Cook Like Jackie

‘Taste of Something Better’ Culinary Competition Seeks to Crown America’s Best Amateur Chef

LG Electronics USA and Food & Wine magazine today have partnered for the 2010 “Taste of Something Better” recipe contest and cooking competition – for the crown of America’s best amateur chef.  This contest, now in its second year, celebrates original recipes from amateur chefs across the nation, challenging finalists to a cook off in the LG kitchen at the new, highly anticipated Food & Wine “Taste of Beverly Hills” culinary festival taking place this September.  The competition will be judged by a panel of celebrity chefs, including Tim Love, owner of the Lonesome Dove and the Love Shack in Texas, best known for his appearances on “Iron Chef America” and “Top Chef Masters”. The winner of the Beverly Hills cook-off will go on to represent the United States in LG’s annual “Life Tastes Good” global cooking competition this fall.

Home chefs and cooking enthusiasts alike – no professional chefs allowed – are asked to submit their favorite main entree recipe for a chance to showcase their cooking skills first-hand in the national cook-off event. Three recipe finalists will be selected by a panel of renowned chefs and culinary critics to participate in LG’s “Taste of Something Better” competition, held in conjunction with the first-ever Food & Wine Taste of Beverly Hills culinary festival.

Competitors in the Beverly Hills event will be testing their culinary skills for the opportunity to represent the United States in LG’s global “Life Tastes Good” cooking competition, taking place on Sept. 29, in addition to prize packages including the grand prizem a trip for two to Seoul, South Korea, to compete in LG’s global cooking competition and a suite of LG stainless steel kitchen appliances.  The runner-up will receive an LG stainless steel 4-door, French-door refrigerator, gas cooktop and double wall oven and the second runner-up will receive an LG stainless steel double wall oven. 

The contest will accept entries from June 15 through July 16, 2010. Food & Wine culinary experts will select 10 winning recipes, which will be prepared in the magazine’s kitchen to narrow the field to three finalists, who will compete in the live championship match in Beverly Hills. For complete details and to enter your recipe, visit  For more information please contact


Lindt USA Unveils New State-of-the-Art Cocoa Liquor Facility

Lindt & Sprungli a producer of premium chocolate, recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art bean roasting facility at its U.S. headquarters in Stratham, New Hampshire. The new 40,000-square foot, cocoa liquor plant provides Lindt USA with the capability to clean, roast and grind cocoa beans, and ultimately to create cocoa liquor, a key component in the chocolate production process.

The expansion will allow the company to control the entire chocolate production process, from bean to finished product, something few chocolate manufacturers in the world have the ability to do.  The facility now makes chocolate from bean to finished product for the United States, Canada, Mexico, England and Australia using Lindt’s 165-year-old Swiss recipes and quality standards.

Lindt offers a wide variety of premium chocolate, including gourmet bars in the delicious Excellence Collection, ultimately smooth-melting Lindor Truffles, and delicious seasonal and boxed chocolate assortments. For more information, please visit or e-mail

New York Botanical Garden “Edible Garden” Open Through October 17th

The New York Botanical Garden recently opened its Edible Garden, an exhibition about growing and preparing good food. Set across the 250-acre Botanical Garden landscape and open to the public through October 17, 2010, the exhibition celebrates locally grown, seasonal food through demonstrations from food and gardening experts every day and teaches visitors how to grow the best food at home.

Appearances by Mario Batali, Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Daisy Martinez, Dan Barber, Sara Moulton, and others have been scheduled during four festival weekends.  Four kitchen gardens and cooking demonstrations will be held daily.  Proceeds benefit the Children’s Gardening program.

Celebrity chefs narrate The Edible Garden Audio Tour through which visitors can discover where their food comes from and how it gets to their table. Listeners can also receive text messages with nutritional information, recipes, tips, and facts about growing food. The Audio Tour is sponsored by Bloomberg and accessible by cell phone.

Four festival weekends during The Edible Garden offer visitors the chance to discover the origins of food and learn about the plants and plant parts that they eat every day. The Edible Garden launched the Get Out and Grill, a summer grilling opening weekend on June 19 and 20. Celebrity chefs provide healthy cooking demonstrations in the Conservatory Kitchen featuring gourmet cookware and other kitchenware from Anolon®, a major sponsor, and state-of-the-art, outdoor kitchen equipment provided by Viking Range Corp. Food prepared in the Conservatory Kitchen is provided by Whole Foods Market. Visitors can also sample a selection of food and beverage products from vendors at the Tasting Terrace and learn about Garden scientists’ research projects involving edible plants at Cafe Scientifique. Macy’s is the supporting sponsor of the Tasting Terrace.

 Additional festival weekends are scheduled for Fiesta de Flores y Comida, a celebration of Latin American and Caribbean food and flowers, on September 25 and 26; Family Harvest (Columbus Day Weekend), on October 9, 10, and 11; and the Fall Finale, October 16 and 17.

For more information, including admission pricing, visit, call 718.817.8700 or e-mail

Tofutti Brands Developing Three New NonDairy Gluten-Free Products

Tofutti Brands Inc. a developer, producer and marketer of TOFUTTI brand soy-based, dairy-free frozen desserts, soy-based dairy free cheese products and other soy-based, dairy-free food products is launching three new products set to hit stores by the end of 2010.  The first new product will be the first commercially available nondairy and gluten-free ricotta cheese product.  The company is also develping a dairy-free, sugar-free, frozen dessert than incorporates Stevia as the sweetening agent which is believed to the first frozen dessert to utilize the natural Stevia as a sweetener. In addition, the company is also developing a newly re-formulated frozen pizza with a dairy-free, trans fat-free cheese topping. Tofutti products are sold in grocery stores, supermarkets, health and convenience stores throughout the United States and in approximately twenty-five other countries.

For more information, please contact

Tickets On Sale Today for New York City Wine & Food Festival

Tickets for the third annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival presented by Food & Wine and Travel + Leisure magazines go on sale today!  The Festival, which takes place October 7-10, 2010, is hosted by and benefits the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength®.

 The third annual event features chefs, winemakers, culinary personalities, and mixologists – including Restaurant magazine’s newly named number one and number three best chefs in the world Rene Redzepi of Denmark’s Noma and Heston Blumenthal of England’s Fat Duck, plus Peru’s Gaston Acurio, Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, cookbook author and country singer Trisha Yearwood and master mixologists The Tipping Brothers; along with Food Network celebrities Paula Deen, Guy Fieri and Alton Brown among others. Plus, a variety of new events to complement all of the returning fan-favorites!

A complete line-up of events for the 2010 Festival is available at  For more information please contact us at

New and Notable – Tea Forte Single Steeps and Tea Internship for One Lucky College Grad!

My love for the Tea Forte line of fine teas continues to grow.  As a devotee of their beautiful packaging and wonderful flavors along with a great line of accessories, I was beginning to wonder what was next for them?  The company recently launched Single Steeps, an easy to use line of pre-portioned pouches that are a convenient and simple way to prepare and enjoy the perfect cup of premium loose leaf tea.  The company recommends steeping the teas by opening the pre-portioned pouch of tea and emptying the contents into a teapot or infusing basket and pouring the water over the leaves to steep the perfect 12 oz cup or pot of tea.

Loose leaf tea fans will be excited to learn that all Single Steeps are USDA Certified Organic.  They come in a 15 count sampler including three eco-pouches each of Chamomile Citron Naturally Caffeine-Free Herb Tea, Earl Grey Black Tea, Green Mango Peach Tea, Forte Breakfast Black Tea, and Ginger Lemongrass Naturally Caffeine-Free Herb Tea.  The set will retail for US $12.

 A complimentary Single Steeps Brewing System which includes a set complete with 24 pre-portioned pouches of Single Steeps tea along with a 12 oz KATI double-wall ceramic tea tumbler with integrated stainless-steel infusing basket is also available for US $24.

Aside from these great single steeps, I was pleased to learn that the Tea Council of the USA is offering a “Sip of Success” Dream Job Contest to grant one lucky college graduate an opportunity to prepare for a great career and experience a unique and thrilling adventure on tea plantations in India, Sri Lanka, Kenya and the USA. College grads can create a two-minute video showing their passion for tea and knowledge of its many health benefits, for a chance to win this exciting prize.  The winner will intern in all three host countries, as well as in the US.  The international internship will begin in mid-October of this year, with a tea tour of Darjeeling and Assam, India, the second largest global tea producer following China. The winner will remain in Assam to begin a 6-week intensive training program, after which he or she will travel to Sri Lanka for another leg of the internship, and then on to Kenya for the final week, returning to the US in late December, 2010. Sri Lanka and Kenya are the world’s two leading tea exporters.  To top off the experience, in early January, 2011, the winner will participate in the US portion of the Dream Job internship at SalonTea, under the tutelage of nationally known tea entrepreneur Tracy Stern.

During the internship the winner will learn about all aspects of tea cultivation, processing and appreciation (cupping). He or she will live in Tea Estate Bungalows, which are actually beautiful homes built for the original British managers.  All entries must be original videos created by the entrants and must contain at least one valid message regarding the health benefits of tea, specifically black, green, white or oolong tea. Open to legal residents of the United States and Puerto Rico, who are recent college graduates at least 18 years of age, all entries must be received electronically at no later than midnight on Tuesday, September 7, 2010.

 For more information and to submit a video for consideration, please visit or e-mail

Well Done – Certified Angus Beef Available Online!

Successful gifting is always a mission of mine. When my cooking mentor recently celebrated a milestone birthday, I initially had a difficult time figuring out what to get the person who has every kitchen gadget, every spice, every cookbook and every serving platter you could think of. I am sure that as I progress, my friends will feel the same way about me. However, one day it hit me, I would send her lobster tails. It is not that she could not purchase them on her own, but I knew that she would not, and therefore I used the internet to give her the type of gift I felt that she deserved. She later told me that she was delighted to receive the box which she at first thought to contain flowers. Imagine her delight when she opened it and found two large lobster tails inside. Mission Accomplished!

 The impact of the internet on food commerce is undeniable.  Delicacies can be purchased on websites and shipped to your door with ease.  Finding gifts for foodies or something out of the ordinary can create a nervousness over many issues such as freshness, taste and the recipients ability to incorporate what you send into their routine.  Although we accept the concept of buying many types of goods online, when it comes to meats and seafoods, I can understand the general reluctance that the average person may have.  However, there are many great companies which offer wonderful catalogues of delectable foods if you are willing to pay overnight shipping rates including Dean & Deluca and Chesapeake Bay Crab Cakes & More

Steak lovers across the United States now have another great option for ordering meats as the elite beef thought only to be served at white tablecloth restaurants is now available for doorstep delivery. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand now offers online ordering, making the brand’s premium beef – traditional, Prime, and Natural lines – available for beef connoisseurs and gift givers nationwide.

 For more than 30 years, the Certified Angus Beef ® brand has been world-famous for its exceptional quality and generous marbling. Ten strict scientific standards ensure each bite is full of mouthwatering flavor, tenderness and juiciness. The Certified Angus Beef ® brand is a cut above USDA Prime, Choice and Select. It is proudly featured by more than 13,600 restaurants and retailers around the globe and is now available online.

 The Certified Angus Beef ® brand, which is the only brand of beef owned by the American Angus Association® and its more than 30,000 rancher members, is offering an elite selection of steaks and gourmet frankfurters. Steak selections include tender 8-ounce Certified Angus Beef ® filet mignons, full-flavored 12-ounce Certified Angus Beef ® strip steaks and robust 10-ounce Certified Angus Beef ® ribeyes. All cuts are available in packages of four to six steaks and begin at US $74.95.

 Also available for consumers: Certified Angus Beef ® brand Prime and Certified Angus Beef ® brand Natural strip steaks and filet mignons. The brand’s Prime selections appeal to the most discerning taste buds, with less than 1.5% of steaks qualifying for the elite Prime label. The brand’s Natural cuts tout the highest quality.  Cattle are never given antibiotics, hormones or anything but a vegetarian diet. In addition, both the Prime and Natural lines must meet all of the Certified Angus Beef ® brand’s 10 strict quality standards, ensuring consumers enjoy only the best Angus beef.

 Each order is fresh frozen, vacuum sealed and covered with a durable polyethylene film to ensure the highest quality before being shipped in a gift box inside in a reusable insulated cooler.  These are great items to order in advance of a special occasion, a backyard barbecue or an intimate dinner.  For more information please contact

Ocean Spray Introduces New Line of Blueberry Products

Ocean Spray recently unveiled a new line of blueberry-based products including Blueberry and Blueberry Pomegranate Juice Cocktails, Craisins® Blueberry Juice Infused Dried Cranberries, Blueberry Sugar-Free Drink Mixes and fresh blueberries is a first for the juice category leader.

Not quite out of the blue, Ocean Spray has partnered with JetBlue Airlines to offer travelers a unique opportunity to sample the new line of juice and Craisins® dried cranberries as part of the airline’s complimentary line-up of unlimited name brand snacks and drinks through the month of July.

Today from noon-1 p.m. juice loving New Yorkers can see how they measure up to a larger-than-life bottle at Greeley Square Park (between 6th and Broadway, and 33rd and 32nd streets).  Participants will have an opportunity to win one of 250 prizes from Ocean Spray’s custom luggage carousel. Prizes include roundtrip JetBlue travel to any of its 61 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean and Latin and South Americas, JetBlue Gift Cards ranging from $25-$100, ShopBlue merchandise and Ocean Spray Blueberry Juice products.

The new line of products in detail:

Blueberry and Blueberry Pomegranate Juice Cocktail – Available in original and diet, each eight ounce glass offers a full day’s supply of Vitamin C. Juice lovers will adore the diet variety which offers the refreshing taste of blueberries with only five little calories per serving.

Craisins® Blueberry Juice Infused Dried Cranberries – Made from real fruit and have good-for-you fiber, new Craisins® blueberry dried cranberries are a tasty, juice infused, on-the-go snack.

Blueberry Sugar-Free Drink Mixes – Available in Blueberry Lemonade and Blueberry Pomegranate flavors. Sugar-Free Drink Mixes are a nutritious, deliciously flavored drink alternative packed with 100 percent daily value of Vitamin C and only five calories per serving.

Fresh Blueberries – Summer-ripened blueberries rank high among traditional fruits in naturally occurring antioxidants. Look for Ocean Spray fresh blueberries in the produce department year-round.

 For more information, please contact

Cooking Light Launches Nationwide Search for the Healthy Chef of the Year

Cooking Light announced today that it is launching a nationwide search to find the chef with the healthiest and most innovative cooking approach. The contest, searching for a self-taught or professionally-trained chef, launches today at and runs through August 14, 2010.  

Entrants must submit a three-minute prep-to-plate video of a healthy, original recipe on which they will be judged. Four finalists will be chosen from the entries to compete in a live cook-off event at The Taste of Atlanta, a two-day outdoor food festival in Atlanta, GA, on October 23 and 24, 2010. The Cooking Light judges will select the winner, who will be named the “Healthy Chef of the Year.” The winner will receive a $10,000 prize package including a kitchen makeover, a year’s worth of free groceries, and the opportunity to become a contributor to Cooking Light magazine and in 2011.

 Any and all skill levels are welcome to enter, from home cooks to culinary school graduates. Entrants must be legal residents of the United States and 21 years or older at the time of entry. Anyone who is paid to cook for a living is not eligible to enter.  For more information, please contact us at

Freshen Up Your Fridge with Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese

Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese is announcing its second annual Freshen Up Your Fridge program which will grant one grand prize winner a year’s supply of Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese, a new Whirlpool® side-by-side refrigerator with 6th Sense Technology and more. Consumers can visit and enter to win by sharing, in 50 words or less, why and how their eating habits could be improved through a refrigerator makeover. One grand prize winner will receive a year’s supply of Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese and a new Whirlpool® side-by-side refrigerator with 6th Sense Technology which has been rated as the industry’s most energy efficient side-by-side refrigerator available.  In addition the grand prize winner will receive an in-home visit by a registered dietitian to help select healthier, more nutrient-rich foods for their refrigerator and a $50 gift card toward their first healthy food shopping trip.  One first runner-up will receive a year’s supply of Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese and a $500 gift card.  One second runner-up will receive a year’s supply of Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese and a $250 gift card.  For more information please contact