All Posts By

Jim Thompson

A Taste of Richmond Holiday

By | Events, Holidays, KOR News | No Comments

A big thank you to Richmond Times Dispatch, who tasked the KOR team with elevating the “Taste of Richmond Holiday” event on Wednesday night. We created two savory and innovative snacks: a Whipped Tangerine and Balsamic Goat Cheese Fig, and Smokey Turmeric Roasted Almonds. Chef John closed the night with a demonstration featuring a refined Barbecue Shrimp and Guacamole Tostada, paired with a Mango Cocktail presented in a unique beaker cocktail glass from our friends at World Kitchen. Thank you for coming to see us and we look forward to the next exciting RTD event!

KOR at “A Taste of Richmond”

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KOR represented C.F. Sauer at “A Taste of Richmond” at the Richmond Omni last night, as hundreds of Richmonders gathered to celebrate our growing food culture. A warm thanks to everyone who stopped by to sample our Smoked Salmon Rillette, and Cinnamon Spice Gelato! We hope you enjoyed every last bite as much as we enjoyed serving you. Another thanks to the C.F. Sauer team for the excellent opportunity, and for helping to make the event another resounding success!

KOR Presents in NYC at Fancy Food Show

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IMG_1666This past weekend the KOR team traveled to and presented at New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center for the 2016 Summer Fancy Food Show on behalf of The Spice Hunter. There was over 46,000 attendees and over 180,000 products displayed at the show. The products at the show highlighted unique flavor pairing and specialty ingredients from around the world.

The Spice Hunter was the winner of the 2016 Sofi Award for Baking Ingredient, Baking Mix, or Flavor Enhancer with their Coriander Lime Global Fusion Rub. This fragrant, citrusy seasoning combines coriander, lime, cilantro and jalapeno pepper to make a light, delicious flavor profile.

The KOR team showcased the versatility of this seasoning through cooking and beverage applications. From the Mexican Style Street Corn – Elote – with Coriander Lime Crema to Thai Larb Gai Salad to a Cucumber-Coriander Lime Martini, the rub was a hit!

The recipes for the menu items from the show will be showcased on The Spice Hunter’s website. A big thank you to The Spice Hunter for the excellent opportunity and a congratulations to the entire team for a job well done!

Meet our Team: Payton Irlbeck, Culinary Intern

By | KOR News | No Comments

Payton_ColorGrowing up in a small town in Iowa, Payton has always had a deep appreciation for food and how it comes to our plate. Working in the garden and preparing food straight from there fed her desire to work with food as a career. Her passion for fresh food and sustainability in the food industry lead her to graduate from Southwest Minnesota State University with a degree in Culinology® and a minor in Nutrition. While in college, Payton experienced restaurant life while interning at a local restaurant and helping lead the student-run restaurant on campus. She also has had experience working in food production facilities, which helps her understand how food is produced once a concept is sent to be manufactured large-scale.

Payton is a member of the Research Chef’s Association (RCA) and competed in the 2016 RCA Culinology® competition. Working closely with her team, she learned the ins and outs of product development while also further expanding her knowledge of food production. From her team’s performance in the competition, the US Dry Pea and Lentil Council invited them to the 2016 Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) to represent the United States in a series of presentations highlighting pulses.

Payton’s roots have led her to have an extreme passion for sustainable, healthy, and fresh foods. In her free time, she enjoys tending to her vegetable plants, browsing all the local grocery stores for new products to study, and experimenting with new and unusual ingredients. Outside of food, Payton loves to play rugby, read, and do anything that keeps her active.

 

When did you realize that you wanted to begin a career that’s surrounded by food?

For the longest time, I had always wanted to be a veterinarian, but I realized sometime around middle school that I wasn’t really passionate about it. I wanted to be a vet because they made good money and I wanted to help animals, but there was no deep, driving desire to become one. So I looked around me and took notice of what I loved most: food. I would rush home after school to help my mom with supper and picking vegetables in the garden. I would talk about food to all my classmates to the point they would beg me to stop. I watched Food Network religiously and fought my sisters to maintain control of the TV remote. I needed to be in the food industry. It was what I loved, what I was passionate about, and what I ended up doing with my career.

What goals – short or long-term – have you set for yourself professionally or personally?

Really, my goals are pretty simple. I want to find a job or career that I can follow my personal philosophies on and be happy. I want to work to make people’s lives better and healthier. It’s always hard for me to set concrete long-term goals because I never know what choices I make will lead me in the right direction, but I do have some short-term goals. Professionally speaking, I am always making an effort to expand my network of connections. Personally, my goals include things like going surfing, getting my yoga instructor certification, sky-diving, and eventually a triathlon.

What inspires you to stay sharp and up-to-date in the industry?

Every once in a while, something in the food industry really strikes me as ingenious or jaw-dropping and it’s these nuggets of inspiration are what keep me coming back for more. I love when a person finds new ways to use ingredients or pairs a new set of flavors together because I probably would not have thought of them myself. It keeps my creativity flowing and is also important for development. The food news that we read shows what people are looking for and what they’re craving for, so I can better decide what foods we should produce.

What do you always have in your refrigerator or freezer?

There are a few things that I always will have on hand at home. Definitely lots of fresh vegetables and fruits. Guaranteed, I will always have broccoli, carrots, and apples. I also will always have a carton of cashew milk for chocolate Mini-Wheates (my kryptonite). For the freezer? Not too much different. I will always have bags of mixed vegetables for quick stir frys or soups. Occasionally, I will divulge in another food weakness and have fudge pops sitting in my freezer waiting for me to devour them on a hot day or after a good workout. My pantry is a much more exciting place with spices from ras el hanout to sumac to several different curry spices and a never-ending supply of lentils and kettle corn.

What is your spirit vegetable? Why?

There are so many vegetables that speak to my soul that this is a hard one! Considering I have a t-shirt that says “Hi, my name is Payton and I like kale,” I think I will run with that. Kale is versatile and a superfood, so it’s hardworking and giving. Kale is always shows up in places you least expect it and can surprise people with what it’s capable of, something I always strive to do. The only thing kale and I disagree on is that kale holds up to heat well, while I much prefer cold and snow.

 

Does Your Menu Have a Pulse?

By | Food Trends, Nutrition | No Comments

PulsesNo, not that kind of pulse. And don’t worry, we aren’t going to ask you if your refrigerator is running. From chickpeas to lentils to the good ole pea, “pulses” are poised to dominate menus in 2016. Named the International Year of the Pulses by the United Nations, 2016 is sure to showcase the many uses and benefits of pulses.

But what is a pulse?

Although some may categorize a pulse and a legume as the same, that is not the case. Pulses are a subcategory of legume that only includes the dried seed of the plant. The most commonly known pulses are chickpeas, lentils, and peas. Nutritionally speaking, the power of the pulse is often overlooked. Pulses offer a great source of protein, which is especially important in societies where diets do not include animal protein or animal protein is scarce.

Pulses are nutritionally similar to each other in that they have between 120 and 160 calories per 100 grams. They have around 10% of one’s daily value of potassium, 32% of fiber, 18% of iron, and 10 grams of protein. Comparing that to 100g of chicken which has around 170 calories, no fiber, and a high percentage of cholesterol, pulses have the upper hand. However, chicken will provide more protein, 31 grams per 100 grams.

Because pulses offer such a great source of fiber, they are important in diets of those who are looking to maintain a healthy weight. Fiber helps in regulating blood sugar levels and decreasing the “bad” cholesterol levels in someone’s blood. Getting enough fiber in one’s diet has been linked with a reduction in the risk of being diagnosed with type II diabetes and heart disease.

Pulses are not only healthier for the people consuming them, but also the soil that they are growing in. As nitrogen-fixers, pulses replenish the nitrogen in the soil: something that conventional crops deplete out of the soil. Nitrogen-rich soil is crucial in having high yields in the crop rotation in that field. Adding a pulse crop every couple of years would ensure that our soils will remain fertile and able to sustain future crops. A final environmental benefit of pulses is that the carbon and water footprint left by growing pulses is five times less that of animal proteins.

In their natural forms, pulses can appear to be unexciting or boring. However, with new innovations in the food industry, the same peas that grandma puts in her pot pie can be harvested for their protein or fiber. These pea proteins and fibers can be found in powders that consumers or food companies can put into a variety of products or recipes to up the nutritional ante. Additionally, lentils and chickpeas can be ground to form a flour that can be used in many culinary applications, such as snack foods, breads, and cereals. Pulses have a real advantage in bakery applications because they are gluten-free, which is a major concern in today’s society. So instead of using generic all-purpose flour to make bread, lentil or chickpea flour can be partially substituted to increase the nutrient content of the bread.

So what does it all mean? Pulses are commonly overlooked food sources that provide a good source of protein, fiber, iron, and potassium. Pulses can be utilized in their whole forms in soups, salads, and entrees or in their powdered and ground forms in baked good, smoothies, and sauces. Pulses are gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and a great tool for those looking to manage their health. The power of the pulse is being explored in the International Year of the Pulses in 2016, but should continue long into the future.

KOR is headed to Chi-town!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Weston Daily DemosKOR will be representing Weston Foods at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago from the 21st to the 24th of May. Our focus will be on food service solutions and inspirational concepts within the bakery arena. Using products from some of Weston’s many categories. Everything from artisan breads, to flavored buns and an assortment of donuts and famous pies. During the show KOR will be demonstrating multiple demos everyday, so make sure to pass by and learn about the food service solutions Weston might have for you and try some of the delicious samples that will be available. Check out booth #1119 and enjoy the possibilities!

Sustainability 101

By | Food Sustainability | No Comments

Farmer with vegetablesSustainability is widely accepted as the goal of modern responsible agriculture. Companies are seeing the importance of creating a more future-focused, responsible model for agriculture, and consumers are more discerning and more educated than ever. “Well, great!” you might say. But what does that really mean for our health and environment? Sustainability has been proven to have far reaching effects in both the health of our planet, as well as the health of the human race, but what, specifically, are the benefits of sustainability?

Sustainable Livestock Husbandry revolves around pasture-raised animals. Pasture-raised livestock roam freely around their natural habitat, grazing on naturally occurring food, free from synthetic additives. Environmentally, pasture-raised animals rely less on fossil fuels by eliminating the need to transport feed. They also reduce the need for grain needed, which helps to maintain soil quality. Nutritionally, studies have shown that pasture-raised animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy, are lower in calories and total fat, higher in vitamins, more flavorful, and more balanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fats. When you consider the alternative, sustainable livestock is the clear choice. Industrial livestock are typically raised on large feed lots, with GMO feed, and kept in either very small cages, or packed into overcrowded barns.

Sustainable crop production focuses on avoiding unnecessary damage to the environment. Multicropping is a method of rotating the type of crop that is grown on a certain piece of land, which leads to increased yields, decreased pest susceptibility, and increased biodiversity. Sustainable farmers use methods such as multicropping, minimal pesticide use, and no-till soil preparation methods to ensure a very small environmental impact. As consumers, we have a duty to be aware of the source of our produce, and support sustainable farmers whenever possible.

“How do I best support sustainable farmers?” you might ask. A great first step is to buy local produce. No, not all local produce is sustainably produced, but if you immerse yourself in the “Direct-to-consumer” market, you are much more likely to find great sources of delicious, nutritious, sustainably-produced food. “Direct-to-consumer” refers to distribution systems that cut out the middle-man. Farmers’ markets, CSAs, or on-site farm stands are great ways to buy directly from your local farmers. There is also a growing “Direct to Retail, Foodservice, and Institution” market, which encompasses programs that take food directly from growers to grocery stores, restaurants, and other food suppliers. Buying local produce promotes relationships with local growers, a great way to stay informed and to get involved in the community. By buying local, you’ll not only be supporting your local economy, but you’ll also have some surprising health benefits as well. Locally-produced food is shipped in much smaller quantities, reducing the opportunity for transmission of food-borne diseases. In addition, some locally produced food has been shown to have greater nutrition content, as many of the larger, industrial producers operate under a rule of “quantity over quality.”

Perhaps the most important way to ensure that you are supporting sustainable agricultural practices is to do your research. Not all locally produced food is sustainable, just as not all globally produced food is nefarious. Have a conversation with your local farmers, or read up on global suppliers! And if all else fails, you certainly can’t go wrong with a back yard garden. The KOR family understands that the concept of “you are what you eat” is a very real one, and one we hope you will take to heart!

KOR Represents California Figs in Denver

By | Trade Shows | No Comments

The Difference is CleanKOR is in Denver, CO to represent the California Fig Advisory Board at the RCA Annual Conference & Culinology® Expo, through March 11th. Come by Booth 626 to say hello, and sample our delicious, clean label Fig Power Chai Smoothie and Fig Chocolate Oatmeal Cookie.

We look forward to serving you!

KOR Food Innovation collaborates with industry leaders to promote California Figs

By | Travel | No Comments

John Represents FigsDuring an inaugural two day FIGOLOGY session in Fresno Ca., the Culinary Leadership of KOR, teamed up with industry leading food scientists, corporate chefs, restaurateurs and California Fig Industry Board members to propel the use of California Figs through contemporary innovation. The session included a deep dive into; background, history, production, varietals, and economic data of California Figs.

The group then initiated hands on R&D effort to maximize the potential impact across all primary categories of food manufacturing with a primary focus placed on clean label inventiveness. Through this session, we collaboratively blended food science and culinary arts – known as Culinology. Tremendous results were accomplished through delving into potential food service recipes and manufacturing formulation. The FIGOLOGY gathering was an immense success in hopes to inspire the industry that “When you think Figs, think California.”