• 26 Apr 2013 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Affairs to Remember Caterers, Atlanta’s first Zero Waste Zones caterer and one of the largest privately held off-premise luxury caterers in the United States, announced that it won a 2013 Allie Award in the category of “Logistical Achievement: Planning” for its exceptional event planning of the celebrations leading up to the official opening of the new international terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

    The winning event served 6,600 guests at celebrations over the course of three evenings, one that entertained VIP guests and dignitaries including Governor Nathan Deal and Georgia’s First Lady Sandra Deal, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Valerie Richardson Jackson, as well as leaders from Fortune 500 companies and aviation professionals.

    Kristy Cook, CMP, Senior Catering Consultant at Affairs to Remember, and Dana Dabruzzi, another member of the Affairs to Remember team at the time of the event, teamed with multiple organizations to produce the award-winning event, including the City of Atlanta, the Department of Aviation, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and the Maynard H. Jackson Jr. International Terminal.

    Additionally, Affairs to Remember worked with the American Culinary Federation-Atlanta Chapter in a partnership capacity, Le Cordon Bleu in a training capacity, and TOTS Kitchen & More in a charitable capacity.

    Other partners and contributors to the opening events included, Classic Party Rentals, AEE Productions, Chef Michael Deihl of East Lake Golf Club and Affairs’ Executive Chef Ahmad Nourzad. The Affairs to Remember Caterers team coordinated staffing, operations, execution, and served an international menu reflective of the destinations served by the new terminal.

    Affairs to Remember Caterers was awarded the International Terminal opening events contract, in large part, due to its Sustainability program, Legacy Green.

    Committed to sustainable operations, the Atlanta Airport serves as the Sustainable Food Court Initiative (SFCI) Airport Pilot, which won a 2011 Going Green Airports Award.

    An Elemental Impact program in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, the SFCI provides the support network for the airport’s groundbreaking concessionaire contract provision: “Concessionaire shall use compostable serviceware along with consumer facing packaging and source separate all food service wastes for direct transport to off airport composting facilities.”
    Holly D. Elmore, Elemental Impact Founder & CEO, said, “Zero Waste Zones Champion Patrick Cuccaro has led Affairs to Remember to become Atlanta’s Greenest catererundefineda significant accomplishment! It’s wonderful to see Affairs to Remember recognized for its unwavering commitment to building a Sustainability program, and to see that program tied to an award-winning event…that makes those of us deeply committed to Sustainability very happy, indeed.”

    Hundreds from within the Atlanta events industry came together to showcase their talents and celebrate each other at the 2013 Allie Awardsundefineda local industry event designed to drive event professionals to produce events eligible to compete on national and global levels.
    On behalf of General Manager Patrick Cuccaro and owners Ron Lazarus andScott Ardolino, Travis S. Taylor, Director of Communications at Affairs to Remember Caterers, accepted the award. In addition to thanking the event partners, he also thanked all the attending industry professionals for their continued commitment to making all events as special as possible for respective clientsundefineda win for everyone in the Atlanta events industry.

    Affairs to Remember Caterers’ General Manager, Patrick Cuccaro, said, “Solving logistical challenges are part of the job…it’s what we do. We are honored and appreciative to be recognized for our expertise and execution of such an important event to the City of Atlanta, and we are proud to partner with an organization, like the Atlanta Airport, that shares our Sustainability efforts to make Atlanta one of the Greenest cities in our nation.”

    The LEED certified International Terminal is connecting with more than 150 U.S cities, and for those traveling from the United States, the international terminal is the gateway to nearly 80 destinations in more than 50 countries.

    The Allie Awards, today an independent 501(c)(3) organization, was launched 23 years ago by the National Association of Catering Executives (NACE) and the International Special Events Society (ISES).
  • 24 Apr 2013 3:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Volunteers needed to staff award - winning Designated Driver Booth Program.

    As the Atlanta Braves head into a new season, TEAM Georgia will present its Designated Driver Booth at Turner Field, sponsored by the Anheuser Busch Budweiser Good Sport Program.

    By encouraging patrons to designate a driver at Braves games, TEAM Georgia, a safe and sober driving coalition comprised of public safety officials, private corporations and private citizens, helps to ensure Atlanta residents make the good times last by getting home safely.

    “The Braves experience is about looking out for our home team”
    said Cory Gearrin, Atlanta Braves TEAM Georgia spokes player.
    “Through TEAM Georgia, we aim to enhance the game by educating our patrons to make responsible choices.”

    The Designated Driver Booth program operates at Turner Field, Philips Arena, Gwinnett Arena, and the Georgia Dome. By targeting the biggest parties in town, TEAM Georgia raises awareness of safe driving to groups of fans and that helps save lives. Through partnerships with host venues, patrons enjoy the TEAM Georgia experience throughout the event: TEAM Georgia PSAs air on the Jumbotron while participating vendors on site offer the Designated Driver with incentives and prizes.

    Since the program’s 1987 inception, more than 320,000 people have registered to serve as their party’s designated driver and received information on adhering to Georgia’s DUI laws.

    The success of the program depends on TEAM volunteers, who greet patrons by urging them to designate a sober driver in their party. In return for their work at the beginning portion of the game, our volunteers enjoy the opportunity to watch the remainder of the event free of charge.

    Join TEAM Georgia to promote responsible fun and help save lives! For more information, visit or contact TEAM Georgia Volunteer Program Coordinator Ted Terry at: or (912) 508-5538.
  • 24 Apr 2013 3:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The National Restaurant Association has selected Kennesaw State University Culinary and Hospitality Services as one of three finalists for the 2013 Operator Innovations Awards in Sustainability.

    “Traditionally, the National Restaurant Association has focused on the restaurant side of the food industry, so we’re thrilled they have created avenues for college and university dining to be recognized,” said Gary Coltek, director of Culinary and Hospitality Services, which manages all food service operations at Kennesaw State. “The nomination alone is an honor and is a testament to our commitment to sustainability.”

    In naming the University a finalist, the National Restaurant Association cited: “The University’s 5,000 guest/day dining operation incorporates a comprehensive, closed-loop waste management program through a variety of efforts, including a robust organic ‘Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm’ program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion and more to significantly reduce costs, minimize environmental impact and qualify the facility for a LEED Gold certification.”

    “We’re giving the students what they want,” Coltek said. “Our students are very savvy. They want to know where their food comes from, how it gets here, and what we do with it once it does get here. Hopefully, we can inspire other universities to do the same thing.”

    The three finalists in five categories—Food Safety, Health and Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability and Technology—will be brought to Chicago for the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in May. The winners in each category, as well as an “Innovator of the Year” selected from all finalists, will be announced live in Chicago during the “Destination: Celebration” gala on Saturday, May 18.

    “Restaurant operators are coming up with new and better ways to do business every day,” said Jeffrey W. Davis, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2013 and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation. “The prestigious Operator Innovations Awards celebrate and drive continued advancement industry-wide, fueling customer satisfaction and profitability. We recognize their achievements with the Operator Innovations Awards. Earning one of these highly sought-after awards means bragging rights and publicity for years to come.”

    Through its farm-to-campus-to-farm program, Kennesaw State harvests honey from 42 bee colonies and grows herbs and heirloom variety fruits and vegetables on 65 acres across three organic campus farms. Food wastes are recycled and composted. Future plans include programs to produce aged cheese and organic dairy, olive orchards and an oil press on the farm.

    The National Restaurant Association recognition is the latest in a string of accolades for Kennesaw State’s Culinary and Hospitality Services.

    Last summer, Kennesaw State joined Stanford and the University of Massachusetts in receiving top honors from the National Association of College and University Food Services for sustainability outreach and education. In September, The Daily Meal, an online publication dedicated to culinary trends and news, ranked Culinary and Hospitality Services 10th in its “52 Best Colleges for Food in America.” Kennesaw State was also listed in The Princeton Review’s “Guide to 322 Green Colleges” in 2012.

    In addition, in 2011 Kennesaw State was ranked among the top 25 schools for best food by Newsweek.
  • 18 Apr 2013 8:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) honored its 2013 “Restaurant Neighbor Award” winners at an April 17 gala during the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. was recognized as one of four national restaurant operators for its outstanding charitable service.

    As a recipient of the 2013 “Restaurant Neighbor Award,” founded in partnership with American Express, Arby’s receives a $5,000 contribution to continue supporting its charitable initiatives.

    “We’re proud to honor Arby’s and the Arby’s Foundation as a recipient of the 2013 ‘Restaurant Neighbor Award.’ Arby’s and the Arby’s Foundation exemplifies a level of spirit for service and giving that is so uniquely prevalent in the restaurant industry,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of philanthropic initiatives for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “Arby’s work is inspiring and showcases the very best of what the industry has to offer. We applaud Arby’s and the Arby’s Foundation’s commitment and are proud to recognize its achievements.”

    Arby’s was recognized as the national corporate winner for their work to end childhood hunger in America through their charitable giving arm, the Arby’s Foundation. Through multiple initiatives, such as their Hungry for Happiness mobile tour, National Restaurant Fundraiser, and $3 million investment in the Georgia Food Bank Association’s Feeding for a Promising Future campaign, Arby’s and the Arby’s Foundation have demonstrated leadership in corporate philanthropy.

    "American Express is proud to partner with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to honor the incredible impact restaurant professionals have made on the industry and their communities," said Suzan Kereere, Senior Vice President of the National Client Group at American Express. "For 15 years we have honored our recipients with the Restaurant Neighbor Award to acknowledge that their efforts have not gone unnoticed and hope their actions inspire the industry to continue giving back."

    In addition to Arby’s, the NRAEF honored two other national winners with the “Restaurant Neighbor Award,” including Seattle’s El Gaucho Hospitality in the mid-size category and Philadelphia-based Irish Pub in the small business category. This year's Cornerstone Humanitarian award went to Steve Paternoster, owner of Scalo Northern Italian Grill in Albuquerque, N.M.

    For more information on the “Restaurant Neighbor Awards,” as well as the national winners and finalists, visit the National Restaurant Association’s website at

  • 17 Apr 2013 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Cedarlane Natural Foods, Inc., is voluntarily recalling one specific lot of O Organics Black Bean Enchiladas because they contain undeclared milk. People with an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume this product. Symptoms may include itching, hives, wheezing, vomiting, anaphylaxis and digestive problems, such as bloating, gas or diarrhea. No illnesses have been reported to date.

    The Class 1 recall only affects O Organics Black Bean Enchiladas 9 oz. bearing the Best Before date of Oct 26 2013 packaged in printed boxes and sold in Safeway, Carrs, Dominicks, Genuardi's Pak'N'Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb and Vons. The Best Before Date are printed on the left side of the printed box.

    The products were distributed across the United States. No other lots or products are affected.

    The recall was initiated after it was discovered that the wrong product was packed in to the O Organics Black Bean Enchilada box and the presence of milk was not declared.

    Consumers who have purchased the recalled product are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact Cedarlane Natural Foods, Inc at 800 826 3322.
  • 16 Apr 2013 3:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    While in Augusta, Ga., top golfers vied for a green jacket, on Sunday, April 14, 2013, in Vidalia, Ga., twelve lead chefs from across the state competed for the Golden Onion trophy during the 2nd annual Golden Onion professional cooking competition.

    The Golden Onion, the official kick-off to the 36th Annual Vidalia Onion Festival, offers a platform for competitors to display their skills and creativity, as each chef has just one hour to prepare and present a recipe featuring Vidalia® onions, Georgia’s official state vegetable.

    From the mountains to the islands, fine dining to casual eateries, new business ventures to long-standing community mainstays, the roster of 12 chef competitors represented a cross-section of Georgia restaurants and cuisine. But only one could take home the Golden Onion.

    Top honors were awarded to Chef Daniel Chance, executive chef of Campagnolo Restaurant + Bar in Atlanta, Ga., for his recipe “Scallop Stuffed Vidalia with Onion Purée.”

    An Atlanta native, Chef Chance enjoys using fresh produce from local farms and even spent a summer as a commercial salmon fisherman learning a lot about fish. Shortly after being handed the trophy, he said, “I am humbled and flattered, but most of all honored. My dish really captures the essence of my cooking style. I used the onion in four different ways and paired it with scallops, which complements the characteristics of the Vidalia onion, but still can be cooked quickly. I plan to put a variation of this dish on my menu in the future.”

    Second place winner Chef Brian Justice, chef and owner of Tasteful Temptations Café in Brunswick, prepared “Vidalia® Onion Poppers,” stuffed with wild Georgia shrimp, sautéed Vidalia® onions and jalapeño peppers, and Monterey jack cheese; and served with Vidalia® onions and tomato jam, roasted corn and Vidalia corn foam and garnished with chive oil and charred corn.

    Chef Justice said, “Everybody put up a dish that no one had seen before. We feel pretty good with second place; we hope to come back next year and do even better.”

    Third place winner Chef Roberto Leoci, chef and owner of Leoci’s Trattoria in Savannah, Ga., prepared “Pancetta Wrapped Vidalia® Onion,” stuffed with Georgia peach risotto and finished with spiced candied pecans.

    He says, “I entered Golden Onion especially because Vidalia onions are Georgia Grown. It was such a great experience and I’d definitely do it again, there was such a sense of comradeship. Best onion of the world! We at Leoci's are proud!”

    “To have this much talent come into our area and compete using our Vidalia onions as the main ingredient in their dishes is very good for our community and for our industry,” said Bob Stafford, director of the Vidalia® Onion Business Council and Vidalia® Onion Hall of Fame inductee.

    “I loved the cross section of chefs from all over the state,” said event judge Holly Chute, executive chef of the Georgia Governor’s Mansion. “I thought their takes on highlighting the Vidalia onion were terrific. I think the Golden Onion has established itself as a serious cooking competition and will continue to attract a high level of chef competitors.”

    “I was impressed with the competitors’ dishes and the great application of cooking techniques and creativity applied to Vidalia onions,” said event judge Chef Hilary White, owner and executive chef of The Hil: A Restaurant at Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills, Ga., who won top honors at the inaugural Golden Onion last year. “Some really ‘build’ elaborate kitchens and some are very minimalistic. A reflection of the kitchen where they are from or perhaps the dish they are creating. The winning dish was well-executed and utilized all the onion had to offer. The level of competition was friendly. The winners of the competition brought their A game.”

    Dishes were judged on the basis of taste (50%), oral presentation (5%), visual presentation (10%), creativity (15%), overall use of Vidalia® onions (15%), and following the recipe submitted during the application process (5%).

    As First Place Champion, Chef Daniel Chance was awarded the Golden Onion trophy, an exclusive honor to hold for one year. The trophy, designed and produced by Georgia artist Melissa Harris in 2012, must be surrendered the following year to the next winner. Chef White also received a cash prize of $500. As second place winner Chef Brian Justice received $250; third place winner Chef Roberto Leoci received $100. All winners will also receive commemorative plaques.

    The Golden Onion competition was presented by the Vidalia Onion Festival Committee in cooperation with the Vidalia® Onion Committee and the Georgia Restaurant Association.
  • 16 Apr 2013 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Georgia has been in the process of updating the Food Service Rules and Regulations to a modified version of the 2009 FDA Model Food Code. However, it has come to our attention that the 2013 FDA Model Food Code has a proposed release date of May 2013. In light of this information, Georgia is proposing to update the Georgia Food Service Rules and Regulations to the most current science pending the release of the 2013 FDA Model Food Code. Georgia will continue to protect its citizens and guest through its Rules and Regulations that are based upon the most current nationally accepted, food safety related science.
  • 16 Apr 2013 2:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Register your restaurant online, create and run a deal or promotion, donate the proceeds to Share Our Strength

    More than 16 million children in America struggle with hunger, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This September, thousands of restaurants and chefs nationwide will band together to bring attention to this plight, and raise money to fund solutions, through Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. Last year, more than 8,200 restaurants across the country raised in excess of $5.9 millionundefinedfunds to help connect kids in need with nutritious food where they live, learn and play, and educate families on ways to cook healthy, affordable meals.

    Operators can be part of the child-hunger solution in three simple steps: undefined
    * Registering their restaurants at (registration is free),
    * Creating fundraising promotions to run during the month of September including Dine Out For No Kid Hungry week September 15-21, and
    * Donating the proceeds from that promotion to Share Our Strength.

    A full online resource center, with how-to guides, templates for press releases to promote participation, downloadable point-of-purchase materials, fact sheets, and case histories from participating restaurants is available to registrants. Operators interested in learning more about Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry or wishing to see examples of how other independent and chain restaurants have created successful promotions can visit or contact Ashley Davis,
  • 16 Apr 2013 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Restaurant Marketing Professionals Gather to Exchange Ideas, Learn from Industry Experts, and Network Prior to the start of the National Restaurant Show. 

    The National Restaurant Association (NRA) Marketing Executives Group (MEG) has announced its line-up of speakers for its spring conference, May 15-17, which takes place annually in Chicago prior to the start of the National Restaurant Show. The conference, which takes place at the Westin Michigan Avenue, is $495.00 per person for NRA members, $995 non-members, and includes all meeting materials, meals and breaks with a special nightly conference rate available for attendees at the Westin Michigan Avenue.

    The three-day event features an array of industry influencers and tastemakers, proven leaders and consumer behavioral experts. Branding and social media trailblazers will also be on hand to share their knowledge and expertise with attendees.

    This year’s Industry Keynote Speaker is Harald Herrmann, brand president of Yard House Restaurants. Attendees will get a first-hand account and behind-the-scenes look at the Yard House brand and how it grew from a single location along the Los Angeles coast to 45 locations. Named a Hot Concept! by Nation’s Restaurant News more than a decade ago, last year Yard House made headlines as one of the most newsworthy restaurant brand acquisitions.

    Additional speakers include:

    Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and vice president of The NPD Group who will provide some insight into the Eating Patterns in America. The NPD Group has been tracking the eating and drinking patterns of Americans for nearly 30 years.

    Wendy Clark, senior vice president, Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities of The Coca-Cola Company, and her team have a leading industry voice and will speak on how this international brand has fully embraced digital to redefine consumer engagement in the SoLoMo revolution.

    Clarice Turner, senior vice president, Starbucks US, Clarice oversees the US retail operations and leads a $3.5 billion business of corporate and licensee-owned locations. She pioneered “Starbucks Evenings,” the brand’s new wine, beer and small plates innovation. Her presentation will help inspire new business opportunities for her audience as she shares her compelling story on innovative marketing.

    David Witt, director, Global Digital Marketing and Brand PR of The Hershey Company, will share valuable insights and tactics on building online networks of brand advocates.

    Jeff Fromm, co-author of The Millennial Consumer and Millennial Passions: Food, Fashion and Friends, will reveal what it is that makes Millennials unique, what tools to use to evaluate Millennial marketing, and models for creating guest engagement. Jeff is also executive vice president of Barkley.

    Jeff Harvey, president and CEO of Burgerville, who will share how Burgerville has defied conventional perceptions of what it means to be a quick-service restaurant by being at the forefront of sustainable business practices that go well beyond trendy catch phrases. Their motto, Serve With Love, has guided every business decision Burgerville has made.

    Erik Wahl is an artist and motivational speaker will unleash the creativity from within showing attendees new ways in which they can make their organization more creative, innovative and profitable.

    Adrienne Weiss, founder of her own namesake company, will illustrate how a company’s voice makes them standout from their competitor. Her session will challenge attendees to find the voice of their brands and shout it from every brand touch point.

    Kicking off the three-day event is an opening dinner and reception at the Westin Michigan Avenue on Wednesday, May 15. The conference closes with an evening cocktail party on Friday, May 17. To learn more about MEG’s spring conference, go to
  • 12 Apr 2013 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    On this weekend’s show check out Muss & Turner’s in Smyrna and pay a visit to Taqueria del Sol (which has locations in West Midtown, Decatur, and on Cheshire Bridge Road).

    Get a preview of the episode.
    Airs Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. on Peachtree TV and 12 p.m. on CBS Atlanta.


© 2014 Georgia Restaurant Association. All rights reserved. 
Piedmont Place - 3520 Piedmont Road - Suite 130 - Atlanta, GA 30305
P (404) 467-9000 | Toll-Free (866) 467-2201 | F (404) 467-2206



The Georgia Restaurant Association represents all restaurants including Independent Bars and Independent Restaurants

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software