Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sweet Inspiration Honey Brochure Joins Free Resources Available at

The award-winning, new Sweet Inspiration brochure is the latest complimentary resource from the National Honey Board, available to foodservice professionals at ( Chock-full of innovative recipes, color photography, usage tips and other information, the robust new brochure recently captured an Addy award for color-brochure design in the American Advertising Federation-Coastal California awards competition.
Mouthwatering photographs accompany honey-inspired recipes ranging from Meatballs with Honey-Harissa-Pomegranate Glaze to Grilled Tuna with Fried Oysters and Honey ‘Cue. In addition to highlighting honey’s culinary properties and benefits, including balance, functionality and versatility, the Sweet Inspiration brochure provides honey-substitution information for baking and cooking. The brochure also includes honey measurement, storage and handling tips.

Other free resources available to foodservice professionals at include:

  • Sweetening the Pot with Honey poster (full-color, laminated, 16”x24”)
  • Honey Culinary Instruction Kit (teaching guide, available as a download or CD)
  • Hot from the Hive e-newsletter (honey information and inspiration delivered quarterly)
  • Honey Cocktail Guide: coming in Summer 2012 (pre-orders now being accepted)
The National Honey Board is a federal research and promotion board under USDA oversight that conducts research, marketing and promotion programs to help maintain and expand markets for honey and honey products. These programs are funded by an assessment of one cent per pound on domestic and imported honey.

Friday, April 13, 2012

California Raisin Marketing Board Calls for Entries in Fifth-Annual “America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest”

The California Raisin Marketing Board’s (CRMB) fifth annual America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest is now open and all industry professionals and student bakers are encouraged to enter their most mouthwatering masterpieces in one or all of the three categories of this competition: Artisan, Commercial and Breakfast. All eligible contestants are:
  • Bakers and research & development staff of commercial baking companies
  • Craft bakers and retail shop owners/managers 
  • Certified baking teachers
  • Students in accredited baking programs 
  • Bakery technicians at bakery supply wholesalers, flour milling companies and other allied bakery ingredient suppliers 
  • 18 years or older
Entries are accepted through July 15, 2012. Contest application, rules and additional details are available at The contest features categories in two divisions, professional and student.
Luminita Cirstea was a recent co-grand-prize winner in “America’s Best Raisin Bread Contest” thanks to her entry, Raisin Rye Bread.
“This competition celebrates the creativity of both seasoned professionals and rising stars in the baking world, while highlighting the versatility of California Raisins as a flavor-packed ingredient,” says Larry Blagg, senior vice president of marketing for the CRMB. “The contest is an ideal way to showcase the endless varieties of delicious bread products that can be made from world-renowned California Raisins.”

Preliminary contest judging will take place in August. A total of 36 finalists will receive a complimentary trip to the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan., October 11-13, 2012, where they will bake their formulas before a panel of distinguished judges from both the artisan and commercial baking industries. A total of 12 winners—nine in the professional division and three in student division—will be selected.


Winners will be selected based on their formula’s taste, appearance, originality and value. The California Raisin Marketing Board seeks to encourage the use of healthy ingredients. Formulas that feature 100% whole grains and/or gluten-free ingredients will be awarded in each division.

In addition to industry-wide recognition, winning bakers will receive a five-day California educational vacation with visits to The Culinary Institute of America and Yosemite National Park.

Friday, April 6, 2012

McCamic of The Chef’s Academy Receives Wines of Australia Scholarship

Mary Margaret McCamic, instructor of wine and communication studies at the Morrisville, N.C., campus of The Chef’s Academy (, the Culinary Division of Harrison College, recently was awarded the prestigious Wines of Australia Scholarship.

The overall top-scoring graduates of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s (WSET) Diploma of Wine and Spirits (DWS) program of study in five markets—Canada, United States, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Ireland—are awarded the scholarship by Wines of Australia. McCamic completed her DWS studies, the highest level offered through WSET, last September and, based upon her overall results, was the nation’s top scorer to earn the designation as Wines of Australia’s 2011 United States representative.

McCamic is among nine scholarship recipients worldwide who gained a unique insight into the Australian wine industry with an eight-day study excursion last month. Prior to receiving the competitive award, McCamic earned her bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing and her master’s degree in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As she was settling into her career as a high-school English teacher, McCamic developed a passion for wine, leading her to study at New York’s International Wine Center in Manhattan, where she completed her WSET wine courses, one of the most challenging courses of wine study in the United States.

“I am truly grateful to be given this remarkable opportunity to learn about the Australian wine community and to grow as a professional,” said McCamic. “The Wines of Australia Scholarship will provide me with new knowledge that will allow me to enhance my teaching at The Chef’s Academy, contributing significantly to the success of the organization and its students.”

Harrison College is a 110-year-old, nationally accredited institution that offers 40 degree programs in five schools of study.

“At The Chef’s Academy, we are so proud that Mary Margaret’s hard work has been honored with this accolade,” said Jayson Boyers, national division president. “I am excited that our students will be able to reap the reward of Mary Margaret’s experience.”

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Offers Certified Master Chef Preparation Program for Faculty and Staff

Focused on excellence in culinary education at all levels, Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) College of Culinary Arts is now offering a Certified Master Chef Preparation Program for full-time faculty and academic staff. This new program prepares qualified LCB employees to sit for the Certified Master Chef (CMC) exam—the industry’s highest level of achievement. Not only will the program provide an opportunity for staff to expand their skill set, but those who successfully complete the program will be able to gain recognition for their achievements from the American Culinary Federation.

“Le Cordon Bleu is dedicated to offering the highest level of support and development for our staff,” said Edward Leonard, CMC, vice president and corporate executive chef of Le Cordon Bleu. “The program will help our staff master their craft and demonstrate their vast industry experience and credentials to our students.”
The CMC certification is the most rigorous professional certification granted to U.S. chefs, requiring 130 hours of instruction, menu preparation and timed cooking tests leading up to an eight-day exam. Certified Master Chefs must possess advanced professional culinary skills, kitchen safety and sanitation knowledge and have mastered cooking techniques.

Interested LCB employees must meet all Career Education Corporation and ACF requirements and be nominated by their campus president and executive chef to participate. The program includes assessments tailored to reflect the judging and scoring process of the CMC exam. Participants in the program also receive 12 to 15 months of direct mentoring and support from Leonard. Ferdinand Metz, CMC, LCB executive dean and chairman of the LCB National Advisory Board, along with other Certified Master Chefs, will advise and assist during the training. Leonard and Metz are two of only 72 CMCs nationwide.

Le Cordon Bleu, a member of the Career Education Corporation (NASDAQ:CECO) network of universities, colleges and schools, is one of the largest providers of quality culinary arts education worldwide. For more information about Le Cordon Bleu, visit

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kendall College Chef-Instructor and Alum Win Inaugural Culinology® Competition

The team of Eric Stein, M.S., R.D., a chef-instructor at the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, and Jaime Mestan, C.S.C., a Kendall College culinary alum (‘08) and research chef at Ed Miniat, Inc., in South Holland, Ill., took first place in the inaugural Professional Culinology® Competition, March 23 in San Antonio, Texas, held in conjunction with the Research Chefs Association’s (RCA) Annual Conference and Culinology® Expo.

Stein and Mestan beat two other teams, winning a gold medal and a $5,000 cash award with their entry of lobster paella bites, chicken and white-bean empanadillas and loaded patatas bravas (a cherished white-potato tapa of Spain). The competition, which was sanctioned by the American Culinary Federation (ACF), called for entries to consist of three frozen heat-and-serve tapas suitable for serving in a casual restaurant chain.

Prior to the competition, each team shipped its frozen products to San Antonio. On competition day, each team created the fresh versions of its commercialized concepts and was judged in part against how well the plated, commercialized products matched up against the fresh gold standards. Entries were judged by a panel of culinary R&D experts against criteria that included originality of concept, nutritional profile, manufacturing feasibility, flavor, aroma, texture, presentation and safety standards. The team of Stein and Mestan was announced as the winner at the RCA’s Awards Luncheon on March 24.

Following the announcement, Stein expressed a newfound appreciation for the role of chefs who work and create within two worlds—culinary arts and food science—the perfect melding of which results in satisfied diners and successful foodservice operators. “Participating in this competition and attending the RCA conference really gave me a better understanding of the diversity within the field of Culinology®,” he said.

The discipline of Culinology® was pioneered by the Research Chefs Association with the organization’s founding in 1996. The RCA represents more than 2,000 members including chefs, food scientists, technologists, writers, nutritionists, academicians, researchers, consultants, sales and marketing professionals, suppliers, co-packers, distributors and students. RCA is the premier source of culinary and technical information for the food industry and is committed to the advancement of Culinology®—the blending of the culinary arts and food science. For more information, visit