Frontburner: November 2010
Win the Book
According to the Slow Food organization, what is the meaning of a “clean” food system?
The answer can be found in this issue of Frontburner! E-mail your response to email@example.com by November 16 with "Win the Book" in the subject line. A random winner will be chosen from correct answers submitted within the first 24 hours of Frontburner's publication.
"The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts," written by The French Culinary Institute, won IACP’s 2010 Cookbook Award in the Food and Beverage Reference/Technical category.
Congratulations to Diane McElroy, RD, for winning October's book, “Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Friends.”
DM: How do you prepare for an episode of Iron Chef?
MM: Because I am the only original Iron Chef from Japan, I know what people expect from me. I always try to create something new and different.
DM: Where do you get the fish you use to create the spectacular dishes at Morimoto Philadelphia?
MM: I get Japanese fish from Tsukiji Tokyo Fish Market. Even though there is a difference in the yen and American dollar, it does not matter. I want the best product regardless of price. I buy Japanese fish from Tsukiji for all of my Morimoto Restaurants: Philadelphia, New York, Napa and Waikiki.
DM: Is there a difference in the way you create sushi dishes for American diners and for Japanese diners?
MM: No, there is no difference in how I prepare them. It is all about my location and what the area has to offer. In addition to Japanese fish, I also like to use local ingredients as much as possible.
DM: Are you a good swordsman?
MM: Of course! I am good at handling sword-like things, including a baseball bat, a golf club and cooking knives.
DM: What is your favorite knife?
MM: Japanese knives.
DM: Favorite comfort food?
MM: Okonomi yaki and ramen.
DM: What book are you reading right now?
MM: A book on the period of the Japanese civil war.
DM: Will there be another Morimoto cookbook anytime soon?
MM: Yes, I want to do another cookbook, but a cookbook takes a lot of time to prepare - something I don’t have right now. But I definitely want to do one in the near future. I have lots of ideas!
Domenica Marchetti is the author of “The Glorious Soups and Stews of Italy” and “Big Night In.” Her third cookbook, “The Glorious Pasta of Italy,” is due to be published in 2011. She serves on the IACP Frontburner Editorial Team.
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
I love the IACP Directory. Really, I do. It has brought me some of the most wonderful professional and personal experiences of my life. The most recent occurred on a trip to Spain. Having never visited before, I sought the expert advice of IACP members in Madrid and Barcelona, asking for suggestions of restaurants and other culinary experiences that might afford me a deeper understanding of the Spanish people and culture.
Among the recommendations came a lovely invitation from member Anne Marie Aznarez, who offers culinary tours through her company, A Taste of Spain. She and Jaume Brichs, the professional chef who teaches cooking classes for her groups, offered my small party a guided tour of the famed Boqueria Market in Barcelona. What a fantastic connection and superb introduction to a stunning array of Spanish ingredients. Thank you Anne Marie and Jaume!
So, multiply this possibility by nearly 3,000 members living in 32 countries. As IACP members, we are connected to culinarians the world over. They are as close as the IACP Directory. I can’t count the number of times I’ve exchanged information with members I have never before met, researching a story, making a business connection or seeking tips on what to see or do in my hometown or theirs. Don’t be shy! Exercise your right to connect.
If you’ve been hearing reports of tornados in and around Atlanta, don’t be fooled. It’s not the weather; it’s the volume of activity funneling through IACP headquarters. To give you a small taste, this month we’re finalizing the Austin 2011 conference program and events; concluding negotiations for 2012 and 2013 conferences in New York and San Francisco, respectively; and posting 512 entries for the IACP Cookbook Awards off to judges who will begin the arduous process of reading, recipe testing and evaluating.
We’re rolling out a new webinar platform as an option for monthly teleforums, ramping up sponsorship efforts with our new Partner Program director, continuing work on a totally revamped website, executing a publicity program for the 25th anniversary of the Cookbook Awards, and exploring how to make the concept of IACP 365 a daily reality for our members. Whew! Tornado is the word.
Thank you everyone, volunteers and staff, for your efforts on behalf of IACP. Your creativity and diligence astound me. Because of your willingness to connect, our association grows stronger and more vibrant every day.
Stay in touch!
Kurt Michael Friese
Seventeen years ago, I left a great job teaching at Vermont’s prestigious New England Culinary Institute to move back to Iowa and be an executive chef at a Holiday Inn. It was difficult to find people in Vermont or Iowa who did not think I was certifiably insane. Those who thought they knew Iowa claimed, "There's no there there!" And those who did not asked, "Iowa? Isn't that where they grow potatoes?"
Because I hail from the Heartland and did my undergraduate work in Iowa, I was accustomed to folks from the coasts referring to it as one of "the flyover states." Iowans, a group among whom I now proudly count myself, are fine with that -- as long as such critics do just fly over. We'll wave. We're Iowans. East Coast has Broadway; West Coast has Hollywood; and Iowa has people. Damn fine people.
The other thing Iowa has is Agriculture -- and I use that capital "A" deliberately. We produce more pork, more corn, more soy and more eggs than any other state in the union, and come in second or third in virtually every other commodity crop save oranges. And who knows? Global climate change may change that, too.
I have seen an awakening here in Iowa, an awakening of what it means to be passionate about food and how and where it’s grown.. If such progress can be made here, one plant, one plate, one palate at a time, it can be made everywhere.
A decade and a half ago, the people who wanted to put me in a rubber room didn't see what I saw in Iowa: the massive potential for local, sustainable, community-based food systems. After all, the state is home to 3.3 million people who still have spiritual and family ties to some of the finest soil on the planet. I had become deeply involved with Slow Food, and this was fertile ground for sowing the seeds of that movement.
After more than 30 years in foodservice, one of the simple lessons I've learned is that fresh tastes best. Sounds obvious until you look beneath the surface and realize that what passes for fresh in many places is really not. Many foods currently available on store shelves can be measured in half-life rather than shelf life. Even in Iowa, 95% of the food is imported, and it travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to our plates. This, in a state that can grow anything that can grow outside the tropics. It doesn't matter how fast your planes, trains and trucks are. If it traveled 1,500 miles, it's not fresh.
My thought was the closer the source is to my kitchen door, the fresher the food’s going to be. Seemed simple enough. At the time, the farmers' market was right outside the back door of the Holiday Inn. But disagreements with management kept me from buying much from the market back then. There were ADM and IBP (now Tyson) and Quaker plants less than 30 minutes away. There was only one other business I could find that endeavored to buy locally (the renowned New Pioneer food co-op), and when I walked through the farmers' market in my white chef's coat, people looked at me funny, wondering why a chef would be at a farmers’ market. So 14 years ago in Iowa City, I opened Devotay, a tiny, quirky little restaurant serving Spanish-style food made from local ingredients (wherever feasible) smack in the belly of the agribusiness beast. Continue Reading
Julia M. Usher, IACP Director, Secretary-Treasurer Elect
Director, IACP Partner Program
In early October, Dean Wills joined the IACP team to spearhead the IACP Partner Program, which is responsible for cultivating partnerships with sponsors, advertisers and other supporters. Prior to his most recent position as executive director of the Newburyport Art Association, Dean worked for 16 years in the areas of corporate sponsorship, membership acquisition/retention, consumer loyalty and fundraising for numerous corporations and not-for-profit organizations, including American Express, Times-Mirror Magazines, R.J. Reynolds, Hanna-Barbera Studios and The America’s Cup Challenge. (For more, see Dean's bio.) I had the very good fortune of catching up with Dean in his “homeport” of Ring’s Island in Newburyport Harbor, Mass., just days after he had accepted his position with IACP.
JMU: Dean, I know I speak on behalf of the entire IACP Board of Directors when I say I am elated to have you join the IACP team. We had a number of impressive candidates for the position, but your background and track record really stood out. May I ask what first crossed your mind when you were told you had the job?
DW: Sure, I’ll tell you not just what I thought, but what I said. I told my friends, “Wow! I can’t believe I get to work with an organization that represents the things I’m passionate about...fine food, cheese, wine, travel, new recipes, cooking tools...Someone, please stick a fork or a corkscrew in me and tell me I’m not dreaming!”
JMU: Well, you may not have listed “bon vivant” among the list of qualifications on your résumé, but I sensed from the get-go that we were kindred spirits in matters of food and drink! So let’s get down to business, shall we? Can you tell our members how our partners, current and future, will benefit from the experience you bring to IACP?
DW: For 16 years I had the unique pleasure of working with a number of national organizations to build their corporate sponsor programs, and I absolutely enjoyed each of these 16 years, minus some of the hectic and frequent travel. Besides working closely with partners to maximize their involvement with IACP during the year, I fully understand the importance of the relationship established with each partner – a relationship that not only allows exploration of new business opportunities, but ultimately has personal importance when you eventually meet face-to-face over a great meal or glass of wine.
JMU: We all know that the culinary industry is extremely dynamic, but what do you see as the biggest changes in the industry in the last two to three years?
DW: The biggest change – and challenge – for the culinary industry in the past few years has been the economy. Just like other industries, the decline in consumer spending has affected the entire culinary world, resulting in smaller corporate budgets and fewer marketing and advertising dollars to go around.
Another major change I see is how culinary professionals obtain industry information and how well they understand and adjust to shifting consumer expectations and trends. Factors such as the migration from traditional print trade and lifestyle publications to community-based information resources on the Internet, the emergence of supermarkets offering consumers quality ready-to-eat dine-in/take-out options, and the popularity of celebrity chefs and reality cooking TV shows, along with the growing public demand for accountability from food manufacturers and restaurants, are driving new trends.
JMU: What opportunities, if any, do these changes present to culinary professionals and IACP?
DW: I have learned over the years that the most promising opportunities are often found within challenges. Businesses that understand the power of marketing will find marketing and advertising dollars, while embracing innovative thinking, such as social marketing and new technology, to maintain or increase market share through brand awareness initiatives and value-add offers to their target consumers. With a membership made up of tech-savvy, industry influencers, decision makers and early adopters, the IACP is well positioned to maintain existing relationships while adding new partners – especially partners from other industries with products and services that fit the professional and lifestyle needs of the IACP member.
JMU: We are definitely navigating in a challenging environment, but I share your optimism about IACP. Onto more personal topics . . . tell me about your fondest food memory.
DW: I have many fond food memories, but my fondest is from my three years spent in Japan, while in the Air Force, living in the north of the main island of Honshu. Once I got a motorcycle, I set out to explore the coastal and mountain villages and various cities, to sample their cuisines – cooked and raw seafood, noodles, beef, mountain trout, poultry, rice, assorted pickles, curries, wild mushrooms, mountain fruit . . . Each locale had its own unique preparations and flavors, which were so different than anything I had tasted up to that point in my life. It was a real eye and taste bud opener!
JMU: You mentioned a passion for cooking tools earlier. Do you have a favorite one?
DW: Yes, “Trusty,” my large cast iron skillet. My mom gave him to me and he has 25 years of flavor melded into him. For some inexplicable reason, he possesses a certain magical touch that has never let me down.
JMU: I’m a firm believer that you can learn a lot about someone just by looking in his or her grocery bag. That said, I couldn’t possibly conclude this interview without asking my culinary equivalent of the Rorschach Test. What one item would I most likely find in your grocery bag and what does it say about you?
DW: We eat a lot of fresh seafood in my household -- a benefit to living on the coast with an active fishing fleet and a wonderful “just-caught-and-dug” fish market within walking distance of the house. So when I go to the grocery store, you can always find lemons in my bag. I guess you could say that I’ve always had a certain zest for life, whether it be the thrill of sailing alone in the open ocean, climbing a mountain, skiing off-piste, exploring a new city or hosting a festive gathering with family or friends.
Julia M. Usher was once a mechanical engineer and business consultant, but now happily occupies herself as a pastry chef, food stylist and cookbook author. Her first book “Cookie Swap” (2009) is in its 7th printing, and her second, tentatively entitled “It’s About Time, Cookie,” is due to release in the fall of 2011.
Tell us what you think about “Dish with Dean Wills” by e-mailing Julia or staff editor Anneliese Doyle. Interested in partnering with IACP? Contact Dean Wills.
IACP 33rd Annual Conference
June 1-4, 2011 Austin, Texas, USA
Light Your Fire: Sparks from the Culinary Edge
Constant innovation. That's the credo of every culinarian. Whether inventing new recipes, exploring new technologies, probing new views of food history or acting on the issues of our day - innovation is our collective quest. It's the flame that keeps us asking: What's new? What's next?
What better way to stoke your fire than to join IACP in Austin, the seat of progressive thought and entrepreneurship in the heart of Texas. In this hotbed of invention, we'll hear from renowned culinarians who are sparking new ideas around the world, personally and professionally. We'll taste the best Texas has to offer, including some amazing local products. And we'll look to other industries - music, technology, trend research - for transformative ideas. Ignite your creativity. Join IACP for the conference of the year in Austin.
Austin Food Scene
Read up on Austin and the Lone Star State in these articles:
Thanks again to all attendees, volunteers, sponsors and exhibitors who helped to make our 32nd Annual Conference in Portland truly one of the best in IACP's history.
Be sure to visit us online to view photos, presentations and much more from our 2010 event.
IACP’s mission is to connect you with the people, places and knowledge you need to succeed in the culinary industry. Did you know you have access to a wealth of knowledge through IACP’s online Publications page?
Our Publications page is where archives of all IACP publications are housed – from the Food Writers, Editors and Publishers section’s WORDS e-newsletter, to the Culinary Tourism section’s Appetite for Travel. You can even find past issues of Frontburner on this page. Simply visit the Publications page [link] and log in to the IACP site with your personal login and password to access this information.
IACP publications are a rich resource for all members.
Here is just a taste of articles and news you can find in the archives at our Publications page:
An Insider’s Look at Food Apps by Stephanie Stiavetti, WORDS
How Food Writers Can Harness the Internet’s Research Potential by Angela and Paul Knipple, WORDS
Micro Niche Dessert Classes That Sell: You Don't Have to be a Vegan by Fran Costigan, Cooking Schools & Teachers
The Year of the Dragonwagon by Sheila Crye, KiK Creating a Culinary Culture
Learn more about your IACP member benefits at the Member Resource Web page.
Submissions due Dec. 10
Your entry form, payment, and supplemental materials must all arrive at IACP Headquarters by the December 10, 2010 deadline.
IACP Inaugurates Culinary Classics Book Awards
Submit your nominations for this annual award by Dec. 1
Cookbooks and other food-related books are arguably society's most important vehicle for documenting culinary culture for future generations. For the last 25 years, the IACP has honored excellence in cookbook publishing through its annual Cookbook Awards program. Now, each year, IACP will also honor culinary works that have become true classics in the field, and we need your help.
New IACP Twitter Hashtag
Tweeters take note: As of October 1, IACP will now use a new Twitter hashtag: #IACPculinary. It turns out we are not the only IACPers out there in the wide world of professional organizations. The International Association of Chiefs of Police, Canine Professionals, Compounding Pharmacists, Chinese Pathologists and Cognitive Psychotherapists also exist and Twitter their own posts from time to time. We are the only culinary IACPers out there, and so our newly updated hashtag should keep your inboxes clutter free from non-foodie IACP posts.
For those of you still wondering what the heck a hashtag is, keep reading. Although it’s not an official Twitter feature, users add them to a Twitter post (a ‘tweet’) in order to tag and categorize it by topic. Hashtags are searchable via Twitter Search, so if you search for #IACPculinary at any time, you’ll see all posts that have been tagged as being related to IACP. Our IACP.
Plan a Regional Conference
As we begin our big push to host regional conferences around the world, we need your help to plan and host them. It's a great opportunity to promote yourself and your business to IACP members and other culinary professionals in your area. Hosting is easier than you think - our Web site and online handbook explain it all. Consider signing up to host today.
View IACP's Online Calendar for the most up-to-date listing of events.
A crisp example of Tokai wine at the "Slow Friuli" Laboratori del Gusto workshop.
Donna Shields, MS, RD, LD
“They’re all the rage, but what’s the real deal with detox diets?”
As an integrative nutritionist, people are constantly asking me for a detox diet as though it were some magical formula to improve health, aid in weight loss and increase energy levels. Well, a detoxifying diet can actually do all those things, but I want people to understand how it works and why it should be viewed as a jump start to a long term, sustainable eating plan versus a one week diet.
Toxins include the really obvious ones, like cigarette smoke and lead, but depending on your genetic make-up, other things can be toxic to the body such as:
- Food and cosmetic additives
- Microbial toxins from mold
- Pesticide residue in water, fish and animal products
- Byproducts from food processing such as acylamide from French fries, nitrosamines from cold cuts and sausages, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PCAH's) from char broiled meats
- Bisphenol A (BPA), found in plastic food storage containers and water bottles
- Alcohol, OTC and prescription drugs
As though this weren’t enough, your body produces its own toxins. Infections, bacterial gut overgrowth, excess estrogen and even stress can all add to the body’s toxic burden. Sounds dismal, I know, but there is a way out.
Detoxification has two phases. A good place to start is by eliminating or reducing exposure to toxins, like the ones listed above, and choosing a less refined, organic diet. For example, eating grass-fed beef and pastured chickens, as well as their dairy products and eggs, are important to this process because animals that eat grass, as opposed to grain, contain a higher percentage of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to the permeability of cell membranes, a necessary feature for getting nutrients into our cells to do their work and for providing an escape route for detoxified toxins.
The other phase of detox, which takes place in the liver, transforms those toxic compounds into benign ones. The lynchpin here is having enough nutrients in the diet, especially B vitamins and sulfur-containing compounds found in broccoli, cauliflower, onions, garlic and kale, which are absolutely critical to making this detoxifying process a success. If we reduce our toxic load and eat more of the right veggies, then we naturally become more efficient detoxing machines.
When it comes to weight loss, this detox process is key because toxins are typically stored in fat cells. Rapid weight loss, through fasting or a very low calorie diet, is a bad idea because it floods the body with toxins - plus you’re not eating the nutrients needed to clear them from the body. I had lots of hands-on experience with the correct approach while working this summer at Green Mountain at Fox Run, a women’s live-in healthy weight loss program in Ludlow, Vermont. By feeding women a clean, organic, vegetable-rich diet, they are able to sustain the weight loss while detoxifying and improving their overall health in the process.
This is a complex topic with a lot more biochemistry detail than what’s been provided here, but at least now you’ll have some top line facts on the issue for professional purposes…or for chatting more knowledgably at cocktail parties.
Donna Shields, MS, RD, LD, former IACP Nutrition and Food Science Section chair, continues to work with Green Mountain at Fox Run on their Healing with Foods program and alliance-building initiatives. Green Mountain’s blog, A Weight Lifted, provides a wealth of content based on their 38 years of experience in women’s wellness and healthy weight loss. For any additional questions, contact Donna by e-mail.
IACP Professional Member
Certified Personal Chef, Caterer and Food Blogger
Orange County, California USA
A former business and sales professional in corporate America, I followed my passion for cooking by enrolling in culinary school at age 45. After graduating, I began searching for my place in the world of food. When I discovered the personal chef industry I knew I’d found a good fit! Four years ago I left my corporate job and started Everyday Gourmet, offering personal chef and catering services. Besides cooking for others, I love to teach others to cook and write a food blog. My talented husband Kent does my food photography. We have a great time teaming up to bring our combined passions for food, photography and travel to life.
I’m excited about being a member of IACP and all that it offers from educational teleforums and conferences to connecting with other professionals in cooking and food, food writing and photography. I know that my membership will help drive my continuing professional growth. I should have joined years ago!
About our current adventure in Italy: We will be there when this issue of Frontburner arrives via e-mail. We can’t wait to try blogging on the road as we explore this fantastic country. I think we are taking as much camera equipment as clothes. What terrific inspiration for cooking for clients, classes and writing!
Submit news that marks a significant milestone in your career through our easy online form.
The Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) is celebrating 20 years of successfully preparing underserved high school students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. In 1990, IACP Member Richard Grausman was motivated by high unemployment among urban youth and founded C-CAP at 12 New York City high schools. Today, he proudly showcases the organization’s accomplishments – from a long list of alumni to a spotlight on the Emmy nominated film “Pressure Cooker” - in their anniversary publication, “20 for 20.”
Patricia Kline was profiled in the November issue of Oprah Winfrey’s O Magazine as a career changer who bravely transitioned from marketing executive to baker. Read Patricia’s story in the article “How Four Career Changers Found Their Calling” online.
Natalie MacLean won Les Dames d'Escoffier International’s 2010 M.F.K. Fisher Award for Excellence in Culinary Writing for her work on www.nataliemaclean.com. Second and third place went to the Washington Post and Boston Globe, respectively. Natalie is the only person to have won the M.F.K. Fisher writing awards from both the James Beard Foundation and Les Dames d'Escoffier. M.F.K. Fisher, one of America's finest food writers, was described by the poet W.H. Auden as the best prose writer of her time.
Virginia Willis is pleased to announce the launch of her product line, My Southern Pantry. In a limited holiday release she is offering a selection of classic Southern pantry staples with her signature French touch: Heirloom Grits, Pecan Brownies Mise en Place, Pecan-Smoked Salt, French Quarter Spice Rub, and a gift basket that includes a personalized, signed copy of “Bon Appetit, Y'all” and corn-cob kindling for those cold winter nights. www.virginiawillis.com.
Fine foods and specialty ingredients for people who love to cook. Shop our global pantry for personally-selected, authentic artisan craft food products including: ethnic condiments, extra virgin olive oils, distinctive vinegars, origin-specific premium tea, sea salts & spices, and whole bean coffee.
65 King Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: (413) 584-5116
Premium teas from the top-producing tea gardens in the world. Sourced directly by tea professionals Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss who visit the places where the tea is grown and personally select their distinctive teas. Taste the difference premium handcrafted tea makes in your cup.
65 King Street
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: (413) 584-5116
"Thank you" to our generous 2010 sponsors and supporters! Please visit the IACP Partner Spotlight, an online feature that highlights these generous companies and provides a link to their company site.
Many opportunities for reaching the IACP membership are available throughout the year through advertising, sponsoring, exhibiting and more. For more information contact Dean Wills at IACP Headquarters, (508)246-9582.
Frontburner is the monthly e-magazine of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP.) IACP assumes no responsibility for statements and opinions expressed by contributors to Frontburner. Views advanced in the articles are those of the contributors and do not necessarily represent the official position of IACP. Send your questions and comments to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contribute to the Frontburner, contact your Section Chair with your ideas or e-mail Anneliese Doyle.
Publications Committee Chair: Meredith Deeds
Frontburner Editorial Committee: Rosemary Barron, Cathy Cochran-Lewis, David Joachim, Domenica Marchetti, Sharon Sanders, CCP
Staff Editor: Anneliese Doyle