficient than having an employee stand by the phone during the lunch rush. Our mobile app by Ordrslip really sets us apart."
Mobile ordering is expected to become a $38 billion industry by 2020, making it essential that restaurants of all sizes launch their own apps to remain competitive. On average, Ordrslip users see well over a 90 percent increase in orders and bigger tickets for every order received after deployment.
"With Ordrslip's help, we launched our mobile ordering app at the end of 2017," said Desiree Mcfetridge, director of sales & marketing, Harris Ranch Inn & Restaurant. "It was a seamless, easy, and quick process collaborating with them."
Fraser Committee Chair for Global Cuisine Awards
The American Food Association, the hosting organization for the Global Cuisine Awards (GCA), announced their Committee Chairman for this year’s award show, Chef Neal Fraser. Chef Fraser began his professional culinary career at the age of 20 and now owns multiple renowned restaurants in Los Angeles with his business partner and wife Amy Knoll Fraser, including Redbird and Fritzi Coop. The 2nd Global Cuisine Awards will be held at Chef Fraser’s high-volume special events and performing arts venue Vibiana located in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, December 6.
Chairman Fraser has been working with the 12 GCA Committee members to narrow down the nominated restaurants list from 7 to 5 in each category.
The Top Five Nominees for each category are:
Best American Restaurant: Animal, A.O.C., Rustic Canyon, The Tasting Kitchen, and Otium;
Best Chinese Restaurant: Bistro Na's 那家小馆, Chengdu Taste 滋味成都, Din Tai Fung 鼎泰丰, HaiDiLao Hotpot 海底捞, Shancheng Lameizi 山城辣妹子;
Best French Restaurant: L'Assiette Steak Frites, Marvin, Mélisse, République, Trois Mec;
Best Italian Restaurant: Cal Mare, Osteria La Buca, Scopa Italian Roots, Sotto, Uovo;
Best Japanese Restaurant: Izakaya Gazen, Marugame Monzo, Matsuhisa, Sushi Ginza Onodera, Urasawa;
Best Korean Restaurant: Genwa Korean BBQ, Kang Ho-Dong Baekjeong, Master Ha, Soowon Galbi, Sulga Jinju Gom Tang House of Beef Soup;
Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Bavel, Farsi Cafe, Kaban Persian Restaurant, Kismet, Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine;
Best Restaurant Design: Catch LA, Commissary at Line Hotel, Herringbone, Rocksugar, Rossoblu;
Best Seafood Restaurant: Bottlefish, Connie & Ted's, Fishing with Dynamite, Son of a Gun, Providence;
Best Southeast Asian Restaurant: Cassia, Little Sister, Nong La Café, Pa ord Noodle, Pho Saigon Pearl;
Best Steakhouse: Baltaire, BOA Steakhouse, Gwen, Mastro's Ocean Club, Nick + Stef's Steakhouse;
Chef of the Year: Antonia Lofaso, Curtis Stone, Josiah Citrin, Marcel Vigneron, Phillip Frankland Lee;
Lifetime Achievement Award: Gordon Ramsay, Nancy Silverton, Niki Nakayama, Nobu Matsuhisa, Wolfgang Puck;
Restaurant of the Moment: A Food Affair, Faith & Flower, Marugame Monzo, Rosaline, Vespertine;
Restaurant of the Year: Broken Spanish, Rustic Canyon, Jon & Vinny's, Perch, Running Goose;
Outstanding Culinary Tradition: Anarkali Indian Restaurant, Little Next Door, Meals by Genet, Musso & Frank, Tara's Himalayan Cuisine
Gluten Intolerance Products Certification
The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) certified 623 products from 30 brands in August and September—the most products certified in a two-month period this year. The products, certified through GIG’s Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) program, include cereals, spirits, cookies, cakes, soups, supplements and more. Brands seek GFCO certification for guidance and expertise in gluten-free production and because retailers and consumers want the assurance of the GFCO logo on their packaging. The following products were certified by GFCO in August and September:
- Bru Broth—4 products certified, including Chicken Bone Broth, Cayenne Zen and Chicken Bone Broth, Hug in a Mug
- CBC Baking Co—7 products certified, including Banana Bread and Pumpkin Bread
- Connections Gluten Free—Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake certified
- Ethical Wine and Spirits—9 products certified, including FAIR Quinoa Vodka 1L and FAIR Quinoa Vodka 35cl
- Heartland Foods—Gluten Free Cornflakes and Gluten Free Rice Poppers certified
- IB GLUTEN FREE—167 products certified, including Apple Pie and Challah Bread
- IOF Powder—Organic Inulin Powder certified
- IOF Syrup—IOF Syrup certified
- Jinca Foods—225 products certified, including Cereal Goji Berry Coco and Cereal Golden Berry Bananas
- Journeyman Distillery—Field Gin and Field Vodka certified
- Jus By Julie—3 products certified, including Pea Puffs BBQ Flavor and Pea Puffs Sweet and Salty
- Kip’s Nut Free Kitchen—Granola Bark Cinnamon Crunch and Granola Bark Cocoa Crunch certified
- Lemon Perfect—3 products certified, including Lemon Perfect Coconut Lime and Lemon Perfect Cucumber
- Lotus Foods —36 products certified, including Forbidden Rice and Organic Jade Pearl Rice
- Muffin Revolution—6 products certified, including Banana Bam Bam—Paleo/GF Banana Blueberry Muffins, and Cha Cha Cha—Paleo Friendly/GF Chocolate Cherry Muffins
- NatureWise—15 products certified, including Biotin Whole Food Complex and Vitamin B6 Whole Food Complex
- New Cascadia Traditional—20 products certified, including Cinnamon Raisin and Farmhouse Sandwich Bread
- NutHouse!—8 products certified, including Coconut Chili Macadamias and Indian Ajwain Cashews
- NutHouse! Granola Co.—4 products certified, including Granola, Fennel-Orange and Granola, Original Recipe
- Odd Bagel—6 products certified, including Odd Bagel Gluten Free Cinnamon-Raisin Bagels and Odd Bagel Gluten Free Onion Bagels
- Purely —4 products certified, including Purely Pecans “Gimme Some Sugar” Pecan Butter and Purely Pecans “Nuttin But Pecans” Pecan Butter
- Rumble—3 products certified, including Rumble Dutch Cocoa and Rumble Vanilla Maple
- Sheylus—5 products certified, including Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Olive Oil
- Smoky Mountain Naturals—DIM + BioPerine 200mg certified
- South Georgia Pecan—4 products certified, including Almonds – Raw and Cashews – Raw
- Southland’s Finest—3 products certified, including Pecans – Raw and Walnuts – Raw
- Starseed Bakery—52 products certified, including Hot Cross Buns and Irish Soda Bread
- Stateside Urbancraft Vodka—Stateside Urbancraft Vodka certified
- Thriv Drink Project—10 products certified, including Beet 1 Shot and Ginger 1 Shot
- Tucson Tamale— 18 products certified including Black Bean & Cheese Tamales and Red Chile Beef
Food Tourism Trends
More travelers are visiting destinations specifically to learn and explore new cultures through their stomachs. CheapOair.com compiled this list of some of this year's most popular culinary travel trends and destinations.
Eat Your Greens: The Most Vegan-Friendly Destinations
2018 has quickly become the year of the sustainability-conscious consumer, particularly in the food industry. According to Google, web searches for 'vegan' reached an all-time high in 2018 and United States ranks fourth among countries performing this search1. As the number of people identifying as vegans continues to rise, so does the number of vegan restaurants around the world. Los Angeles, California, Berlin, Germany, and Tel Aviv, Israel are some of the most vegan-friendly destinations that you can visit. Each of these cities is not only known for having unique culinary scenes, but also for offering a range of vegan substitutes for their respective traditional dishes. The future is sure becoming friendlier to vegan travelers.
Take It to The Streets: Destinations with A Booming Street Food Scene
Food trucks, sidewalk vendors, street carts, and hole-in-the walls are no longer a guilty pleasure. Destinations like Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Mexico City, Mexico, and Portland, Oregon have set the bar and blurred the lines between gourmet and fast food. Portland has a booming street food scene with over 500 food trucks. Meanwhile, in Mexico City more than 75% of locals eat street food at least one per week. Ho Chi Minh City has food stands on nearly every corner, of every block, in every district and travelers are flocking there for the tasty Vietnamese cuisine. These destinations prove that you can look outside of the fancy restaurants for some haute cuisine.
But First…Coffee: Must-Visit Destinations for Coffee Lovers
Drinking coffee has become a staple in the daily routine of many cultures. For those that love their cup of joe, Seattle, Washington, Istanbul, Turkey, and Medellin, Colombia are just a few destinations you should add to your travel wish list. Seattle is the perfect destination for coffee lovers as it's home to Starbucks; one of world's largest and most recognizable coffee brands. The city's coffee culture doesn't stop there. There are also a number of small, independent roasters scattered across the city. Travelers should also venture to South America to check out what's brewing. Medellin is the perfect starting point to explore Colombia's famed Coffee Triangle. In Istanbul, having Turkish coffee is almost ceremonial in the unique way it is prepared and served. The one thing that unites these different destinations is not only their love of coffee, but the way coffee shapes their culture, community, and way of life.
Say Cheese: The Best Cheese Destinations
Cheese is one of the most versatile and varied foods there is. Cheese enthusiasts can rejoice in the various options, styles, and destinations they can visit to get that perfect bite. Normandy, France is amongst the most famous cheese destinations, especially if you are a fan of Camembert. La Mancha, Spain is the place to go if you prefer Manchego, El Greco, or Don Quixote. For those who can't get enough Parmigiano Reggiano, head to the Emilia Romagna region of Italy where Parmigiano originated. When it comes to cheese, you could travel the world and still be unsure of what the "king of all cheese" is, but with these destinations you'll be ready to do the research.
Let's Wine About It: Unconventional Wine Destinations
From Old World to New World, the following are some must visit destinations for all wine connoisseurs. Alentejo is one of the largest wine regions in Portugal where visitors can sample a wide variety of wines and local delicacies. Cape Town, South Africa is home to the only new grape variety created outside of Europe and features some iconic wineries with Cape Dutch architecture. For those looking for a glass of wine with a view, head to Santorini, Greece. Santorini not only has nine indigenous grape varieties, but also has a fascinating wine museum.
I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream: The Top Destinations to Eat the Best Ice Cream
We can all agree that ice cream is one of the few desserts that is both timeless and suitable for all ages. It's hard to go wrong when it comes to ice cream, but when it's done right it truly is an icy treat! If you are searching for the perfect scoop, we've got the scoop on some destinations you may want to check out. Italy is an obvious choice, but did you know you can find some of the best gelato in Florence? New York City is also an ice cream hotspot with its many specialty ice cream parlors. For a unique twist on the classic cold treat, visit Tokyo, Japan to try mochi.
Cheers: Where to Find the Perfect Pint
Brewing has truly become an international affair, so we've put together a list of a few destinations where you can find that perfect pint. Beijing, China has recently developed as an emerging scene in craft brewing as this ancient city continues to prove it can create modern marvels. St. Louis, Missourimay be home to brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, but it is also becoming a destination for craft brewing. Want to truly change it up? Forget Oktoberfest and head down to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for their annual Craft Beer Festival.
Wylie Dufresne's Dream Kitchen
Wylie Dufresne, James Beard award-winning, Michelin-starred chef, advocate of the scientific cooking style known as molecular gastronomy, and more recently, chef and owner of Du’s Donuts in Brooklyn, has added a new title to his repertoire—BlueStar® All-Star. Chef Dufresne joins an exclusive group of chefs– including Michael Symon, Alex Raij, Mark Vetri, and Jonathan Benno– who are passionate about achieving restaurant quality results at home with high-performance, customizable BlueStar® appliances, handcrafted in Pennsylvania since 1880.
After recently acquiring his childhood home in Manhattan, the time came for Dufresne to renovate. Since the space held so many memories, the renovation was a true labor of love. He and his wife, Food Network Magazine Editor in Chief Maile Carpenter, knew precisely what they wanted and completely redid the layout of the space to fit their needs, opting for a sleek and open-floor plan that included the kitchen, family room and dining room – perfect for entertaining.
For the award-winning chef, it was all about bringing the most practical elements of a professional kitchen into his home. The kitchen renovation includes stainless steel countertops and a large walnut island for entertaining and food prep. The chef chose restaurant-style appliances from BlueStar® in stainless steel (range and ventilation hood) for a gorgeous, high-functioning kitchen.
“Commercial Grade is my favorite term,” said Chef Wylie. “I like things that are thoughtfully built and can handle a lot of action. We put our kitchen through its paces and wanted equipment that could come along for the ride with us. We’ve made good choices.”
The powerful BlueStar® 48” Nova Series gas range and 48” Incline hood were the clear choices for Chef Dufresne's new kitchen. “There’s a lot of BTUS in that stove so water boils incredibly fast; the BTUs are unstoppable,” said Chef Dufrense. The highly customizable BlueStar® Nova Series range features 22,000 BTU Nova™ Burners and an integrated 24” griddle. While the burners are perfect for a high heat sear, the commercial style griddle gets the most use in the Dufrense household. “I treat the griddle like a French Top; I can use it more efficiently than if I had 6 or 8 burners. I can put all the pancakes for breakfast on there or grill a lot of fruits and vegetables at one time – it’s great to lay out things in large numbers,” said Chef Dufrense. He also uses a combination of powerful burners to fry and the extra-large ovens to finish his signature French toast.
Ventilation was another important part of the remodel; since they could not vent externally, a recirculating hood was chosen. The recirculating option allowed Chef Dufrense to have pro-style ventilation within building specifications. It was a perfect solution since the right hood is crucial when you have a range with so much power.
Widely known for his ingenious creations at both his New York City restaurants wd~50 and Alder, Chef Dufresne turned his focus to donuts, opening Du’s Donuts and Coffee in 2017. Today, Du’s Donuts serves up Chef Dufresne’s recipes for New England-style cake donuts and crullers in classic and imaginative flavors including brown butter key lime, chocolate caramel brownie, coconut almond, and oatmeal chai. Chef Dufresne is branching out once again, selling his made-from-scratch treats in Whole Foods Market stores in New York City as well as coffee shops around Manhattan and Brooklyn.