Food News Today Transcripts for the week of July 24th, 2011

July 29, 2011

If you can skewer it, it will sell, Dogs enjoy the ultimate dinner, and secrets from a food stylist For July 27th 2011. This is Food News Today.

 Good Morning, immediately following Food News Today, we continue with a live discussion in our chat room below - today's broadcast is prerecorded - but I will be here live in the chat from New York City. Please sign in and join us. Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting and unbiased food news.



In Consumer Trends we look at what might be the latest foodservice and retail food trend - Food on stick

Making food exciting is something most restaurant chefs try to achieve, but most of the time its sophisticated plating, and interesting exotic tastes – which are not that exciting for many people especially kids…. What is exciting for both kids and adults is actually food on a stick!  There is something inherently entertaining, goofy, and fun about perching food on a stick. This is not a new innovation, but rather a practice that was born of necessity. 

Matt Armendariz, author of On a Stick points out “Long before the invention of kitchen utensils, people were grilling over an open fire, using branches to warm and roast food. This cooking method appears in the writings of the ancient Greeks and virtually all cultures since have offered their own version of food on a stick.”

Which fine foods are served up on a stick?  Try cheese cake dipped in chocolate, a deep fried snickers, marshmallows dipped in whatever you can think of, a banana on a stick, chicken on a sick, lollipop wings- and the Japanese tradition of izakaya, meats are skewered grilled and served up on a stick. 


Shrimp skewered on sugar cane and lemongrass beef lollipops, which lends an herbal citrus note to complement the beef.

And there is  Zed451 a restaurant in Chicago, where chef  Patrick Quakenbush, prepares: Boursin-stuffed fire-roasted peppers on a stick, goat cheese and bacon wrapped dates on a stick, and lobster tempura on a stick!


In our marketing analysis segment today we meet Marilinda Hodgdon a food stylist since 1978. Her iconic work can be seen in just about every advertising medium. By 16 she was already the Head Cook at Mamma Mia’s, in Ocean City, NJ during her summers and weekends. And her love of food kept on growing.




Thanks Marilinda! And you can check out her blog, she says she’s a self-proclaimed “Food Floozie who will style food for anybody for money,”


In foodservice trends, you may say the hottest trend is going to the dogs with the Ultimate Dog’s Dinner: 

Hotel Silver Service Has Fine Food for Pooches as It seems like some ladies just can’t leave their furry companions at home – and I believe it became even more important as Paris Hilton and her dog traveled the social circles. Now for those ladies or socialites who lunch and bring their dogs along, you don’t have to worry about what they will eat -- when visiting or dining at The Riverside Hotel in Evesham, England, doggies can dine too -  and the hotel even has its own canine concierge!

It’s not the most adventurous of menus, yet the doggie diners keep coming back for more.  The first course include a choice of a soup, chicken-liver parfait, crepes or home-made fishcakes. For the main course, it’s rib-eye steak, salmon wellington, pizza or pan-fried chicken supreme. If little fido has room for more, desserts include: carrot cake, rice pudding, and chocolate biscuits. Seriously. and there are even broccoli-and-carrot biscuits for vegetarians.

The $16 prix fixe meal is served in china bowls on a silver platter.    Chef Rico Pech says this gourmet menu is for dogs whose owners don’t want their pooches to miss out while they enjoy his dishes such as Deep Fried King Prawn Wrapped in Filo Pastry with a Sweet Chili Dressing.

And yes there are picky eaters.  Pech says, “the big dogs will eat anything but the smaller ones are very picky, especially when they’re old.”






For Food News Today, I’m Phil Lempert, thanks for joining us. If you have a colleague in retailing, the media or a blogger who would like to also receive our advance email - please send them to to sign up. Next week’s stories will be in your Tuesday email.