• 27 Aug 2013 9:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The ACF Atlanta Chefs Association is preparing to put together a Student Hot Food Team. Interested in trying out for this year's team? Download an application and return to by September 3, 2013.
  • 23 Aug 2013 10:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Atlanta, GA (August 23, 2013) – The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) revealed the finalists for the 7th Annual Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence (GRACE) Awards. These finalists are peer-nominated and the winners will be announced November 10th at the GRACE Awards Gala to be held at The Foundry at Puritan Mill. Mara Davis, co-host of Atlanta Eats, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies. The GRA will also honor this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Steve Nygren of Serenbe.

    To learn more about the GRACE Awards, or purchase tickets, visit


    Restaurateur of the Year
    Archna Becker, Bhojanic
    Jamie Durrence, Local 11ten, Perch, The Public Kitchen & Bar
    Ford Fry, JCT Kitchen & Bar, no.246, The Optimist, King & Duke

    Industry Partner of the Year
    Jackson Lewis, LLP
    NetFinancials, Inc.

    Distinguished Service Award
    Debby Cannon, Georgia State University
    Charles H. Kuck, Kuck Immigration Partners, LLC
    Sam Zamarripa & Dan Moody, The Essential Economy Council

    The Innovator Award
    Kennesaw State University
    Frozen Pints
    Pure Knead

    Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
    Steve Nygren, Serenbe

    Chairman’s Award Winner
    Michele Stumpe, Taylor English Duma LLP

    About the Georgia Restaurant Association
    The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s Restaurants in Advocacy, Education and Awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.

    About the GRACE Awards
    The GRACE Awards is the Georgia Restaurant Association’s annual black-tie gala event honoring Georgia’s Restaurant Industry. The 7th Annual GRACE Awards will take place on November 10th, 2013 at the Foundry at Puritan Mill. The GRACE awards are peer-nominated and honor the top finalists in the following categories: Restaurateur of the Year, Industry Partner of the Year, Distinguished Service Award and the Innovator Award. The winners are announced at the event, and are presented with crystal works of art created by renowned local artist Hans-Godo Frabel.

    For media inquiries, please contact Rachel Mathews, Marketing and Communications Manager, at 404.467.9000 or
  • 23 Aug 2013 10:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Sen. Renee Unterman (R- Buford) recently joined legislators from throughout the nation at the annual National Conference for State Legislators (NCSL) to collect food for needy families as part of the NCSL “Hunger Partnership Backpack Buddy Challenge.”

    “Hunger is an incredibly important issue, and one that I care deeply about,” said Sen. Unterman. “Events like this demonstrate how much we can achieve when the public and private sectors work together. I am extremely proud of every state that participated and considered it an honor to receive the 5k Grant on behalf of the State of Georgia.”

    Sen. Renee Unterman, co-chair of the NCSL Hunger Partnership, was one of the key organizers and speakers of this year’s event. During this statewide competition, legislators and volunteers representing all 50 states had the opportunity to stuff 1,000 backpacks of food for impoverished kids in the Atlanta area.

    “The state that packed the most backpacks and received the 5K grand prize grant for their hunger relief charity was this year’s host state, Georgia. New Mexico and Utah were runners-up and each received a $2,500 grant. New Hampshire and Oregon also were awarded $1,000 each for the highest rates of participation.

    The Backpack Buddy Challenge was presented by Yum! Brands, the parent company of Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut. The collections from this year’s event will benefit the “Snack in a Backpack” program at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church in metro Atlanta.

    “We believe it is our privilege and our responsibility to lead the fight against hunger and to engage our associates, customers and partners to make a difference in the lives of the 1 in 4 children in the U.S. who are at risk of hunger,” said Laura Melillo Barnum, Executive Director of the Yum! Brands Foundation. “We congratulate Senator Unterman and all Georgia legislators for their leadership and commitment to hungry children in Atlanta and across the U.S.”

    The National Restaurant Association and the Atlanta Community Food Bank sponsored the event and volunteer efforts along with several other national and Atlanta-based non-profits, including the Georgia Association of Food Banks and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Metro Atlanta.

    Established in 2010 by the NCSL Foundation for State Legislators, the Hunger Partnership works to raise awareness and develop long-term strategies to reduce the prevalence of hunger nationwide. As one of the Hunger Partnership’s key founders, Sen. Unterman is one of Georgia’s top advocated for hunger relief and works to promote education, research and public policy recommendations at both the state and local level.
  • 16 Aug 2013 10:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    New location consolidates TriMark’s Atlanta-based operations and features more warehouse space, increased inventory and easier access to customers.

    TriMark Century Concepts has moved to a brand new location on Jimmy Carter Blvd. in Peachtree Corners, GA. The new facility features a 60,000 sq. ft. warehouse and consolidates the Atlanta and Suwanee, GA locations of TriMark Century Concepts.
    “The move has more than doubled the capacity of our warehouse operations,” says Scott Bishop, President of TriMark Century Concepts. “We can offer even more inventory and customized products to both chain and independent restaurants, along with other foodservice operations.”

    The new Peachtree Corners location has also improved its warehouse operations, resulting in faster turnaround times for the customer. “The picking, staging and delivery process is much more streamlined now, which means that we can give our customers the supplies and equipment they need when they need it,” says Bishop.

    “TriMark Century Concepts’ new location epitomizes TriMark’s success in the Atlanta market and demonstrates our continued commitment to our customers,” says Jerry Hyman, TriMark USA, LLC President & CEO.

    “We are all excited about the new space,” added Bishop. “It truly is a showcase, and we invite our customers to come in and take a look.”

    TriMark Century Concept’s new address is:
    6684 Jimmy Carter Blvd. Suite 200
    Peachtree Corners, GA 30071
    Phone – 770.995.7344 or 404.856.6830

    About TriMark Century Concepts
    TriMark Century Concepts, located in Peachtree Corners, GA, is a full-service equipment and supplies dealer that specializes in design, custom millwork, furniture, equipment and smallwares supply for chain restaurants, independent restaurants, non-traditional foodservice outlets such as malls, kiosks, and airports, as well as contract foodservice operations in the healthcare, institutional, and facilities markets.

    About TriMark USA, LLC
    TriMark USA, LLC is the country’s largest provider of design services, equipment, and supplies to the foodservice industry. TriMark offers foodservice operators an unparalleled level of service by combining the hands-on support and local market knowledge of a strong regional supplier with the purchasing strength, industry expertise, delivery, and installation capabilities of a national company.
    TriMark Divisions include TriMark United East in South Attleboro, MA; TriMark Strategic in Coppell, TX with locations in Texas, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Minnesota; TriMark Marlinn in Chicago, IL; TriMark SS Kemp in Cleveland, OH, Pittsburgh, PA, and Cincinnati, OH; TriMark Foodcraft in Winston-Salem, NC; TriMark Century Concepts in Peachtree Corners, GA; TriMark Raygal in Irvine, CA; TriMark Economy Restaurant Fixtures in San Francisco and Sacramento, CA; TriMark Gill Group in Crofton, MD,
    TriMark Gill Marketing in Phoenix, AZ; TriMark RobertClark in Irvine, CA; TriMark Federighi Design in Richmond, CA; and BigTray in San Francisco, CA.
  • 14 Aug 2013 2:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    National Restaurant Association 

    The biggest changes to the U.S. health insurance system in decades continue to unfold this fall, with government-run exchanges set to begin selling health plans for 2014 to millions of individuals and small businesses Oct. 1.

    The Obama Administration’s July decision to make 2014 a transition year for the law’s employer mandate and some employer reporting requirements buys larger employers some extra time to try to understand the law, refine their options, put systems into place, and get ready to comply with the employer mandate in 2015. But the rest of the law is moving forward as scheduled. And even with some employer requirements pushed to 2015, businesses of all sizes still face immediate pressures to prepare. Here’s a look at some upcoming deadlines.

    Oct. 1, 2013: Exchanges open. Government-run health insurance marketplaces, also known as exchanges, must be up and running by Oct. 1 in all states to let individuals and small employers enroll in private health care plans for 2014. Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., will operate their own exchange or partner with the federal government on an exchange. Thirty-three states have chosen to let the federal government run the exchange in their state for 2014. Among other responsibilities, exchanges will play a central role in determining which individuals qualify for federal tax subsidies to help buy coverage through an exchange.

    Oct. 1, 2013: Employee-notification rules. All employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act are required to provide written notice to employees about health care coverage options through the new health insurance marketplaces/exchanges. According to temporary guidance issued by the Department of Labor this spring, employers must provide notice to existing employees by Oct. 1, 2013; at the time of hire for employees hired between Oct. 1, 2013, and Dec. 31, 2013; and within 14 days of the employee’s start date beginning in 2014. The National Restaurant Association's Health Care Law Primer offers more details.

    Jan. 1, 2014: Individual mandate. With limited exceptions, all Americans are required to obtain “minimum essential coverage” -- through their employers, exchanges, Medicaid/Medicare or elsewhere -- for themselves and their dependents or face potential tax penalties. In 2014, individuals will face a penalty of $95 per adult and $47.50 per child with a maximum of $285 or a family, or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater. Individuals will be required to state on their federal tax returns that they have health care coverage and identify the source. It's likely that many employees will look to their employers for information about the mandate; see the NRA's Health Care Law Primer for answers to some common employee questions.

    Jan. 1, 2015: Employer mandate. Employers who average 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees over the 12 months of 2014 are considered “applicable large employers” for 2015 and will be required to offer full-time employees and their dependents the opportunity to enroll in a qualifying health plan starting in 2015, or face possible penalties. The 50-FTE formula isn’t easy. It requires monthly calculations based on the number of full-time employees (defined as those who average 30 or more hours a week during a calendar month) and the hours worked by part-time, seasonal and other employees. The NRA's Health Care Law Primer outlines the calculation, and also includes information to help employers determine which employees are considered “full time” for purposes of health care coverage offers in 2015.

    Jan. 31, 2016: Large-employer reporting requirements. Employers covered by the employer mandate will be required to file their first annual information return with the Internal Revenue Service by Jan. 31, 2016, about any health care coverage offered during 2015. Similar information must also be sent to employees. The IRS will use the data to calculate and assess penalties against large employers. Employees will use the data to report their health-care coverage status on tax returns. The required information could be extensive, including data on full-time employees, premium costs, and whether plans meet new “minimum value” standards. The law also requires insurers for fully insured plans and employers with self-funded plans to file similar data about health care coverage with the IRS and employees, including details on who accepted coverage offers, and for how long. The Treasury Department and IRS are expected to release a proposed rule addressing this part of the law this summer.Other parts of the law also move into place in 2014, including a new 90-day limit on maximum waiting periods for all group health plans and an end to preexisting-condition limitations in health plans. All employers must report the value of health benefits on employees’ W-2 forms for tax year 2013.

    The NRA’s Health Care Law Primer includes extensive information on these and other requirements.

    The NRA is also urging Congress to change parts of the law, including changing the definition of full time to 40 hours a week from 30, simplifying the calculcation to determine who's a large employer, and eliminating the automatic-enrollment requirement that would force employers with more than 200 full-time employees to automatically enroll full-time employees in company health plans if employees failed to opt out by a certain date. Visit to learn what you can do to get Congress to make these changes.
  • 12 Aug 2013 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Terri Lynn

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 12, 2013 - Terri Lynn, Inc. of Elgin, IL, is recalling 855 packages of its Deluxe Mixed Nuts because they may contain undeclared peanuts. People who have allergies to peanuts run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

    The recalled Deluxe Mixed Nuts were shipped to various customers of Terri Lynn, Inc. in the United States only; Ill., Ind., Ga., Oh., W.Va., Md., Wi., Fla., Ct., Mi., Ky., Tn., Neb., Ok., N.J., and Alaska. This product was also sold through its outlet store located in Elgin, Illinois.

    The product was sold in 16 ounce Terri Lynn Green Fund Raising Bags described as Deluxe Mixed Nuts No Peanuts with lot code 3180 located on the front of the bag and 12 ounce Terri Lynn Blue bags described as Deluxe Mixed Nuts with Macadamias with a best buy date of 12/29/14 on the back of the bag.

    No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

    The recall was initiated after peanuts were discovered in a bag of Deluxe Mixed Nuts which does not reveal the presence of peanuts. Our investigation has not uncovered any additional bags with this problem, but this recall is being done to ensure the safety of our customers.

    You are requested to return any bags you may have for a full refund or replacement. Contact Terri Lynn, Inc. immediately at 800-323-0775, Monday thru Friday, 8:00A.M. to 4:30P.M. Central time to obtain your Return Authorization instructions and to answer any additional questions you may have.

  • 09 Aug 2013 8:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    New legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives that could change the 2010 health care law’s definition of a full-time work week to 40 hours, addressing one of restaurateurs’ most pressing concerns about the law.

    The legislation, called the “Forty Hours is Full-time Act,” was introduced Aug. 2 by Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), and mirrors the bipartisan legislation of the same name introduced in the Senate by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.). It also would accomplish the same goal as another House bill introduced by Reps. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.). The National Restaurant Association supported all of these efforts to change the health care law’s current definition of a full-time work week from 30 hours to one more in line with current labor practices.

    Both the NRA and Illinois Restaurant Association met with Lipinski last April during the NRA’s Public Affairs Conference and asked for his support in addressing the law’s definition of full-time.

    “The National Restaurant Association and our members appreciate Congressman Lipinski’s introduction of the Forty Hours is Full-time Act in the House, signaling bipartisan and bicameral support for addressing the definition of full-time employee in the health care law,” said Scott DeFife, NRA executive vice president, policy and government affairs. “The current definition at 30 hours is not aligned with current workforce practices and does not reflect the desire of restaurant and foodservice employees for flexible work schedules. Only Congress can address this challenge in implementing the law.”

    The law’s 30-hour definition of full-time has been of particular concern to the restaurant industry, given the high number of part-time and seasonal workers it employs, as well as scheduling that is often less predictable than in other industries.

    Changing the health care law's definition of the full-time work week has been a focus of the NRA’s advocacy efforts. The Association recently launched a grassroots advocacy push to urge Congress to make reasonable changes to the health care law. Visit for more information.

    For information about the law and to download the NRA’s Health Care Law Primer, visit the NRA’s Health Care Knowledge Center.

  • 06 Aug 2013 3:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and State and local officials are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Cyclospora illnesses. As of August 1, 2013, CDC has been notified of more than 400 cases of Cyclospora infection from the following 17 health departments: Iowa, Nebraska, Texas, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, New York City, and Ohio. It is not yet clear whether the cases reported are all part of the same outbreak.

    On July 30, 2013, the States of Iowa and Nebraska announced that their analysis indicated that the outbreak in their States was linked to a salad mix. The FDA traceback information has confirmed that the salad mix identified by Iowa and Nebraska are linked to the outbreak of cyclosporiasis in those States and was supplied to restaurants in those States by Taylor Farms de Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., a processor of food service salads.

    For more information regarding the FDA investigation, please visit the website link below.

    This message is being broadcast by the FDA Office of Partnerships (formerly known as the Division of Federal-State Relations).
  • 06 Aug 2013 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    FoodService Director Magazine

    Under Gary Coltek, director of culinary and hospitality services, Kennesaw State University’s dining department has created a program that upstages many others, especially when it comes to sustainability. Dining services’ efforts have been so impressive the department was rewarded earlier this year with the National Restaurant Association’s Innovator of the Year Award, which earned the department its bragging rights over Disney, which was also up for the award.

    While Coltek is quick to credit his team, and his foodservice partner, Sodexo, with the department’s accomplishments, Melissa McMahon, marketing manager, says it is Coltek who sets the tone for the department’s success.

    “He’s the ideas man,” McMahon says. “He has such an incredible vision and imagination when it comes to what he is passionate about, which is providing healthy and delicious food for our students, and sustainability. He makes it so difficult to not be as passionate as he is. You can either be doing the same thing every day or you can be pushed, and it’s really great to work in an atmosphere that pushes you to be better every day.”

    The Commons
    Coltek’s big ideas started upon his arrival at Kennesaw State University (KSU) in 2007. After he had retired from a career working as a chef in high-end hotels and restaurants, Coltek came to KSU to start a continuing education culinary apprenticeship program. That was when the university’s president enlisted him to help design the campus’s new residential dining hall, The Commons. Coltek was named director in 2009, just in time for The Commons to open to much acclaim.

    “From my experience as a chef I knew immediately I wanted to build a facility around the idea of small-batch cooking,” Coltek says. “When I looked around at other universities, and we visited quite a few, everything was being cooked in bulk. We wanted a fresher approach, so we actually designed the building around that. To accomplish our goals, everyone has to stay in their stations for that three-hour lunch rush. So we had to design the stations so employees had no reason to leave. Every line station has its own hand sink, pots and pans station, refrigeration and freezer space.”

    The Commons features nine stations that make nearly everything from scratch: Piati (pasta/pizza), Dan’s Deli (sandwiches/soups), Campus Green (salad bar), Apron Strings (comfort foods), Globetrotter (an international station that changes weekly), Highway 41 (burgers/cheesesteaks/fries), Wok Your Way (Asian), Stone Mill Bakery (scratch-made bakery) and a coffee station. Coltek estimates that the department makes about 85% of its items from scratch.

    “The space itself has kind of a Disney cruise ship look to it,” Coltek says. “It has bright colors, curved lines, an open floor plan and every station looks a little different. It’s an atmosphere that invites students to hang out. You come in and you want to stay.”

    “Our whole focus is on the triple bottom lineundefinedpeople, planet and profit,” says Rob Nolen, associate director. “[Gary wants us to ask,] what can we do on this campus to not only benefit our students but also minimize our environmental impact? How can we provide better opportunities through education about what we are doing? What of those things can supplement the bottom line, be it through cost savings or realizing revenue through additional resources?”

    The answers to those questions start in the dining hall with the department’s closed-loop waste management system. The department composts about 60,000 pounds of food waste per month. The composted waste is processed into a nutrient-dense water source, which is used as irrigation at the campus farms, thus closing the loop. The operation also diverts 44,000 pounds of non-compostable waste a month from landfills, and more than 220 gallons of cooking oil is recycled annually for use as biodiesel.

    Beyond waste management, it is what the department has been able to procure locally that is really impressive. The department receives the bounty of three campus farms, an on-campus permaculture garden and more than 10 hydroponic units located in The Commons.

    For Coltek, this passion for sustainability was ingrained from an early age. “My grandparents had a farm in upstate New York where we’d work in the spring and summer,” Coltek says. “I remember taking the kitchen scraps out and dumping them in the field. We were taught to respect the land and the oceans.”

    Culinary program
    Coltek and his team have recently fused this passion for great food and sustainability by launching a new academic program for the university that will award degrees in culinary sustainability and hospitality.

    “When I first came to the university, starting a culinary program was one of the first initiatives I discussed with the university president,” Coltek says. “Then last year we hired a director and we’ll be accepting our first students this fall.”

    The program will offer a B.S. in culinary sustainability and hospitality, which the program prospectus says is “designed as a unique approach to the study of culinary and hospitality management, transcending the traditional culinary arts or hospitality management curricula to incorporate and infuse the study of sustainable best-practices employed around the world, emphasizing areas like food science, nutrition, agroecology, resource conservation, as well as essential business skills/abilities.” In addition to classwork, students will also partake in internships.

    Coltek says the university took a different approach with its culinary program than those at other universities, which he says usually design the academic program first, then build a lab.

    “With the construction of The Commons, the farms and the hydroponics, we basically built the lab first,” Coltek says. “We smoke our own meats and make our own cheeses and pickles. We’re looking into putting in a dry-aged meat room. The facility is also one of the largest freestanding LEED-certified Gold dining halls in the country.

    “What excites me is that students who have an interest in our field don’t have to leave the state anymore,” Coltek says. “When they leave the state, they don’t usually come back. Another great thing about the program is that it is teaching what is relevant now. Some programs are still teaching old techniques. This is teaching what chefs need to know right now.”

    Team building
    Coltek credits the “best team in the country” with all his success. How was he able to build it?

    “Every single member of our team are people I have hand picked,” Coltek says. “A lot of them grow into their positions and all of them have earned their responsibilities. We all work off each other every single day. I come up with ideas and they bring me back to reality. I think the biggest job they have is keeping me in check. I never micromanage. I let the pilot fly the plane. I present the end goal and [the staff] knows how to get there.”

    McMahon says Coltek has also created a collaborative team environment.

    “He puts people around him with varying skill sets that are able to do many things in many areas,” McMahon says. “I may be the marketing manager, but I have my hands in pretty much every aspect of the business here. I would say the same about everyone on our team. Gary’s very good about picking people who really know their business, so we have a really nice cohesive group.”
  • 06 Aug 2013 9:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013
    Where: Northlake Mall | 4800 Briarcliff Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30345

    DeKalb County Commissioner Stan Watson is seeking international retail vendors, restaurants and entertainment that are interested in being a part of the 2013 DeKalb International Food and Music Festival, a festival that highlights the heart and soul of the International community.

    This year’s theme is “The Face of DeKalb,” dedicated to uniting DeKalb's diverse community and exposing the citizens of DeKalb to the culture of the various communities including their food and music. The community will be able to enjoy Internationally inspired entertainment, food and retail items in a family oriented festival environment.

    DEADLINE IS August 16, 2013


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