NYC Holiday Pop-Ups Bars Opening This Season

Frozen Peppermint Slide at Industry Kitchen

Industry Kitchen

The South Street Seaport restaurant will channel a winter chalet and features special dishes like a “gingernut pizza,” made with ginger crust, eggnog frosting, spicy pecans, candy canes, and sprinkles. Drinks include a large format frozen cocktail made with Baileys, candy canes, peppermint bark, and pretzel rods. The spiked hot chocolate has Nutella. Now open at 70 South St.

View more here.

Brexit’s Impact on the Specialty Food Market

ba5403b65e43df0297aeba68d6c0ca1fc082559f.jpegThis weekend’s news was understandably dominated by Brexit, and the far-reaching implications of the vote. One unexpected result of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union falls on the English specialty food market, which has so far benefited from the EU’s Protected Designation of Origin status on many of it’s products.

This status, applied throughout the EU to products ranging from wines to olive oils to cheese and meat, allows specific regions to claim sole use of specific brand designations. Most famously, “champagne” is not champagne unless it is produced in the eponymous French province, using the méthode champenoise. Gorgonzola can only be gorgonzola if it comes from Italy. And in England, products like Cumberland sausage and Yorkshire-forced rhubarb are all protected by designated status.

England actually has more than 60 foods and beverages with protected designations. After the vote late last week to leave the EU, this status will disappear, and producers around the world can begin making products like Rutland bitter beer, Stilton cheese and pork from Gloucestershire Old Spot Pigs. While none of these have quite the cache of champagne, they still represent the food culture of the country – and the loss of PDO status could have a real impact on the farmers, brewers and craftsmen who make them.

To read more, click here.

It Might be Time for American Olive Oil to Shine

olive-oil-968657_960_720.jpgOlive oil may be found in almost every American kitchen, but it’s long been the purview of the old world – an assumed-to-be-necessary import from Mediterranean farms that have been producing it for generations. Increasingly, however, California farms are taking a bigger stake of the market, with claims that they offer superior quality without the premium.

To some extent, this claim is supported by the research and recommendations of professionals. In Italy, a recent investigation by a special branch of the carabinieri police force found that many oils labeled “extra virgin” were in fact only “virgin” quality (the designation is based on the basic flavor profile and presence or absence of 16 potential “taste flaws). In November, Cooks Illustrated magazine released their recommendations for super market olive oils based on blind taste tests, and found that California Olive Ranch’s Everyday Extra Virgin was the tasters favorite, while most of the imported oils were tepidly reviewed.

The obvious comparison to be made here is with wine in the mid 1970s, when buyers and sommeliers began to realize that Napa Valley was actually producing high quality wines that rivaled those with an old-world pedigree. As olive oil demand grows, this could spell big trouble for the major European exporters, who already have more than $2 billion to lose in the U.S. market.

To read more, click here.

Sadelle’s: Upscale Bagel Enterprise

sadelles_menu.0.0Their Success…Bagels are historically more of a commodity than a specialty, and the proliferation of corner stores have flooded New York streets with mediocre crust and cream cheese.  However, Sadelle’s has taken the common and made it special; by focusing intensely on the entire experience and artisanal production methods, the Major Food Group team has made this staple memorable again.

Quoted as one of the most anticipated restaurants to open Fall 2015, Sadelle’s has made a grand opening. Located in the heart of SoHo, the bakery and restaurant specializes in one of New York City’s classic foods-bagels. Famous baker and co-owner Melissa Weller runs Sadelle’s bagel and bakery program. Hand rolled bagels, pastries and breads are made fresh on-site throughout the day in a glass-enclosed setting at the center of the restaurant. Sadelle’s offers both breakfast, lunch, dinner and quick and easy to-go service.

Sadelle’s carries an old-west with a modern city theme throughout their restaurant. The exterior of the restaurant illuminates in a pastel blue with gold letters “Sadelle’s” at the center. The restaurant is laid out with wooden flooring that corresponds with the color theme of the brick walls all across the restaurant. The chandeliers have a vintage edge, while the center kitchen, and take-away area is clean with a glassed enclosure. Similar wooden props are used both as decorative and functional items. A wooden bagel holder is both appealing as decoration but also is a bagel slot.

The front right section of the restaurant is set for customers ordering bagels, or pastries to-go. The pastries, and bagels are displayed in a glassed casing, while chefs are seen slicing fish. This extra service similar to City Bakery, where customers can have options for either sit-down or take-away attracts more customers in the early mornings, and during lunch hours. However, because the area where take-aways can be ordered is in close approximate distance with where the hostess is, and where those waiting for a table are, there is a dysfunctional aspect to the order of service. The fluidity of the direction of the lines isn’t strict, and can potentially intimidate more customers walking in.

Take Aways…The key word for services in the restaurant industry, today, is transparency. With shifts in consumer preferences and eating habits, many restaurants are forced to form towards healthy and transparent menu options. Sadelle’s successfully appeals to the modern consumer, where consumers can watch fresh lox being sliced by chefs for their bagels, and bakers baking fresh bagels at the center of the restaurant. This open kitchen appeals to customers and attracts customers to guarantee “fresh foods.”

Summer Fancy Food Show

The Fancy Food Show is considered to be the largest specialty food show in North America. It will be taking place in New York City from June 29- July 1. There will be over 180,000 products to discover including coffee, spices, confections, cheese and more. There will be over 2,400 exhibitors from 80 countries and regions around the globe. Major for buying channels and influential members of the trade and consumer press will be attending the Show as well as other related businesses. It is a great opportunity for retailers, restaurateurs and distributors to discover new food and beverage products.

There fancy food show is an excellent networking opportunity in the industry as there will be an estimated 24,000 attendees to build new relationships with. There will also be over 15 education seminars as well as tastings and tours. The annual Sofi Awards will also be taking place at the Fancy Food Show to celebrate the most innovative products of the year.

To read more about the event click here

More “European” Stateside Eats to Keep You Buying “Local”

In a follow-up to the Prosciutto-born Iowa story, we couldn’t help but drool over this list of USA-made eats hailing from European origin. Locavores can proudly buy close to home from this list of edibles of Spanish, Italian, and French origin from Grub Street.

Specialty Food Association: Top Trends at Fancy Food Show

The Specialty Food Association announced its take on the top trends from this summer’s Fancy Food Show, the association’s major semiannual industry trade show.  The top five new trends were:

  1. Innovative frozen treats, from smoothie pops to tea- and coffee-based popsicles.
  2. New uses of grains and seeds, including a quinoa sesame milk chocolate bar from Seattle Chocolate Co. and sweet potato, quinoa, and kale ravioli from La Pasta, Inc.
  3. Global meal starters and sauces incorporating flavors from Thailand to Greece to Africa.
  4. Retro redone, with new twists on retro favorites from banana pudding pancakes to classic southern cheese crisps.
  5. Cocktail ingredients for the at-home mixologist, ranging from tea-based mixers to artisanal bitters.

Continuing trends included single-serve snacks, Vietnamese flavors, chickpea and seaweed snacks, maple products, sweet and savory cookies, coconut, salted caramel, and gluten-free products.

For the full story, click here.

New York Food Artisans Win Big at 2013 Sofi Awards

The Specialty Food Association posted the list of Sofi (specialty outstanding food innovation) Gold Award winners for 2013, handing out top honors to the best specialty food products from around the world at the Summer Fancy Food Show.  Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson hosted the ceremony.

Several New York-based companies won Gold, including Chocolat Moderne (Avant-Garde Bar Blood Orange Bergamot Flavor Chocolate Bar), Tate’s Bake Shop (Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies), We Rub You (Spicy Korean BBQ Marinade), Bee Raw (Manhattan Rooftop Honey Flight) and Sarabeth’s Kitchen (Legendary Velvety Cream of Tomato Soup).

See the full list of Gold winners here.

New York Mouth is Now “Mouth”, With a Wider Scope

Mouth, with “The Best Food You’ve Never Heard Of, ”  spent a year focusing on mostly local products. They announced today that “it became clear that “indie” is not about a place, it’s about passion, entrepreneurship, craft and, taste,” and dropped the “New York” from their original name (New York Mouth).

They’ve added hundreds of items, and are offering 20% off for the next week with this new shift — casting a net that reaches far outside Gotham.  Just use the code ‘OPENMOUTH’ at checkout through May 27th.

New Specialty Food to Open in Forest Hills, Queens

After many setbacks that kept the shop under construction much longer than expected, Mr. Vino’s Cucina is about to open.

Nicholas Protopapas, a seasoned retailer in the area, is the owner. He talked at length with about the project, which includes a restaurant and will offer cheese tastings every weekend.