Sunday, May 31, 2009

World Ocean Day Celebration Webcast

Celebrate World Ocean Day with the founder of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and with one of the most famous figures in the food world.

Live Webcast - Alton Brown & Julie Packard

Join Food Network star and author Alton Brown, along with Monterey Bay Aquarium Executive Director Julie Packard for our World Ocean Day Celebration Webcast, Friday, June 5 at noon Pacific time.

Want to learn why Alton Brown is such a staunch Seafood Watch advocate, and which sustainable seafood recipes he prepares in his own kitchen? There's only one way to find out. Register today - and tune in next Friday.

Alton, with his humor and one-of-a-kind enthusiasm will share the latest advice on preparing dishes that are healthy for you and for the oceans. Julie, a lifetime advocate for ocean conservation, will share the latest on the state of the ocean, and offer ideas about how you can protect the oceans with your purchasing power and by sharing your sustainable seafood smarts with friends and family.

Both guests will answer your questions throughout the program.

Here's how to tune in:
1. Register today for Webcast
3. Once you register, you'll receive a confirmation email, with a link to the webcast. On Friday, June 5 just before noon Pacific Time, click the link and watch the webcast directly from your computer. (And don't forget to turn on your volume.)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

“Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” Warren Buffet

More often than not, value beats price. The question is whether the principle holds true when the economy and customers are jittery.

For the answer, we travel to Indiana where Senior Vice President and General Manager Jim Moody describes a cutting showdown where U.S. Foodservice™ left the competition in the dust.

An upscale restaurant a U.S. Foodservice versus the competition cutting for each of two properties in the area. The match was on. It was Chad Krockover, Vincent Kinkade and Curt Bressler taking on the competitors management, sales reps and COP specialists. As Jim Moody reports, “We won so big that the GM of the properties stated that cutting products again at the second property was a waste of time” and cancelled the second session. Jim reports that the competition “focused on saving the customer money, while U.S. Foodservice™ and the customer were focused on quality products enabling them to save and grow their customer base instead of chasing them away.”

Value beats price once again.

Friday, May 29, 2009

U.S. Foodservice of San Francisco supports local farms

Locally Grown Produce
Artichoke • Castroville
Spinach • Salinas
Asparagus • Stockton
Bell Peppers • Coachella
Broccolini • Salinas
Green Beans • Watsonville & Brentwood
Broccoli • Salinas
Corn (White) • Brentwood
Garlic • Gilroy
Iceberg • Salinas
Leaf Lettuce • Salinas
Yellow Onions • Stockton
Napa Cabbage • Modesto
Bok Choy • Modesto
Cabbage • Salinas & Modesto
Carrots • Bakersfield
Cauliflower • Salinas
Celery • Salinas
Kale • Modesto
Spring Mix • Salinas
Snap Peas • Salinas
Swiss Chard • Modesto
Strawberry • Watsonville & Santa Maria
Blackberries • Watsonville
Blueberries • Watsonville
Raspberries • Watsonville
Honeydew • Turlock
Cantaloupe • Turlock
Watermelon • Turlock
Watermelon, Seedless • Manteca

* Now Local! * Watermelons, Cantaloupe, Honeydews

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vande Rose Farms 100% Duroc Pork Product Cutting At US Foodservice San Francisco

The Pebble Beach Food and Wine Event is a culinary playground full of folks that love to cook and eat. During the hours of prep, service, clean up, and after parties stories of favorite meals, and fantastic ingredients are shared. This year we had the pleasure of dining with Nate Weaton, President of Vande Rose Farms of Iowa at the Montrio Bistro in Monterey.

As fate would have it that night the special was a frenched 10 oz Vande Rose Farms 100% Duroc Pork Chop with roasted yams, pea sprouts, Vande Rose bacon and cider gastrique.

A discussion began over a pork chop that night that led to a product cutting May 18th at the US Foodservice San Francisco offices with the center of the plate team headed by Brian Meier, Jack Hart, Jordan Chauss, and Ed Rassmussen. Nate Weaton, Steve De Bruin (4th generation family farmer and the DE of Vande Rose) were present, along with two US Foodservice customers Chef's Tony Baker and Kirk Larsen. Various products were prepped, cooked and sampled with rave reviews.

Vande Rose Farms Honey Cured Ham

The Artisan line of pork products was very well recieved. Using the premium duroc product with recipes created for Vande Rose by America's premier sausage maker, Bruce Aidell was genius. The flavor of the ham and bacon was incredibly clean, the first taste was not salt, like you come to expect with much of the mass produced product available. Rather the light seasonings accentuated the applewood smoked pork. Without a water/salt/brine injection the meat was not a washed out gummy pink but a distinguishable whole muscle product with a great bite.

With some work on the logistics side this is a product line that may be available through US Foodservice San Francisco in the coming months, as an addition to their already selection of fantastic ingredients.

Vande Rose Farms was founded in 1998 by three families. The Van Gilst, De Bruin and Rozenboom families first came to America in the 19th century.

Cleaning The Bones Of The 10 Bone Vande Rose Farms Pork Rack

They settled in Mahaska County, Iowa to work the fertile soil and raise their children on the rolling landscape. They shared a passion for agriculture and achievment on their family farms.

They chose a special breed of pig, called Duroc, which is a pig known for its juicy and flavorful meat. Duroc is a heritage breed dating back to 1830, that produces pork that has a higher moisture content and higher pH than typical retail pork, excellent marbling and a darker color. Sensory testing at Iowa State University shows higher pH products are more tender, juicy and flavorful. . All of their sires are 100% Duroc. The mothers of their pigs are productive white breeds, selected for their meat quality. The result being, it just plain tastes better. Detailed records of genetics, weight, feed and life history are kept for each animal.

Chef Tony Removes The Chine Bone From The Pork Rack

Evidence shows that the quality of the pork and the wholesome farming practices represents a clear difference between Vande Rose Farms Premium Duroc Pork and commodity pork being widely marketed.

Modern advances in pork production have created a number of headlines in recent years and consumers are rightly concerned about the negative impact certain practices have on the wellbeing of the animals, the environment and the people who work here and live nearby.

Preparing For The Product Cutting With Nate Weaton, President Of Vande Rose Farms In The Background

At Vande Rose Farms, they’ve stood firmly against many of the temptations that drive the industry today. In sharp contrast, they are a sustainable farm that goes to great lengths to do things the right way, assuring the resources they have been given remain for generations to come.

Steamship Leg Of Pork Rests Under The Heat Lamp

Farm technology has changed over the last century, but not everything new is better. they use technology where it makes sense, but clearly avoid it when it is going to hurt the environment, the animals or alter the natural quality of their pork. They were among the first to get hogs out of the filth and mud and into comfortable environmentally controlled facilities.

Bacon, Bellys, Loins, And Butts On Display At US Foodservice San Francisco

Their hogs are housed in a setting that ensures good health and quality growth, but they don't create a situation where the quality of our life or the wellbeing of our animals is compromised.

Chef Kirk Larsen Checks The 10/12 Count Bacon

Their hogs receive a rich diet of natural grains grown right here on our land, with absolutely no added growth promotants or antibiotics.

Great meals start with great ingredients and the Vande Rose Farms Artisian bacons and hams are no exception. Much of the bacon and ham produced these days is needled and injected with a "cure" that flavors and adds weight to finished product.

Vande Rose Farms Artisian Ham

After needling the bellies are usually tumbled and smoked within 24 hours. At Vande Rose Farms their Artisian products are process with a traditional style. They brine and cure their hams and bellies for as long as a week and then they slow smoke them over real applewood to seal in that amazing taste. No water is added so the ham and thick-sliced bacon retain a dense, meaty texture and maximum flavor.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Willpowder-Now Available Through US Foodservice San Francisco

Chef Will Goldfarb has spent the better part of a decade scouring the world for the best products from the worlds most innovative chefs. Whether you are an experienced chef, or novice home cook, having the best ingredients is essential. Willpowder is a careful selection of new kitchen staples. Anyone who has shopped in traditional markets knows that it is difficult to find satisfactory ingredients for baking. It is nearly impossible to find specialty technical products that home cooks would use to replicate some of the world’s most innovative dishes. Willpowder makes the experience feasible with its product line and online support network.

Spice, Willpowder, Smoked Salt, 1x1lb bag
Cold smoked over hickory in small batches using Sel Gris de Guérande coarse sea salt. The grey hue comes from its extremely high level of minerals and nutrients in the salt and from the smoking process. Adds smoky flavor to products when used as a finishing salt, mimicking the smoking process in a much lighter touch.

Spice, Willpowder, Tandoori, 1x1lb bag
Traditional East Indian spice blend produced in small batches. Gives a distinctive “oven roasted” or smoky flavor based on the traditional Indian method of clay oven cooking seasoned meats. Provides a savory contrast to sweet ingredients, and can provide a sensation of “roasting” to raw products.

Spice, Willpowder, Curry Powder, 1x1lb bag
Spice blend produced to mimic a Madras Curry. Curry Powder is an American or European blend of spices that is associated with Indian cuisines, whereas the blend of spices used in Authentic Indian cuisine is called Garam Masala. Traditional curry ingredients can include: pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, ginger, mace, turmeric, cardamom, tamarind, fennel seeds, and fenugreek.

Spice, Willpowder, Coconut Milk Powder, 1x1lb bag
Coconut Milk Powder is a unique product, spray-dried coconut milk that is shelf stable and easy to use. This product comes only from pure and freshly pressed coconut milk combined with natural stabilizers. Coconut milk powder is excellent for dry applications, confectionery items and other applications where control of viscosity is critical. It is also used as a flavoring ingredient for ice cream, yogurt, bakery products, packed food
sauces and beverages.

Spice, Willpowder, Honey Granuals, 1x1lb bag
Honey granules are free-flowing and relatively non-hygroscopic, providing increased production and handling ease. Moisture content being less than 1.5% results in a product with excellent shelf-life that does not support microbial growth. They reflect the typical characteristics of what you would expect from liquid honey without the water. They are produced via a co-crystallization process with refinery syrup (sucrose) and dried to granular form.

Spice, Willpowder, Soy Sauce Powder, 1x1lb bag
Spray dried form of high quality, naturally brewed liquid soy sauce. Maltodextrin is used as a carrier in the spray-drying process. Rich, meaty concentrated flavor and aroma. Reconstitute 1 part soy sauce powder to 1 1/3 parts water. Retains flavor during heat processing or freezing.

Spice, Willpowder, Heavy Cream Powder, 1x1lb bag
Spray dried sweet cream with 72% butterfat. Contains sweet cream, nonfat milk, sodium caseinate and anti-caking agent. Gives a rich flavor and creamy mouth feel to mixtures without adding moisture. Shelf stable dairy that can be added to products dry or be reconstituted with water or other liquids.

Spice, Willpowder, Tapioca Maltodextrin, 1x1lb bag
N-ZORBIT M is a tapioca maltodextrin derived from tapioca that has been specially designed to have a very low bulk density. It dissolves completely when in contact with any aqueous medium. This product is primarily used to increase the volume of dry mixes and frozen foods. In addition, this bland tasting maltodextrin functions excellently as a dispersant for dry ingredients in low solids preparations. Can stabilize high-fat ingredients and which can then be transformed into powders.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Annual Cost to Hire Dining Room Staff

Major U.S. Cities
Actual: 2008
San Francisco
Minimum wage (no tip credit) $ 9.36
Annual Wage Increase (assumed at 3.5% per year)
Server Labor Cost $ 18,720
Sick Leave Cost $ 618
Payroll Tax & Work Comp $ 2,995
Mandatory Health Care $ 2,340
Total Annual Cost $ 24,673
Cost for 12 Workers $296,076

New York
Minimum wage (w/Tip Credit) $ 4.60
Server Labor Cost $ 9,200
Payroll Tax & Work Comp $ 1,472
Total Annual Cost $ 10,672
Cost for 12 Workers $128,064

Minimum wage (w/Tip Credit) $ $3.90
Server Labor Cost $ 7,800
Payroll Tax & Work Comp $ 1,248
Total Annual Cost $ 9,048
Cost for 12 Workers $108,576

Minimum wage (w/Tip Credit) $ 2.63
Server Labor Cost $ 5,260
Payroll Tax & Work Comp $ 842
Total Annual Cost $6,102

Cost for 12 Workers $73,219

Posted By: Michael Bauer (Email) | May 14 2009 at 05:04 AM

Monday, May 11, 2009

Va De Vie Bistro and Wine Bar

Mother’s Day Weekend was spent shopping, eating, and drinking with Amanda in the other Bay Area.

Saturday night we stopped at Va De VieBistro and Wine Bar. We each had a crisp Sauvignon Blanc to go with our Pan Asian small plates. We split a roasted beet salad, slow cooked spicy pulled pork sandwich, served on a brioche roll, grilled tomatoes, arugula with house-made chips and a yummy miso beef salad.

The restaurant was crowded and had a short wait even though it was still only around the 4:00 hour. Prices on the 6 oz wines by the glass were from $7-$18 range. Small plates ranged in the $9-$12 range.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Now In Stock At US Foodservice SF: Black Garlic

Black Garlic is fresh garlic that is aged in a “fermentation” process that involves a heating process for thirty days. This process results in a deep dark rich color, thus the name “Black Garlic” and sweet almost molasses like flavor that will please any garlic lover. This ingredient is slowly gaining ground in culinary circles across the nation.

Inventor Scott Kim began developing the product in South Korea in 2004. His goal originally was to market aged or fermented black garlic as a super-food: Its patented, month-long heat-curing process creates a high level of antioxidants and a natural cancer-preventing compound. Forms of fermented garlic have long been eaten for health reasons in Korea and Japan.

Kim formed a company called Black Garlic Inc. last year, bringing on John Yi, a longtime garlic producer. Based in Hayward, Calif., the company is the sole manufacturer and supplier in the United States. Heads of garlic grown on Jeju Island, South Korea, are used, but Kim plans to process California-grown garlic soon as well.

A year before Kim's company was up and running, Bruce Hill, executive chef and part-owner of Bix restaurant in San Francisco, tried black garlic for the first time in Kyoto, Japan. A friend and fellow chef piped beads of black garlic paste around a composed vegetable and chicken salad and used it in a tapenade.

Hill, a Bethesda native who also co-owns Picco restaurant in Larkspur, Calif., loved the ingredient's complexity. "I'd heard of it before," he says. "It lends itself to Mediterranean flavors . . . things like roasted peppers and olives," he told in this article.

This product is now available from US Foodservice San Francisco, USPN #7430473.

Weekly market report update

Weekly market report update

Date: May 6, 2009

Grocery Overall

Long Grained Milled Rice- gradual increase

Pinto Beans - steady
Durum Wheat - steady

Cheese Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Block Cheese steady Barrels closed at $ 1.0875 and 40# blocks at $1.1525. The weekly average for barrels is $1.0920 (-.0170) and blocks, $1.1570 (-.0210). The CME Group cash cheese market is weak. The barrel price on the cash market fell below the CCC purchase price (support) of $1.10 for the first time since January. Current cheese offerings of regular varieties are at least adequate with loads accumulating at some plants. While some stockpiling of product for fall needs continues, most packaged interest is for short term needs. Retail orders are being prepared for Memorial Day weekend promotions along with a pickup in food service orders from summer vacation locations. Milk supplies available for manufacturing are even to often above year ago levels. In some areas, fat and protein levels in the milk are lower than normal, reducing cheese yields.(Source: USDA Dairy Market News, Week of April 27-May 1, 2009)
Barrel Cheese steady See comments for Block Cheese listed above.

Dairy - Butter Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Butter AA steady Grade AA closed at $1.2300. The weekly average for Grade AA is $1.2270 (+.0175). The cash butter price at the CME Group remains firm and closed the week at $1.2300. This is the highest cash price thus far in 2009 and compares to $1.4350 last year at this time. Churning schedules across the country remain quite active as cream supplies are available to butter producers. Current churning activity is fully sufficient to meet current needs with excess clearing to inventory for future use. Overall butter demand is steady and typical for the period following a holiday. (Source: USDA Dairy Market News, Week of April 27-May 1, 2009)

Dairy - Egg Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Large Egg (Northeast Market) gradual decrease 0
Large Egg (Southeast Market) gradual decrease 0
Large Egg (Midwest Market) gradual decrease 0
Large Egg (South central Market) price decrease 0
Large Egg (Northwest Market) gradual decrease 0
Large Egg (California Market) gradual decrease 0

Dairy - Milk Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
FMO Base Skim Class I price increase The Federal Milk Order base Class I skim milk price released on April 17, 2009 is $7.01 for May, up from $6.56 for April.

Poultry - Chicken Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Georgia Dock steady Beginning of seasonal increases and grilled chicken introduction to QSR menus should move market upward
NE Boneless Breast steady Some strength seen as whole bird and front of bird prices firm.
NE Select Boneless Breast steady Some strength seen as whole bird and front of bird prices firm.
NE Wings steady Momentary plateau before prices continue their decline
NE Jumbo Wings steady Momentary plateau before prices continue their decline
NE Tenders steady Steady this week on so-so food service demand
NE Small Tenders steady Steady this week on so-so food service demand
NE Boneless Thigh Meat Special Trim steady At or near their peak, about as much as end users are willing to pay.

Boxed Beef Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Boxed Beef Cutout, Choice steady The Beef grilling season is upon us and annual industry harvest levels will increase into summer. As harvest levels increases some prices within the Beef complex will begin to adjust lower.
Boxed Beef Cutout, Select steady The Beef grilling season is upon us and annual industry harvest levels will increase into summer. As harvest levels increases some prices within the Beef complex will begin to adjust lower.
81% Lean Fine Ground Beef price decrease Expect steady prices at current values during May.
Inside (Top) Rounds - Commodity Trim, Choice price decrease The market should remain generally steady through early and mid May.
Inside (Top) Rounds - Commodity Trim, Select price decrease The market should remain generally steady through early and mid May
Heavy Lip On Rib Eyes, Choice steady Rib meat has been supported and/or featured for Mother's Day feature then Memorial Day. Minor downward price adjustment may occur in the week's ahead
Heavy Lip On Rib Eyes, Select steady Rib meat has been supported and/or featured for Mother's Day feature then Memorial Day. Minor downward price adjustment may occur in the week's ahead
5/up PSMO Tenderloins, Choice steady Retail and Foodservice demand has been limited. Fewer Tenderloins will be available as consumers support Retail Porterhouse and T-Bone advertised features. PSMO Tenderloins prices may begin experiencing price resistance because prices increased so quickly.
5/up PSMO Tenderloins, Select steady Retail and Foodservice demand has been limited. Fewer Tenderloins will be available as consumers support Retail Porterhouse and T-Bone advertised features. PSMO Tenderloins prices may begin experiencing price resistance because prices increased so quickly.
0X1 Strip Loins Boneless Strip Loins, Choice steady Strip Loins prices should rally early in May driven by Retail demand, warmer weather and the outdoor grilling season.
0X1 Strip Loins Boneless Strip Loins, Select steady Strip Loins prices should rally early in May driven by Retail demand, warmer weather and the outdoor grilling season.
Heavy Top Sirloin Butts - Commodity Trim, Choice gradual decrease Prices are at seasonal highs and pre-booked orders have been filled resulting in minor downward price adjustments.
Heavy Top Sirloin Butts - Commodity Trim, Select steady Prices are at seasonal highs and pre-booked orders have been filled resulting in minor downward price adjustments.
Tri Tips, Fat On, Choice price decrease Foodservice and Retail demand is at seasonal highs. With Cinco De Mayo behind us price demands may begin to relax.
Tri Tips, Fat On, Select gradual decrease Foodservice and Retail demand is at seasonal highs. With Cinco De Mayo behind us price demands may begin to relax.
Flap Meat, USDA Choice steady Foodservice and Retail demand is at seasonal highs. With Cinco De Mayo behind us price demands may begin to relax.
Flap Meat, Select gradual increase Foodservice and Retail demand is at seasonal highs. With Cinco De Mayo behind us price demands may begin to relax.
2/up Ball Tips, Choice gradual decrease Low cost Sirloin Steak
2/up Ball Tips, Select price decrease Low cost Sirloin Steak
Boneless Beef Briskets, Choice 0 0
Boneless Beef Briskets, Select steady High volume, forward booked, Retail purchase of Briskets for Memorial weekend has put a temporary bottom into the market. The market has the strength to remain above seasonal and historical prices levels into June
Outside Skirts, Commodity Trim steady Domestic demand remains flat. Export volume is absent from the marketplace.

Pork Overall category update The H1N1 "Swine Flu" concerns are causing buyers to be very cautious on pork purchases. In addition, the potential for export trade disruptions may put a cap on overall demand. If trade restrictions continue the "Spring Rally" we've been talking about may be delayed or may not occur altogether.
Item Pricing situation Comments
Pork Loin Boneless w/Strap price decrease Boneless loins, just like the Bone-In category struggled last week under H1N1 concerns; prices are expected to trade steady over the next few weeks prior to move higher in mid May under tighter supplies; Strap on product is not expected to reach 2008 levels.
Pork Loin Boneless Strap Removed gradual increase Boneless loins, just like the Bone-In category struggled last week under H1N1 concerns; prices are expected to trade steady over the next few weeks prior to move higher in mid May under tighter supplies
Pork Loin 21dn 1/4 in. lgt Bone In gradual decrease Bone-In loins along with other fresh pork cuts struggled last week under H1N1 concerns; prices are expected to trade steady over the next few weeks prior to move higher in mid May under tighter supplies; prices on bone-in loins are expected to peak prior to Memorial day then take a slight move backward immediately afterward
Loin Back Ribs steady Backribs are expected to increase as we move closer to Memorial Day and will hold their values after it as well
Hams 20/23 price decrease Both heavy and light ham values are very soft as buyers remain cautious on overall pork purchases; supplies should begin to tighten by mid May and prices should begin to gradually move upward under these tighert suppliers.
Pork Bellies 14/16 gradual decrease Belly prices were not immuned to the market softness we saw last week; prices are a good value right now and forecasters do believe the risk is weighted to the upside right now.
Pork Butts, 1/4 in. trim 5-10# price decrease Forecasters expect prices to begin to climb as we head toward Memorial day
Spare Ribs gradual increase Prices are expected to trade gradually higher through the middle of May.
Sow 550 & up price increase Prices are expected to remain steady throughout April and move gradually higher toward the end of May; If the H1N1 virus concerns worsen there is a good possibility that producers will begin liquidating sows
Pork Trimmings 42% (Combo Fresh) #N/A #N/A
Pork Trimmings 72% (Combo Fresh) price decrease Seasonal demand for pork trim is expected to pick up significantly; Once the momentum starts prices on both lean and fat trim should continue to increase
Beef Trimmings 50% (Combo Fresh) steady Seasonal demand driven by retail should begin push prices higher
Beef Trimmings 90% (Combo Fresh) steady Seasonal demand driven by retail should begin push prices higher

Seafood Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Domestic Shrimp steady The situation in the Gulf of Mexico is little
changed from a week ago and the market was largely unchanged.
There is still some pressure in larger count shrimp, especially 16/20
count brown shrimp. White HLSO shrimp were steady. PUD’s were
generally steady, with the exception of some weakness on 61-70 count.
Moving on to the supply situation, landings are still brisk, though we
again caution that widespread production has yet to commence in the
region. According to the NMFS, U.S. Gulf domestic shrimp landings
for March 2009 totaled 2.952 million lbs. (headless weight) compared
to 1.014 million in March 2008. This brings the 2009 cumulative total
to 10.963 million lbs., or roughly 52 percent above the same period
last year.
Mexican Shrimp steady 16-20 count Mexican white shrimp continue barely
steady and unsettled with some off erings noted lower, especially for
volume. 21-25 through 36-40 count Latin white shrimp are unsettled
as supplies improve for a fairly quiet demand. Smaller count shrimp
are steady, supplies only adequate.
Asian Blk Tigers steady Some lower off erings are noted on 8-12 count and
larger shrimp. 13-15 and 16-20 count are about steady. Smaller count
shrimp are full steady with some premiums noted; supplies are rated tight.
Vannamei Shrimp (Asian, So Amer,Indian) price increase The market for HLSO shrimp from all areas was unchanged.
Certain sellers have lowered their off erings, especially from Asia, but are
in-line with our quotations.
Domestic Catfish steady Channel Catfish season in China is complete until September. Supplies of catfish fillets held in cold storage are ample to meet market demand. The 2008 season ended with over 23 million pounds of Channel Catfish imported into the US, a 32% increase over the previous season. Swai continues to gain demand in the US, and there is still a pressure on pricing as worldwide demand has changed due to the economic situation. Swai traditionally has held a lower price point than Tilapia- which is currently trending towards lower pricing, and Swai should follow.
Cod steady Double frozen Atlantic and Pacifi c Cod is barely
steady to weak as off erings increase and replacement pricing
moves lower. Single frozen Atlantic and Pacifi c Cod are also
unsettled with a weak undertone.
Pollock steady 0
Salmon Wild/Farm Raised steady Farmed Salmon: The Northeast wholefish market is steady at
listed levels.
The European wholefi sh market advanced; supplies are barely
adequate for an active demand. A few higher off erings are also noted.
The European fillet market is also fi rm. Supplies are barely
adequate for an active demand. A few still higher off erings have
been collected.
The Chilean fillet market trended slightly higher on 2-up fi llets;
supplies are light for a moderate demand. 1-2 pound fi llets, on
the other hand, are unsettled; both higher and lower off erings
and sales have been collected. A few lower off erings are
reported on larger volume sales.
The Chilean Steelhead market remains steady at listed levels.
The West Coast wholefi sh market trended higher on 10-12, 12-
14, and 14-16 fish. Supplies are light on mid-to-larger sized fi sh
amid a moderate to active demand. Smaller wholefi sh, 6-8 and
8-10s are steady for a moderate demand.
Crab steady King Crab: Both the red and golden king crab markets trended
lower on 20 and up crab. Supplies are fully adequate to ample for
a lackluster demand. A few still lower off erings are noted.
AK Opilio: The market continues about steady; a few lower
off erings are reported. Supplies are adequate to fully adequate
for a quiet demand.Canadian Snow Crab: The market is remains unquoted and very
unsettled. New season product is now being off ered and sold;
sizes available are mainly 4s and 5-8s from Newfoundland. Last
season inventory is also readily available in the spot market and
off erings vary from seller to seller.
Scallops gradual decrease There has been much fishing activity since March 1st when the 2009 fishing year started. Over 66% of the fleet has made at least 3 closed area trips out of the 5 allowed this year. Many boats only have 2 closed area trips remaining and 35 open area fishing days. This strong fishing effort will continue with 90% of the fleet having done 4 closed area trips and one third of the 35 open days done by June 15th. On June 15, most boats will converge on closed area # 2 to make the 1 trip allowed. After this 1 trip in closed area 2, the boats will finish their open area days. By early to mid August, 75% of the fleet will be finished with the closed area and open days for 2009.

Landings to date have been mostly 20% U/10's and U/12's and 80% 10/20 count. These sizes have been caught in closed areas. Once the closed area trips are finished, we will see less big ones landed and the majority size will be 10/20's and 20/30's caught from open area days.

Prices to the boats for their catch are basically .50 less than last year at this time. The economy has had some influence, but many buyers have not stepped in yet to make their frozen purchases for the year. Without this segment of large volume buyers stepping into the market, there have been days where there is 100,000 to 150,000lbs of scallops on the auction and the trips have stuggled to be sold. On these days the price have been lower Other days with less landings the prices have been higher.

Prices will likely not get lower. When the buying increases for all during the late spring and then summer, + the large volume guys step in, prices will rise on the remaining/diminishing volume available.

Oil & Shortening Overall category update Soybean Oil markets rallied sharply last week, following Soybeans and other commodities. Strength of recent rallies is to be determined and increased export demand will continue to pressure this year's crops to produce at least at trend lines. The USDA will release updated supply/demand numbers on 5/12, which will contain the first official estimates for the 2009/2010 crop year and should impact nearby pricing.
Item Pricing situation Comments
Corn price increase 0
Soybean Oil gradual increase 0

Bakery Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Winter Wheat (Hard Red) 0
Spring Wheat (Hard Red) 0

Other Overall category update 0
Item Pricing situation Comments
Tuna - skipjack 0

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nate Appleman Rising Star Chef O' The Year At Beard

I read this great article about Nate Appleman in Meatpaper magazine, written by Marcia Gagliardi a freelance food writer and founder and publisher of The article entitled When Life Gives You Offal, Make Meatballs explores nose to tail cooking in the bay area featuring Chefs like Ryan Farr, Russell Moore and of course Appleman.

The concept he described with the commisary butcher program reminded me alot of Peninsula Gourmet Markets, and I always love to hear when that concept is working well.

Just last week I traded emails about A16 and SPQR with Gary O' from Pebble Beach Food and Wine who is practically a regular at A16 and said he had an extrodinary ingredient driven meal at SPQR recently.

So Chef Nate Appleman was fresh in mind when the James Beard Foundation named him Rising Chef of The Year. He was the only West Coast winner.

A graduate from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, the native of Greenville, Ohio has worked across the country, honing his skills at restaurants including Maisonette in Cincinnati, Brasa in Seattle, Campton Place in San Francisco (where he met his wife, Clarisse), The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco, and Tra Vigne in St. Helena, California.

"When I was very young, my grandfather was a butcher, and I remember seeing large pieces of meat hanging in his grocery store. Then things changed—meat went from hanging to packaged. Then, when I was at cooking school, I butchered a cow; it triggered memories and I was hooked. It’s what I look forward to every single day, butchering.”-Nate Appleman

NYC restaurants take top honors at Beard Awards

By Bret Thorn

NEW YORK (May 5, 2009)

Nate Appleman, chef of A16 in San Francisco, was named "Rising Star" chef of the year, while New York City establishments nearly swept the restaurant honors at the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards.

New York City restaurants won big at Monday night's awards ceremony here, with Momofuku Ko taking the prize as best new restaurant. Jean Georges was named outstanding restaurant, and Dan Barber, executive chef and owner of Blue Hill in New York and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y., won the outstanding chef award.

Gina De Palma of Babbo in New York was named outstanding pastry chef, and the outstanding service award went to restaurant Daniel, also in New York. Drew Nieporent of the Myriad Restaurant Group was named restaurateur of the year.

Appleman's "Rising Star" award recognizes a chef aged 30 or younger who is deemed likely to make a significant impact on the restaurant industry.

“Being recognized by my peers is one of the greatest honors ever,” a teary Appleman said at the awards ceremony.

Read the full story and see pictures from the event at NRN here.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Garden To Table Restaurants

With land a premium here on the Peninsula and the Salinas Valley at the back door, much of the produce in our local restaurants is purchased.

The Construction Of The Living Wall At The LALLAgrill

Many of those items come from smaller family farms that grow first and then go offer Chef's their pick of specialty items.

Pat Ottone at the LALLAgrill overcomes the limited space issue by growning his own herbs on a living wall.

Zapotec Pleated Tomato

Chef Luis Osario harvests fresh herbs for LALLAgrill and LALLApalooza right on the patio outside the door.

Jon Kaskey partner at Paradise Catering in Carmel Valley already has acres and gives the "Garden Update."

Yellow Ruffled

As of last call Jon and Nancy had just returned from a food tour in Italy. Currently they have 150 tomatoes in the ground with burried soaker hoses and organic compost from their catering. They have 150 more tomatoes in planters ready to go in the ground, and 200 more seedlings in growing boxes getting ready for transplant. Varieties include:
Yellow ruffled, a stuffer that has 2 to 3-inch fruit, deeply pleated like an accordion, with a hollow seed cavity perfect for stuffing. Pleasing, mild flavor.

Black Cherry

Pleated Zapotec a highly pleated pink fruit that is very unique. Good flavor and great presentation when sliced.

Black Cherry Plants produce a good quantity of purple/black cherry tomatoes that have a flavor that resembles Black Krim.

They are also growing peppers, cucumbers, and many of their fresh herbs.

This article in the SF Gate explores other Bay Area Garden to Kitchen restaurants.
This time of year, many Bay Area chefs have a split personality: They are behind the stove at night and nursing young plants in their garden during the day.

Jon Kaskey And Nancy Rohan of Paradise Cater Are Happy About Their Garden

The California style of cooking is ingredient-driven, which means that cooking starts in the garden. Take that a step further, and it's only natural chefs would want to cultivate their own.

Dozens of chefs have carved out plots either adjacent to their restaurants or nearby so they can control what comes in to the kitchen; many other chefs have special relationships with farmers who grow special crops for them.

It makes for some fresh, exciting eating. A little dirt on the fingers seasons the pot nicely.

Read the full story here.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pork Shoulder 403

The pork butt and the pork cushion are both from the pork shoulder …the upper 1/2 is the pork shoulder Butt # 406 and the bottom Half is Pork Shoulder Picnic…AKA Cushion # 405.

The "cushion" comes from the Pork Shoulder Picnic (or Arm), The picnic shoulder is more economical than the Boston Butt, but also contains more fat than the blade shoulder. When the bone and fat is trimmed from this cut it results in a very rich flavored roast. The meat from this cut is excellent for making juicy barbecued pulled pork. The Picnic has a large bone and joint that runs through the middle of the roast, one side has a large lean muscle...that is the "cushion". You can also slice and pound them for pork cutlets, stew meat, etc and use them in any chicken recipe.

The 'whole' pork shoulder (15-20 lbs) consists of the upper part (Boston Butt) and the lower part of the shoulder (the Picnic). You can purchase it whole, however most times it is found in the store separated into the two pieces mentioned above. The difference between Picnics and Boston Butts are the bone structure......the butt has a small shoulder blade bone and the picnic has the front leg bone and joint. The
picnic is normally sold with "skin on", whereas the Butt only has a small fat cap. Both have excellent bbq meat, but the Boston Butt has the better value.

Durham Ranch Saving The Earth Through Cattle Management

THE FIRST MILLIMETER HEALING THE EARTH BROADCAST: Spring/Summer 2009 PBS, check local listings

Mother Nature she can take us or leave us. We told her we loved her but she didn’t believe us.
We’ve got this world of ours running a fever. She tried to warn us, but we did not believe her.
Michael Kiely, Uamby Ranch, Australia


Healing the Earth takes us on a journey around the world and addresses the most crucial issue of our time, how to solve global warming. “We would only have to improve carbon percentage by 1% on our 450 million hectares of agricultural soil in Australia and we could sequester all of the planet’s legacy load of carbon,” states Christine Jones, PhD. Stanford Professor, Christopher Fields, PhD. observes, “You can think of soils as a bank account that has the capacity to really build up very large quantities of capital moving into the future.” James Hansen, PhD, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies adds, “Our agricultural practices could be modified to bring CO2 back down much more quickly.”

This groundbreaking documentary includes interviews with leading scientists as well as personal stories from farmers and ranchers on three continents to examine how carbon sequestration in top soil can not only curb global warming; but increase biodiversity and fertility, lessen the use of fertilizers and pesticides and utilize rainfall much more effectively.

The “how”, according to experts, may come from an unusual source; the hooves and mouths of domesticated animals. Emmy© Award winning filmmaker, Chris Schueler, shows how effective grazing plans in the Sonoran desert of Mexico, the almost infertile land in northern Zimbabwe and even the vast farmland in Australia as well as across the United States have changed the topsoil into a rich, productive, moisture laden land. “One of the best reclamation tools that we have found is the hoofs and mouths of our domestic animals”, says rancher Ivan Aguirre. And the results are amazing. “I found native species of plants that normally tend to be in riparian areas, near arroyos or slightly wet areas in the desert; they are found throughout the land,” remarks forestry professor, Alfonso Gomez Lopez.

As viewers take this stunningly filmed journey around the globe, the local children talk about how important the land must be to all of us. Through their voices we grow to realize the critical nature of this message. And we come to understand: THE ANSWER IS RIGHT UNDER OUR FEET.

A Night On Cannery Row

Just under 100 people enjoyed a family night on Cannery Row including the option of a show at IMAX theatre and dinner afterwards at Willy's Smokehouse that included appetizers,Smokehouse specialties and sides, dessert, beer, wine, and sodas.

This event for ACF members, partners, and Culinarian students-and their families attended. Chef Paul Lee emphasized that this is a focus on the "entire culinarian", incorporating family members in events too.

General Manager Dana Neikirk and his staff did a great job beginning with the passed appetizers, and continuing through the warm brownie sundaes. As he addressed the crowd explaining their dry rub, slow smoked process he asked for a show of hands on who didn't know what a beef brisket was. A good sign for the training of this group there were only 3 hands raised and those were all under 6 year olds.

Chef Abe Vickeryand his kitchen staff provided flawless service in preparing a wonderful meal for a large group of descerning eaters!

Mark Jones, ACF event coordinator who was there with his wife Kristin and two sons said, "The service was great and food outstanding! I couldn't get enough of the Brisket and Willy's homemade chili was killer! My son loved the blue soda and my little guy enjoyed the homemade chicken strips(not many places make their own!) We would like to thank everyone who attended to support ACF and to all those that couldn't make it-we look forward to seeing you next time. We have two events in the works right now and I will keep you posted. Keep an eye out for ACF, Monterey on Facebook-coming soon!"

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Pitfalls of Being Fully Connected

Do you remember what we thought the world was going to look like when we were all grown up? Robots were going to do our housework, our clean burning hovercrafts would transport us around town, don’t get me started about how convenient particle transporters were going to make life? Beam me up Scotty!

Instead we run around with wireless bluetooths saying “what? What? WHAT?” People jump in on your conversations like you were talking to them. My computer beeps as it receives emails at 75 mph zipping down the freeway. Cars swerve as people text and picture message. What ever happened to simply crimping your eyelashes while driving?

Friday I walked into the OB/GYN’s office with my daughter. Doctor’s offices used to be one of those places that always requested cell phone silence. Not this office the two ladies behind the desk both had Bluetooth’s in their ears, and commented right away about “Dad bringing his work with him”. As we laughed and I explained that I was the “food sales guy” an email popped in on the computer with its telltale beep and the cell rang.

The call was from Larry King, one of my drivers and went like this:

Larry: Boy its loud there are you in a nightclub?

Me: No I’m at the doctor’s office.

Larry: What?

Me: No I’m at the doctor’s office.

Larry: The where office?

Me: I’m at the OB/GYN.
Larry (father of two teenage boys) sounds perplexed and the ladies in the office are now chuckling.

Larry: I have an invoice with two cases of two different olive oils, was this supposed to deliver today?

Me: Oh the blend and the extra virgin?
The ladies in the office lose it now, all heads in the office turn and a grey haired gentleman says “what do you sell again?”

One of the ladies behind the counter asks me “so you sell condiments” and I respond condom mints? I sell all kinds of mints. (be Dum Dum)

You gotta take the moments when you can get them!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Housemade Hotdogs

We are back from another Meatpaper Meat party, this one at Camino Restaurant on Grand Aveue in Oakland. The location was good, one could complain that there were a few too many people there-but I certainly couldn't be that one to complain since I had to beg just to buy my ticket to get in at a late date-and they accomodated me!

More about the meat party later but the most popular item there was a house made pork corndog. As these treats came off the line wrapped in an almost crispy corn meal coating they were snatched up immediatly. In fact folks hovered around the open hearth kitchen, the anticipation was palpitable. As the night wore on there were still cheers across the restaurant as some deserving sole or another was treated with a specially made corn dog, served directly to them at the table without having to fight the hoards at the kitchen line. It was like winning the loto.

One of the most exciting corn dog experiences I had before that was at the Pelican Tavern in PG, where they were serving foot long dogs that were house battered and fried. I heard about these from Kathy Duron at the Lodge at Pebble and had to take 3teens out to dinner there where we ordered 4 kid meal foot longs. Last time we were there, the foot longs had been replaced by dinky, ordinary dogs that might have come out of the freezer.

In the last year I have had SRF American Kobe dogs, Akaushi prime hot dogs from Heartbrand, and the homewrecker Nepenthe 2:1 bacon wrapped deep fried hot dog. (The Nepenthe Dog was $15.95 by the way and came with a side salad that, upon request could be deep fried also). But my favorite hot dog ever was the frank I had right out of the smoke house during my Meat Cutter apprenticeship by in 1987. I took the processing house tour and 5 minutes into the tour swore off ever eating hot dogs again, until we came to the smokehouse and cut a fresh link off a rope of dogs and ate it right there.

The SF Gate weighs in with the article below:

Despite the legacy of local favorite Caspers, the Bay Area has never been a hot dog destination like New York or Chicago. But suddenly, restaurant chefs are making hot dogs from scratch and serving up local, boutique franks in unusual guises.

By focusing on pasture-raised, hormone-free meats, they are transforming what had been a guilt-inducing trashy treat into a trendy, fun and more sustainable way to indulge. Take note, however, that hot dogs made in small quantities from quality meats do cost more than your basic mystery-meat link.

At Cafe Rouge (1782 Fourth St., Berkeley; 510-525-1440), the emphasis is on Mediterranean fare and charcuterie. But now you can also order a hot dog (served with cabbage relish and potato chips, $7), made in-house from heritage breeds of Berkshire pork and Piedmontese beef. The dogs are also sold to go ($5) and in bulk ($10 a pound) at Cafe Rouge's meat market.

Read the full story here.


Chef Gabriel is the Western Regional Chef for Bonewerks traveled through Monterey with Brian Isaeff, Territory Manager on the Central Coast for US Foodservice San Francisco.

Bonewerks, originally called CulinArte´, was founded in 1998 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The company offers chefs a world exclusive—a line of pure and all-natural traditional stock reductions, providing them with the luxury of having the foundations for great sauces at their fingertips.

The foundation of any great stock is the bones. Bonewerks starts with fresh bones and oven roasts them to perfection. After adding the perfect blend of fresh vegetables, herbs, and spices, our chefs carefully monitor them in Bonewerks' state-of-the-art kitchen. The process of simmering, skimming, and reducing takes more than 24 hours per batch!

Our Glace line is true to form, using only a single species of bones. They are 100% pure, all natural, with no salt, wheat-free, gluten-free, no added gelatin, no artificial coloring, no added flavors, no dairy, no extracts, fat-free, trans fat-free, and carb-free.

Reduced, first-draw stocks thickened and seasoned for convenience and consistency. Use these premium sauces as is, or add your own distinctive signature.

The finest quality lamb, pork, duckling, and beef are oven roasted and infused with our premium Classic Demi Glace then slow braised for hours to achieve a perfect profile every time.

Demi Glace de Veau Classic
Prepared with oven-roasted, special-fed veal bones, fresh mire poix and herbs. Simmered, reduced, thickened and seasoned.

This economical, ready-to-serve sauce can be turned into a signature small sauce by simply adding an ingredient such as horseradish, mushrooms or peppercorns.

Packed in a 16 LB tub.

Chef Gabriel Chatten
"My greatest passion is for the dying art of classical sauce making."

Chef Gabriel has been in the culinary industry for more than ten years, working in all aspects of the trade. After receiving his B.A. in Professional Cooking and Baking from the Baltimore International Culinary College, he left to study abroad under the tutelage of Master Chef Timmons and participated in the Junior Culinary Olympics. Upon his return to the U.S., he accepted a position at the South Seas Resort on Captiva Island where he worked as Executive Sous Chef for two years.

Looking for new challenges, Gabriel moved to Boston to work with Lydia Shire at the landmark restaurant Bibas. Now residing in San Diego, he leaves his Executive Chef position at the historic U.S. Grant Hotel to become the Western Regional Chef for Bonewerks.

Still an active member of the ACF, Gabriel continues to work towards his CCE.

Notable achievements
Member, American Culinary Federation

Earned more than 20 gold medals in American Culinary Federation competitions

Studied in Ireland with Master Chef Peter Timmons

Participant, Junior Culinary Olympics

Friday, May 1, 2009

Benihana Inc. Opens New Franchise Location in Monterey

Here is one way to keep your name in the news, Benihana in Monterey closed around 6 or 8 months ago and re-opened in the same location.

Benihana Inc., operator of the nation's largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, announced the opening of its newest franchise location in Monterey, California.

PRESS RELEASE: MONTEREY, Calif. (April 30, 2009) - Benihana Inc. (NASDAQ: BNHNA; BNHN), operator of the nation's largest chain of Japanese theme and sushi restaurants, today announced the opening of its newest franchise location in Monterey, California.

The Monterey franchise restaurant, owned by Rumi & Mitsufumi Okabe, is the 16th Benihana restaurant in California. The restaurant offers a menu of tender steaks, juicy chicken and succulent shrimp prepared and served by entertaining chefs before guests seated at teppanyaki tables. Benihana Monterey also features a sushi menu with delicious innovations and a sake menu with selections typically found only in Japan.

The Monterey restaurant boasts a sushi bar, lounge seating, a full-service bar serving delicious specialty drinks and 14 teppanyaki tables. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. It is located at 136 Olivier St., near Fisherman's Wharf.

Stay tuned for the announcement that Brian Isaeff is now selling groceries in Monterey!!

National Honey Board Promotion Idea Calendar

Take Me Out To The Ballpark. Honey mustard is a top-rated squeeze for hot dogs, hamburgers and pretzels. Make it your signature spread at a la carte concessions.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a South of the Border Flair. Prepare Mexican-Style Honey Sweet Buns and honey-nutfilled empanadas for dessert.

For Mother's day, prepare cool honey strawberry or honey lemon tarts.

Roast Pears With Goat Cheese Balsamic and Honey

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 firm-ripe Bosc pears, halved lengthwise and cored
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 oz Manchego or mild fresh goat cheese, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Melt butter in an 8-inch square glass baking dish in middle of oven, about 3 minutes.

Arrange pears, cut sides down, in 1 layer in butter and roast in middle of oven until tender, about 20 minutes.

Pour vinegar over pears and roast 5 minutes more.

Transfer pears, cut sides down, to serving plates with cheese and spoon some of juices from baking dish over pears. Drizzle pears and cheese with honey and sprinkle with pepper.