Yardbird Flies into Beverly Center and Gluten-Free Market Grows

The Thursday edition of MRM’s Daily Bite features Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, Japan National Tourism Organization, Eric Ripert and Condé Nast Traveler, Jon Taffer and Sculpture Hospitality, The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG) and Yardbird.

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

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Achie’s Set to Open

The Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta, scheduled to open in January 2018, announced today that Alex Bolduc will be executive chef and Peterson Hill will serve as general manager at Achie’s Restaurant, with culinary director Hugh Acheson, a James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef and author.

An Atlanta native, Bolduc worked with Acheson for years at his flagship restaurant, 5&10, in Athens, GA, refining classic Southern dishes for a modern palate. At Achie’s, Bolduc will work with Acheson to create breakfast, lunch and dinner menus featuring Southern-inspired dishes that emphasize responsibly sourced ingredients executed in a more approachable way. For example, Bolduc is planning a riff on Poutine, French Fries topped with foie gras gravy and cheese, as well as a Burger made with a blend of lamb and wagyu beef, topped with house-made American cheese and special sauce. The menu will also offer Achie Jack’s, a sweet and savory play on house-made ballpark snacks with popped sorghum, benne seeds and farro.  Bolduc will also oversee the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta’s in-room dining, pool bar, lobby lounge and special events menus.

Bolduc was brought up in kitchens and after working with Acheson at 5&10, he moved to the San Francisco Bay area to further his interest in wine. He worked as the chef for Robert Sinskey Vineyards – growing his own produce and revamping the culinary program to match the award-winning, high-acid wines. The opportunity to become a private chef and cook for a dynamic group of ambassadors, celebrities and dignitaries took Bolduc around the globe for five years, enabling him to master various styles of cuisine and ingredient palettes.  Having a family of his own brought Bolduc back to Atlanta and the kitchens of Acheson, his long-time mentor and colleague.

“The opportunity to cook with Hugh at Achie’s is a true homecoming for me,” Bolduc said.  “I was born and raised in Atlanta and went to college in Athens, and after cooking around the globe, I am thrilled to return home and create a menu that will be as equally great before a Braves game as it will for a special night out on the town.”

Hill brings years of leadership experience in food and beverage to the Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta. He joins Omni from his role as general manager at the contemporary steak and seafood restaurant, C&S Chowder House in Roswell, GA. Prior to that, he served in several food and beverage positions for Valor Hospitality Partners, The St. Regis Atlanta and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Hill will oversee all financial, managerial and operational aspects of Achie’s.

“I am beyond thrilled to have Chef Alex Bolduc and Peterson Hill leading the charge at Achie’s,” said Acheson. “As a chef and business owner, I have the privilege of interacting and working with a lot of cooks and chefs who come and work for me over the years. Sometimes chefs join one of our teams for a while, learn, grow and then life takes them elsewhere and you don’t get the chance to work with them again. But in some instances, like with Alex, those chefs go away, build on what they learned and grow in their skills, and then come back home to roost. So, for me, this is really exciting to have Alex back in Georgia to share all that he’s learned in his ventures ​​abroad. Likewise, I have known Peterson for a long time, and he is the consummate culinary professional. Both are immensely talented and passionate, and I look forward to having Atlanta meet them.”

Opening in January 2018, the full-service Omni Hotel at The Battery Atlanta will serve as a cornerstone of the mixed-use community adjacent to SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves. The property will feature 16 floors, approximately 264 guest rooms inclusive of 28 suites, more than 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, and an elevated pool deck and bar with a fire pit and sweeping views of the Batter Atlanta. The hotel will be the South’s preeminent lifestyle destination, building upon the rich history of the Atlanta Braves.

Eric Ripert’s Culinary Adventures in Japan

 Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) New York Office, together with Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, and Condé Nast Traveler, have released a digital mini-series featuring Ripert’s recent culinary adventures throughout Hokuriku region.

Omicho Local Market, Kanazawa

The digital mini-series is composed of two short videos that feature Ripert’s rich and diverse experiences in Kanazawa and Fukui. “Unforgettable Experiences in Japan: Kanazawa” showcases Ripert’s visit to a local market and soy sauce brewery, as well as his experiences in Japanese Tea Ceremony, the beauty of which inspired Ripert profoundly. “Unique Adventures in Japan: Yamanaka and Fukui” gives viewers a close-up view of Japanese craftsmanship of Kinpaku gold leafing and creation of Japanese kitchen knives, an invaluable tradition passed down from generation to generation. Highlights of his journey also include a meditation with a monk and making of soba noodles.

JNTO will begin an online consumer campaign in early January in 2018 to spread the videos and encourage American travellers to visit Hokuriku region. Building on the growing popularity of Japan as seen in travellers’ choice awards Japan has received this year in major travel magazines, JNTO will continue to inspire North American travellers to visit undiscovered regions of the award-winning destination.

Taffer Teams with Sculpture Hospitality

Jon Taffer, Executive Producer and host of Spike TV’s “Bar Rescue” is partnering with Sculpture Hospitality. Taffer has officially endorsed the company’s full suite of inventory services; Bevinco, Bevinco Mobile, Bevchek and Measuring Cup. Taffer will work closely with Sculpture Hospitality to continue to enhance the suite products to better serve the market. 

“In my extensive experience, I can honestly say that Sculpture Hospitality’s inventory solutions are world class and by far the most comprehensive in the industry,” says Taffer. “The flexibility that operators have to pick and choose between options that satisfies their needs is unparalleled, choosing from their app to hiring a local representative to doing inventory management. They’ve even had clients fall in love with their solutions so much, they decided to purchase their own Sculpture Hospitality franchise. Now that is what I call customer satisfaction!”

Jon Taffer

Sculpture Hospitality’s President, Vanessa De Caria speaks to the partnership: “Jon Taffer has his hand on the pulse of our industry and is the ideal partner to help us generate greater awareness for our family of brands. Through collaboration, we feel we can continually enhance our inventory solutions to best suit our customer needs. Our enhancements are driven by customer experience and few know the industry better than Taffer, which is why this partnership makes so much sense for us. Our accuracy is unparalleled and offers insights into ordering using our intelligent PAR and order system, that adjusts based on your historical data. We can digitally track stock transfers and requisitions between areas, export our reports to various outputs and integrate seamlessly with a large number of POS systems for automated sales transfer. We are also able to monitor draft beer in real-time with Bevchek’s flow meter system that also fully integrates with Bevinco and most recently, we can monitor food using our proprietary food inventory software, Measuring Cup. Working with Jon Taffer can only help us to enhance the customer experience.”

Sculpture Hospitality is a franchise-based system that has representation in every market in North America and significant parts of the globe. The franchisees are experts in their craft and provide hands-on consultation to bar and restaurant owners on a weekly basis. On-site inventory audits are conducted to identify the extent of loss, which averages 25 percent in our industry due to poor practices, over-pouring, waste and theft. Their team of experts work directly with management to ensure losses fall below five percent.

Gluten-Free Market Continues Expansion

The Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), the industry leader in the certification of gluten-free products and food services, announced that 212 products received gluten-free certification in October/November, showing the continued expansion of products for the gluten-free market. GIG’s Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) certified products ranging from flavored almonds to lipstick. Additionally, three manufacturing facilities—IL Pastaio Srl, JTM Foods, LLC, and Smith Foods, Inc.—received certification. The following products and facilities were certified:

  • 365 Everyday Value—seven products certified, including Almond Coconut Chip Frozen Dessert and Peanut Butter Swirl Almond Frozen Dessert
  • Chosen Foods—18 products certified, including Avocado Mayo Oil and Lemon Garlic Dressing
  • Craize—four products certified, including Platano Maize Thins and Roasted Arepa
  • CrrrunchBites—nine products certified, including Sea Salt Almonds and BBQ Almonds
  • Daddy Sam’s—three products certified, including Ginger Jalapeno Bar-B-Que Sawce and Salmon & Seafood Glaze
  • Dana’s Bakery—three products certified, including Fruity Cereal Macaron Making Kit and Red Velvet macaron Making Kit
  • DePuma’s—19 products certified, including Butternut Squash Ravioli and Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli
  • Eat Your Coffee—eight products certified, including Caramel Macchiato CoffeeBar and Peanut Butter CoffeeBar
  • El Milagro—five products certified, including Homestyle Corn Tostadas and Blancas White Corn Tortillas
  • Ener-G Foods—eight products certified, including Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls and Texas Toast
  • Great Value—two products certified, including Crispy Marshmallow Treats Birthday and Original
  • Green Valley Organics—20 products certified, including Lactose Free Blueberry Low-Fat Yogurt and Lactose Free Sour Cream
  • Handfulls—six products certified, including Lakeshore Trail Mix and Bangkok Backpack Blend
  • Ikeda Tea World—19 products certified, including Matcha 250 and Sencha
  • IQ Bar—three products certified, including Blueberry Walnut Bar and Matcha Hazelnut Bar
  • Julie’s Real—four products certified, including Cinnamon Vanilla Bean Almond Butter and Coconut Vanilla Bean Cashew Butter
  • Lieber—six products certified, including Rice bits-Sea Salt Flavor and Rice Thins-Onion & Garlic Flavor
  • Madre Lab Inc.—18 products certified, including Lip Gloss-Berry Kiss and Lipstick-Ready Red
  • Munch-real—12 products certified, including Candy Cookies and Marble Cake
  • Muskaan—four products certified, including Lipstick-Fuschia and Lipstick-Violet
  • North River Dry Goods—three products certified, including Split Pea Crunch Jalapeno and Split Pea Crunch Smoke Shack
  • PureLytes—three products certified, including Coconut Blueberry and Coconut Pineapple
  • Redwood Hill Farm—10 products certified, including Blueberry Goat Milk Yogurt and Vanilla Goat Milk Yogurt
  • SHANTI BAR—13 products certified, including Boost-Coconut and Recover-Turmeric
  • Social Paint—five products certified, including Lip Gloss-Cha Cha Cha and Lip Gloss-Pucker
  • IL Pastaio Srl—certified manufacturing facility in Torbole Casaglia, Italy
  • JTM Foods, LLC—certified manufacturing facility in Erie, Pa.
  • Smith Foods, Inc.—certified manufacturing facility in Orrville, Ohio

Products certified by GFCO carry the GF logo, which provides consumers with assurance that the product meets the GFCO standard of 10 ppm-or-less gluten.

Yardbird To Open New Location
Yardbird Southern Table & Bar will be debuting in Spring 2018, joining an impressive lineup of chef-driven restaurants at the re-imagined Beverly Center in Los Angeles. It is a compantion to restaurants in Miami, Las Vegas and Singapore.

Helmed by award-winning restaurateur John Kunkel, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar is known for offering a unique and authentic dining experience built around the culture and traditions that are emblematic of the South. Recognized for its modern renditions of classic, home-style favorites, Yardbird is renowned for its southern staples including Chicken ‘n’ Watermelon ‘n’ Waffles, Deviled Eggs and house-made buttermilk biscuits. Yardbird’s critically acclaimed Lewellyn’s Fine Fried Chicken; a 100-year old family recipe, is prepped for 27-hours and dredged in cayenne-spiced flour before hitting the fryer. Time-honored recipes are punctuated by Yardbird’s warm and welcoming ambiance and soul-satisfying dining experience.
“We are very excited to be spreading our wings into a major influencer city such as Los Angeles and to be able to call Beverly Center our new home. Yardbird continues to be a best in class operator of southern casual dining both nationally and internationally,” says John Kunkel, CEO of 50 Eggs Inc.  “We pride ourselves in delivering an unparalleled dining experience and can’t wait to showcase what we’re all about at Beverly Center.”