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National Dine Out Day: Help Make a Difference

National Dine Out Day

Today is National Dine Out Day, a day dedicated to Hurricane Sandy Relief in New Jersey. Across the country, restaurants are donating a percentage of today’s sales to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, which supports recovery and rebuilding efforts in communities that have been impacted by the storm.

Homes, businesses, attractions and more were washed away by the storm, leaving countless people still feeling the sting of this disaster today. How can you help? Simply dine out tonight at a participating restaurant, and a portion of your tab will be donated to relief efforts. Help make a difference in someone’s life today.

Some of the participating restaurants include Benihana, Ra Sushi, Aunti Anne’s, Panera Bread, Firebirds and Haru, as well as many others. For more information, to donate to the cause, or to view the restaurant list to find a participating location near you, visit http://www.nationaldineoutday.com/.

The 2013 NRA Show in a Nut Shell

It’s finally here! The National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, Illinois stars tomorrow, May 18th, and goes on until Tuesday, May 21st. If you’ve never been to one of these shows before, imagine a giant convention all about food. Recipes, products, demonstrations, innovations, you name it. What could be better, right? This year, expect to see over 1,800 suppliers and tens of thousands of buyers all gathering for the event of the season. And speaking of seasoning…

Get ready to see demonstrations from some of your favorite celebrity chefs and restaurateurs, connect with exhibitors and learn about new processes in the industry, listen to presentations from some of the top people in the hospitality field, check out some cool food sculptures, and of course, even sample some delicious dishes.

Two years ago, a certain celebrity came over to visit our booth from a T.V. show that will remain nameless (though it does go well with dip), and ended up wearing our chef coat all day!

Eric Estrada with the ChefUniforms.com Sales Team

Are you going to the show this year? If so, be sure to stop by the ChefUniforms.com booth, # 514.

For more information on the show and a list of attendees, visit show.restaurant.org/Home.

St. Patty’s Day Around the World

Happy St. Patty’s Day, everyone! While many people would tell you that this holiday is about going out and being festive, it’s important to note that it’s about more than just drinking green beer and partying. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17th every year on the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish observe today as a religious holiday, as it falls during the Christian season of Lent. So, Irish families would traditionally go to church in the morning and celebrate afterward with dancing, drinking and feasting. The customary meal for this holiday is Irish bacon and cabbage.

Up until recently in Ireland, the law mandated that all of the pubs be closed on March 17th. However, in 1995, in a campaign to drive tourism to the country, the Irish government decided to hold a multi-day celebration featuring parades, concerts, outdoor theater and fireworks.

In the United States, we celebrate this holiday a bit Chicago Riverdifferently. The Chicago River is dyed green in celebration of the day – a creative way to bring the spirit of the season to its residents. This started in 1962, when city pollution-control workers used vegetable dyes to trace illegal sewage discharges. They then realized that this dye produced a very festive side-effect: it turned the river green!

This day has evolved from a religious holiday to one of Irish patriotism around the world. Whether you are Irish or not, you have undoubtedly sampled a green beer, or at least tasted one of these traditional Irish dishes:

  • Irish Bacon and Cabbage
  • Corned Beef and Cabbage
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Irish Soda Bread
  • Stuffed Cabbage
  • Potato Cakes

Whether you’re eating one of these tasty dishes or cooking it, don’t forget to wear your green chef coat for the occasion! Don’t have one? Pick one up at ChefUniforms.com, and shop till you drop! Green Chef Coat

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!

Bacon Fest 2013 Recap

Bacon Fest 2013In case you missed the action, here’s a recap of Florida’s Inaugural Bacon Festival. Bacon Fest Florida, 2013 was held at the Seminole Coconut Creek Casino on Saturday, February 23rd from 6-11pm. It was hosted by Chef Todd Fisher, Discovery’s Destination America TV Show, “United States of Bacon”. Over 20 South Florida restaurants turned out to the event wearing their chef coats, giving out samples of their… unconventional, yet delicious, bacon-inspired dishes. In order to showcase their creativity and culinary prowess, vendors needed to come up with some out-of-the-box uses for bacon, other than the classic bacon-wrapped chicken. Of course, that dish was in attendance, but it took a backseat to some of the stranger concoctions, such as Maple Bacon Cupcakes, Bacon-infused Popcorn, and Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered Bacon, among others. There was even a food truck, Ms. Cheezious, handing out grilled goat cheese and bacon sandwiches.

Bacon Wrapped Shrimp

Bacon-wrapped shrimp (stuffed with jalapenos and cheese)

Bacon Wrapped ChickenBacon-wrapped chicken

Grilled BaconGrilled bacon with sour cream

Bacon Infused PopcornBacon-infused popcorn

Maple Bacon CupcakeMaple-bacon cupcakes – of which I ate three!

Maple Bacon Cupcakes

The Maple-Bacon Cupcake Tower

Ms Cheezious

MS. Cheezious Food Truck

Peanut Butter Chocolate Covered BaconPeanut Butter & Chocolate Covered Bacon

Entertainment for the event did not disappoint, either – from Radio Station Power 96’s DJ Zog to actor Kevin Bacon’s band, The Bacon Brothers, to The Dan Band, from movies such as Old School and The Hangover. Other activities at the event included bowling, bean bag toss, and even a mechanical hog named Harley. Everyone walked around wearing plastic bacon bracelets, drinking bacon-flavored vodka and wearing their bacon-inspired merchandise, which were for sale at the “Bacon Merch” booth.

Chef Todd FisherChef Todd Fisher – United States of Bacon

DJ Zog

DJ Zog – Power 96

Dan Band

The Dan Band – Pre-show

The Dan Band

The Dan Band – Post-show

Bacon BrothersThe Bacon Brothers Band

Kevin BaconKevin Bacon jamming out

Harley the Mechanical HogChef Todd Fisher riding Harley the mechanical hog

Bacon Fest Crowd

Overall, this sold out event was a great success, gathering thousands of bacon enthusiasts from across the state (and elsewhere). I can hardly wait to see what they come up with next year!

Were you able to attend Bacon Fest this year? What was your favorite part?

For more information about this event, please visit: http://www.seminolecoconutcreekcasino.com/entertainment/baconfest-fl

Meet the Flavors of Ft. Lauderdale Chefs!

As one of the event sponsors, the ChefUniforms.com team spent this past weekend at the 1st annual Flavors of Fort Lauderdale event held at the Las Olas Marina.  We had an amazing time learning about and trying gourmet dishes prepared by South Florida’s finest chefs. Both days kept focus on the event’s overarching theme of sustainable seafood.  The chefs educated attendees about Seafood Watch® and taught them how to easily incorporate sustainable seafood in their own kitchens.

On Saturday night, the featured event was Flavors After Dark with 5 fabulous female chefs all local to the area.  These talented chefs all did live demonstrations to teach and engage the audience about their own unique cooking styles and expert tips and tricks.  All of the fabulous female chefs looked extra fabulous in their white ChefUniforms.com #83113 women’s chef coats!  The featured female chefs were Chef Lauren DeShields, Chef Shar Melwani, Chef Elizabeth Barlow, Chef Jennifer Erickson, and Chef Robyn Almodovar.

Chef Robyn Almodovar appeared on season 10 of Hell’s Kitchen. She now owns her own award winning food truck, Palate Party which “brings the party to you” with a DJ and rooftop dance floor.

The Flavors Grand Tasting was held on Sunday, led by the grand “Ambassador of Flavor” Chef Allen Susser.  There were more live demos featuring local male chefs including Chef Alex Feher, Chef Dean Max, Chef Olive Saucy, Chef Tony Sindaco, Chef Johhny Vincencz, and Chef Ralph Pagano.

Chef Pagano appeared on the first season of Hell’s Kitchen and Iron Chef America. He now hosts the series “Pressure Cook” on the Travel Channel as well as “All Mixed Up” on the Lifetime network.

Be sure to check out our ChefUniforms.com Facebook album for more pictures from the Flavors of Fort Lauderdale event!

 

 

Flavors of Fort Lauderdale

Attention, food-lovers! Do you love free food and wine tastings and cooking demonstrations? Will you be in South Florida between November 8th and the 11th? Then you need to check out the first annual Flavors of Fort Lauderdale. The event will take place in Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Marina, and there will be over 35 different restaurants preparing their signature dishes for guests. But that’s not all! ChefUniforms.com has agreed to sponsor this event by way of donating our signature chef coats to the cause.

Twelve chefs will be participating and will be wearing our coats, and you get to see them in action, first-hand! Some will be wearing the Chef Uniforms style 63313, a traditional chef coat with underarm vents, and made with 100% cotton for maximum breathability. Others chose 83113, another traditional chef coat that contours to provide a more flattering fit for women.

………………..Style 63313                                                                  Style 83113

                             

You can see Chef Robyn Almodovar and the Five Fabulous Female Chefs in their brand new chef attire, by visiting the Flavors After Dark Event on Saturday, November 10th from 6-10 P.M. On Sunday you can see the “Ambassador of Flavor”, the event’s Master of Ceremonies, Chef Allen Susser in his new uniform (below), an Uncommon Threads Egyptian cotton chef coat.

Style 453EC

The Flavors of Fort Lauderdale Event is a celebration of the culinary lifestyle and is open to anyone who has an appreciation for good food and fun. Many local and regional restaurants will be participating, as well as many great chefs from the area. A portion of the event’s proceeds will benefit a South Florida Charity called Feeding South Florida. This charity is a not-for-profit organization that helps to provide food and other grocery products to people in need, as well as to educate and engage the community in the fight against hunger and poverty.

For more information about the event and for complete time, location and ticketing information, please visit http://www.flavorsfortlauderdale.com/.

World Food Day 2012

Today is World Food Day, the day in which we help fight world hunger, one small action at a time. Did you know that one in every seven people on Earth goes hungry almost every day, and the world has a means to stop this? There are nearly 900 million hungry people in the world today, and that number will only keep rising if we don’t do something about it. Realizing this fact, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization put together agricultural cooperatives that will provide much of the extra food needed to feed more than 9 billion people by 2050.

So what can we do to help the cause? At WorldFoodDayUSA.org, you can learn about the different events that are being held in order to raise money and awareness, as well as get some ideas on how to host your own. Here are some of the ideas listed on the site:

  •    Host a World Food Day meal
  •    Organize a food packaging event
  •    Walk to end hunger
  •    Grow a garden
  •    Engage local schools
  •    Volunteer your time
  •    Raise money for the effort

Even a small donation to the cause would make a difference, and could save a person’s life. So get started today, put on your chef coat and help put an end to world hunger.

Working on 4th of July? Try Some Easy, Yummy Treats!

As we all know, working in the culinary field means that sometimes you have to work on weekends and holidays… so why not make the best of it? If this 4th of July is one of those days for you, we hope you’re wearing your red, white, and blue chef uniforms! We also hope that you can still find a way to celebrate your American pride with your fellow co-workers.

Here are some ideas for simple and festive treats that would be painless to prepare, and would win you some major brownie points with those around you.

If you’re lucky enough to have the day off, check out last year’s 4th of July Blog for some BBQ ideas! Have something planned for Wednesday other than one of these dishes?  Share your recipe with us and pictures in your patriotic chef uniforms of course!

Happy Father’s Day!

It’s Father’s Day again, and ChefUniforms.com would like to wish all of the fathers out there a happy and healthy holiday with your families. If you’re like me, you are probably still looking for that last-minute Father’s Day gift. Luckily, last year we posted a blog with some ideas for just such an occasion, so read and enjoy: A Gift for Father’s Day. And as we said last year, the way to any man’s heart is through his stomach, so cook up a little something he’ll enjoy, and it’ll be a Father’s Day to remember. Here are a few ideas (in addition to those listed in last year’s blog) that your dad is sure to love, because they all incorporate bacon into the mix! Wrap anything in bacon and he will love you for it… Seriously, anything.

– Bacon Strip Pancakes – speaking of breakfast, why take time preparing the main entrée and sides, when you can include it all in one! Cook the bacon strips directly into the pancakes. Save time, dishwasher space, and make your dad or husband the happiest man on earth for one glorious breakfast.

– Bacon-wrapped tater tots – how amazing does that sound?! These are a great appetizer or snack, and prepare his taste buds for the bacon-tastic meal that is to come.

 

 

– Bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers – give your bacon some extra kick with a spicy jalapeno inside! This is another great appetizer or hors d’ oeuvre idea, and it’ll only take you 20 minutes to prepare and make!

 

– Chicken and waffle sandwich – don’t forget the bacon! Not only will this sandwich include 3 of his favorite foods on one epic plate, it’ll be the perfect combination of breakfast, lunch and dinner that will make his mouth water just looking at it.

 

 

– Grilled Cheese with Bacon – the classic sandwich with a dash of awesome. The crispy bacon adds texture and flavor to the sandwich, while preserving that gooey cheesy center.

 

– Chocolate Covered Bacon – a dessert that includes both chocolate and bacon? Doesn’t get much better than that! Drizzle it on or dip the whole thing, it’s up to you!

 

 

Of course there are thousands of bacon-themed ideas to choose from, but this was a short list of the ones that I plan on trying myself in the near future. I’ll be sure to post recipes and pictures when I do!

Do you have a favorite bacon-themed meal or dish? Share a recipe with us and we’ll cook it up!

A Big Thank You to Our Nation’s Finest

ChefUniforms.com would like to wish all of our loyal readers and fans a happy Memorial Day today! Always on the last Monday in May, this holiday originated as a federal holiday to honor those who died while fighting in the Civil War. Later, it became a day to pay tribute to all of our fallen service men and women from the U.S. Armed Forces. Today, people use this long weekend to gather together with family and friends and to honor those who have died fighting for our country. We show our patriotism in many different ways, including fireworks displays, parades, and the good old fashioned BBQ.

As you may already know, May is National Barbecue Month, but what you may not know is that today is not only Memorial Day, it’s also National Hamburger Day! So, to honor our fallen American soldiers and to celebrate this great tradition, here are some patriotic dishes that are inspired by this great country of ours.

      

           

         

       

If you haven’t already, be sure to come by ChefUniforms.com and pick yourself up some patriotic-colored chef uniforms. You can wear a red or white chef coat with a blue shirt underneath, or choose your own style to show your USA pride!

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