MRM News Bites: Pizza Lollipops and a Chocolate Foot on This Week’s Plate

Each week, Modern Restaurant Management magazine compiles restaurant industry headlines in MRM News Bites. Send items of interest to Content Director Barbara Castiglia at

Meatless Monday Endorsed

On Monday, Oct. 10, thought leaders and decision makers from academia, the industry, government, and civil society will dine on a Meatless Monday menu at the World Health Summit 2016 (WHS) in Berlin, Germany. This signals WHS' endorsement of the growing global Meatless Monday movement, which is creating a positive impact on health and the environment.MM Window & Door Cling

The World Health Summit, scheduled from October 9-11, is the premier international platform for exploring strategic developments and decisions in the area of healthcare. It is held under the high patronage of German ChancellorAngela Merkel, French President François Hollande and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

WHS' Meatless Monday endorsement fits in with the summit's session on "Planetary Health" that will explore the long-term health implications of changes in the environment caused for example through their effects on food and agriculture.

Michael J. Klag, dean of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and 2012 WHS president said, "Meatless Monday is an important public health campaign that has been advised by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future since 2003. The campaign's encouragement of going meat-free one day per week is a practical and simple step toward improving individual and public health globally. Recognizing Meatless Monday at the World Health Summit aligns with our mission at the Bloomberg School to strengthen public health practice infrastructure worldwide."

Trejo’s Cantina Opens

Actor Danny Trejo is starting to become better known in the L.A. restaurant scene.  

Since its opening earlier this year Trejo’s Tacos on La Brea the man who always plays the bad guy in movies has been consistently celebrated by the media and diners for what has become one of the hottest new restaurants in Los Angeles. And Trejo’s Truck, which hit the road for the first time to stunning reviews in August, was an instant hit as a tailgate attraction at the LA Rams’ first home game last month.



Now comes Trejo’s Cantina at 1556 N.  Cahuenga Blvd, in the heart of historic Hollywood. For Trejo and partners Ash Shah and Jeff Georgino, the nearly 100-seat restaurant with its 34 taps, widescreen TVs, and a menu featuring all the signature Trejo’s tacos plus several new menu items starting with a seasonal Kale Salad, Charred Branzino, Grilled Spice Rubbed Half Jidori Chicken and Marinated Hanger Steak is another in a series of dreams come true.  And yes, there will Trejo’s vegan favorites and some new vegan options as well.  Mixologist Mark Hendrix has perfected some signature cocktails including a mescal negroni, spiked horchata, and a spicy mango margarita. 

“It’s an unbelievable thrill to be opening Trejo’s Cantina in Hollywood,” said Trejo. “I mean, come on, it’s Hollywood, where even the bad guys look good. I am truly blessed.”

Trejo’s Cantina features many original art works including one of a kind animal head light sculptures from South African artist Michael Methven and original murals from local Los Angeles artist Jose Ramirez. Prominent to the design is the tap wall featuring 34 taps which will be serving local craft beer, wine, kambucha and nitro coffee. 

Edomae Sushi 101

Omakase, a Michelin-starred destination in San Francisco’s SOMA district, will host its inaugural cooking class, “Edomae Sushi 101,” on Sunday, Nov. 13. The hands-on course will be taught by Jackson Yu, Omakase’s co-founder and executive chef, and includes a luncheon as well as demonstrations and tips on Japanese etiquette, rice preparation, fish selection, and sushi rolling techniques.

Assorted sushi with Sashimono wooden collection at Omakase in San Francisco. Photo by John Storey

"I am thrilled to share my passion and knowledge of Japanese cuisine with our guests,” said Yu. “For the past 20 years, I’ve honed my skills at some of the most highly respected Japanese restaurants in San Francisco and Tokyo, and I look forward to showing what I’ve learned about making authentic sushi of the highest quality. I love engaging with our guests and this is a remarkable opportunity to educate and interact with them on a more intimate level.”

Class participants will be invited to prepare the following dishes: 

  • Seafood Salad – wakame, cucumber, crab meat, picked radish, wonton chips
  • Uni Hand Roll – uni, ikura, quail egg
  • Tekka Maki – tuna
  • Omakase Roll – anago, cucumber, sancho pepper, takuwan
  • Nine pieces of Nigiri – tuna, toro, aji, hirame, uni, wagyu beef, ocean trout, ikura, kampachi

Under Chef Yu’s leadership, Omakase has earned a reputation for being one of the highest quality and most authentic sushi restaurants in the Bay Area. After less than a year in operation, Omakase received a Michelin star and a “Top 100” ranking by the San Francisco Chronicle’srestaurant critic, Michael Bauer. To ensure Omakase’s sushi remains at the peak of the industry, Chef Yu embarks on several culinary research trips annually, tasting the best omakase and Edomae sushi in major destinations around the world. Additionally, Chef Yu regularly travels to Japan to gain inspiration and stage at the top local restaurants to learn the latest trends.
Omakase’s “Edomae Sushi 101” class and luncheon will take place on Sunday, November 13, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each guest will be gifted a sample sake bottle, a copy of each recipe, a sushi kit and a fact sheet about knife handling, fish selection tips and basic sushi preparation. Due to the restaurant’s capacity, the course is limited to 14 guests. The class is $95 per person, including tax and gratuity. For additional information, click here

Show of Support

Pink Taco is launching its first annual “Pink Tacotober,” an initiative centered on Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the annual October campaign that brings worldwide attention to the disease.

Avocado Margarita

Pink Taco is partnering with Save the Ta-tas, the non-profit foundation created by clothing designer Julia Fikse in 2004 as a way to shine a light on breast cancer awareness by using laughter and fun as a way to fight a serious disease. Save the Ta-Tas ®is dedicated to battling cancer at every stage by supporting break-through breast cancer awareness, education, community service and more.

“Pink Taco is all about keeping it simple,” said Executive Chef Angelo Chavez.  “That simplicity is reflected in the special menu that we’ve created for this event that includes nutritious, wholesome ingredients, packed with flavor, that leave you feeling good.”.

Each Friday during the month of October, Pink Taco will feature a  special taco and cocktail with superfood ingredients that research has proven to help individuals stay healthy and reduce their chances of cancer.

The Ape

The restaurant will also be selling t-shirts and tank tops with the campaign slogan, TACOS FOR TATAS, to raise funds for breast cancer research. The shirts cost $20 and will be available to purchase in the restaurant during the month of October.  A portion of the proceeds from both the featured menu items and t-shirt sales will go back to Save the Ta-Tas ®.

DIRT, the Miami Beach hotspot that combines clean eating and great tasting food, is taking a stance against breast cancer by partnering with Susan G. Komen. Throughout the month of October, DIRT will donate $1 from each sale of the restaurants new delicious Rosewater Greek Yogurt Parfait, a vibrant pink breakfast option or snack created for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and its popular BLUSH juice – a refreshing blend of watermelon, pineapple, lemon and mint – to the charitable organization. 

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The flavors prominent in the parfait are inspired by the Middle East, and the yogurt spiked with rosewater, as well as the almond coconut topping, are made with gluten-free oats and spiced with cardamom.  Between each layer of the heavenly parfait, Chef Nicole adds dried blueberries and goji berries, both filled with antioxidants believed by doctors to be one of the best ways to prevent breast cancer through diet.  

“Regular exercise and a healthy diet are essential when standing up to breast cancer,” says Chef Nicole. “That is why it is so important for us to create innovative, delicious, healthy cuisine that you feel good about putting in your body.”

Dinova Adds Buca di Beppo
Dinova, the proprietary marketplace exclusively focused on connecting expense account diners to  restaurants nationwide, said Buca di Beppo joined the marketplace as a premier Italian restaurant chain serving tens of thousands of customers worldwide.
Buca di Beppo offers a unique perspective on Italian cuisine, by serving food family style with a fun, authentic feel. From humble beginnings in a Minnesota basement restaurant in 1993, Buca di Beppo has grown into an international sensation serving more than 100 restaurants in the United States, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.
"The addition of Buca di Beppo into Dinova's marketplace allows our business diners to experience a fun, eclectic style on business trips or for a company party," said Vic Macchio, CEO and Founder at Dinova. "Having Buca in our restaurant network is just another way we strive for excellence, and bring the best establishments into our marketplace."
"Complementary to our existing sales and marketing programs, Dinova's marketplace provides us an additional distribution channel to a targeted audience of business travelers and corporate diners nationwide," said Trish Giordano, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Buca di Beppo. "Dinova's network serves as an important resource allowing us to connect with influential, business diners and decision-makers to increase visitorship to our restaurants and further expand our catering business."


Mood Media Teams with Samsung

Mood Media Corporation's Mood’s MVision digital signage software is now available on the Samsung SMART Signage Platform (SSP). The integrated platform eliminates the need for an external media player device, creating a more efficient and cost-effective implementation process. With their business-friendly software and content management system embedded within the SSP, restaurants, retailers, hotels, healthcare providers and other small businesses are able to deploy an all-in-one digital signage network using commercial grade Samsung screens using a convenient plug-and-play implementation. This simple solution presents many benefits for Mood clients, including:

  • No additional external hardware to purchase or maintain.
  • Access to Mood’s range of MVision digital signage and customized content applications, including Mood TV for QSR.
  • Simple conversion and implementation for any business currently using compatible Samsung screens.

Mood is extremely pleased to take this step forward with our long-time technology partner, Samsung,” said David Van Epps, Global Chief Product Officer & Executive Vice President of Local Sales for Mood Media. “With this enhanced SMART screen option, it’s never been easier to tap into Mood Sight solutions and content creation expertise to design an amazing customer experience in-store.”

Eleven Waters Debuts

The culinary and winemaking traditions of the famous Finger Lakes region in New York are the inspiration for Eleven Waters, a Finger Lakes bistro, the first of three full-service restaurants is open at the newly restored Marriott Syracuse Downtown, managed by Crescent Hotels and Resorts. Part of the dining experience includes a drink at the historic Barbershop bar at Eleven Waters, located adjacent to the restaurant.


Located on the hotel’s first floor, the menu at Eleven Waters features local flavors in a modern but rustic bistro atmosphere. Guests can enjoy a thoughtful breakfast all day, savor a street-side lunch, or pair one of the restaurant’s hundreds of Finger Lakes wines with dinner. Many of the wines are available on tap, straight from the barrel, providing guests with a fresh, consistent taste.

“It’s exciting to be opening our first dining venue,” said Thomas Kiernan, executive chef. “Diners are going to get a unique experience that is focused on pairing amazing flavors and great wines from the New York region and beyond.”

Executive Chef Kiernan worked with Cody Dedischew, executive sous chef for the property’s restaurants, Ed Riley, hotel developer and head of the restoration team, and members of Crescent Hotels & Resorts’ culinary arm, Crescent Culinary, to craft the dining experience at Eleven Waters from the menu items to the décor.

Starters include Syracuse Salt Potatoes and Roasted Turkey Poutine with Yancey's Fancy cheese curds made by the artisan cheesemaker in Corfu, New York. Main dishes include Cavatelli with Utica Greens and Lamoreaux Merlot-Braised Short Ribs, with merlot from Lamoreaux Landing, a Seneca Lake winery. Each entrée on the menu is paired with a suggested Finger Lakes wine.

In addition to the wines flowing from the tap, hundreds of bottles of Finger Lakes wines are available by the glass and by the bottle. Many are stored in a restored 1920s wine cabinet that was found in a pile of rubble during the renovations. During the massive $76 million restoration of the Hotel Syracuse, the restoration team sent an unusual set of wood panels to Harden Furniture in McConnellsville, New York. Without photos or instructions, the team at Harden pieced together the object and determined it was an original wine cabinet built for the hotel in the early 1920s. The massive cabinet is now featured in the private dining area of Eleven Waters and holds approximately 100 bottles of Finger Lakes wines.


In the midst of the hotel’s restoration, workers discovered the remains of an old barbershop, complete with mirrors on the wall, a tiled floor, and an old electrical display that lit up to alert the next customer of his turn.

Now a bar, the Barbershop at Eleven Waters is a comfortable lounge area, featuring New York spirits such as 1911 Vodka from LaFayette and Beanball Bourbon from Cooperstown.  Cocktail names take a playful nod to bygone hairstyles such as “The Pompadour” and “The High & Tight,” and guests can also enjoy some of the best local craft beer from Empire Brewing Company, Ithaca Beer Company, and Middle Ages Brewing Company.

Pizza Lollipops

Austin confectioner Lollyphile, added a new flavor to their canon of distinct lollipops: Pizza. The lollipop specialist, known for their quirky flavors, including blue cheese, breastmilk and merlot, are releasing this new pizza flavored treat to celebrate America’s love affair with the Italian classic pie.

Pizza Lollipop

“We’ve put pizza on a bagel and in rolls and on potato chips, but no one has ever put pizza on a lollipop,” Lollyphile founder Jason Darling said. “We have the lollipop technology to achieve this impossible dream, and we felt that we owed it to humanity to make it happen.” Darling continues, “Pizza flavored lollipops feature several advantages over their doughy cousin. They fit in your pocket, don’t require refrigeration and never burn the roof of your mouth.”

The lollipop itself, while still sweet, has distinct and unmistakable notes of pizza, including cheese, tomato and chili pepper. In recent years Lollyphile has caused a stir with the release of their breast milk, sriracha, and beer flavored lollipops and they plan on continue stirring with even more unexpected and interesting flavors.

Playing Footsie
Toe-Rific® Chocolates & Candy announces a "Footsie Award" that will be awarded to either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton based on votes from the public.
Toe-Rific Chocolates and Candy Footsie Award
"We want to use our foot shaped candy as a way to spotlight the many 'foot in mouth' statements that have been 'kicked around' during this unique Presidential race," said Dr. Mark Wolpa, podiatrist and founder of Toe-Rific® Chocolates & Candy.  
The public is encouraged to send an email to  with either a Trump or Clinton quote that exemplifies why the candidate is "toe-tally worthy" of winning the Footsie.   "The first debate was filled with a treasure of potential winning statements," said Wolpa.  "I am sure the follow up debates will not disappoint."
"The 'coveted Footsie,'" Wolpa says tongue in cheek, "is a life sized chocolate foot that will be sent to either Trump or Clinton with a congratulatory note along with instructions to open wide and insert the enclosed foot.   I would love to have our mascot Tommy Toe-Rific deliver it in person."
Wolpa said that he wants the contest to bring attention to the many outrageous statements that have been uttered as fact, as well as for voters to realize that very soon one of these individuals is going to be the next President of the United States and unless they want to see the same person who wins our Footsie Award become the 45th President, to make sure to "step up" and vote in November.
Toe-Rific® Chocolates & Candy Company ( makes 15 unique foot shaped candies such as Mistle Toes,®  Happy Feet®, and Twinkle Toes®, that are used for gifts,  promotional , and sales tools to "get one's foot in the door.
High Performance Shortening

Cargill is introducing its Regalline of bakery shortenings during the International Bakery Innovation Expo. The Regal portfolio includes new high-performing shortenings as well as optimized performance in its non-palm shortenings.

Red velvet cupcakes on wooden table
"We have been providing shortenings to the bakery industry for a long time," said Janet Bones, R&D Vice President for Cargill Global Edible Oil Solutions. "However, we took a hard look at our portfolio and saw opportunities to better meet the needs of our bakery customers. These five products represent the beginning of our journey, as we have additional innovative offerings in our pipeline."
The Regal bakery shortenings include:
  • Regal™ Icing Shortening NH: This is a nonhydrogenated icing shortening that creates brilliant white icings without any whitening additives and that holds up in the most intricately decorated cakes. A patent is pending for the technology behind this product.
  • Regal™ Donut Fry Shortening: This product was specially formulated for operations serving fresh donuts. It is a reduced palm shortening that provides great flavor and enables a faster set time over standard palm shortenings.
  • Regal™ Puff Pastry Shortening: This shortening delivers the lamination and lift performance of margarine in puff pastry applications, but since it's 100 percent fat, it may translate into a 20 percent cost savings per unit of finished product over margarine.
  • Regal™ Cake & Icing Shortening: This non-palm icing shortening also performs well in cakes, making it very functional for smaller bakery operations, and is 20 percent lower in saturated fats compared to palm shortenings.*
  • Regal™ All-Purpose Shortening: A dependable, all-around performance shortening provides a broad working range, exceptional plasticity, excellent creaming properties and is 20 percent lower in saturated fats compared to palm shortenings.*
In addition to its portfolio of bakery products, partnering with Cargill provides access to proprietary market insights, risk management solutions and industry-leading R&D and bakery applications expertise. At Cargill's Minneapolis-based Innovation Center, which houses a state-of-the-art bakery lab and pilot facilities, customers can work side-by-side with these experts to create, develop and customize solutions to meet taste, functionality and labeling criteria.
Taking it Personnely

Paul M. Clark was named the new general manager of Hotel on North in Pittsfield, MA. In his role, Clark is responsible for providing leadership, oversight of day-to-day operations, and coordination of marketing efforts for Hotel on North.

Clark comes to Hotel on North with more than two decades of experience in the hospitality industry in major markets around the country.  In New York City, he spent one year as hotel manager of the 834-room HUDSON Hotel and close to two years as the assistant general manager of the 310-room Renaissance New York Hotel Times Square. Prior to the move to New York, he spent 15 years honing his skills in a variety of managerial positions, from sales manager to director of front office operations to director of food and beverage, at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, the Chicago Marriott Downtown on the Magnificent Mile, and at resort properties Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL, and The Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa in Savannah, GA. Most recently, Clark directed special events and highly successful fundraising initiatives for the New York City-based Ali Forney Center, the largest community center for homeless LGBT youth in the United States.

Located in a pair of buildings that date from the 1880s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Hotel on North is an award-winning boutique hotel named “A Top 10 Favorite New Hotel” in 2015 by Architectural Digest. The 45-room boutique hotel is located in the heart of Pittsfield’s downtown arts district and is home to popular restaurant Eat on North. Owned by David Tierney III and his wife Laurie Tierney of MM&D LLC, Hotel on North is managed by Main Street Hospitality Group, owner and operator of the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA, The Porches at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA and The Williams Inn in Williamstown, MA.

Veteran architecture/design/commercial real estate business development, marketing and public relations professional Nan Richardson has joined brand agency and retail design consultancy CBX as Engagement Director, Branded Environments.

Nan Richardson

In her new position, Richardson will work to connect with prospects, build relationships and develop new business opportunities for CBX in the retail, restaurant, hospitality and commercial real estate industries, reporting to Vice President, Branded Environments James Sundstad. She will be based in Newport Beach, CA.

Richardson brings a diverse background to CBX, with over 20 years of business development and marketing experience, primarily in the architecture, interior design and commercial real estate industries. Prior to joining CBX, she was West Coast Director, Business Development at Core States Group, a fully integrated architecture, interior design, engineering and general contracting firm specializing in the hospitality, retail, restaurant and corporate sector. From her base in Newport Beach, she had direct responsibility for client relations, public relations, marketing, and business development functions.

Previously, Richardson held senior marketing and business development positions with such other prominent firms as Perkins+ Will, IA Interior Architects, and H. Hendy Associates.