Archive for January, 2009

Everyday somebody asks me how we see the restaurants performing under this current economic environment. I am always honest saying that I receive many different signals from our customers.

It depends on the restaurant concept, is it a “account-expense” restaurant, a neighborhood restaurant, if yes in which neighborhood, does it have a loyal customer base… There are many parameters that can make a restaurant a successful business, even in times like this.

Let me share with you a great article on that -> link to BizJournals


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Spain Gourmetour

If you are not signed up yet for Spain Gourmetour Magazine, you are missing out on the most interesting source about Food, Wine & Travel in Spain.

Members of the industry have free access to the Magazine’s archive of all articles, recipes, glossary and receive a free copy every issue. Sign up here

Check out the phenomenal Food Basics Section about Soft Cheeses from Spain in this new issue!

Check out the new issue of Spain Gourmetour!

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Tapas/small plates, artisan cheese and aged meats (Iberico in particular) are amongst the top trends for 2009.

This is what a detailed chef survey of the National Restaurant Association says.

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We are happy to announce the merger of Solex Partners and JDY Meat for Illinois distribution of Solex product line.

For those unaware of either company, Solex has been a proven leader of food imports from Spain. Directly sourcing and importing products such as Iberico & Serrano hams, chorizos, olives, olive oils, cheeses, rice, Ferran Adria’s texturas etc. While JDY has been a steadily growing meat purveyor to some of the city’s top restaurants, carrying specialty meats such as Wagyu beef, Berkshire pork, and USDA choice and prime portion control products

Solex customers will benefit from more flexible service without minimum orders for current. JDY customers will now have access to a wide array of specialty and import products. We are all very excited about this project and the advantage for our customers with this new strong team!

For any questions for SOLEX or JDY products and distribution in Illinois, please visit http://www.jdymeat.com or call 773-388-8554 or contact us at SOLEX 773-404-0792 http://www.solexpartners.com


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?Pata Negra?

As we just learned from Fermin, our Iberico ham producer in Spain:

New USDA regulations for 2009 require to remove the famous black hoof, or PATA NEGRA, on future imports of Iberico hams. This only applies to the USA. Japan, EU and the rest of the world has no problem with this. We are currently working to secure as many of the last bone-in Iberico hams with hoof.

Well… I can’t avoid to react a bit cynical about this issue. The USDA administration shows that it has zero understanding of the connection between a product, its culture and history. It’s simply a barbaric act to remove the hoof of an Iberico ham! The hoof on a bone-in Iberico ham is like the frame of a painting. What the USDA did here is like going into a museum and taking off all frames from the paintings. Anybody that has traveled through Spain and saw all the hams hanging in stores, bars and private homes, will agree.

And understandingly for the price of a thousand dollar ham, you would like to see the real black hoof on it, just to assure that you get what it is. Fermin, as the only producer allowed to import Iberico ham into the US, is of course a reliable company.

However, after 10 years of USDA approval process for the ham to arrive into the US, you could enjoy it in its true form for 1 year Now the USDA proofed for a millionth of time that they are not really an organization that understands artisan foods! I support the voices that are demanding a separate entity in the USDA and FDA that is able to properly deal with artisan food products. (Read Michael Pollan “Omnivore’s Dilemma” or “In defense of food” to learn about how the USDA caused this country to end up in the most surreal food culture and what effect it has on people’s health)

Maybe the USDA wants something like that?

New USDA regulations for 2009

New USDA regulations for 2009

The creative photographer is hiding on Flickr. Forgot to get his name to give credit when I found the pic a while ago.

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