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Third Annual L.A. Vendy Awards Food Championships Are Back with a Taco Twist

Annual Food Championship Returns to L.A. on June 28 with a Taco Twist  

This year’s Los Angeles Vendy Awards are joining forces with L.A. Weekly’s Tacolandia, which will feature tacos from more than 40 of Southern California and Mexico’s most talented vendors on Saturday, June 28 at El Pueblo de Los Angeles in downtown L.A. The taco purveyors at the event will go head to head for the highly coveted Vendy Cup, or title for best street taco.

Street tacos“Los Angeles is an area that’s incredibly rich in culture, so we are excited to use this event to tap into that,” said Zeina Muna, managing director of the Vendy Awards. “A good taco, maybe even a great taco, is easy to find in L.A., but we’re definitely looking forward to this competition bringing us the BEST taco that this city has to offer.”

The Vendy Awards are an annual event organized by Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, or SVP, a membership-based organization of more than 1,800 vendors. SVP’s famed Vendy Awards have honored New York City’s top street chef for nine years, and have become one of the most beloved and widely anticipated food events in New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

“I am delighted that the Vendy Awards will be honoring the Best Street Taco at L.A. Weekly’s Tacolandia,” said Bill Esparza, curator of Tacolandia and one of the inaugural Vendy Award judges in Los Angeles. “It gives hard-working street food vendors a chance to be recognized for their talents.”

The Vendy’s “Best Street Taco” award is one of several honors to be given at this year’s Tacolandia. The awards will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced at the end of the event.

Tickets to the event can be purchased here.

Follow The Vendy Awards and Tacolandia on Twitter for the latest news and announcements at @vendyawards.

The Vendy Awards are an annual benefit event for the non-profit the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center. The Street Vendor Project is a membership-based project with more than 1,800 active vendor members who are working together to create a vendors’ movement for permanent change. The Street Vendor Project is part of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit organization that provides legal representation and advocacy to various marginalized groups of New Yorkers. Join their list of supporters.


Disturbing Truth About The Food You Eat

When buying soft drinks, which brand do you choose: 7Up, Dr Pepper or Schweppes? It doesn’t matter. Your choice is just an illusion, since you’re still buying from a single company that makes all these brands – Dr Pepper.

The same is true for other product groups like coffee, butter or soda.

In the competition for a slice of America’s $603-Billion grocery business there are only 4 big companies that count in each product category.

Alex Hillsberg of analyzed food reports from US Department of Agriculture and other credible sources and gathered the findings in a new infographic that paints a very grim picture of the food industry today.

For instance, did you know that:

  • Quaker Oats, which you may view as a healthy food, is produced by PepsiCo, a company which is known for its notorious love for junk food.
  • ​91% of the soda market is owned by only Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Group?
  • Nestle is the world’s largest food company and owns almost 8,000 brands?
Top Grocery Brands Comparison: Pepsi, Kellogg, General Mills and Post Foods Have 80% of the Cereals Market Share

Brought to you by financesonline | Alex Hillsberg

Food for Thought: Glutino Gluten-Free Pretzels


by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

As part of my annual trek to the Natural Foods Expo West I picked up several bite-sized sample items to take home and chew on. Not being a fan of noshing personally, I was surprised when a sudden hankering for a salty snack didn’t turn into a walk down guilt trip lane.

I had been anticipating that heavy, weighty taste of a regular pretzel snack. Not to be. Glutino Pretzel Twists  were light, flavorful and only a small serving size, less than 1 ounce, satisfied the craving.

Free of wheat, gluten, milk, and casein, the remaining ingredients are not completely worth cheering about. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a gluten-free snack, it’s one more choice to add to the list.  Here’s the breakdown:





You can shop online for these treats, get coupons, recipes and join their community.  There are special information and support sections for people with Celiac Disease which is the best thing about this product.

Fancy Food Show Names Victoria Amory to Top 5 Trend

This January, at San Francisco’s 39th annual Winter Fancy Food Show, Victoria Amory’s new Fine Herbs Mayonnaise, one of nine creations in her latest artisan condiment line, was named one of the food and beverage show’s Top Trends by a panel of expert food writers and journalists.

The panel – which included Specialty Food Association senior director Denise Purcell, Nancy Hopkins of Better Homes and Gardens, and PBS cooking host Joanne Weir – selected five top trends from over 80,000 specialty food and beverage products and 1,350 exhibitors at the specialty show and chose Victoria Amory & Co. for its newest creations selected Amory’s Fine Herb Mayonnaise as the leading product in the Condiments Dressed Up trend!

Armory’s tip: Even the simplest dish can be dressed up for dinner. She suggests pairing her Top Trend Fine Herb Mayonnaise, inspired by the lush Basque region in Spain, with crispy coconut shrimp for fun fusion fare.

Victoria Amory has created nine new fancy condiments in all:

  • Green Chili Piri Piri
  • Red Chili Piri Piri
  • Almond and Garlic Romesco Sauce
  • Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise
  • Fine Herb Mayonnaise
  • Classic Lemon Mayonnaise
  • Sherry Ketchup
  • Champagne Ketchup
  • Smokey BBQ Ketchup

Follow her on twitter @vixmam

About Victoria Amory

Victoria Amory is an award-winning author, cook, and television personality. She writes about food, entertaining, and lifestyle for local and national magazines and newspapers such as Food & Wine,Veranda,Town & Country Travel,The Miami Herald, and The Huffington Post. Born and raised in Spain, where she learned the art of gracious entertaining, Victoria has made cooking for her loved ones and sharing her secrets to easy elegance in the kitchen her life’s work. She shares her fabulous yet effortless recipes and tips for the sophisticated home through her blog,, and her collection of Victoria Amory & Co. soups, sauces, and skinny chicken parmesan. Amory’s line is designed to help women create graceful, memorable meals and occasions with ease and confidence. Victoria currently lives in Connecticut with her husband and their three boys.

14 Food Resolutions for 2014

14_food_resolutionsThis week our wonderful friends Ellen Gustafson and Danielle Nierenberg, over at Food Tank released their personal list of 2014 resolutions that they think anyone can do in order to bring about positive, sustainable change that will not only nourish people but also our planet. We love these ladies here at Gia On The Move and have to agree — most of the items on the list are a no-brainer. What’s more, you’re probably doing at least half of them already.  The rest are aimed at food consciousness, food choice, real farm support and sharing with others – including a fun meal together. And let’s face it — most of us have a Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook or Instagram account.  You can do it!

Change happens one small decision at a time, one single person at a time.  You can read the full article on their website for more information.

Here are 14 food resolutions for 2014:

1. Meet Your Local Farmer
Know your farmer, know your food (KYF2) aims to strengthen local and regional food systems. Meeting your local farmer puts a face to where your food comes from and creates a connection between farmers and consumers.

2. Eat Seasonal Produce
By purchasing local foods that are in season, you can help reduce the environmental impact of shipping food. And your money goes straight to the farmer, supporting the local economy.

3. End Food Waste
food wasteMore than 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted each year. Tips to reduce waste include planning meals ahead, buying ‘ugly’’ fruits and vegetables, being more creative with recipes, requesting smaller portions, composting, and donating excess food. (Hey there are some apps for that! Check out Gia’s article New Foodie Apps Help Minimize Food Waste.)

4. Promote a Healthy Lifestyle
Many diseases are preventable, including obesity, yet 1.5 billion people in the world are obese or overweight. Promote a culture of prevention by engaging in physical activity and following guidelines for a healthy diet. Gaps in food governance must also be addressed to encourage healthy lifestyles, including junk food marketing to children.

5. Commit to Resilience in Agriculture
large portion of food production is used for animal feed and biofuels–at least one-third of global food production is used to feed livestock. And land grabs are resulting in food insecurity, the displacement of small farmers, conflict, environmental devastation, and water loss. Strengthening farmers’ unions and cooperatives can help farmers be more resilient to food prices shocks, climate change, conflict, and other problems.

6. Eat (and Cook) Indigenous Crops
Mungbean, cow pea, spider plant…these indigenous crops might sound unfamiliar, but they are grown by small-holder farmers in countries all over the world. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that approximately 75 percent of the Earth’s genetic resources are now extinct, and another third of plant biodiversity is predicted to disappear by the year 2050. We need to promote diversity in our fields and in our diets!

7. Buy (or Grow) Organic
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that at least one pesticide is in 67 percent of produce samples in the U.S. Studies suggest that pesticides can interfere with brain development in children and can harm wildlife, including bees. Growing and eating organic and environmentally sustainable produce we can help protect our bodies and natural resources.

8. Go Meatless Once a Week
To produce 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of beef can require 6,810 liters (1,799 gallons) of water and 0.45 kilograms (one pound) of pork can require 2,180 liters (576 gallons) of water. Beef, pork, and other meats have large water footprints and are resource intensive. Consider reducing your “hoofprint” by decreasing the amount and types of meat you consume.

9. Cook
cooked, food, Michael PollanIn Michael Pollan’s book “Cooked,” he learns how the four elements-fire, water, air, and earth-transform parts of nature into delicious meals. And he finds that the art of cooking connects both nature and culture. Eaters can take back control of the food system by cooking more and, in the process, strengthen relationships and eat more nutritious–and delicious–foods.

10. Host a Dinner Party

Maja D., Bilbao Spain - Real Meal Sharer...

It’s doesn’t have to be fancy, just bring people together! Talk about food, enjoy a meal, and encourage discussion around creating a better food system. Traveling in 2014 and craving a homemade meal? For another option try Meal Sharing and eat with people from around the world.

11. Consider the ‘True Cost’ Of Your Food
Based on the price alone, inexpensive junk food often wins over local or organic foods. But, the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. True cost accounting allows farmers, eaters, businesses, and policy makers to understand the cost of all of the “ingredients” that go into making fast food–including antibiotics, artificial fertilizers, transportation, and a whole range of other factors that don’t show up in the price tag of the food we eat.

12. Democratize Innovation
Around the world, farmers, scientists, researchers, women, youth, NGOs, and others are currently creating innovative, on-the-ground solutions to various, interconnected global agriculture problems. Their work has the great potential to be significantly scaled up, broadened, and deepened—and we need to create an opportunity for these projects to get the attention, resources, research, and the investment they need.

13. Support Family Farmers
The U.N. FAO has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming, honoring the more than 400 million family farms in both industrialized and developing countries, defined as farms who rely primarily on family members for labour and management. Family farmers are key players in job creation and healthy economies, supplying jobs to millions and boosting local markets, while also protecting natural resources.

14. Share Knowledge Across Generations
Older people have challenges–and opportunities–in accessing healthy foods. They’re sharing their knowledge with younger generations by teaching them about gardening and farming, food culture, and traditional cuisines. It’s also important to make sure that older people are getting the nutrition they need to stay active and healthy for as long as possible.

by Danielle Nierenberg

Natural Foods Expo West Takeaways – Thank Goodness It’s Not Butter


Heaven’s answer to a soy Nutella.  But don’t eat without something to drink.  You might find it hard to swallow otherwise.

One of the featured products at the Natural Foods Expo West this year, I ate this for a week – breakfast, lunch and dinner just to see if my taste buds changed their mind at different times of the day.  And I will admit, even for me who is not normally a soy fan, it was pretty delicious.  I found myself just as addicted to the taste as regular Nutella spread and was pretty down when I got to the bottom of the jar.

They claim to be the 4%.  In a world full of statistics which categorizes 96% of US grown, corn, soy, wheat and cotton as GMOs, Don’t Go Nuts Soy Butter has managed to side step the ugly. From “field to fingers” it is a Peanut and Tree Nut free, Gluten free, Organic, Kosher, product made in the USA.  Visit the website for more information.

small-two-thumbs-upThis product gets two thumbs up for taste!


#ExpoWest, @NewHope360, @NatProdExpo

21,076 Pounds of Food! – Canstruction LA Winners Announced

California icons, such as the LAX Theme Building, California’s State Flag, and the busy Port of LA, were among the winning designs at the Seventh Annual CanstructionLA, the design/build contest where architects, designers, builders, and engineers create structures meant for feeding, not housing.

Featured as part of this year’s Downtown Art Walk, January 10, 2013, in the Farmers and Merchants Bank Building, huge structures made of cans of food were created by some of LA’s’ stellar architecture, engineering, and construction firms. The two-day event  contributed 21,076 pounds of food and $12,034 to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank during the two-day event.

Instead of bricks, they use cans.

Canstruction 2013 Los Angeles, CA. Photgography by Tom Bonner

A jury of architecture, art, and culinary experts judged the structures, naming the Juror’s Favorite, Best Use of Labels, Best Meal, and Structural Ingenuity, as well as an Honorable Mention.  Jurors were: Edward Cella, director of Edward Cella Art & Architecture; Adrian Kudler, editor of Curbed Los Angeles; Michelle Lainez, executive chef at Pete’s Café; Joe Moller, executive director of Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk; and Gwynne Pugh, FAIA, principal of Gwynne Pugh Urban Studio.  The winning structures then compete with other regional winners for the National Canstruction Awards.

Canstruction 2013 Los Angeles, CA. Photgography by Tom Bonner

JURORS’ FAVORITE:  Filling a (Growing) Need by NBBJ and Buro Happold Engineers was a graphically subtle abstraction that won for “its sexy, flowing forms, and high architectural references.”  An undulating landscape of canned kidney beans, potatoes, beets, and mixed vegetables culminated in a graceful tower structure.

BEST MEAL:  The Port of Los CANgeles by RBB Architects acknowledges global trade seen at the San Pedro port with omega oil-rich foods that constitute one of the healthiest diets on the planet.

Canstruction 2013 Los Angeles, CA. Photgography by Tom BonnerBEST USE OF LABELS:  CAN-day Afternoon by Steinberg Architects cleverly brings George Seurat’s famous Pointillist painting to life with vibrant color and texture.

STRUCTURAL INGENUITY:  The LAX EnCANter Restaurant by RBB Architects emphasizes the structural beauty of the famous Theme Building’s graceful arches by cleverly balancing cans of tuna.

Canstruction 2013 Los Angeles, CA. Photgography by Tom Bonner

HONORABLE MENTION:  CANstruction Republic by Clark Construction and Thornton Tomasetti was a three-dimensional rendition of the old California State Flag.

In addition to the juried prizes, a People’s Choice Award was bestowed on the structure that gained the most votes from CanstructionLA visitors.  For $1 per vote, visitors could praise their favorite.

Canstruction 2013 Los Angeles, CA. Photgography by Tom BonnerPEOPLE’S CHOICE:  Avoid Hunger Everywhere by RTKL Associates uses subtle shifts in planes and strategic negative and positive spaces to proclaim the international message “to aVOID hunger”.

The Foodbank is grateful for the design community’’s support,” said Michael Flood, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.  “This creative architectural display offers something for the local community to enjoy while they help us end hunger here in Los Angeles.”  Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is a nonprofit, charitable organization that has been serving the disadvantaged since 1973, and is at the heart of a charitable food distribution network that includes more than 640 charitable agencies with upwards of 1,000 program sites in Los Angeles County.

Canstruction LA 2013 is organized by the Society for Design Administration, and is presented by Gilmore Associates and Downtown Art Walk.  Platinum sponsors: Brookfield Properties, FedEx, HBC, Herman Miller, LA Downtown News, Milliken & Company, The Resnick Family Foundation, Skanska, and Tom Bonner Photography.  Silver sponsors: National Office Furniture, Spectra Resources Company, and Universal Flooring.  Bronze sponsors: Cabot Cheeses, FASTSIGNS, Jetro Cash & Carry,Sparkletts Water, Sprinkles Cupcakes, and Stacked Wine.

Photos: Tom Bonner

Food Tank: A Better Way To Feed The World

Food TankThere’s no doubt that the food system is broken. More than 1 billion people are overweight or obese, nearly 1 billion people go to bed hungry every night, and at least 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies.

We can find ways to solve these problems, though. Solutions are out there–in fields, in kitchens, and in board rooms all over the world. And you are a big part of those solutions.

“Fixing the system requires CHANGE conversation.”

If we start now, there is an opportunity to develop a better vision for the global food system. We need to change the conversation and find ways to make food production—and consumption—more economically, environmentally, and socially just and sustainable.
Less than a week from today, Ellen Gustafson, the co-founder of FEED and the founder of the 30 Project and Danielle Nierenberg will be launching Food Tank: The Food Think Tank: a bold new voice in the fight for health-based agriculture, alleviating hunger and poverty, stemming the tide of obesity, and improving nutrition.
Food Tank.2Food Tank’s goal is to be a clearing house and community to inform, share, and scale up innovations that are helping alleviate hunger and poverty while also protecting the environment. Their goal is to  help connect producers and consumers, policy-makers and activists, and farmers and eaters in vital ways, offer original research, share stories of success and impact, and propose innovative solutions of what’s working on the ground.
Throughout 2013 Food Tank will be actively traveling and touring–listening to you talk about the innovations that are working in YOUR communities. They want to involve YOU in this process as much as possible.
You can connect with them right now on social media–Food Tank is already live on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and YouTube.
Food Tank Danielle & Ellen

New Foodie Apps Help Minimize Food Waste

Gearing up for the 2012 holiday season reminded us here at Gia On The Move that tasty treats, indulgent hors d’oeuvres and divine dinners might be sinfully fabulous, but left-overs headed for the garbage after all of those fine feasts are an extravagance we can all definitely do without.  Especially when according to a report recently released by the Natural Resources Defense Council, said that 40%, the equivalent of $165 billion of U.S. food alone, goes uneaten.  If food waste was reduced by 15% it would be enough to feed 15 million Americans yearly. That’s a lot of ‘grub.’

To the rescue is a trending solution in the mobile app world – foodie apps dedicated to helping reduce food waste, increase efficiency and save money. With just a few clicks or taps, these clever Smartphone apps help users do their part to minimize food waste while having a little fun doing it.  Check it:

Leloca– According to the Green Restaurant Association, one restaurant in the U.S. can produce anywhere from 25,000-75,000 pounds of food waste a year. Leloca is an app that helps minimize restaurant waste while simultaneously offering users great deals on dining out. Restaurants have the ultimate “perishable inventory” – fresh food. So when there are open tables at a restaurant food is wasted, as well as utilities, staffing and money. Leloca helps reduce the amount of fresh food that’s wasted by offering a platform for restaurants to activate dining discounts on Leloca when they have open space. The discount will be seen by users in the area, bringing diners in and thereby minimizing the restaurant’s waste. Meanwhile the user gets a discount for a meal at a top restaurant. Leloca’s deals, typically 30-50% off, are free to secure and are to be redeemed within 45 minutes.

What we love about this app @ GOTMLA:  ABSOLUTELY FREE!  No prepaid voucher.  No booking fees.  200 NYC restaurants participating so far and going nationwide very soon.

Gojee–  Gojee is a recipe sharing site driven by food photography, but other than browsing through mouthwatering photos, users can also search for recipes by ingredient. The app allows users to type in the ingredients in their cabinets or fridge and it will return recipes that feature those ingredients, making it easy and fun to minimize spoiled food in the home. Gojee has about 10,000 recipes aggregated* from over 300 contributors* on the web.

What we think is fun about Gojee @ GOTMLA: Totally visual with a “sexier” food appeal.  The popups and tips are fun.  You can sign up through your Facebook account and it’s a done deal!  Plus you get to rate your experience.

Green Egg Shopper– This grocery shopping app helps people manage and organize their shopping lists in a way that reduces food waste and saves money. Users can sort their shopping list alphabetically, by category or by priority (low, medium, high), as well as program in use-by dates, see built in categories of shelf life (short, medium, long) and much more. Beyond organization, the app helps to avoid over-buying, minimize food spoiling and even save a little paper on grocery lists.

What we think is relevant about Green Egg Shopper @ GOTMLA: Economics is a high priority on everyone’s list these days.  Who needs to fill up the gas tank any extra just to repeat buy stuff you already have.  No more moldy food and upset stomachs.  And you can add photos to your lists.  And while this app does cost  there is a “light” version to try out for free.

 222 Million Tons – This app was inspired by the 222 million tons of food wasted each year and the question of how one can get through a whole bundle of celery without getting sick of it. 222 Million Tons develops one-week menus and shopping lists according to family size, whether it is one or nine. The app helps people reduce waste (so all of that celery is used) while still being able to enjoy variety and excitement in their diet.

What’s obvious to us @ GOTMLA:  No more rotten food, period.  I used to just put my older vegetables in the juicer.  Now there are a few more options as to how to use what’s just about ready for disposal – but not quite.  Penny Pinchers Unite!

Surprising Food and Fashion Finds this week at GOTM LA

Living In Style!

Fashion and Nature Living Side by Side and Kept Intact

No guilty pleasures here. Eco-friendly function meets Style on the Move.  You won’t find this on the runway this year but you can bet that designers Ingrid Heinkel and Jetta Hanover  of Cork Designs (www.shopcorkdesign.comhave created a new handbag line to rival even your best LV.  Oh yes, we did say it! Check out the product page and discover why cork is not just for capping your favorite vino anymore >>>

Footloose and Fancy-Free  

Routinely spotted on fashion influencers across the globe (Beyonce, Jessica Alba, and Olivia Wilde were recently sporting a pair!) COBRA SOCIETY ( on ancient sacred symbolism constructing completely hand-crafted, hand-sewn and hand-designed boots and shoes that are beautiful, versatile and evocatively timeless. Comfort meets structure for the city, the souk, the country or the beach. Check out the product page for more information>>>

Local Color For Your Feet

“No more boring black” is the new new statement for footwear and far from simply spicing up the details, 2568 Shoes, with the help of women in  Guatemala and other South American natives weaving hand loomed fabrics and hand-dyed fibers, have created comfort and friendship …and…uh SHOES. 2568-shoes-womens

Food Finds You’ll Like!


 While not having achieved the notoriety of the peanut, almond or pecan, Italy’s trademark nut is about to get its day – or more accurately, its month – in the spotlight.  Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur, along with chefs and bartenders nationwide, is officially proclaiming September as the first-ever National Hazelnut Month.

 The use and flavor of hazelnuts has become increasingly popular among culinary elites and foodies nationwide. Yet, for some reason one of the world’s favorite nut varieties is conspicuously missing from the gastronomic calendar.

To rectify this, Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur has teamed up with gastronomic trendsetters to bring consumers new and inventive ways to incorporate the hazelnut flavor into their culinary and cocktail recipes this September. Chef Paul Corsentino, who has appeared on Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs and Iron Chef America, has signed onto the National Hazelnut Month Movement. “Hazelnuts are the perfect fall flavor,” he notes. “They add a wonderful taste to dishes both savory and sweet, and are surprisingly versatile.”


FREQUENT THE NATIONAL –   In celebration of the hazelnut, Food Network Chef Geoffrey

Zakarian’s restaurant, The National, in New York’s Benjamin Hotel, is set to unveil a limited-edition hazelnut menu including items for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  Hazelnut lovers will be able to indulge in their favorite nut flavor with inventive and inspired dishes, created by the restaurant’s Executive Chef, Paul Corsentino.  The menu, which is available for the entire month of September, will feature creations including Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote, Candied Hazelnuts and Frangelico Maple Syrup; Hazelnut and Lobster Canelloni; and Roasted Duck with Hazelnut Fregola Risotto.  A dessert using Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur will also appear on the menu.  A portion of the proceeds from this special hazelnut menu will be donated to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization.

SIP FRANGELICO HAZELNUT LIQUEUR – National Hazelnut Month’s official signature cocktail is the Fall Basket.  The cocktail will be served at The National alongside the limited edition hazelnut menu.

Fall Basket

1 oz. Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur

1 1/2 oz. apple infused vodka

Splash of simple syrup

Splash of cranberry juice

Brown sugar rim, Served up, garnished with a thin slice of apple


FIND YOUR SWEET TOOTH – Bakeshops are jumping on board to join in the celebration of National Hazelnut Month.

  • Isabelle’s Curly Cakes, a Todd English establishment, will be serving hazelnut cupcakes featuring Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur from their Boston bakery, also available online at
  • Butter Lane Cupcake Bakery will offer a specialty Frangelico cupcake in their East Village, New York location and online at
  • We Take the Cake, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will offer an assortment of Frangelico cakes and cupcakes at their retail shop and online at

 GET NUTTY –, a family owned business for more than 22 years and the authority on all things nuts, will offer a limited edition hazelnut gift basket during the month of September. This gift basket will delight any hazelnut fan with a medley of raw hazelnuts, salted roasted hazelnuts, in-the-shell hazelnuts, dark chocolate covered hazelnuts, raw Duchilly hazelnuts, and Hazelnut Supreme coffee.

Pizza Naturally! LA Food Trends Update

by Tracey Paleo

Adding to the ever-growing trends in Italian food, is an idea currently “bubbling up” to the mainstream.   According to Executive Chef Owner, Saverio Posarelli of Café Fiore in Woodland Hills, the newest version of two culinary hotspots in North Hollywood, CA, cuisiniers and cooks alike, all over Italy are beginning to experiment with what is being dubbed, “Natural Pizza.”

It was the first time I had heard about this technique which apparently has been making its way around for some time.   And during Café Fiore’s, “Sip of Italy” cocktail and small plate tasting event, this au currant discovery, now being featured at the Bistro, was more than a delightful surprise.

Dedicated, adventurous foodies seated family style on a high banked table and stools, gathered to sample the fare, surrounded by a stylized decor, as the chef proudly explained [the chairs, love seats, floors, bar], had been curated from various woods of old World War II planes and beveled glass from extinct bottle factories in Chicago; re-invented to provide a comfortable, homey, masculine, wood fire grill chic.

Primi piatti included routinely served homemade breads, braised lamb sliders and crab cakes followed by samplings of Butternut Squash Tortellacci and Risotto Alpina (Porcini mushroom risotto stuffed with speck and Fontina).

But as the meal progressed the “taste” of the matter, the Pizza made its way to the table.

At its simplest, Natural Pizza is a softer, lighter, less burnt version of our American style handhelds as well as traditional watery centered pies served in Venice or Rome and definitely not deep dish.  It also, most specifically has no yeast.

When I asked the chef about the difference, he excitedly blurted out, “it won’t make you feel too full.”  And as I sampled the soft, slightly under-cooked tasting flat bread (but not really), topped with various cheeses, meats and vegetables, I began to understand its delicate simplicity.  The Porchettara Pizza topped with Pomarola, buffalo mozzarella, roasted pork belly, green olives, and Fresno chili, was the“hit” of the evening and true to Chef Posarelli’s word, I left feeling completely satisfied without being overfull.

Simple in taste, the preparation, however, is not an easy task to complete.  Making the vinegar based liquid that enhances the doe (rather than yeast) takes months of “feeding” until it is ready to mix and must be done at least 2 days in advance of cooking.  It is a labor of love in detail with a sophistication that delivers on taste, especially for food lovers with distinct palates.

One other thing you won’t want to miss are the Margherita’s.  My personal choices are the Strawberry Basil and the Watermelon Sage.  But the Avocado Martini made with Cruzan mango rum, mango, fresh lime and muddled avocado, as a popular favorite is something everyone should try at least once.

Rice and Roll LA! Onigiri Food Truck Debut

Rice & Roll Onigiri is makes its LA debut today – embarking on a month long food truck tour of the LA area starting in Pasadena!

And what exactly is Onigiri?

Onigiri is a Japanese stuffed rice ball that comes with a variety of fillings, including Tuna & Spicy Mayo, Vegetable & Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, Smoked Salmon & Onion with Mayo, and Edamame.

As a staple in Japanese diets that has been around for centuries, onigiri is formed into triangular or oval shapes and is typically wrapped in seaweed, or nori. Onigiri is much like the American sandwich, regarded as a quick and easy meal option for a work day lunch or a ready-to-go dinner. Fuji Foods, Japan’s #1 seller of onigiri, will be launching their first onigiri product line in the U.S market – and you can be among the first to try it!

Fast and casual Asian food is emerging as a major trend in 2012, according to the Huffington Post, and onigiris are the ideal go-to portable meal. They come wrapped and ready-to-go in an easy to open package and require no prep time.

Want to try one out for yourselves? Be sure to visit our truck at one (or more!) of the following locations:

  • 7/21: LA Street Food Festival: 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena, CA 91103
  • 7/22:1800 Rosecrans Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
  • 7/27: 10683 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA 90232
  • 7/28: Annual Summerfest: 1800 Ocean Walk Front, Venice Beach, CA 90291
  • 7/29: Annual Summerfest: 1800 Ocean Walk Front, Venice Beach, CA 90291
  • 8/3: 1337 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291
  • 8/4: 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
  • 8/5: Highland Park: 5000 York Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90042
  • 8/7: 2625 Main Street, Santa Monica, California 90405
  • 8/8: 2700 Pennsylvania Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404
  • 8/10: 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
  • 8/11: Nisei Week: 319 E 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • 8/12: Nisei Week: 319 E 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

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