MRM People & Places: Cassoulet War, Zagat Stories and AQUAlounge

Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine's People & Places column features news of company hires and promotions, charitable efforts and product introductions. 

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San Diego entrepreneur Brad Hunter is disrupting the luxury hospitality industry with an entirely uncharted concept: AQUAlounge, an  floating nautical experience slated to debut in San Diego, California in fall of 2020. 


Custom designed to be unlike anything currently on the water, the process to receive permitting and approvals charted unmapped territory for the United States Coast Guard and the City of San Diego.

“When I started down this path six years ago, my goal was to completely rethink everything about the bay and dinner cruise space—the layout, the experience, the ambiance,” said Hunter. “I found inspiration on my travels. With so many amazing new dining and entertainment experiences emerging around the world, it feels good to be a part of that revolution and to bring something unique back to San Diego.” 

At 3,900-square-feet, the build out of AQUAlounge is projected at $5 million, and construction is scheduled to begin in February of 2020. “Designing and building a vessel so far from the industry standards has certainly created a fair amount of challenges,”added Hunter, who is working with a team of nautical design specialists including Marine Group Boat Works, Marine Design and Drafting, and Directions in Design to build his vision. 

The indoor-outdoor, three-level floating vessel will feature year-round public and private events, as well as annual membership options. Guests may enjoy a variety of seating arrangements, two bars, as well as private cabanas and daybeds offering bottle service and other five-star experiences. Hunter also has plans for a robust dining program in partnership with San Diego’s top restaurants and caterers. 


On-board entertainment will embrace advanced tech-forward features including synchronized light shows incorporating a fleet of drones, interactive displays, and top-of-the-line lighting, audio and visual components to enhance performances with DJs, live music and unique artistic displays. With the ability to cover and heat all areas, AQUAlounge will ensure a comfortable guest experience while sipping cocktails, dining or relaxing on the water. 

AQUAlounge marks a pivotal step forward within a virtually untapped sector of the hospitality industry, and its projected timeline will make it one of the first—if not the first—concept of its kind in North America. Hunter aims to set the bar for floating day clubs at a time when business and trend forecasters have projected strong potential within the new category. One similar concept of note was announced by Lebua Hotels & Resorts, whose Bangkok-based day club, Float, was estimated to launch by end of year 2019, according to Forbes. Hunter sees potential for future expansion, but considers San Diego the ideal market for launch given its annual visitor count of 35.8 million who spend $11.5 billion on average. 

“Mission Bay is the largest man-made aquatic recreation area in the world, entertaining 15 million visitors annually,” says Hunter. “The area has the best year-round weather in the country, a lively hospitality scene, and breathtaking bay views, yet there are no viable options for enjoying great food, drink and entertainment on the water…it feels like a very exciting opportunity.” 

D’Artagnan celebrated 35 years of putting the finest artisanal meats on American tables. Founded by Ariane Daguin in 1985, the company is recognized for its uncompromising standards when it comes to delivering superior products based on free-range, natural production and sustainable, humane farming practices.

,Ariane Daguin, Tom Colicchio and more attend D'Artagnan's 35th Anniversary at Metropolitan Pavillion . (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC) 

The company kicked off its celebration in New York City with a night of decadent food prepared by some of the world’s most renowned chefs including Tom Colicchio (Crafted Hospitality), Jacques Torres (Jacques Torres Chocolate) Justin Bogle (Le Coucou), Pierre Landet (Felix), and Michelle Palazzo (Frenchette), to name a few. 

 Craig Cannon, Kendra Gibbons, Alix Daguin, Luc Iseman, Lysyn Huhn, Quijano Flores and Eva Mak attend D'Artagnan's 35th Anniversary at Metropolitan Pavillion. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC) 

“From our inception, D’Artagnan has had a singular vision to carry on what I learned growing up as the daughter of a sixth-generation French chef and translate that palate and sensibility to the American table,” said Daguin. “Thirty-five years later, I realize we were at the forefront of a food revolution—one that is coming even more into focus now.”

D’Artagnan’s 35-year legacy started at a time when the American palate was becoming more adventurous and curious. Daguin wanted to help chefs and consumers understand the vast options of meat and poultry available, as well as the processes that make one product ultimately taste better than another. Today, as consumers are looking at not only what they eat, but where and how their food was brough to their table, the company is credited in leading the charge of sustainably raised animal products.

Following the recent anniversary fête, D’Artagnan also hosted its sixth annual Cassoulet War in New York, bringing together 20 renowned chefs to battle for the honor of cooking the best cassoulet. Carrying on the rich French tradition in which chefs and villagers compete for the top cassoulet – a rich, slow cooked, bean and meat-based casserole – chefs from across the U.S. put their own stamp on the iconic dish.

 Rhiannon Evans attends D'Artagnan's 6th Annual Cassoulet War at Kimpton Hotel Eventi (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/PMC) 

The winners for this year’s battle include:

People’s Choice Winner: Laetitia Rouabah, Benoit

Reimagined Cassoulet Winner: Andy Knudson, Peasant by Marc Forgione

Grand Prize Winner: Dieter Samjin, Bar Boulud

In addition, the proceeds from the evening benefited Action Against Hunger, a global humanitarian organization that takes decisive action against the causes and effects of hunger.As Daguin and the D’Artagnan team look to the future, she predicts the company—which posted revenue of $130 million last year—will reach $250 million in sales within the next five years. This growth is fueled by an aggressive expansion plan for their restaurant and consumer customers, as well as an eye towards ongoing innovations like the Green Circle Chicken, a unique vegetable-fed bird that eats excess vegetables rescued from restaurant kitchens and markets.

Zagat  debuted Zagat Stories. The as-told-to editorial channel, video trailer above, will feature original stories showcasing the human foundation of the culinary world and can be accessed at

Zagat Stories will exist alongside Zagat's well-known survey-driven restaurant guide. The site's content, both video and text, will feature thoughtful, inspiring, and often intimate storytelling focused around chefs, restaurateurs, and others in the expanded universe of dining and hospitality. 

These stories might be about landing a really big deal, making a life-changing decision, the best or worst opening night, fighting through a major crisis, struggling with personal demons, or the joy of achieving a dream. Or the story might concern a small but meaningful moment, like a breakthrough recipe idea, a single epic meal, or the thought process underlying the design of a room.

The first Zagat Stories to be featured include:

  • Chef Eric Ripert of New York's Le Bernardin offers a mediation on his meditation habit. 
  • Chef Michael Solomonov of Philadelphia's Zahav tracing his long road to recovery through a terrifying addiction.  
  • Chef Katie Button of Asheville's Cúrate defending her right to work as both a chef and mother.  
  • Chef Paul Kahan of Chicago speaking to the joy of mentoring and letting go. 

And many more personal stories from the likes of Amanda Cohen, Barbara Lynch, Issac Toups, Lindsay Jang,John Yao, Curtis Stone,  Jeffrey Katz, Camilla Marcus, Jocelyn Law-Yone, Mailea Weger, and others in the weeks to come… 

"For more than forty years, the Zagat guide has been there to help people discover restaurants. Zagat Stories is here today to elevate and showcase the human side of the dining experience," said Chris Stang, chief executive officer, Zagat. "This brand has always been a way for the restaurant community to measure itself. With Zagat Stories it will now also be a way for chefs and restaurateurs to express themselves, thereby more deeply connecting the Zagat audience to the restaurants they love and the people behind them."

Zagat Stories is an entirely new offering from the recently relaunched brand. The platform will offer new stories from chefs each week. 

Zagat Stories was created and is produced in-house by Zagat under the leadership of CEO Chris Stang, Zagat Editor-in-Chief, Hillary Reinsberg, Zagat Stories Editor Chris Mohney, who recently joined the company after past editorial leadership positions at Serious Eats, Culture Trip, and Tumblr, and Zagat Creative Director Nick Bilardello.

In November 2019, Zagat brought back its first print edition of its legendary guidebook. The 40th Anniversary Edition 2020 Zagat New York City Restaurants Guide is available for purchase now. 

This Spring, Zagat will launch its restaurant survey in select cities across the U.S. Moving forward, The Infatuation, which acquired the Zagat brand from Google in 2018, plans to rebuild Zagat's digital product to extend the brand's global reach through its survey-driven restaurant guides. The new Zagat is slated to debut in the summer of 2020 and will allow diners to rate and review restaurants effectively and responsibly, a nod to Zagat's crowd-sourced roots that leverages significant credibility and user trust in the restaurant discovery space. 

Hoping to raise a record-breaking amount for charity this March, Jersey Mike’s Subs asks customers to eat a sub and help a local cause. 

To celebrate the company’s milestone 10th Annual Month of Giving fundraising campaign, Jersey Mike’s locations across the country are joining forces with 200 local charities.

During the month of March, all are invited to come into their local Jersey Mike’s restaurant and make a donation to the location’s designated charity partner. Charities include hospitals, youth organizations, food banks and more. As added incentive, special deals will be announced each week on Twitter and through Jersey Mike’s email club.


The campaign culminates in the nationwide event, Day of Giving, on Wednesday, March 25, when local Jersey Mike’s owners and operators will donate their resources and every single dollar that comes in to local charities.

At the time of the first nationwide fundraiser in 2011, all of Jersey Mike’s 454 locations raised $600,000 for 66 charities. Last year’s Month of Giving raised a record amount of more than $7.3 million for local charities nationwide, and in 2020, the company’s 1,700 locations hope to raise more than $8 million.

“This March, we celebrate our 10th Annual Month of Giving, an idea inspired by one of our local franchise owners,” said Peter Cancro, Jersey Mike’s founder and CEO, who started the company when he was only 17 years old. “Since then, we have raised more than $31 million with the support of our generous local owners, crew members and customers. This March, I invite you to come in and celebrate this milestone with us and make a difference in your community.”

Area Director and Franchisee Dalton Stewart inspired the Month of Giving idea. Back in 2010, Stewart rallied 11 Jersey Mike’s Dallas/Ft. Worth locations to raise funds for a local charity, Wipe Out Kids’ Cancer (WOKC). With tremendous grassroots support, the program raised $50,000 for WOKC in one month. Impressed by this effort, the next year, Jersey Mike’s decided to take the program national. The Dallas/Ft. Worth area Jersey Mike’s locations have now raised more than $1 million for WOKC.

In each market, restaurant owners continue to select charities that make a big difference when it comes to supporting local neighborhoods and building a stronger community.

Apeel Sciences, a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and one of TIME Magazine's 50 Genius Companies, appointed Taylor Sokol as the company’s Director of Foodservice. Sokol will establish and manage relationships with both commercial and non-commercial foodservice customers including distributors, foodservice management companies, independent restaurants and wholesalers. By shaping Apeel’s strategy and partnering in the foodservice channel, Sokol will play an integral role in furthering the company’s growth on a global scale.

Taylor Sokol

Food waste is one of the leading contributors to climate change, and more than 80 percent of it occurs downstream within retail and foodservice establishments (ReFED). Following its rapid expansion over the last year, propelled by the expansion of avocado distribution and new produce categories with Kroger, and landing on European retail shelves at Edeka in Germany and Salling Group in Denmark, Apeel is now extending its plant-derived food-waste fighting solution beyond retail into the foodservice channel. 

“At Apeel, we’re constantly developing ways for the food supply chain to realize new value from longer-lasting produce,” said James Rogers, CEO of Apeel Sciences. "For foodservice operators and their staff, Apeel's longer-lasting produce means every order can be maximized and business operations can become more flexible and efficient. This is equally great news for growers who will have an easier time selling ‘the whole tree’."

“Apeel is at the forefront of addressing food waste as one of the biggest problems we face as a planet,” said Taylor Sokol, Director of Foodservice at Apeel Sciences. “It’s an exciting time to join as we help foodservice distributors and operators reduce waste while enabling them to serve consumers delicious food with better quality produce made possible by Apeel.”

Restaurants in the U.S. alone generate an estimated 22 to 33 billion pounds of food waste each year, and non-commercial institutions including schools, hotels and hospitals generate an additional 7 to 11 billion pounds per year (NRDC). While much of this is caused by over-prepared food, Apeel can provide foodservice operators with more time to serve produce at its peak condition, while reducing overall waste and increasing margins. As more high-volume operators look to increase their fresh fruit and vegetable offerings, Apeel can also address the challenges of spoilage during supply chain adjustments.

Prior to joining Apeel, Sokol provided strategic foodservice guidance for plant-forward start-up CAULIPOWER, and over the last decade served in sales and market development roles at public and private food companies including Ocean Hugger Foods, J.R. Simplot Company, Flagship Food Group and Sysco. 

The high school lunch experience is about to look a whole lot different. Aramark, which serves nearly 370 million meals annually to more than 2 million K-12 students across North America, today announced a new high school dining brand, called Rally Cafe, which will transform the traditional high school cafeteria.


Aramark’s K-12 brand development team gathered thousands of insights from students, parents, operators and clients, to gain a better understanding of what they wanted out of high school dining programs. The findings? Students see the cafeteria as a place of social pressure and time pressure. They want to be able to get their food quickly and have time to eat with their friends.

Rally Cafe is designed as a place where students can refuel, recharge and relax with good food in a comfortable environment that celebrates their school’s unique spirit and identity. Built around two core values, real good food (quality, health, convenience and personalization) and inspired community (spirited, local, inclusive and comfortable), Rally Cafe integrates each school’s distinctive identity into the cafe logo, while vibrant food photography and positive messaging, with inspirational sayings like “You Got This” or “Together We Can,” are displayed throughout the cafe. Health and wellness clings are also prominent, featuring messages like “Healthy Body – Healthy Life” and “A Healthy Future Begins Now.”

“Rally Cafe transforms the traditional high school cafeteria – noisy, overcrowded and outdated — into a modern day escape for students that is clean, comfortable, fun and social,” said Barbara Flanagan, President of Aramark’s K-12 Education division. “By re-imagining the school cafeteria, we’ve created an engaging environment that promotes a positive food culture and celebrates school spirit – all while hoping to inspire.”

With school spirit running high among high school students, Rally Cafe seizes upon this strong connection through branding, color scheme, and thematic signage and graphics, to further unite the student body. The term “rally” embodies the idea of school spirit and the collective community participating in the shared experience.

As part of the cafeteria makeover, Rally Cafe will introduce student-driven meal options and service solutions that offer craveable, fresh food, while maximizing speed of service during the busy lunch period, including:

  • Daily menu specials and limited time offerings, featuring seasonal ingredients and regional favorites;
  • Test Kitchen station with a weekly rotation of unique, customizable menu items and specialty cuisines, such as global tacos, BBQ and noodle bowls;
  • Fresh, on-trend grab-and-go bento boxes, salads and sandwiches that decrease time in line and allow students to maximize their lunch period; and
  • Breakfast and lunch mobile carts offering meal options at remote service locations.
  • Additionally, design elements such as new signage, menu boards, furniture, fixtures and finishes, will be installed to reflect the school’s distinctive spirit and identity.

Rally Cafe will first be piloted at Midlothian (TX) Independent School District, prior to being introduced for the 2020-21 school year.

Field Day, the enterprise field-marketing solution for retail and restaurant brands, added Byron Duncan to its growing leadership team. Duncan has been an industry field sales and marketing expert for the last 20 plus years, and the move comes as Field Day builds on its portfolio of services designed to help restaurant operators and retailers grow community-based customer engagement and support.

Byron Duncan

“Hiring Byron adds a timely and valuable piece to Field Day’s strategic puzzle as we evolve into furthering our commitment and effectiveness in driving field sales for retailers and restaurant brands,” said Alex Nocifera, Field Day’s Founder and CEO. “Byron brings some of the deepest field sales knowledge and expertise I’ve seen in the industry.  His field experience, passion and conviction for helping brands succeed will provide a deep value to our partners.”

Duncan spent a majority of his career providing field sales support to brands like Honey Baked Ham and FedEx Kinko’s. Through his work with Field Day, Byron will initially oversee the company’s new sales follow-up lead program and will work with restaurant and retail partners as a strategic guide.

“When I first met Alex and learned about Field Day at an industry conference in 2019, I immediately saw their value.  Brands are missing out on the most important field attribute, which is leveraging the power of human-to-human interaction within their communities. Field Day has shown they have the ability to wake up communities with a proven method, resulting in better brand awareness and demand for their client products,” Duncan said. “Our next step is to help ensure that our partners have a strong follow-up process put in place for the leads and awareness we generate. This will allow us to further enhance that initial relationship-building contact and it’s been a program Field Day customers have been asking for from the team.”

Field Day works with large restaurant and retail brands to understand their sales and marketing challenges and goals.  Field Day’s solution tailors itself around brands’ objectives, leveraging an amalgamation of data, software and Field Day’s nationwide network of skilled brand ambassadors.  

McLane Company, Inc., a leading supply chain services company providing grocery and foodservice solutions, announced that Jeff Hayes has been promoted to vice president of sales and business development of McLane Foodservice, effective January 15.

Jeff Hayes

Hayes is responsible for leading the business development and customer relationship management of the entire McLane Foodservice portfolio of 33 leading restaurant brands. In this role, Hayes will ensure alignment with the needs of strategic partners and seek to enable the growth potential for McLane Foodservice and its customers.

“Jeff Hayes is a proven leader who values relationships and partnerships with our customers,” says Susan Adzick, executive vice president and chief operating officer of McLane Foodservice. “He is a strategic thinker who will continue to grow the McLane Foodservice brand, and he will champion the culture that remains at the core of our success.”

Hayes has been with McLane Foodservice for more than 26 years, holding various roles within the finance and national accounts teams. Most recently, he served as vice president of national accounts and was responsible for many collaborative relationships with strategic partners.

Prior to joining McLane Foodservice, Hayes held financial management roles in both the software and business network industries. He began his distribution career with PepsiCo Food Systems as part of the finance team, and he progressed through roles of increasing scope after transitioning to the national accounts team. Hayes holds an undergraduate degree in finance and MBA from the University of Louisville.

“It’s an exciting time to move into this role and to build upon all the great work the team has done in recent years,” says Hayes. “I believe McLane Foodservice is well-positioned to support the needs of our customers today, as well as be the strategic partner they expect in the future.”

The son of renowned still life photographer Ben Somoroff, Michael Somoroff is a veteran conceptual artist, director and photographer. Whether in motion picture, still image or his installation work, Somoroff has directed and created critically acclaimed content for virtually every major magazine and advertising agency, as well as a wide breadth of publications and cultural institutions around the globe. The results of his creative endeavors are well represented in museum collections, international art fairs, galleries and diverse cultural platforms throughout the world. He is also the author of several photography books, including Absence of Subject, Illusion I at the Rothko Chapel, Kinder in Europa, The Vegetable Series and Two Crowns of the Egg. 

In 1990, Michael Somoroff kicked off a longstanding collaboration with Red Lobster to develop craveable tabletop imagery and video that has set the standard for restaurant creative the world over. Decades ahead of its time, the now-iconic “butter splash” helped predetermine what is now considered an accepted aesthetic for a community of viral food photographers and influencers on the Internet and social media.

Today, their partnership continues with Michael being tasked with the creation of all-new visual assets for Red Lobster’s menu in its entirety at Somoroff+ Studios, located within Mana Contemporary. The multi-platform shoot that includes video and still photography will be used across various platforms including social media, tabletop menus in-store, the Red Lobster app, the Red Lobster website, and broadcast.

Michael Somoroff’s Somoroff+ Studios and the Red Lobster marketing team will use the new multimedia content to rapidly advance the visual quality and interactive aspects of fine casual dining. Somoroff continues to innovate aesthetically and technologically, on behalf of the brand, by implementing creative techniques. Somoroff even created a new wide-angle closeup lens that makes food come to life on the screen. Additionally, Somoroff+ Studios has developed an extensive custom internal workflow platform which allows for streamlined production and a real-time integrated client approval process. 

A new Associate Degree in Culinary Operations in Resorts and Clubs is scheduled to launch in July of 2020 at Helms College.  The Augusta campus of Helms College will launch the new degree, which will bring The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company culture and philosophy to the classroom through brand ambassador presentations as well as an exclusive externship at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee during the program. Upon successful completion of this degree, the resort will provide mentorship for students upon graduation regarding employment opportunities within the many luxury brands of Marriott International.

“Our executive team is very excited about this project and we are looking forward to this partnership,” said Edgar Carrera, Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee.

Set along the waterfront, just 75 miles east of Atlanta, the resort offers five-star amenities, natural beauty and a quiet escape from everyday life for guests.

“Our goal is to create opportunities that will significantly contribute to the education and progression of these students and serve them well in their future culinary careers.”

Students enrolling in the new CORC degree program will be required to meet the admission requirements for Helms College and be interviewed by The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Students will also have the opportunity for experiential learning with Edgar’s Hospitality Group including The Pinnacle Club, Edgar’s Above Broad and abundant culinary applied learning opportunities during Masters week in Augusta. 

“This will be a rigorous program designed to train students from all over the world for a resort and club-focused culinary career,” noted Dr. Gary Markowitz, Senior Vice President of Education at Helms College. “The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee is an enthusiastic and generous partner in this endeavor, and we look forward to providing students with an educational and training opportunity unlike any other.”

Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille, a new polished-casual restaurant concept founded by Heisman Trophy-winning University of Florida football player and legendary coach, Hall of Famer, Steve Spurrier, will open in fall 2020. The beloved ‘Head Ball Coach’ has also selected an experienced restaurant industry professional to operate the restaurant at Celebration Pointe in Gainesville, FL. 

The 16,700-square-foot space includes three indoor-outdoor bars and a 5,500-square-foot rooftop lounge named “Visors” overlooking the Celebration Pointe Promenade and outdoor entertainment venue. The restaurant will include a nearly 600-square-foot sports memorabilia exhibit with Coach Spurrier’s 1966 Heisman Trophy as the centerpiece. The exhibit will include more memorabilia from his decades as a player and coach in college and professional football, and additional items will be displayed throughout the restaurant. This includes a display of his visor collection, which are closely associated with Coach Spurrier. 

Spurrier’s will provide guests with a mid-century modern atmosphere and an array of seating options from bar-top tables to oversized couches and booths. The restaurant will have three private dining options; the largest of which will seat up to 50 in a private dining room, which can be divided into two spaces, and adjoins the memorabilia museum. With three bars serving both indoor and outdoor guests, a radio booth for live shows and podcasts, and the unique rooftop lounge, Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille will offer a dining experience unlike anything in the region.

Spurrier’s will serve a variety of polished American-casual menu items with innovative twists; healthy options; and some of Coach Spurrier’s favorite foods, such as avocado-topped burgers, grilled chicken, seafood, steak, pasta, salads and more. The menu also includes desserts inspired by Jerri Spurrier’s recipes, Coach Spurrier’s wife—recipes like pecan pie a la mode and homemade chocolate chip cookies, that have been longtime favorites of former Florida players like Danny Wuerffel and James Bates. 

“Our draft to select an Operating Partner for Spurrier’s resulted in inquiries from all over the country,” said Coach Spurrier. “We’ve selected a first-round draft pick in Andrew Johnstone, who has more than three decades of restaurant experience, including in Gainesville. Andrew shares my vision of creating a first-class dining and social experience in the North Florida region.” 

 Johnstone’s extensive restaurant industry experience includes the most recent position as Director of Operations for patriotic-themed Mission BBQ, with restaurants in 16 states. In this role, Mr. Johnstone was responsible for supporting real estate site selection, marketing the brand and all levels of location operations for the Florida Panhandle. He was also a past Managing Partner of Outback Steakhouse in Gainesville 2002-2014. 

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of developing a truly one-of-a-kind restaurant with Coach Spurrier,” said Andrew Johnstone. “Celebration Pointe is an exceptional location for Spurrier’s and I know that Gators fans and all of our guests are going to really enjoy the experience.”

Spurrier’s Gridiron Grille is further supported by founding partner of Ganbaru Consultancy, Giselle Mastrosanti, who has developed several restaurants into world-renowned venues, including Urban Grill Ghana, ROKA Macau, Santoku, Coco Lounge and Carbon. Mastrosanti and her team will provide deep experience in all areas of hospitality from creating concepts to operations, including staffing, increasing productivity and financial profitability. 

Mary Cameron, an Ankeny resident, will soon embark on her journey to Europe, thanks to Pie Five Pizza.


From Aug. 26 through Dec. 31, Pie Five guests that simply downloaded the Circle of Crust app were entered to win a seven-night Royal Caribbean cruise for two. Plus, every signature pizza or salad purchased through the app counted as an additional entry into the sweepstakes.

“I do not travel frequently, so winning this sweepstakes is especially exciting for me,” Cameron said. “I am thrilled and grateful that Pie Five is giving me this opportunity to go see more of the world and create incredible memories while I’m abroad.”

“Our Pizza Passport came to an end in December, but now is the most exciting time as we send Mary and her guest to Europe,” said Director of Marketing Adam Schmidt. “We wish Mary a safe and joyful cruise, and we look forward to hearing how the trip went upon her return.” 

The winner was chosen by an independent third party out of a random draw of all eligible Pizza Passport entries.

LloydPans debuted two new pan launches that push the boundaries of length and size. The company has a new Long Pizza Pan that comes in dimensions as long as
27 x 4 x 1.5 inches, while the bakery solution experts have an extra-tall round cheesecake pan, measuring 8×4 inches.


“For years, we’ve paid attention to the consumer packaged goods industry, where new products are continually developed by repackaging existing brands into new formats,” Traci Rennaker, LloydPans’ President and Chief Executive Officer, says. “We took the same approach when developing these two new pans. The Long Pizza Pan is perfect for restaurants looking to excite customers with a long, narrow pan pizza perfect for large parties. And, who doesn’t want a bigger cheesecake! This new cheesecake pan is perfect for those bakers looking to make a visual impact with a tall cheesecake.” 

The Long Pizza Pan comes in several lengths with a standard width (4 inches) and depth (1.5 inches). Pizzerias can produce long personal pizzas with the 12-inch long pan, feed a family with the 18-inch long pan or serve
a whole party with the 27-inch long pan. Each pan features LloydPans’ proprietary PSTK® coating that offers operators a durable pan that requires no pre-seasoning. 


Our new tall cheesecake pan was originally launched as a custom pan, but due to popular demand, has now found a permanent home in our line of loose-bottom cheesecake pans. The 4-inch height is about as tall as
a baker can make a cheesecake, and our stick-resistant coating allows for easy release. The coating also makes the pan steam resistant, which means a baker can de-pan cheesecakes now or later and they won’t damage the pan or the integrity of the cheesecake. Both the Long Pizza Pan and the tall cheesecake pan will be displayed at the Pizza Expo and Artisan Bakery Expo, taking place in Las Vegas from March 31 to April 2. 

LloydPans, a U.S. manufacturer of commercial pizza pans and tools, bakeware, cookware and foodservice equipment, is located in Spokane Valley, Washington.