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  • 14 Aug 2014 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Visiting Nurse Health System’s In The Moment – A Celebration of Life on Thursday, October 16th at the Piedmont Driving Club will support hospice patients and their families. You can help by donating silent or live auction dining experiences like in-home dining, chef’s table, wine tasting, happy hour, etc. Please contact Katherine Reilly Katherine.Reilly@vnhs.org to donate and learn more at vnhs.org/inthemoment.
  • 14 Aug 2014 1:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Taste of Chamblee is fast approaching, with over 18 restaurants confirmed for the event! A special sponsorship opportunity is available for Chamblee Chamber of Commerce members. For all Chamber members who are interested in a sponsorship for the Taste of Chamblee, we would like to present a special offer this year. Chamber Members can sign up for a Gourmet Giver Sponsorship (see details below), for only $1,000! The Gourmet Giver sponsorship level is reserved for regular sponsors at $2,500.

    Gourmet Giver
    • 10 x 10 booth space
    • Dedicated social media post
    • Logo/Name on Event T-Shirt
    • Festival Signage
    • Logo/Link on Website
    • 30 food tickets
    Please contact Kembra at the Lighthouse if you are interested. Click here to see the regular sponsorship kit.

    Kembra Landry
    Chief Development Officer
    Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation
    Main: 404.325.3630 x 322
    Direct Line: 770.738.4676

  • 12 Aug 2014 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Atlanta, Georgia, August 12, 2014 – Atlanta Foodservice Expo announced today a Keynote Panel of Industry Leaders to take place on October 14th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm as a highlight to the second and final day of the 2014 Atlanta Foodservice Expo. The panel will bring together four local industry restaurant owners who will share their viewpoints on what it takes to succeed in the highly demanding, wonderful world of restaurant ownership.

    The Keynote Panelists are:
    Kevin Gillespie, Owner, Gunshow

    In May 2013, Kevin Gillespie opened his restaurant, Gunshow, in the Glenwood Park neighborhood of Atlanta. In February 2014, Gunshow earned the seventh spot on GQ magazine’s list of “12 Most Outstanding Restaurants.” His next restaurant Terminus City is scheduled to open in 2015. An Atlanta native, Gillespie began his culinary education at the Art Institute of Atlanta and went on to hold different positions at several well-known Atlanta restaurants including chef de partie at Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, sous chef at TWO Urban Licks and chef de cuisine at Woodfire Grill. In 2009, Nicolas Quiñones and Bernard Moussa of Five Senses Restaurants, LLC purchased Woodfire Grill and promoted Gillespie to executive chef. During Gillespie’s time at Woodfire Grill, the restaurant was featured on CNN and in Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and Men’s Health as a dining destination for visitors to Atlanta. Additional accolades include: a spot on Bravo’s Emmy and James Beard Awardwinning series “Top Chef” for the show’s sixth season, and Mother Nature Network’s top “40 Chefs Under 40” in 2009; Gayot.com’s “Top Five Rising Chefs” and semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award in 2010; nominated for Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef”, and named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in the magazine’s listing oftomorrow’s brightest stars in 2011; semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award, and “Best Local Chef” by Georgia Voice in 2012.

    Todd Ginsberg, Chef & Co-Owner, The General Muir
    Todd Ginsberg is the chef and co-owner of The General Muir as well as Fred's Meat & Bread and Yalla at Krog Street Market both scheduled to open late summer 2014. Locally, Atlanta Magazine and Eater Atlanta both named The General Muir their 2013 “Restaurant of the Year” and Creative Loafing named it the “Best New Restaurant” of 2013. Nationally, Bon Appetit magazine included The General Muir on its list of 50 Best New Restaurants for 2013 and GQ magazine included it on its list of 25 Best New Restaurants for 2014. Todd is a 2014 James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for Best Chef: Southeast and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. He started his career at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta under Joel Antunes and Bruno Menard, led the kitchens at Asher in Roswell, Georgia, and Madison's in Highlands, North Carolina, and spent time at Lucas Carton in Paris and at Alain Ducasse in New York. Upon his return to Atlanta, he worked for the Concentrics Restaurants group, serving as chef at both TAP and Trois, and was the chef at Bocado from its opening in 2009.

    Robby Kukler, Co-Founder & Partner, Fifth Group Restaurants
    The legacy began in 1993 when Robby Kukler and his partners opened South City Kitchen on Crescent Avenue in the heart of midtown Atlanta. A continued focus on innovation and growth led to the development of South City Kitchen in Vinings, La Tavola Trattoria, Ecco, The Original El Taco, Alma Cocina, Lure and one of the South’s most renowned catering companies, Bold American Events. These successful concepts make up what is now Fifth Group Restaurants – Atlanta’s awardwinning chef and community driven hospitality group. Over the past 21 years, Fifth Group Restaurants’ food, chefs, business practices, green initiatives and community work have been frequent features of high profile publications such as The New York Times, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Southern Living, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, USA Today and Esquire. Robby leads and mentors Fifth Group Restaurants’ Operations, Marketing and Recruiting teams as well as heads new concept development. He is a long-time member and advocate of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and frequent industry speaker and advisor.

    Todd Rushing, Partner, Concentrics Restaurants
    Todd Rushing’s presence in the Atlanta restaurant scene has been long-running. Rushing is a partner in the nationally acclaimed, Atlanta based, Concentrics Restaurants which owns, manages and develops nationally acclaimed concepts across the U.S. Rushing is responsible for creating innovative wine programs which have received numerous awards and recognition in publications such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler and more. In addition to owning Atlanta’s ONE. midtown kitchen, TWO urban licks, TAP, PARISH and The Spence, Rushing along with Bob Amick, current owner and founder of Concentrics Restaurants, offer a full-service development and management team that provides A to Z solutions to any food and beverage operational needs. Due to national hotel, corporate and individual interests, Concentrics Restaurants has partnered with Lodging Hospitality, Unicorp Development, First Hospitality, Tavistock, Sports Radio 790 The Zone, Legacy Property Group, France Developments, The Novare Group, ECD Company, and more to launch and grow nationally successful concepts under the Concentrics’ umbrella in Chicago, St. Louis, San Diego, Charlotte, Winter Park, FL and beyond. Concentrics Restaurants have been named to Condè Nast Traveler’s “Hot List”; Bon Appetit’s “Hot 50 Tables”; Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants” and has been nominated for several James Beard Awards including “Outstanding Restaurateur” and “Best Restaurant”.

    To add to this impressive line-up of panelists, the keynote session will be moderated by Steak Shapiro, Founder & Host of Atlanta Eats. 
    With a name like Steak, it’s no surprise that he would carve out a career in food. From Atlanta, by way of Boston, Steak Shapiro has been one of the most entertaining food and television personalities for the better part of two decades. He cut his teeth on sports radio, and has been tapped by Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and ESPN to provide commentary for years. As the longest running talk show host in Atlanta, his voice is instantly recognizable. His passion for food has made him a culinary giant. When Steak noticed that his beloved city didn’t have local food programming, he took a page from his own playbook and founded Atlanta Eats in 2012. He has hosted the award winning show for 5 seasons, and guides diners through Atlanta’s vibrant food scene leaving no fork unturned. Steak is also the founder and CEO of Bread ‘n Butter Productions which creates compelling video content throughout the nation. Working with world class brands, and stars known throughout the world, Bread ’n Butter has been able to establish itself as THE premier culinary production company. This fall, Steak can be found on the Food Network show, Food Truck Face Off. 

    Atlanta Foodservice Expo is the only event in Georgia and the Southeast to bring together under one roof all sectors of the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries with a broad range of the best suppliers. The show will be held October 13 – 14, 2014 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

    For more information please visit www.AtlantaFoodserviceExpo.com.
    Media Contacts:
    Atlanta Foodservice Expo
    Stephanie Everett, EVP & COO, 770-432-4200 x105, Stephanie.Everett@ExpoDevCo.com

    Brianna Morris, Marketing Manager, 770-432-4200 x110, Brianna.Morris@ExpoDevCo.com

    ###

  • 12 Aug 2014 4:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    A once-in-a-lifetime culinary collaboration between two renowned chefs will kick off Atlanta’s Taste America weekend on Friday, September 12 at King Plow Event Gallery. Dubbed A Night of Culinary Stars, the exclusive dining event will benefit the James Beard Foundation. The JBF Taste America evening will begin with a reception filled with bites and libations from local chefs, including Billy Allin, Ford Fry, Asha Gomez, Linton Hopkins and Kevin Rathbun. Afterwards, guests will be seated for an exceptional dinner prepared by Barbara Lynch and Anne Quatrano who have been paired together to create a unique multi-course menu diners won’t forget.

    On Saturday, September 13, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., join chef Barbara Lynch and chef Anne Quatrano for a day of free culinary events at Sur la Table at North Point mall, featuring cooking demonstrations, book signings, tastings and fun for the whole family.

    The James Beard Foundation will donate a portion of the evening’s proceeds to the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® Scholarship Fund. Local culinary students are invited to apply for this culinary scholarship through jamesbeard.org.

    Click here to reserve tickets, or for more information on events or local sponsorship in Atlanta, please email Julia Baker or call 404.888.9348.
  • 12 Aug 2014 10:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    U.S. Department of Transportation
    Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
    Safety Administration 

    On July 1, 2014, a large propane cylinder belonging to a mobile food truck operator in Philadelphia, PA, ruptured and exploded, resulting in two deaths and 11 injuries - one person remains in critical condition. In light of this serious incident, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is taking action to address the hazards associated with the use of propane cylinders in the mobile food truck industry to ensure the safety of its employees and the public.

    Many food trucks rely on propane tanks as a means to prepare food. What you may not know is that both propane (Class 2.1, Flammable Gas), and the cylinder in which it is stored, are regulated by the Hazardous Material Regulations (HMR). Cylinders containing flammable gases are required to fully conform to the packaging, qualification, maintenance, and use requirements of the HMR.

    Our goal is to raise awareness of this important safety concern with the mobile food truck industry, specifically, the hazards of using poor condition or out-of-test propane cylinders. We encourage you to inspect your cylinders on a regular basis to ensure they are safe for use.

    We will host two 30 minute informational webinars on Thursday, August 14, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. (EST) and 2:00 p.m. (EST). These sessions will provide you information on:
    1. How to check propane cylinders to determine if they are safe;
    2. What to do if your cylinder is out-of-test;
    3. General safety tips for using propane cylinders.
    To register for either of the two webinars, please click on the link below. If you have questions on how to register, please contact Aaron Mitchell at (202) 366-0579 or aaron.mitchell@dot.gov.

    https://www150.livemeeting.com/lrs/1100004049/Registration.aspx?pageName=hrqdgh840km7bxvd

    Documents for Download:

  • 11 Aug 2014 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Contact: Lauren Perkins
    The Barter Company
    lauren@barterco.com
    770-591-4343
    For Immediate Release

    Kennesaw, GA (August 1, 2014) -- The Barter Company, a recognized leader in the barter industry, announced today that three of its clients, Copeland's New Orleans restaurant, Wholesale Office Furniture Distributors, and Magellan Transit Media have reached the company's million dollar club level.

    To reach the million dollar club level, a barter client must exchange goods and/or services worth at least $1 million within the 2,500-member network. Copeland's trades food and beverage from its restaurant, Wholesale Office Furniture Distributors exchanges high-end office furniture, and Magellan Transit Media trades truckside advertising space with other barter clients.

    People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. "Companies are using barter more and more," said Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. "The benefits for them are improved cash flow, cost savings, and new customers through their door."

    About The Barter Company
    The Barter Company has established itself as the leading force in the barter industry throughout the Southeast with offices in Georgia and Florida. TBC provides businesses with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle transactions. The company acts as a third-party records keeper, providing clients with monthly statements that reflect all barter purchases, sales, and current barter dollar balance. For more information, visit The Barter Company's website.
    ###
  • 11 Aug 2014 3:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release 
    Contact: Bob Cucchi 
    TEAM Georgia  
    cucchira@bellsouth.net
    770-490-1243

    Turner Field, Atlanta, GA - August 10, 2014. The first ever TEAM Georgia Captain Herb Emory Community Service Award was presented today at Turner Field prior to the Atlanta Braves game with the Washington Nationals before a large crowd of Braves baseball fans.  

    The Award was named after famed WSB traffic reporter and community activist Captain Herb Emory who was a founding Board member of TEAM Georgia back in 1985. This new award will be presented annually to someone who has worked with TEAM Georgia and has exhibited the actions, qualities and traits that Captain Herb not only spoke about every day, but exemplified during his life.

    TEAM Georgia Chairman Ron Fennel presented the first award posthumously to Captain Herb with his wife Karen Emory accepting the Award. In presenting the award Fennel said, “On behalf of the hundreds of members of TEAM Georgia’s family, I am pleased to present this award to Herb Emory for his most valued work and commitment to TEAM Georgia for the last 26 years. Karen, I know that Herb would be humbled and honored to receive this award and for you to accept it in his place. Please accept our best wishes and great thanks for sharing him with us and the life he lived, which was a great example to/for all of us.”

    Background
    TEAM Georgia is a nonprofit group made up of business leaders, government and public safety officials, and members of Atlanta’s professional sporting teams. Our unique alliance joins the state’s most prominent and progressive champions of highway safety with Georgia’s professional sporting heroes.

    Our mission is to serve as an effective and progressive highway and waterway safety advocacy group, encouraging safe and sober driving choices as a means of reducing transportation crashes, injuries and fatalities. We accomplish our objectives through several unique and effective programs. One of our most noteworthy programs is our Designated Driver Booth Program.  

    TEAM Georgia Designated Driver Booths are located at the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, Gwinnett Arena and Turner Field. Our booth volunteers are trained to encourage fans to use designated drivers when attending sporting, music and/or cultural events.  These same volunteers ask fans to sign up prior to and during games and other events at our venues.  Since the Designated Booth Program began, over 450,000 individuals have registered to serve as Designated Drivers and receive information on impaired driving and Georgia’s DUI laws.

    For more information on TEAM Georgia see our website at: www.teamgeorgia.com or call Bob Cucchi, Executive Director at 770-490-1243.

    NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release 
    Contact: Bob Cucchi 
    TEAM Georgia  
    cucchira@bellsouth.net 
    770-490-1243
                               

    Presentation of the first TEAM Georgia Captain Herb Emory Community Service Award


    Turner Field, Atlanta, GAundefinedAugust 10, 2014. The first ever TEAM Georgia Captain Herb Emory Community Service Award was presented today at Turner Field prior to the Atlanta Braves game with the Washington Nationals before a large crowd of Braves baseball fans.  The Award was named after famed WSB traffic reporter and community activist Captain Herb Emory who was a founding Board member of TEAM Georgia back in 1985. This new award will be presented annually to someone who has worked with TEAM Georgia and has exhibited the actions, qualities and traits that Captain Herb not only spoke about every day, but exemplified during his life.



    TEAM Georgia Chairman Ron Fennel presented the first award posthumously to Captain Herb with his wife Karen Emory accepting the Award. In presenting the award Fennel said, “On behalf of the hundreds of members of TEAM Georgia’s family, I am pleased to present this award to Herb Emory for his most valued work and commitment to TEAM Georgia for the last 26 years. Karen, I know that Herb would be humbled and honored to receive this award and for you to accept it in his place. Please accept our best wishes and great thanks for sharing him with us and the life he lived, which was a great example to/for all of us.”

    Background

    TEAM Georgia is a nonprofit group made up of business leaders, government and public safety officials, and members of Atlanta’s professional sporting teams. Our unique alliance joins the state’s most prominent and progressive champions of highway safety with Georgia’s professional sporting heroes.
    Our mission is to serve as an effective and progressive highway and waterway safety advocacy group, encouraging safe and sober driving choices as a means of reducing transportation crashes, injuries and fatalities. We accomplish our objectives through several unique and effective programs. One of our most noteworthy programs is our Designated Driver Booth Program.  

    TEAM Georgia Designated Driver Booths are located at the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, Gwinnett Arena and Turner Field. Our booth volunteers are trained to encourage fans to use designated drivers when attending sporting, music and/or cultural events.  These same volunteers ask fans to sign up prior to and during games and other events at our venues.  Since the Designated Booth Program began, over 450,000 individuals have registered to serve as Designated Drivers and receive information on impaired driving and Georgia’s DUI laws.

    For more information on TEAM Georgia see our website at: www.teamgeorgia.com or call Bob Cucchi, Executive Director at 770-490-1243.
      

    NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release 
    Contact: Bob Cucchi 
    TEAM Georgia  
    cucchira@bellsouth.net 
    770-490-1243
                               

    Presentation of the first TEAM Georgia Captain Herb Emory Community Service Award


    Turner Field, Atlanta, GAundefinedAugust 10, 2014. The first ever TEAM Georgia Captain Herb Emory Community Service Award was presented today at Turner Field prior to the Atlanta Braves game with the Washington Nationals before a large crowd of Braves baseball fans.  The Award was named after famed WSB traffic reporter and community activist Captain Herb Emory who was a founding Board member of TEAM Georgia back in 1985. This new award will be presented annually to someone who has worked with TEAM Georgia and has exhibited the actions, qualities and traits that Captain Herb not only spoke about every day, but exemplified during his life.



    TEAM Georgia Chairman Ron Fennel presented the first award posthumously to Captain Herb with his wife Karen Emory accepting the Award. In presenting the award Fennel said, “On behalf of the hundreds of members of TEAM Georgia’s family, I am pleased to present this award to Herb Emory for his most valued work and commitment to TEAM Georgia for the last 26 years. Karen, I know that Herb would be humbled and honored to receive this award and for you to accept it in his place. Please accept our best wishes and great thanks for sharing him with us and the life he lived, which was a great example to/for all of us.”

    Background

    TEAM Georgia is a nonprofit group made up of business leaders, government and public safety officials, and members of Atlanta’s professional sporting teams. Our unique alliance joins the state’s most prominent and progressive champions of highway safety with Georgia’s professional sporting heroes.
    Our mission is to serve as an effective and progressive highway and waterway safety advocacy group, encouraging safe and sober driving choices as a means of reducing transportation crashes, injuries and fatalities. We accomplish our objectives through several unique and effective programs. One of our most noteworthy programs is our Designated Driver Booth Program.  

    TEAM Georgia Designated Driver Booths are located at the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena, Gwinnett Arena and Turner Field. Our booth volunteers are trained to encourage fans to use designated drivers when attending sporting, music and/or cultural events.  These same volunteers ask fans to sign up prior to and during games and other events at our venues.  Since the Designated Booth Program began, over 450,000 individuals have registered to serve as Designated Drivers and receive information on impaired driving and Georgia’s DUI laws.

    For more information on TEAM Georgia see our website at: www.teamgeorgia.com or call Bob Cucchi, Executive Director at 770-490-1243.
      

  • 07 Aug 2014 2:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Have a Ball this Fall: TasteATL’s ‘Atlanta Meatball Festival’ Makes its Mighty Debut September 14

    Inaugural event with Chef Host Linda Harrell features meatballs, music, limoncello tastings and more; Benefits Open Hand

    ATLANTA (August 7, 2014) – This September, local chefs and food lovers will “meat” their match – literally. TasteATL, the culinary event management company behind Atlanta’s largest food festival, Taste of Atlanta, is rolling out its first ever Atlanta Meatball Festival to celebrate one of the world’s most beloved protein flavor blends of beef, pork, lamb, chicken, seafood and more!

    Italian cuisine connoisseurs and meatball maniacs can join Taste ATL and Chef Host Linda Harrell on Sunday, September 14 from 2 – 6 p.m. under the big top tents at Belle Isle Square next to Cibo E Beve in Sandy Springs. Attendees will enjoy traditional--and some nontraditional--meatball recipes from Atlanta’s best restaurants, including Cibo E Beve, Don Antonio by Starita, Rosebud, Barrelhouse, Davio's, St. Cecelia, No. 246, Saltyard, Ratio Bakeshop and more. In addition to the wide selection of mouthwatering meatball dishes, this San Gennaro-type street festival will also spice things up with live music from Convoy, delicious drinks, limoncello tastings and a silent auction to benefit Open Hand.

    “Cooking Italian food has always been my passion, and I am excited to share this with the Atlanta community,” said Host Chef Linda Harrell of Cibo E Beve. “Since the meatball is a staple in Italian cuisine, I thought it would be fun to bring some imagination to such a traditional dish. I am hoping the participating chefs use The Meatball Festival as an opportunity to get creative!”

    The festival is more than just a meatball tasting – there are also some serious bragging rights up for grabs. As a true “battle of the balls” challenge, each of the chefs’ dishes will be voted on by both a panel of distinguished judges and the attendees to see who has Atlanta’s mightiest meatball. Once the votes are cast, the top three winners will advance and go head-to-head in a “MeatBrawl Throwdown” at Taste of Atlanta on Saturday, October 25, 2014.

    “Atlanta is a culinary city, and we strive to celebrate its dining scene and showcase our local chefs,” said Dale DeSena, founder of the Atlanta Meatball Festival and Taste of Atlanta. “Our new TasteATL umbrella allows us to create more culinary experiences in different neighborhoods throughout the calendar year. The Atlanta Meatball Festival is the perfect way for food lovers to curb their appetites until the main event in October. After all, who doesn’t love a good meatball?”

    A limited number of tickets to the Atlanta Meatball Festival will be available on Scoutmob Friday, August 8 for $35. When those are gone, $40 tickets will be on sale at FreshTix.com. Tickets will be $45 at the event. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit Open Hand, a charitable organization dedicated to helping people prevent or better manage chronic illness by using nutrition and nutrition counseling. Space for this event is limited, so meatball maniacs are encouraged to act quickly! For more information, please visit AtlantaMeatballFestival.com.

    About TasteATL:
    TasteATL presents culinary experiences for food lovers throughout the year. The culinary event management company is best known for orchestrating Taste of Atlanta, the city’s largest food festival.

    About Open Hand:
    Celebrating 26 years of service in Atlanta, Open Hand is the largest community-based provider of home delivered meals and nutrition education in the country. Their mission is to help people prevent or better manage chronic illness by using nutrition and nutrition counseling as tools to achieve improved health outcomes. They prepare and deliver 4,700 medically-appropriate meals each day to our most vulnerable citizens in 17 metro-Atlanta counties, including homebound seniors and people battling nutrition-sensitive illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and renal failure. For more information, visit http://www.projectopenhand.org/.

    About Taste of Atlanta:
    Taste of Atlanta packs the bold flavors, colorful personalities and vibrant energy of an entire city into 10 blocks in Midtown Atlanta. The three-day festival explores the city's unique neighborhoods by sampling tastes from the chefs and bartenders that give each area its own creative energy. Since its inception in 2002, Taste of Atlanta has become an annual pilgrimage for thousands of food, wine, beer and cocktail lovers from across the country. Festival attendees bring their adventurous appetites and experience a full range of flavors, from time-honored Southern classics to innovative dishes that are destined to be the next culinary trend. Patrons also enjoy interactive cooking demonstrations on four main stages, live entertainment and family-friendly activities for food lovers of all ages. Taste of Atlanta supports several Atlanta non-profit groups, including Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, Atlanta’s Table, Georgia Organics and Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia and ProStart®. Indulge in the city’s flavors Friday through Sunday, October 24-26 in Midtown at Tech Square to truly savor what makes Atlanta the food capital of the South. For more information, visit www.tasteofatlanta.com.

    Stay connected to Taste of Atlanta 2014:
    • Sign up for the Taste of Atlanta newsletter: www.tasteofatlanta.com
    • Follow Taste on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tasteofatlanta
    • Like Taste on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tasteofatlanta
    • Follow Taste on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/tasteofatlanta
    • Follow Taste on Instagram: http://instagram.com/tasteofatlanta

    # # #

    CONTACT
    Jennifer Walker/ Shannon King
    BRAVE Public Relations
    404.233.3993
    jwalker@bravepublicrelations.com
    sking@bravepublicrelations.com

  • 05 Aug 2014 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

    This article appears on FDA's Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products.

    In August 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule that defined what characteristics a food has to have to bear a label that proclaims it "gluten-free." The rule also holds foods labeled "without gluten," "free of gluten," and "no gluten" to the same standard.

    Manufacturers had one year to bring their labels into compliance. As of August 5, 2014, any food product bearing a gluten-free claim labeled on or after this date must meet the rule’s requirements.

    This rule was welcomed by advocates for people with celiac disease, who face potentially life-threatening illnesses if they eat the gluten found in breads, cakes, cereals, pastas and many other foods.

    Andrea Levario, executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance, notes that there is no cure for celiac disease and the only way to manage the disease is dietaryundefinednot eating gluten. Without a standardized definition of "gluten-free," these consumers could never really be sure if their body would tolerate a food with that label, she adds.

    As one of the criteria for using the claim "gluten-free," FDA set a gluten limit of less than 20 ppm (parts per million) in foods that carry this label. This is the lowest level that can be consistently detected in foods using valid scientific analytical tools. Also, most people with celiac disease can tolerate foods with very small amounts of gluten. This level is consistent with those set by other countries and international bodies that set food safety standards.

    "This standard ’gluten-free’ definition eliminates uncertainty about how food producers label their products. People with celiac disease can rest assured that foods labeled 'gluten-free' meet a clear standard established and enforced by FDA," says Felicia Billingslea, director of FDA's division of food labeling and standards.

    What Is Gluten?
    Gluten is a mixture of proteins that occur naturally in wheat, rye, barley and crossbreeds of these grains.
    As many as 3 million people in the United States have celiac disease. It occurs when the body's natural defense system reacts to gluten by attacking the lining of the small intestine. Without a healthy intestinal lining, the body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs. Delayed growth and nutrient deficiencies can result and may lead to conditions such as anemia (a lower than normal number of red blood cells) and osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break. Other serious health problems may include diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease and intestinal cancers.

    Before the rule there were no federal standards or definitions for the food industry to use in labeling products "gluten-free." An estimated 5 percent of foods formerly labeled "gluten-free" contained 20 ppm or more of gluten.

    How Does FDA Define 'Gluten-Free'?
    In addition to limiting the unavoidable presence of gluten to less than 20 ppm, FDA now allows manufacturers to label a food "gluten-free" if the food does not contain any of the following:
    • an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains
    • an ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten
    • an ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million (ppm) gluten
    Foods such as bottled spring water, fruits and vegetables, and eggs can also be labeled "gluten-free" if they inherently don't have any gluten.

    Under the final rule, a food label that bears the claim "gluten-free," as well as the claims "free of gluten," "without gluten," and "no gluten," but fails to meet the requirements of the rule is considered misbranded and subject to regulatory action by FDA.

    According to Felicia Billingslea, director of FDA's division of food labeling and standards, consumers should know that some foods labeled “gluten free” that are in the marketplace may have been labeled before the rule’s compliance date of August 5.

    Some of these foods, like pasta, have a longer shelf life and may legally remain on the shelves a little bit longer. Therefore, it is possible that stores may still be selling some foods that are labeled “gluten-free” produced before the compliance date of the final rule.

    If consumers have any doubts about a product’s ingredients and whether or not the product is gluten-free, they should contact the manufacturer or check its website for more information.

    What About in Restaurants?
    Some restaurants use the term “gluten-free” in their menus. The gluten-free final rule applies to packaged foods, which may be sold in some retail and food-service establishments such as some carry-out restaurants. However, given the public health significance of “gluten-free” labeling, restaurants making a gluten-free claim on their menus should be consistent with FDA’s definition.
    State and local governments play an important role in oversight of restaurants. FDA will work with partners in state and local governments with respect to gluten-free labeling in restaurants.

    Billingslea suggests that consumers who are concerned about gluten-free claims in restaurants ask the following questions when ordering foods described as gluten-free:
    • What does the restaurant mean by the term “gluten free?”
    • What ingredients are used in this item?
    • How is the item prepared?
    “With the new FDA gluten-free regulations now being enforced, restaurants will be well-served to ensure they are meeting the FDA-defined claim,” said Joy Dubost, Ph.D., R.D., Senior Director of Nutrition, National Restaurant Association. “We will continue to work with restaurant operators and chefs to assist and ensure a favorable dining experience for consumers.”

  • 01 Aug 2014 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Robert Wagner, CPA

    Second quarter 2014 Atlanta restaurant sales again outpaced national sales trends. During that time national restaurant sales remained weak with little revenue growth and declining customer traffic. In contrast, Atlanta Q2 2014 restaurant sales volume increased 5.8%. For the quarter ended June 2014 positive sales gains were reported at 73% of the 90 independent Atlanta restaurants surveyed. Year-to-date through June 2014 Atlanta restaurants sales are up 5.9% over 2013 sales.

    National Trends
    In its survey of national restaurant sales Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic-tracking company, reported national restaurant Q2 revenues increased an anemic 0.3% while same-store customer traffic declined -1.4%. Another restaurant traffic-tracking firm, MillerPulse, reported Q2 2014 sales increased 1.4% on negative customer traffic.

    Conclusion

    Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president states that, “Q2 Atlanta restaurant sales growth was powered by improved customer counts and, to a lesser extent, higher check averages. Atlanta restaurant sales growth was 5.9% and 5.8% in Q1 and Q2 2014, respectively. That is the most consistent comp sales percentages in the last three years. The Q2 2014 sales growth and the percentage of stores reporting positive sales results shows Atlanta is still a fine town to be a restaurant operator.”

    Q2 2014 Comp Sales

    Metro Atlanta: 5.8%
    Black Box Intel.: 0.3%
    MillerPulse: 1.4%

    Atlanta’s improved restaurant sales were due to favorable weather patterns, strong Atlanta visitor traffic and positive consumer sentiment. While the metro Atlanta unemployment rate increased to 7.4% in June 2014 from 7.2% in May; the unemployment rate is down from 8.4% in June 2013.

    The Sample: The 90 independently-operated, non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro Atlanta market. Total Q2 2014 survey sales volume was $64 million. Our sample included restaurants in Atlanta’s fast-casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 18 months.

    Robert Wagner, CPA is president of NetFinancials, Inc. which provides a full range of tax and accounting services for restaurant companies. Email: bob.wagner@netfinancials.com. www.netfinancials.com Direct: 404-874-7002

    The NetFinancials quarterly Atlanta restaurant sales survey is provided as a public service to the restaurant industry.
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