Archive for June, 2008
Thursday, June 26th, 2008
Creating a buzz within the dining community is a top priority when opening a new restaurant. The Mansion on Peachtree recently demonstrated how partnering with a wine maker can generate excitement with the right crowd.
Neo Restaurant’s Chef Eric Chopin with Roland Biron, Director of Sales & Marketing for The Mansion on Peachtree.
The Mansion is a luxury property that invites intrigue naturally, but drawing attention to the hotel’s Neo Restaurant and re-introducing Atlanta to French Master Chef Eric Chopin helps deliver an extra bit of motivation to the pampered public. Chef Chopin was most recently with The Ritz Carlton in Buckhead.
The wine maker, ViÃ±a Ventisquero of Chile may be new to Georgia, but some of the people behind the name are veterans of Atlanta’s hospitality and beverage industry. Hosting the event Ventisquero were Ophelia Santos, formerly of Ali Oli restaurant in Buckhead, and Jaime Merino, formerly CEO of Vina MoraÃ±dÃ©. With a local connection to the Atlanta market (Ventisquero/Austral Wine’s US office is in Atlanta), Santos and Merino know the right venues and crowd to attract for a wine launch – journalists, in this case. Also at the table from Chile was Chief Winemaker, Felipe Tosso, and local distributor, Grapefields, joined the festivities.
ViÃ±a Ventisqueros’ Jaime Merino, Felipe Tosso, Facundo Porolli, and Ophelia Santos
Chef Chopin created a wonderful menu to pair with the wines. Along with introductions and discussion of each wine, restaurant and hotel staff was introduced to the guests. A couple of guest took sneak peaks at the rooms overhead, while most stayed contentedly in their seats soaking up the ambience, food and delicious wines.
A buzz can grow louder with well-crafted events. In this case, a new hotel, a new restaurant, and a new wine paired well to create a successful marketing event.
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
Check off all items in list below to eliminate your risk.
- Do I have a “Person In Charge” with assigned duties that has obtained their CFSM to answer question posed by the EHS during the inspection if onsite and/or have a person in charge to conduct duties while I am not onsite?
- Is my employee health policy written? Am I absolutely sure that no employees are working with prohibited symptoms or with illnesses or exposed to illnesses that are listed in the code?
- Are my employees washing their hands? Have they been trained how to, when to, where to and are they doing it? Are they touching ready to eat food with their bare hands or using tongs, deli paper, scoop, or gloves ? Do they know when to change their gloves and to wash hands before putting on new gloves?
- Do my employees know to not eat or drink in prep areas or the proper way to have a cup with lids and straw stored in prep area and/or to taste food, if needed?
- Do I know the required temperatures limits in the code and am I sure that during receiving, cooking , hot hold & cold hold, reheating for hot holding, and cooling temperatures are in compliance for all potentially hazardous foods?
- Are there any PHF’s that we cook to order or serve raw? Do I have a consumer advisory on each page of menu where these items are offered in capitol letters including disclosure/reminder-page or other approved notification?
- Do we prepare PHF and hold them for more than 24 hours? Or when commercially prepared PHFs are OPENED, do we have them date marked? Do I have a date marking system that is used consistently as described in the code?
- Are my food contact surfaces cleaned with an approved dishwashing system which requires surfaces to be washed, rinsed and sanitized with proper strength of chemical (test kit) or heat sanitization (thermometer)? Are they free of food particles and buildup and allowed to air dry including food equipment such as can openers, slicers, etc.?
- If I serve shellfish, do I have the tags in order on file? If I serve raw or under cooked fish, do I have proof that parasites have been destroyed? Do I have all food protected from contamination (raw below cooked-washed above ready to eat) during receiving, storage and preparation? Do I have damaged food segregated for pickup or discarded?
- Do I use any food additives (food colorings, sulfiting agents) and are they approved and used properly?
- Do I have posted CFSM certificate, choking poster, permit, inspection report, hand washing signs in restrooms that employees use and at prep handwash sinks, and consumer advisory if serving undercooked animal foods?
- Do I have a thermometer to probe the types of foods we cook, hold and serve? How do I calibrate it and how do I sanitize the probe?
- Do I use raw eggs in dressings without a consumer advisory when I could use pasteurized? If I serve unpasteurized juices, do they contain warning labels or prepared under an approved HACCP plan? If I serve a highly susceptible population, do I use pasteurized foods when required?
- Do I store my chemicals labeled and away from food? Are personal items stored away from food and cleaning supplies?
- Do I have a variance or HACCP plan where required? If so, do I have these plans onsite, the equipment to monitor critical limits and insure corrective action as required in the plan? Do I have the required records and am I verifying their accuracy?
- Do I understand the condition of my food service permit, my responsibility as the permit holder to comply, and access for inspection? Do I report new menu items that require new equipment or additional food safety procedures must be reported to the health authority? Do I understand that I must cease operation if imminent health hazards exist in my establishment?
Source: Georgia Department of Human Resources.
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
Fifth Group Restaurant Partners Robby Kukler, Steve Simon and Kris Reinhard announced that as of Saturday, July 19, Food Studio will be converting to a full-time event space managed by the company’s catering division, Bold AmericanÂ® Catering. This event space is located in the historic King Plow Arts Center and will spotlight menus created by Bold American Catering Executive Chef Todd Annis. For more information visit www.fifthgroup.com.
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008
June 25, 2008 from 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM at Cha Bella. Visit GRA website.
Tuesday, June 24th, 2008
Ownership of PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans has returned to the city where it all began with the sale of the company to New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew – the largest existing franchisees of PJ’s who plan to expand the roasting and franchise operations of the company. The Ballard Family – Paul, Steven and Scotty, along with a group of New Orleans business leaders – purchased PJ’s Coffee from Raving Brands of Atlanta, Georgia.
In addition to owning multiple PJ’s locations, the Ballard Family is also the creators of WOW CafÃ© and Wingery, now with 53 stores and still growing.
For Raving Brands, it appears to have successfully orchestrated the sale of its third concept to highly capable franchisors – Moe’s Southwest Grill to Focus Brands, Mama Fu’s Asian House to Murphy Adams Restaurant Group and now PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans to New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew. The largest existing franchisee of PJ’s Coffee, New Orleans Roast and New Orleans Brew currently own and operate five PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans locations and intend to develop and manage additional stores in the future. Its business model will focus on Louisiana and the greater Gulf Region and increased wholesale distribution from PJ’s Coffee’s own roasting facility.
Monday, June 23rd, 2008
Zagat Survey recently released the results of its new Atlanta Restaurants survey, with ratings and reviews of 828 of the best restaurants in greater Atlanta, Savannah and other outlying areas. The guide is based on the collective opinions of 3,287 frequent local diners, who bring roughly 629,000 annual meals worth of experience to this survey.
“This year’s survey reveals that even a slowing economy can’t stop Atlantans’ interest in dining out,” said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey. “84% of our surveyors say they are eating out more than or as much as they did two years ago, 67% say they’re spending more and only 5% say less. In addition there has been a recent influx of celebrity chefs to the city.”Atlanta surveyors named Bacchanalia as the Top Food winner this year — an accolade the restaurant has earned in every Zagat survey since 1996. Also familiar to the top five, Quinones Room, Rathbun’s, the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead Dining Room and Aria. Quinones Room took bragging rights for Top Service, while Bacchanalia, The Dining Room, Bone’s and Park 75 came in just behind. As for Decor, Nan Thai won top honors with Quinones Room coming second; The Dining Room, Canoe and Restaurant Eugene followed in order.
Atlanta’s expansion has lured celebrity chefs to set up shop all around town. Recent additions to the city include Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Spice Market, first seen in New York City; Straits, the brainchild of San Francisco chef Chris Yeo and recording artist Ludacris (Chris Bridges); and AquaKnox, which originated in Las Vegas. ‘Top Chef’s’ Tom Colicchio also has plans to open a Craft Atlanta late this summer.
The Atlanta Restaurants guide shows that an overwhelming 62% of surveyors say they are willing to pay more for sustainably raised food and 58% would pay more for organic dishes. In response, restaurants are popping up all over town with “green” appeal: Season Four ‘Top Chef’ finalist Richard Blais is serving Southern style farm-to-table fare at Home, while the new gastro-pub Cakes & Ale’s American-Italian cuisine is made from locally sourced seasonal ingredients and “humanely raised” meats.
A full 30% of surveyors said that low-carb, low-fat or heart-healthy options are extremely or very important to them when dining out, and 64% agree that trans fats should be banned.
On par with the rest of the country, Atlanta residents’ cuisine of choice is Italian (27%), but many southerners won’t let go of their roots — 20% say they’d choose American blue plates over any other kind. Twelve percent of surveyors say they’d choose Thai and only 3% mentioned Indian as their favorite. 63% cited “service” as the aspect of dining out that most irritates them.
Not much has changed since the last survey — gas prices (along with almost everything else) continue to rise, and 67% of Atlantans say they feel the brunt of the economic recession, as they’re spending more on meals than they did in 2006. Although the average meal cost in Atlanta increased 2.5% annually since the last survey, rising to $27.53, that’s still well below the national average of $33.80 and almost $17.00 less than the most expensive city — Las Vegas — with a whopping cost of $44.44. While meal prices continue to rise, Atlanta residents are still dining out 3.7 times per week, which is well above the Zagat national average of 3.3 meals per week. Atlantans also tip more at 19.3% than diners elsewhere — 19% nationally. Finally, surveyors said that during an average week, 52% of their lunches and dinners come from restaurants.
Saturday, June 21st, 2008
On June 11, Chef Todd English, Ted Turner and George McKerrow Jr. took the stage in Boston as featured guests at “The Green Restaurant Revolution,” a special breakfast hosted by the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. Together they talked about ways to improve and enhance sustainability practices in the foodservice industry. More than 200 Boston-area restaurateurs attended the program at The Institute of Contemporary Art.
Thursday, June 19th, 2008
June 19, 2008 at Villa Christina, www.chocolateforcf.org or call 404-325-6973.
Monday, June 16th, 2008
Participate in a brief survey regarding restaurant coffee needs by clicking this link. This survey is being conducted by a Georgia State University MBA student.
Saturday, June 14th, 2008
June 14, 2008 at Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center,Â www.brookhavenartsalliance.com or call 404-266-3426.
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