Wednesday, July 13, 2011

IFF's Flavors Expertise in the Wall Street Journal

IFF Flavorist Marie Wright lent her expertise to the Wall Street Journal for an article that appeared today on how seemingly disparate flavors pair well together.

It's always great to see members of our team help shed light on this fascinating science!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How Does Our Garden Grow?

A few weeks ago, we told you about our new Herb Garden at our North American Culinary Center site. What a difference a few weeks of rain, warmth, and sunshine makes!

Our customers, employees, visitors, and of course, the culinary team are all enjoying this wonderful garden for its beauty, color, smells and tastes.  It's been so exciting to watch it go from a plan to a beautiful showplace - one that we can enjoy as it grows into place. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chef David's Morel Tale

Spring is here and the morel mushroom season has come and gone in New Jersey.

Executive Chef Kevin McDermott, culinary intern Courtney Reed, and I spent many weekends and lunch hours running out to check on various likely spots and finally, around the second week in April, we found some of these little gems. Once you find a morel in the wild, you are hooked!

For us, the feeling is equal to a kid finding Easter eggs filled with candy. I find it simply addicting to hunt mushrooms!  Why?  I appreciate good food, especially the free stuff courtesy of mother nature.

Once we found them, we came back to the same spots over the next two weeks to find more morels, and bigger ones too. It's very easy to run out in your backyard and find mushrooms, it's much harder to find specific varieties. Once you have found spot where these mushrooms grow, you can rely on them to come back year after year for some time.

Morels are often found in old apple orchards, groves of elms, ash, or tulip poplar trees, For those of you who have not yet discovered the exciting world of mushroom hunting, morels are probably the best place to start.

WARNING!  Before you run out and eat what looks like morels to you, become as educated as you can about the subject!  Buy a book or ten on hunting mushrooms in general. I found Morels, by Michael Kuo, and The Complete Mushroom Hunter, by Gary Lincoff to be particularly good for those just getting started.

Joining a mushroom club and going to forays with experts is also a great way to learn. Finding wild mushrooms is only part of the fun, as they are also one of the yummiest things you can eat.

Now we have to wait until it's chanterelle season!  Until then, it's a great time to plant our vegetable gardens.

Happy Hunting!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our New Herb Garden

Our roles as chefs definitely bring with them some great opportunities - this time, in the form of a gorgeous herb garden!

The North American team has been putting the garden together for a while and it's great to see it coming together so beautifully!

The photos below include the construction of our herb garden Some facts about the garden - Good organic soil, everything sourced locally including the hardscape which is manufactured in the area. Plants supplied by a local grower.

A local plantscape company did a great job in helping with the design and plant / herb selection. Irrigation will help insure some good growth and yields for this summers use in Culinary presentations, R&D analysis, and education and identification for our flavorists and application team.

Did I mention it smells great out there.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

IFF's Marie Wright in the Wall Street Journal

Our own Marie Wright was featured in a recent edition of the Wall Street Journal.  You can read the story here.  Along with the story is this video, featuring some of the CulinEssence Team tasting a reduced sodium mac and cheese product.  Enjoy!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chef David Talks to FoodNavigator-USA on Health & Wellness

Chef David of our CulinEssence Team had a great chat with Caroline Scott-Thomas of FoodNavigator-USA last week.  Click here to hear the interview where he shares how IFF helps customers formulate healthier products - for both their iconic brands and for their new products.  Check it out here!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

IFF Gives Back to our Future Chefs

We are really proud to announce that IFF is supporting future chefs through its scholarship funds at both the Culinary Institute of America and Johnson & Wales University.  Members of the CulinEssence Team are graduates of these great schools, we get many of our interns from them, and we do all we can to support the continuing development of students of the culinary arts. 

In addition, we're thrilled to announce that we are continuing our support of CulinaryCorps®.  Founded in 2006 by Christine Carroll, CulinaryCorps Inc. is the nation’s first service organization designed specifically for culinary professionals.  The group enables chefs, cooks, food educators, and culinary students to volunteer their professional skills and tackle some of America’s most critical food challenges: emergency hunger relief, cooking and nutrition education, healthy food access, childhood wellness, and culinary heritage preservation.  Since IFF's philanthropic mission is in support of children's education, we have been supporting the areas specific to cooking and nutrition education for kids. 

We're proud to work for an organization with an eye to the future and its heart in the right place.  We remember how hard we worked in school and how tough it was for some of us and our friends financially.  Giving to these organizations supports our future chefs and gives something special to kids that can never be taken away - the gift of cooking.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

RCA 2011 - in 3D!

Chefs Kevin, David, and Bryan in 3D
 Thank you, Atlanta!

This year's RCA was great as always.  And for 2011, International Flavors & Fragrances' presentation was all about 3D Flavors.  What's that?  Well, working on the whole 3D trend you see in movies and fashion, we decided that the healthy solutions we have at our fingertips to help customers create great-tasting, better-for-you foods and beverages, could also be used to make really innovative dishes!  So for this year's show, we presented salad shooters, a frozen wine tasting, and a sparkling rosemary lemonade!  Here are some photos:

We prep for the attendees

Chef David puts out some frozen pops

The top layer is merlot, the middle is marscapone with herbes de provence, and the bottom is tart blackcurrant. All the flavors are from our naturals portfolio.  The pops were widely touted as the most innovative product in the Expo!

3D glasses for the smart set!

Final prep

Bob, Chef Bryan, Jay, Lesa, Chef David, Solveig, Kathi, and Chef Kevin
Ready for their close-ups

Sparkling Rosemary Lemonade (not bad with vodka, too!)

Salad Shooters - Parmesan tuille cookies, chiffonade greens with a whole grain mustard pomegranate dressing, and pomegranate spheres on top.  Awesome!

Chef Bryan preps
 If our videos work as we hope, we'll be posting more details on the products.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

It's that time of year!

The RCA reception was held in the Oceans Ballroom at the Georgia Aquarium

Visitors got to see the life aquatic up close

A fuzzy picture of a really beautiful room!
We love the RCA and we're here in Atlanta in the thick of it!  A couple of us did the Fun Run this morning, some of us attended classes.  Tonight, the opening reception was held in the beautiful Georgia Aquarium where we got to catch up with our friends - customers and colleagues. 

Tomorrow, we are pulling out all the stops at our booth - #400, if you're keeping score.  We'll be showing some delicious, innovative, and healthy treats.  More about those tomorrow!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In case you missed these....

IFF reported its 2010 and FY results....

Two IFF flavorists, Hedy Kulka and Joan Harvey, were profiled in New Jersey Monthly magazine

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Scandinavia Sweeps the 2011 Bocuse d'Or!

At the final in the 2011 Bocuse d'Or in Lyon, the Gold medal went to Denmark, the Silver was awarded to Sweden, and Norway took home the Bronze.  - Scandinavia sweeps the global gourmet event of 2011!   We see Nordic cuisine gaining popularity and were fascinated with these results. 

The event took place at the SIRHA International Hotel, Catering and Food Trade Exhibition and is considered one of the most important cooking competitions in the world. 

You can see the competition in action by following this link:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The CulinEssence 2011 Top Ten List

With the new year ringing in, we are all being bombarded with predictions of what 2011 will bring in terms of food trends. We have been reading many of these predictions and found some interesting ideas as well as some real duds.   For example, we've been trying to source many items that have shown up on a few top ten lists, and found many are just plain impossible to buy. If you can't get it, how is it going to gain popularity?

The North American team have our own ideas on this front, so here are our top ten trends for 2011 that make sense to us -- in no particular order:

1. Asian foods will continue to penetrate the mainstream, but move beyond Chinese food and Sushi. Thai, Vietnamese and Korean food items will continue to gain popularity.

2. Spicy Foods - More items made spicier, from beverages to pizza, with a view to the heat's origin.

3. Purees - Foods that have been pureed in high powered blenders and used as sauces, soups and even dressings will be gaining in popularity.  Expanding on this trend from the plate to the kitchen, we see movement to tools that make our lives easier, like blenders, microplanes, better knife choices, combi ovens, quality pots and pans, vacuum sealers, and quick chillers.

4. Healthier, but not healthy - Foods that are bad for you are getting...not as bad for you.

5. Simple - Foods that have a more rustic appeal that are either homemade or traditional with gain more appreciation. Greater appreciation for fewer ingredients and basic preparation.

6. Cheese - Definitely a good thing, we always need more.

7. Less Salt - Ever get about halfway through a meal and realize you've hit your salt intake threshold? Maybe chefs will start backing off on the stuff!

8. Crunchy - From Potato chips and bread crumbs to cheetos, chefs are looking beyond panko to bring crunch appeal to dishes.

9. Local foods and wild foraged foods - Direct from your back yard. People want to support their immediate area, the new feel good factor.

10. Heirloom - No longer just tomatoes, but apples, beans, watermelons, pears, and other fruit to follow suit.

What are your top food predictions for 2011?  We want to know!

*Note: this article was updated on January 27 to incorporate additional info on Purees, Simple, and Spicy trends.