New & Notable: Say Goodbye to Soggy Fries and AAA Five Diamond Winners

Modern Restaurant Management (MRM) magazine’s New & Notable column features new products and services as well as restaurant, food-service and hospitality company news and events. 

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Signature Room Turns 25
The Signature Room at 875 N. Michigan Ave. on the 95th floor of Chicago’s fourth tallest building celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018. 
Photo by Scott Thompson
“When we first opened The Signature Room, our mission was to create a special dining experience – one where Chicagoans could enjoy a fantastic meal in an unrivaled space,” owner and Chicagoland native Richard Roman said. “It has become the restaurant to celebrate momentous occasions and so much more, and we are extremely grateful for our customers and their loyal patronage over the years.”
The longevity and success of the family-owned restaurant can largely be contributed to its dedicated staff, many of whom have been a part of the team since its inception in 1993. An astounding 106 employees have been employed by The Signature Room for over 10 years – 25 of them celebrating their 25th anniversary alongside the restaurant.
PicoBrew Launches Professional Brewing Line
PicoBrew, maker of the world’s first line of automated craft beer brewing appliances, launched the PicoBrew Z Series, their first professional-grade, all-grain brewing appliance line. The Z Series is targeted at restaurants, bars, brewpubs and craft breweries interested in producing small batches of custom craft beers and kombucha. Special discount pricing is available and it will begin shipping in June 2018.
The new Z Series builds on the pioneering technology created in 2013 for the award-winning PicoBrew Zymatic, the world’s first all-grain brewing appliance, and extends it with a blend of unique, data-center-industry inspired functionality to produce a family of modular, scalable brewing appliances. The upgraded fluid distribution and heating components work together with the new modular, rackable and stackable chassis components to create truly scalable brewing solutions. The new Z Series features stainless-steel, heavy-duty components and was designed with simplified maintenance in mind. The Wi-Fi-connected appliances can be used to create recipes that run brewing cycles with precise control over temperature, fluid flow and timing, or brewers can download and run existing recipes from PicoBrew’s extensive recipe library.
The Z Series gives brewers the capability to produce between 1 to 10 gallons of beer at a time, with each model increasing the output by 2.5 gallons.
“I’m super excited about the Z Series. It has the flexibility to let me brew pilot batches up to 10 gallons with the potential to sell them in my tasting room,” said Barry Chan, co-founder and brewmaster at Seattle’s Lucky Envelope Brewing.
“We have heard the demand for larger brewing-volume solutions from our customers loud and clear,” said Dr. Bill Mitchell, CEO of PicoBrew. “After almost two years of experimentation and prototyping, we arrived at the Z Series:  a modular solution that can meet the needs of advanced homebrewers, bar and restaurant owners and pro-brewers alike.”
Ron Zimmerman, proprietor of The Herbfarm restaurant and early adopter of the Zymatic, looks forward to the increased capacity of the Z Series and to sharing his recipes with beer fans worldwide: “Over time, the Zymatic has led me all over the beer world, through styles, ingredients, and eras. I’ve particularly enjoyed exploring the near-forgotten flavors of lost beers, the first of which was my Franklin’s Old Ale. For all-out versatility, nothing beats the infinite grain bills, hop additions, and mash schedules of the Zymatic,” Zimmerman said.
In addition to brewing with loose grains and hops, the Z Series appliances can also brew PicoPaks, biodegradable recipe packs that come filled with the water amendments, grains and hops needed to brew craft beers from more than 200 breweries around the world.

They also released the newest capability of their pro-grade Z Series—the ability to cold brew coffee—cementing the line of automated, rackable appliances as the ideal solution for anyone to conveniently and cost-effectively provide a wide variety of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages for their customers.

The Z Series’ fluid distribution makes cold brewing coffee, a process that ordinarily takes more than 24 hours, possible in just two hours thanks to active extraction by way of continuous water recirculation. The result is up to two gallons of cold brewed coffee or concentrate, with batch sizes and strength determined by coffee-to-water ratio. Cold brew produced by the Z Series meets the Golden Cup Standard, a set of principles developed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America to outline the ideal efficiency of extraction for a balanced cup of coffee.

“In 2013, when we launched the Zymatic, we maintained our energy by consuming kegs of very low-acid, mellow coffee that brewed on that device. Eight years later, we’ve perfected all types of coffee for the Z Series, especially cold brew, which is enormously popular in our lab. The same processes we use to pull off that great extraction of flavors and aromas from hops and grain, it turns out, produce excellent extraction from coffee beans,” said Jim Mitchell, Co-founder and Chief Science Officer, PicoBrew. “Our Z Series machines are universal liquid processors because of their flexibility to control fluid flow over different ingredient compartments, exquisite temperature control, timing controlled by computer, and more. The Z is really a small batch beverage production facility in a single unit,” he said.

The new Z Series builds on innovative Zymatic and Pico technology and extends it with a blend of data-center-industry-inspired parallelism and modularity. This improved design enables the customer to scale from 1 to 10 gallons of beer, kombucha or cold brew coffee to meet their unique brewing requirements. PicoBrew Z Series customers range from homebrewers to professional breweries, to restaurants seeking to create small batches for commercial sale, to small businesses looking to fill their kegerators.

“We have a Pico for the office and a Zymatic at home. The millennials in our company love it when I refill the kegerator. The new Z Series looks like an even better solution: now I can brew Paks or use loose grains and hops on the same machine!” said Will Poole, Managing Partner, Capria Ventures.

No More Soggy Fries

Lamb Weston introduced a solution for fries that arrive hot and crispy via home delivery – new Crispy on Delivery is a comprehensive solution that goes from store to door. Crispy on Delivery combines the right product, packaging and back of house expertise to provide customers with crispy fries that don’t disappoint.


New Crispy on Delivery started with extensive research focused on customer satisfaction for home fry delivery. Lamb Weston identified three key areas that can impact delivered fry quality – the product, the packaging and best practices for delivery from store to door.

“There’s nothing better than hot and crispy fries – one of the most loved foods in the world. We know we’ve got a solution to help our customers deliver on this,” said Mike Smith, SVP Growth & Strategy at Lamb Weston. “No one knows fries better than Lamb Weston – and our comprehensive approach to hot and crispy fries truly goes from the store to the door.”

Starting with the fry, Crispy on Delivery fries maintain heat and crispiness for thirty minutes, while traditional fries start to lose their appeal after only five minutes. The new fry is lightly battered to withstand the challenges of delivery without sacrificing taste.

Crispy on Delivery fries travel in style – in a patented container with venting technology. The “Crispy Technology” fry cup leverages strategically placed vents to keep fries warm while also preventing condensation from collecting in the packaging.

A total solution, Crispy on Delivery also includes “Store to Door” support from Lamb Weston’s team of french fry experts. With more than 65 years of experience making fries, Lamb Weston’s team offers support from store – preparation and packing tips, to door – optimal delivery strategies and care and handling directions.

Ordermark Wins Techstar Star

Ordermark was been chosen to participate in Techstars in Boulder, Colorado. Techstars is one of the world’s most selective startup accelerators.

Founded in 2017, Ordermark provides technology to restaurants to simplify online ordering and grow profits. 

“We make it easy for restaurants to succeed at online ordering, so they can focus on making great food,” said Alex Canter, Founder and CEO, and fourth-generation owner of Canter’s Deli in Los Angeles. “We give restaurants the power to take orders from different online ordering services and send them to a single tablet and printer in their kitchen — and we handle all of the logistics for restaurants — acting as a single point-of-contact for their online ordering needs.”

Ordermark has partnered with Epson to provide high speed, ultra-reliable printers to its restaurant customers. “We’re very excited to be partnering with Ordermark,” said Tom Versfelt, EVP of Commercial Sales with Epson America. “This company was born in the kitchen of a restaurant and its founders understand extremely well what the real challenges are restaurants face and how to solve them.”

In over 150 countries and with thousands of mentors, Techstars accepts only 10 companies out of thousands of applicants.

“We’re extremely excited to have Ordermark join the Techstars family”, said Natty Zola, Managing Director of Techstars Boulder. “The restaurant industry is facing unprecedented challenges and opportunities and together we believe Ordermark will become the go-to partner to help restaurant operators navigate this change.”

AAA Five Diamond Winners

AAA has unveiled 68 restaurants that earned the AAA Five Diamond Rating in the past 12 months, qualifying them for this year’s Five Diamond Restaurants list. The eight new honorees feature a range of culinary trends from frequently changing tasting menus to open kitchens with counter seating.

Just 0.2 percent of the more than 31,000 AAA Inspected & Approved restaurants are Five Diamond Rated. To qualify for the rating, a restaurant will consistently provide leading-edge cuisine of the finest ingredients, uniquely prepared by an acclaimed chef and served by expert service staff in extraordinary surroundings.

“Five Diamond restaurants have evolved over the years to meet the changing expectations of restaurant enthusiasts who are increasingly sophisticated about cuisine,” said Michael Petrone, director, AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings. “Guests want to learn about cooking techniques, ingredient sourcing and the latest trends. They are looking for a wide-ranging dining experience that includes being educated and entertained. No longer does world-class necessarily mean formal attire and opulent surroundings. And that’s where AAA’s Diamond Ratings can help guide the discerning diner.”

While some Five Diamond restaurants still have lavish surroundings, others feature counter seating or chef’s tables overlooking or surrounding the cooking area. And many Five Diamond restaurants, including most of those new to the list this year, have tasting menus offering a frequently changing array of intricate small dishes prepared from the finest ingredients and presented in an interactive environment.

Of note about the eight honorees added to the Five Diamond list this year:

  • Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare  – New York City. Prepaid guests enter this “hidden restaurant” in Hell’s Kitchen through an unmarked passageway in the back of a grocery store. From the 18-seat chef’s table or one of a few side tables, patrons watch as an extravagant tasting menu is artistically prepared before their eyes, offering nearly three hours of culinary bliss.
  • ManresaLos Gatos, California. This elegant restaurant offers a creative, artistic menu filled with local and global influences. Fresh dishes from a menu likely to change daily may include rack of veal, spring lamb or abalone. The wine pairing is highly recommended.
  • McCrady’s Charleston, South Carolina. This is half of a dual-concept eatery, shared with a tavern that has a more casual menu and is a good spot for a pre-dinner cocktail. McCrady’s offers a 10- to 12-course menu of small dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. Diners sit at a black walnut counter in front of a gleaming open kitchen. The set menu may include sea urchin, local clams, Magwood shrimp, fresh cobia, aged beef, Ossabaw Island pork or foie gras.
  • Pineapple and PearlsWashington, D.C. At this unassuming storefront restaurant, guests are greeted with a glass of champagne. The welcoming, expert staff guides patrons through a set tasting menu of courses. The all-inclusive experience is prepaid, including wine pairings or mock cocktails, so don’t expect a bill after the meal.
  • TEMPO Contemporary Cuisine by Martin Berasategui  – Cancun, Mexico. Dishes may include red tuna tartar, roasted butterfish, lobster, Kobe beef and rabbit. Options include an eight-course tasting menu that changes regularly. Guests enjoy professional, attentive service and excellent wine selection assistance. Business-casual attire and closed-toe shoes are required.
  • The Catbird SeatNashville, Tennessee. This intimate, sleekly designed restaurant features super-local ingredients including produce grown seasonally in the restaurant’s patio garden. Counter seating surrounds the open kitchen. The multi-course tasting menu changes often but is always a highly interactive and adventurous experience, with chefs describing every course.  
  • Topper‘s – Nantucket, Massachusetts. This charming waterfront restaurant, inside an elegant beach inn, can be reached by complimentary water taxi service, a scenic one-hour cruise along the bay with pre-dinner cocktail service. The changing prix-fixe menu may include fine caviar, black truffles, lobster, rack of lamb, tender sirloin or oysters farmed right off the docks. Beautiful sculptures separate linen-covered tables, and the wine list includes 1,500 different labels and 25,000 bottles.
  • Vetri – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This namesake restaurant of Chef Marc Vetri offers a multi-course culinary symphony led by knowledgeable servers. The menu varies to include fresh seasonal ingredients, but the Swiss chard gnocchi is a staple that melts in the mouth. Fresh breads, pasta and pastries are made from sustainable, house-milled grains. Vegetarians and guests with dietary restrictions are easily accommodated. Cooking classes are offered, ranging from bread and pastry baking to wine courses.

“It is no small feat to be named a AAA Five Diamond restaurant. Receiving this rating is a rare honor that signifies the highest-quality flavors and innovative presentations, with personalized service in memorable surroundings,” added Petrone. Restaurants receiving a Five Diamond Rating undergo a number of checks and balances including multiple unannounced evaluations and a final decision by a panel of experts to ensure credibility.

AAA Four Diamond restaurants are also an exclusive group, offering distinctive, creatively prepared cuisine, skillfully served in a notable environment. Only 2.1 percent of AAA Inspected & Approved restaurants – 665 – made the Four Diamond list for 2018, including 52 added this year.

AAA began field inspections of lodgings and restaurants in 1937, then went to a formal rating system in 1963 that in 1976 evolved into the Diamond Rating system for lodgings. (The Diamond Ratings for restaurants started in 1985.) The AAA inspectors who assign these ratings have a wide range of hospitality experience – their resumes include stints as hotel managers and food and beverage experts – that gives them an authoritative perspective. Inspectors provide an unmatched first-person, on-site view of emerging trends. 

Eco-Products Servingware
Eco-Products is expanding Regalia™ – a fully compostable line of products for caterers seeking innovative, environmentally friendly solutions for their events.   
The line will now feature half trays made from sugarcane and available in one-, two- and four-compartment sizes. A common lid – also compostable – makes stocking easy and drop-off catering even easier.
'Regalia pieces offer tremendous quality and convenience,' says Sarah Martinez, Director of Marketing for Eco-Products. 'Caterers can pack up hot or cold foods, drop them off and then go, knowing that cleanup will be simple. Everything from leftover food to the containers themselves can go into the same compost bin.'

‘Regalia pieces offer tremendous quality and convenience,’ says Sarah Martinez, Director of Marketing for Eco-Products. ‘Caterers can pack up hot or cold foods, drop them off and then go, knowing that cleanup will be simple. Everything from leftover food to the containers themselves can go into the same compost bin.’

Eco-Products is expanding Regalia™ - a fully compostable line of products for caterers seeking innovative, environmentally friendly solutions for their events. The line will now feature half trays made from sugarcane and available in one-, two- and four-compartment sizes. A common lid - also compostable - makes stocking easy and drop-off catering even easier.

Eco-Products is expanding Regalia™ – a fully compostable line of products for caterers seeking innovative, environmentally friendly solutions for their events. The line will now feature half trays made from sugarcane and available in one-, two- and four-compartment sizes. A common lid – also compostable – makes stocking easy and drop-off catering even easier.

“These options are ideal for caterers because they’re good for their customers and good for the planet,” said Sarah Martinez, Director of Marketing for Eco-Products. “They make life better for everyone.”
The new half tray joins a variety of Regalia trays and bowls of multiple sizes, with lids to fit each of them. The line also features innovative accessories like a condiment insert for bowls, and the market’s first bagasse multi-format serving utensil. 
Regalia’s innovations include:
  • Bases are made from sugarcane, a rapidly renewable resource;
  • Lids are made from sugarcane or with Ingeo™ biopolymer, a plant-based plastic;
  • All products are grease- and cut-resistant;
  • Products made from sugarcane are microwave- and freezer-safe (The bowl and tray lids made from Ingeo are not microwaveable.);
  • Each can be used with hot or cold foods;
  • All feature molded construction designed for strength and style;
  • The entire line is BPI certified and meets ASTM standards for compostability.
“Regalia pieces offer tremendous quality and convenience,” Martinez said. “Caterers can pack up hot or cold foods, drop them off and then go, knowing that cleanup will be simple. Everything from leftover food to the containers themselves can go into the same compost bin.”
RIPE Opportunity
RIPE™ Juice is partnering with Brescome Barton, Inc. to offer its fresh, cold-pressed, Craft Juiceä and Bar Juiceâ to even more liquor stores, bars and restaurants throughout the state of Connecticut. The local partnership with Connecticut’s largest distributor of beer, wine and spirits paves the way for innovative spirit distributors across the country to offer RIPE’s first-to-market selection of cold-pressed juices and mixers, crafted fresh daily with 100 percent traceable, GlobalGAP-certified produce.
“Adding RIPE’s Bar Juiceâ and Craft Juicesä to our catalog is a win-win,” said Brett Calkins, Director of Trade Development at Brescome Barton. “We can offer a more complete selection to our on-premise accounts statewide, and RIPE’s exceptional juices will reach customers that haven’t previously had access to them. It’s always been a challenge to find truly high-quality mixers to pair with our super premium spirits, and we’re glad that we now have a complete solution to offer our accounts.”
RIPE™ is well-established in on-premise service. Since 2016, the juice line has been the fresh juice mixer of choice for TAO Group properties in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, in addition to the Las Vegas MGM Grand’s Wet Republic and Hakkasan, the Levy Restaurant Group in T-Mobile Arena, and Brooklyn’s expansive Avant Gardner event complex.
“This partnership represents an ideal go-to-market strategy for us in the on-premise channel, and we’re beyond excited to see it come to life,” said Michel Boissy, RIPE’s CEO and founder. “Working with the fantastic team at Brescome Barton, we’ll prove that this is a successful, scalable model for innovative spirit distributors in key markets nationwide.”
  Kingery Promoted at Tropical Smoothie 
Tropical Smoothie Cafe promoted Kristi Kingery to senior vice president of supply chain and quality assurance. In her new role, Kingery will oversee quality assurance, supply chain and culinary for Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s more than 635 locations nationwide. She’ll also be responsible for spearheading food safety and supply chain risk initiatives by implementing new processes for auditing supplier facilities and evaluating product needs for both suppliers and distributors.
Kristi Kingery
“Kristi is an integral part of our team and greatly contributed to the brand’s success last year by optimizing our supply chain efforts,” said Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. “Tropical Smoothie Cafe is one of the strongest fast casual concepts today and as we continue to grow across the country, Kristi’s leadership and expertise will aid in simplifying operations without sacrificing quality. Her extensive industry experience and innovative approach brings tremendous value to the company and we look forward to seeing the positive strides she’ll continue to make this year and beyond.”
Kingery joined Tropical Smoothie Cafe in 2017 and in less than a year, made a significant impact on the brand’s supply chain by successfully developing and implementing a strategy to improve profitability for franchisees. These efforts resulted in savings of more than $3,000 per cafe, per year and reduced delivery case shortages by 78 percent. Prior to joining Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Kingery began her supply chain career at ARCOP, Inc., the supply chain cooperative for Arby’s Restaurant Group, which supports over 3,200 franchise and corporate-owned restaurants. While at ARCOP, she was responsible for developing and overseeing new programs and processes to drive profitability and reduce costs for their restaurant system. Additionally, Kingery’s impressive track record earned her a seat on the Governing Board for the National Restaurant Association’s Supply Chain Executive Study Group, which addresses industry concerns and discusses best practices meant to benefit manufacturers, operators and distributors.
“Supply chain operations are a vital part of any business and Tropical Smoothie Cafe is committed to executing the most efficient processes to increase profitability for its franchisees,” said Kingery. “Over the last year, our team has focused on developing and implementing strategies that reduce costs, minimize risk and increase the rate of production, which ultimately contributed to the overall success of the brand and local cafes. Food safety is of the utmost importance so I look forward to continually elevating our standards and best practices that will ultimately drive the brand toward even greater success.”
Pitmaster Partnership

Traeger Grills, inventor of the original wood pellet grill, partnered with Matt Pittman, decorated pitmaster and CEO and owner of Meat Church BBQ. Pittman will serve as a member of Traeger’s BBQ team and co-develop a variety of new products for the company. He will also appear on behalf of Traeger at events nationwide, produce content across its media platforms and host his highly in-demand BBQ classes as part of Traeger Shop Class events.

“Matt is the embodiment of what it means to eat, sleep and breathe the Traeger lifestyle,” said Traeger Grills CEO Jeremy Andrus. “He is one of the biggest personalities in BBQ, and he has rapidly built the loyal following to prove it. We couldn’t be more excited for Matt to represent Traeger and share his infectious passion for wood-fired cooking with our worldwide community.”

A Texas native who lives south of Dallas with his wife and children, Pittman burst onto the scene after appearing on the hit TV show “BBQ Pitmasters,” during which he was inspired to package his beef rub, “Meat Church Holy Cow.” He rapidly built Meat Church into a beloved BBQ brand through a variety of BBQ rubs and seasonings, recipes, apparel, pop-up events and classes at the Meat Church outdoor kitchen in Waxahachie, Texas. A Dallas Cowboys season ticket holder for two decades, Pittman has been crowned the king of Cowboys tailgates for generously feeding hundreds of fans delicious wood-fired BBQ.

“Traeger’s incredible upward trajectory is no coincidence,” Pittman said. “Traeger is making a massive impact in BBQ and the cooking world because it makes high-level grilling easy and predictable for the everyday person, delivers an exceptional taste profile and continues to truly innovate new ways to barbecue with breakthrough technology. I’ve come across few groups as professional and talented as the Traeger team, and I can’t wait to work together to bring the wonder of wood-fired flavor to even more people.”

“Like Traeger, I subscribe to the all-natural BBQ philosophy,” Pittman said. “The hardwood taste and authentic flavors from Traeger’s wood fire and wood pellets just can’t be beat.”

 30 under 30

The International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) has recognized Cameron Hensley, Plant Engineer for Coast Packing Company, as part of its Sixth Annual Young Leaders “30 under 30” Program, the company announced today.  Hensley, 28, of Hermosa Beach, is the first Coast Packing employee so honored. 

Coast is the West’s largest supplier of healthy animal fat shortenings.  Hensley is responsible, among his other duties, for the design and installation of equipment within Coast’s growing facility.

The 2018 IPPE — the International Production & Processing Expo — was held in Atlanta from Jan. 30 – Feb. 1.  IPPE is sponsored by the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY).  The event drew more than 30,000 attendees. 

According to IPPE, the “30 Under 30” program seeks to “engage and invest in the next generation of young professionals, between the ages of 21 and 29, who work for companies directly involved in the production and processing of poultry and meat or in the production of animal or poultry feed.”  Candidates typically lack the resources or opportunity to attend IPPE, which provides additional technical education and training in the recipient’s chosen field.  Finalists are selected by a panel of industry professionals. 

“I was totally surprised to receive this recognition,” Hensley said.  “This is a vast industry, there’s a great deal of talent in my age bracket, and IPPE is the largest trade show of its kind.  It helps solidify the fact that I’ve made great career choices, and that I’m working for wonderful company in an outstanding environment.  I’m eager to learn more, to contribute to the company and help both me and the company grow.”  Hensley is currently Plant Engineer but will soon be transitioning to Maintenance and Engineering Manager.

“Millennials are making their mark throughout the economy, so it’s fitting that this major consortium within the foodservice industry is cultivating tomorrow’s leaders today,” said Eric Gustafson, Coast Packing CEO.  “The ’30 Under 30’ program not only exposes emerging leaders like Cameron to the latest technology, but also enables them to attend valuable educational programs to assist in their leadership development.  We at Coast could not be more proud of Cameron.  He’s the very definition of a rising star.”

Sage Adds to Team
Denver-based Sage Restaurant Group announced a major new hire and several internal promotions as the company expands its corporate leadership team and continues to grow nationally.
“We are extremely grateful to welcome these talented individuals as they expand upon their skills,” says SRG Co-Founder Peter Karpinski. “The ability to capture and capitalize on others’ passions and create conditions in which people can excel—that’s what motivates us.”
  •   Brent Berkowitz, Senior Vice President of Operations

Berkowitz joins SRG to uphold operational excellence not only for the company as a whole, but within each restaurant concept across the country, while specializing in curating guest experience and maximizing revenue

  • Gourav Patel, Senior Vice President of Finance

Formerly the Divisional Vice President of Finance, Patel steps into his new role to determine opportunities to drive profitability, provide F&B teams with business intelligence, model investment underwriting and more

  • Jessica Werner, Senior Vice President of Growth & Business Development

In her new role, Werner oversees and leads all operational aspects of new business development, investment, acquisition, and transitions for SRG

  • Meaghan Goedde, Senior Vice President of People Resources

Goedde is responsible for implementing the leadership brand strategy for SRG, executing training strategies and attracting and developing talent

  • Rik Reinhardt, Senior Manager of Property Technology and Lauren LaFortune, Restaurant Systems Analyst

Both Reinhardt and LaFortune are tasked with project management and development, budget creation, vendor management, and more as it relates to hospitality information technology and telecommunications

As Sage Restaurant Group invests in this roster of outstanding talent and continues to grow, its leadership team leads the charge as innovators in brand creation and ownership, real estate development, and placemaking. SRG strives to develop groundbreaking properties in emerging markets, recently introducing a new concept to Fort Collins, CO in December, The Emporium Kitchen and Wine Market. A second location of the restaurant-meets-retail market hybrid opens this spring in Savannah, GA, and diners can expect to see even more exciting new SRG concepts in 2018 and beyond.
2018 Kitchen Innovations® (KI) Award Recipients

The National Restaurant Association announced the recipients of the 2018 Kitchen Innovations (KI) Awards, honoring progressive equipment that increases efficiencies and productivity for back-of-the-house operations and benefits restaurant operators. Each recipient and their product will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Showroom at the 2018 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, to be held May 19-22 in Chicago at McCormick Place.

“The KI Award recipients are innovators in back-of-house operations and work tirelessly to improve the challenges faced by restaurant operators,” says Dickie Brennan, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2018 and owner/managing partner of Dickie Brennan & Company, whose restaurant group includes Tableau, Palace Café, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, and Bourbon House. “For fourteen years, the industry has admired KI Award recipients and their contribution to making our foodservice industry even better.”

The 2018 KI Award recipients reflect the trends and topics most important to foodservice operators today. The 22 selected innovations address operator concerns from labor, energy and water efficiency to food safety, sanitation, cross-functionality and space-saving. New software and new materials continue to make new solutions possible.
The 2018 Kitchen Innovations Award recipients are:

Air OasisBi-Polar Ice BPi200: Unlike ice sanitizing technologies that use UV light or other sources that create ozone, which can be hazardous to health, the patent-pending BPi200 uses a small electrical housing and carbon-fiber brushes to release airborne positive hydrogen and negative oxygen ions throughout the ice machine without creating ozone. The compact unit greatly reduces mold, yeast, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, enhancing sanitation and extending service cycles.
Alto-Shaam, Inc., in conjunction with Appliance InnovationVector™ F Series Multi-Cook OvenLast year the electric H Series introduced multiple cooking chambers independently controlled for temperature, fan speed and time, allowing simultaneous cooking of dissimilar menu items as well as patented Structured Air Technology™ high-velocity, focused heat for faster cooking. The new F Series builds on that with larger chambers to accept full size sheet or hotel pans AND a new, patent-pending innovation that adds the flexibility to combine two cooking chambers into one for larger items without disrupting the structured airflow design.

AntunesGST-1H Flatbread-Toaster: The new Flatbread-Toaster brings innovative capabilities to the flatbread-pita-tortilla category with wide-mouth loading and dual platens located inside dual conveyor belts to heat a variety of products consistently—up to 200°F—providing quicker throughput. For example, it heats uncooked flour tortillas to 160°F in seconds. The integrated landing zone is heated, too.
Astra ShunsukePeeling Machine: Fresh from Japan, this new machine automates labor-intensive fruit and vegetable peeling. Programmable for apples, kiwis, oranges, potatoes and more—nine different fruits and vegetables in all (and suitable for similarly sized items)—the unit allows different thicknesses of peeling. Comes in two sizes for smaller and larger operations.

Bizerba North AmericaGSP H & HD Illuminated Safety Slicers, Manual, Semi-Automatic and Fully-Automatic Operation: This slicer line, introduced to foodservice a little over a year ago, caught the judges’ eyes with its big emphasis on safety. These illuminated slicers use color-coded lights to indicate the machine’s status—solid green is safe mode, with blade removed, etc., for safe cleaning. Flashing red is for pre-run, and solid red indicates blade is spinning and ready to slice.

Evo, Inc.MultiZoneTM Plancha: Evo takes cooking-zone temperature control to the next level: Unlike anything else in the griddle or plancha category, the MultiZoneTM features three independent cooking zones, each separated with IsoBar™ technology. IsoBarTM is a recirculating fluid thermal barrier that effectively mitigates temperature carryover between zones for precise and variable temperature control across a continuous cooking surface.

FLAT® Tech Inc.FLAT® Equalizers: Wobbly tables plague the industry. Unlike other solutions, Equalizers replace a table’s existing screw-in feet with an adjusting, hydraulic compression and spring system; they also feature an ingenious locking mechanism (with patents pending) to create a rock-solid stance without any springiness. A rounded design allows for non-snag movement across floors and carpets. Easy to set and reset, too, for quickly aligning tables.

Garland, A Welbilt BrandInstinct™ Induction Countertop Line: Instinct is the first multi-sensor induction countertop line to incorporate cook and hold functions under one unit, measuring temperatures across the entire surface for increased accuracy. Duel-zone Instinct can adjust frequency on each cook zone to match pan requirements, adjusting for elements like ferrous content and pan quality; boosting performance and mitigating against temperature overshoots. A plug and play system with universal voltages.

Genius Pan, LLC: Genius PanHow much time do operators spend freshening customer-visible prep lines and salad bars? The Genius Pan uses an ingenious, patented threaded system that allows the bottom of the pan to adjust up or down in the well, keeping everything looking fresh, topped off and inviting, cutting waste and saving labor.

Hoshizaki AmericaKMEdge Ice Machine Series: Finally, an inventive redesign of the icemaker evaporator. The KMEdge utilizes a one-piece, dual-sided stainless-steel evaporator that envelops the oval-shaped copper heating/cooling tubing, optimizing surface contact area for optimizing energy efficiency. The result is harder, clearer ice, higher ice production in fewer cycles, longer product life and greater reliability.

MarkovLevel RF Oven: Say hello to the next wave—radio frequency cooking. Building on autonomous-vehicles technologies, the ventless Level RF Oven “learns” to recognize food items and direct RF energy to cook them to prescribed standards for internal temperature, surface doneness, etc. And there’s more: The Level can identify multiple dissimilar foods and cook each, simultaneously, to its own standards, to finish at the same time.

Marra ForniElectric Brick Oven with Open Mouth: This powerful electric brick oven, while not the only Italian brick oven on the market, creates a new category for itself with cooking temps up to 1000°F with an open mouth. Efficiency and heat retention come from Sorrento refractory brick walls AND deck that retain the heat, a low dome and balanced heat from all directions. Cooks a pizza in 45 seconds—up to 200 per hour.

Marra ForniRotator Deck Brick Oven with Double Mouth Opening: This first pass-through, rotating-deck oven uses two forced-air burners totaling just 84KBtu/hour to produce pizzas from both directions in under 90 seconds. Controls regulate heat, rotation speed from 0 to 180 secs, even separate temperatures for each side if so desired. An air screen keeps the heat in.

Multiplex®, A Welbilt BrandFreshBlender™: What’s better than the boom in smoothies, shakes and frappes? A self-serve system that lets customers create their own in less than two minutes. In just a 20” x 39” footprint, the FreshBlender™ integrates refrigeration, ice making, blending, dispensing and digital controls for hundreds of self-served drinks per day. Realistic payback in well under a year.

Omni-RinseIntegrated Rinsing System: This innovative warm-water rinse station for barware tins, jiggers and tools incorporates rinsing as a step within the drink-making process, saving time and eliminating the chronic problem of backlogged, unrinsed tools. The rinse process is hands-free and uses no electricity. The station mounts to a speed rack, wall or under bar.
Prince CastleModular Holding BinTrue modularity is easier said than done, but Prince Castle has done it with its Modular Holding Bins. This holding innovation features a master base, allowing the system to expand horizontally and vertically, distributing power and communications to set and maintain desired serving temperatures. Stack, add, subtract and move them to suit. Build exactly the configurations needed. Amazing versatility.

Sealed Air CorporationCryovac® FlexPrep™ EZ Dispensing: How much time and effort do staff members spend on BOH condiment systems? Conventional methods, from pails to paperboard containers, involve a lot of handling and wasted/lost yield. Sealed Air’s new system uses prefilled Cryovac pouches with frangible seals specially fitted to load into the operation’s dispensing equipment. Just pull the trigger. Less handling, better sanitation and better yield speed the payback.

Soda Gun Jetter LLCSoda Gun Jetter: Tired of dealing with sticky, unsanitary syrup residue and bar flies in and around the soda guns? Soda Gun Jetter is an automated system that includes a programmable control box, holsters and dedicated tubing to flush soda gun nozzles and drip cups during off hours with pressurized water.

Structural Concepts Corporation Foodscaping Wells: Creating attractive, unique buffet-style displays for a variety of foods and circumstances is always a challenge. Foodscaping Wells offer an imaginative modular system based on a refrigerated cabinet featuring a food well housing with multiple height-adjustable display platforms. The adjustability lets staff set food serving vessels at various heights for an eye-catching, inviting display.

Structural Concepts Corporation Reveal Frameless Glass Food Displays: Argon gas-insulated double glass panes have been used in other products to provide a thermal barrier and reduce condensation. Reveal Frameless Glass Food Displays now bring those advantages to foodservice in attractive merchandising cases with completely frameless vertical glass for a clean, uninterrupted view.

Vitamix Aerating Container: With emulsions, foams, whipped creams, meringues and other aerations becoming ever more popular, getting by with various chargers, whisks and mixers just isn’t enough. The Aerating Container’s specially shaped disc blade offers the solution, letting kitchen staff and bartenders fine-tune the texture of mousse, infusions and emulsions without pureeing.
Vulcan SonicSafe™ Ultrasonic Scale Prevention for Steamers: Limescale is early death to generator-style steamers. Filters and treatments work but require maintenance. Vulcan applies the same Ultrasonic technology to commercial steamers proven to combat scale build-up in large industrial boilers. Ultrasonic technology breaks up limescale particulates suspended in water, continuously preventing scale from adhering to heating elements and generator walls. 

New Emblem Tech
World Emblem, a developer of  decorations for hospitality apparel and merchandise, launched its domeX new emblem technology which offers brands a variety of colors and textures, including a 3D visual effect, within the same emblem.
DomeX is part of the company’s signature FlexStyle series, which gives emblems texture, detail and color like no other.
Chef Steve Brown
Photo courtesy of Chef Works
FlexStyle now comes in two distinct styles: decoX and domeX. DecoX has deep texturing and detail, while domeX features a shiny, smooth surface.
Keg Partners
After recently expanding its presence in the North American beverage market, Lightweight Containers BV, the company behind the UniKeg and KeyKeg one-way kegs, has announced a strategic agreement with Micro Matic, a manufacturer and supplier of keg valves and dispensing equipment. This agreement is set to begin March 1 and marks the first time KeyKeg dispense couplers will be able to dispense with pressure up to 4.1 bar, instead of 3.5 bar, while affording users the option to vent KeyKegs quickly and easily with the flip of a switch.
“While focused on increasing the shelf-life and improving the quality of our technology, our team also strives to find innovative approaches to make KeyKegs an efficient solution for all of our clients,” said Anita Veenendaal, Chief Commercial Officer of Lightweight Containers.
“The availability of high-quality draught equipment that can seamlessly be incorporated into our KeyKegs is essential, and Micro Matic has proven to be an excellent partner that knows our markets through and through. We are convinced that this collaboration will be the beginning of a highly successful and fruitful co-operation.”
KeyKeg couplers will be available directly from Micro Matic and on the KeyKeg webshop improving the availability of high-quality KeyKeg dispense heads across the North American market.
“Lightweight Containers has developed as a strategic player in many of our biggest markets,” explains Key Account Manager Fred Mostert, Micro Matic. “Both Micro Matic and Lightweight Containers will focus on the total supply chain with a quality-driven approach. 
Posiflex RT Series

Posiflex Technology, Inc. unveils an entirely new line of dynamic touch screen terminals that embodies a new era for Posiflex and point-of-sale hardware – the RT Series. With an elegant housing and a strikingly thin profile, the RT Series brings a modern aesthetic to the counter and makes a retail business look even more attractive.

Available in 15” (4:3) screen or 15.6” (16:9) widescreen, the RT Series provides multiple CPU selection from Intel Celeron all the way to Core i5 CPU to fit each unique need. The patented fanless technology allows the unit to run silently and perform in harsh environments that involves dust and liquid spills.

“POS terminal is no longer just a cold and hard business tool; it has evolved to be an extension of the brand offering a more dynamic in-store shopping experience,” said Owen Chen, President and CEO at Posiflex Technology, Inc. “The RT Series radiates simplistic elegance and looks flawless on the counter top without any screws to be found on its surface. Its modern and stunning design can blend into any store decoration, while the terminal still offers the quality, performance and long-term durability that our customers expect from Posiflex.”

The RT Series has an intelligently designed rear cover that can effortlessly be removed without tools for quick and easy serviceability. The base can house an expandable PoweredUSB or USB hub to support more peripheral options while retaining a neat and clean look.

Heavy-Use Aprons

Aprons by Jem has created a new line of aprons for the restaurant and catering industry.

They were created to withstand heavy use, but with a classic, clean design that works well for both the front and back of the house, as well as for florists, crafters, makers and home cooks.

The washable aprons come in a wide variety of fabrics with an adjustable antibacterial neck strap, side cord ties, and a reinforced 3-panel waist pocket. The double stitching and contrasting hem on the bib and at the bottom add strength and form to the design.

The aprons from the industry line come in a variety of different colors and lengths. Designed by a mother and daughter team and produced in New York and Dallas, JEM specializes in hand-crafted aprons in washable luxury fabrics.

Cabido Added to Herb & Wood Team 
Herb & Wood,  chef Brian Malarkey’s  restaurant in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood announced the newest addition to their already talented team of culinary experts, General Manager Patrick Cabido.
Patrick Cabido
Hailing from some of New York City’s hottest destinations, including Le Charlot, GoldBar and The Soho House, Patrick joined the team at Herb & Wood in late 2017. He brings with him extensive food and wine knowledge, having worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years. “We have the best GM in Southern California watching over your flagship restaurant. Patrick is an excellent addition to Puffer Malarkey Restaurant group and understands our vision,” says partner Chris Puffer.

Fluent in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swedish and Portuguese, Cabido joins the Herb & Wood team to further his quest of bringing the world-class service he grew up with in his father’s European hotels, bringing a true European sense of hospitality to the restaurant. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the restaurant and, above all, ensuring the quality each guest experiences at Herb & Wood is exceptional.  

Patrick Cabido, joined the Herb & Wood family as General Manager in October of 2017. A hospitality veteran of 20 years, he joins the Herb & Wood team to further his quest of bringing the world-class service he grew up with in his father’s European hotels to the restaurant. Cabido, who is fluent in seven languages, attended Lausanne Hotel School (EHL) in Switzerland where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management and eventually attained a Business Degree from Lausanne Business School. In 1998, New York City’s famous Four Seasons Hotel recruited Cabido to become their Room Service Manager,

Szeliga Named to Papa Murphy’s CMO

Papa Murphy’s Holdings, Inc. said Laura Szeliga has been named as Chief Marketing Officer, effective February 21. With Papa Murphy’s, Szeliga will have responsibility for the development and implementation of breakthrough, insight-based brand strategies and marketing plans designed to drive profitable sales.

Szeliga joins Papa Murphy’s from Provide Commerce, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and General Manager for the organization’s ProFlowers brand. In this role she was directly accountable for the ecommerce business, and led new website improvement programs, new-to-world product innovations and innovative partnerships.

“Laura’s extensive experience in spearheading proven marketing strategies for food and retail industry front-runners demonstrates she is the right candidate to lead Papa Murphy’s marketing strategy into the future,” said Weldon Spangler, Chief Executive Officer of Papa Murphy’s. “We are incredibly pleased to welcome Laura to Papa Murphy’s.”

Prior to ProFlowers, Szeliga was Vice President and General Manager of Provide Commerce’s Shari’s Berries brand, where she launched new, integrated brand marketing strategies and customer experience programs that drove measurable increases in new customer acquisition and retention. Her tenure at Provide Commerce is preceded by leadership roles at TIMEX, Dean Foods, Kraft Foods, and Kraft Foods International, as well as The Gillette Company.

“I look forward to working with the Papa Murphy’s team,” said Szeliga. “Papa Murphy’s is a company that offers a unique, quality and one-of-a-kind product to its customers, and I am excited to help introduce the brand and all it stands for to even more consumers.”

Cook Your Way to Culinary School

Aspiring chef Nick Capone (17) is one step closer to making his dream of attending culinary school a reality. Capone, a senior at the Morris County School of Technology, from Denville, NJ, is the winner of Rachael Ray’s “Cook Your Way to Culinary School” competition and recipient of a $25,000 scholarship.


Cook Your Way to Culinary School

The runners-up, Jules Esposito, Alyssa Webster and Cloyce Martin, will each receive a $5,000 scholarship and Rachael Ray merchandise. All four finalists recently competed on the Rachael Ray Show and were required to show off their culinary talents by creating a dish in 40 minutes with only $40 to spend on ingredients they purchased from a local grocery store.

“Each and every one of these kids has an amazing story; they are all rockstars. They are truly amazing young people and their food is gorgeous!” said Rachael Ray, host of the Emmy-winning Rachael Ray Show and Founder of Yum-o!®, a nonprofit organization that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking.

Jules Esposito, an 18-year-old high school senior from Wallingford, CT, who has had her sights set on culinary school since the 2nd grade. She started a baking blog in middle school and is part of a culinary program that has allowed her to manage a food truck and cater events.

Alyssa Webster is a 17-year-old high school junior from Fresno, CA. Alyssa follows a restrictive diet because of an autoimmune disease, and hopes to pursue culinary education so she can open an allergen-free restaurant where others with food allergies and sensitivities can enjoy eating out.

Cloyce Martin, a 16-year-old high school junior from Villa Park, CA, studies culinary arts and is enrolled in the ProStart culinary arts and restaurant management program. He also works with a local French chef and had the opportunity to participate in summer apprenticeships at restaurants in France. 

The distribution and administration of the scholarship prizes provided by Rachael’s Yum-o! Organization will be coordinated with assistance from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), which is dedicated to training and advancing the next generation of culinary leaders.

The contest, launched in October 2017, attracted hundreds of submissions from all over the United States. Entrants were required to submit a video showing them preparing an original recipe dish and explaining why they feel they deserve to win the scholarship.

 Balestreri Honored at the Italian Heritage Society Annual Awards Dinner

Restaurant industry veteran Ted Balestreri, Chairman and CEO of the Cannery Row Company and co-owner of the Sardine Factory restaurant in Monterey, California was honored by the Italian Heritage Society at the Annual Honorees Dinner held at the Monterey Marriott on Friday, January 26. 

Ted Balestreri

Since 2002, the Italian Heritage Society has recognized notable individuals connected to the Italian community at the Annual Honorees Dinner.  The honorees are those whose contributions and achievements have enhanced and improved Monterey for all residents. They have made the community an even better place to live, earning them a place in local history.  In addition to Balestreri, Italian Americans Erasmo Aiello, Marietta Marcuzzo Bain, and Rich Pepe were honored at the event.

Balestreri was introduced by friend and Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta who spoke about Balestreri’s humble beginnings, and his lifelong commitment and generous contributions to the restaurant and tourism industries. 

Tirelessly dedicated to the development of the hospitality industry both on the Monterey Peninsula and throughout the United States, Ted has served as President of the California Restaurant Association and Monterey County Hospitality Association.  He was Chairman of the National Restaurant Association, the U.S. Culinary Team Foundation and Chairman of Distinguished Restaurants of North America. 

Balestreri was appointed as a Commissioner of the California Travel and Tourism Commission and served through 2007, the longest-seated Tourism Commissioner in the State’s history.  He sits on the Board of the World Travel & Tourism Council.  In 2016 he was appointed to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which reports to the Secretary of Commerce.

Balestreri’s contributions to the foodservice industry have resulted in many awards including the National Restaurant Association’s Inaugural Legends Award, the IFMA Gold Plate Award, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and induction into the Distinguished Restaurants of North America Hall of Fame.  He received Restaurant Hospitality magazine’s Hall of Fame Award and the Golden Plate Award from the Academy of Achievement, a non-profit group dedicated to the education and inspiration of youth across the country.  He was also voted one of the “50 Power Players in America” in the foodservice industry by top trade publication Nations Restaurant News.

His awards and achievements in the hospitality, business, and tourism industries are extensive, and include the prestigious Hall of Leaders Award given by the Travel Industry Association of America, as well as various humanitarian awards.

CSU Global Launches Hospitality Certificate

Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) announced today that is has launched a specialization and a certificate of completion in Hospitality and Tourism Management, the largest service industry in the world.

CSU-Global’s Hospitality and Tourism Management coursework benefits students in any field by teaching skills needed to cultivate dynamic client relationships. With a curriculum focused on event and meeting planning, travel and tourism management, and sales techniques, students will be able to anticipate industry challenges and provide resolutions that benefit both the client and the organization.

“It’s truly a global industry. Tourism contributes to economic growth for towns, cities and countries worldwide,” says Dr. Greg Evans, Program Chair at CSU-Global.

Designed for working adults, CSU-Global is 100 percent online – facilitating flexible learning and focused on professionally relevant degrees aligned with fast-changing market and industry practices. Coursework in Hospitality and Tourism Management also fits within CSU-Global’s customized and personalized education tracks that complement degrees in business management,marketing, organizational leadership and other disciplines and foster career development.

UniFocus Appoints New Sales and Marketing Leadership

UniFocus, the Dallas-based provider of workforce management systems and tools, has bolstered its sales and marketing organization at both the top and support levels with three strategic appointments. Aline Riemenschneider, VP-marketing, and Michael Wayne Greer, VP-sales, each have strong managerial resumes spanning more than 20 years, respectively. Rounding out the team is new digital marketing coordinator Alex Coleman.


Aline Riemenschneider

Aline Riemenschneider, VP – Marketing

Aline Riemenschneider joins UniFocus from Willow St. Agency, an innovative Dallas-based creative and digital advertising firm, where she served as vice president of account management. She brings more than 20 years of marketing and advertising experience to her position. Her strong leadership and team management skills have won new business, expanded existing business and driven revenue growth for agencies representing major accounts as diverse as Universal Studios, T-Mobile and BNSF Railway Systems. In addition to Willow St., previous agency experience includes USFI Advertising and Sullivan Perkins, both in Dallas, and Innovative Advertising in New Orleans. She holds a marketing degree from University of New Orleans.


Michael Wayne Greer

Michael Wayne Greer, VP – Sales

Michael Greer’s new role at UniFocus is backed by more than 20 years of managerial-level sales experience. He has steered sales for companies during periods of significant change and growth, managing global sales teams and sales objectives of up to $250 million. Greer joins UniFocus from Elements, a premier stone supplier based in Dallas, where he served as director of sales and marketing. Before that, he was division sales manager for Whitmore, a CSW Industrials company, for eight years. Other positions include serving as Texas region sales director for Foxworth Galbraith, senior regional sales manager for DW Distribution, sales manager for Latham Stairs & Millwork, and central USA account manager for Moulding Associates. Greer is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.


Alex Coleman

Alex Coleman, Digital Marketing Coordinator

Alex Coleman was most recently a market development representative for ACTIVE Network, LLC, a Dallas-based software company. Her digital marketing experience includes internships at Flowserve, a valve manufacturer headquartered in Las Colinas, Texas, and Yokohama Tire Corp in Wakefield, Mass. She graduated from Southern Methodist University with a major in English and minor in advertising.

Happy  ‘Pasta’versary

Riviana Foods Inc. announced the 25thanniversary of its 186,000 square foot pasta manufacturing plant in Winchester, Virginia, which opened its doors as the world’s premier pasta manufacturing facility in 1993.

The plant currently produces 500,000 pounds of pasta per day under the well-known brands of Ronzoni®, San Giorgio®, Creamette®, Prince®, Light and Fluffy®, No Yolks®, American Beauty® and Skinner® which are distributed throughout the U.S.

“It is rewarding to make a product that has been a part of Americans’ dinner for generations. We continue to invest in our process and equipment to innovate and deliver the best to our consumers,” said Jeff Schryver, Director of U.S. Pasta Manufacturing.  “I’m amazed at what we can do at Winchester.  The employees make the difference: one team, all in, excellence in every case.”                                        

In addition to being the U.S.’ second largest pasta manufacturer, Riviana is the largest processor and marketer of rice in North America. Riviana has pasta brands that began as family-owned companies, many over a century ago.  Riviana has ten facilities manufacturing rice or pasta located across the U.S., including the pasta plant in Winchester.