Archive for the ‘Council Representative’ Category

2014 Was the Year of the Mushroom

This year mushrooms were everywhere! From schools and universities, to online communities and restaurants; 2014 was most certainly the year of the mushroom! Council Representative, Kathleen Pries, breaks down the four best mushroom highlights of 2014.


1. Mushrooms Get Noticed Online. It was a record breaking year for mushroom mentions online! Serious Eats featured seven posts showcasing blended recipes of chefs Linton Hopkins and Jehangir Mehta, the Mamavation weight loss community challenged their followers to incorporate the blend into their weight loss strategy, and Life of Dad hosted a #ShroomTember recipe challenge in September. Burger Business listed blended burgers as a trend to watch, Health revealed five surprising facts about mushrooms, and the Washington Post told us why the meat-mushroom blend makes sense. The humble mushroom is definitely getting noticed.


2. Mushrooms on the Menu.
Isn’t it incredible that over 80% of all restaurants serve mushrooms? In fact, mushrooms are one of the fastest growing items on the menu. And it’s no wonder why, mushrooms are not only delicious, but versatile, adding flavour and texture to any cuisine. Some of our favorite restaurants featured mushrooms on their menus this year; Atlanta’s king of burgers, restaurateur and chef Linton Hopkins menued his blend burger, while Seasons 52 developed a new mushroom duxelle for their Signature Burger. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants realized the many benefits of the Blend and introduced a Turkey and Wild Mushroom Meatloaf, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill continues to menu their Veal Marsala Meatball, which is a half-pound blended meatball that combines veal and mushrooms.

The Better Burger Project also rolled through Boston’s Copley Square in September. Seven Boston chefs competed in the “Earth and Turf: The Better Burger Challenge” in an effort to make a delicious tasting burger by blending meat with finely chopped mushrooms. All participating chefs menued their “better burger” creations at their restaurants in October.


3. Mushrooms in Schools. Mushrooms were popping up on school menus across the country this year! From Cincinnati Public Schools to the University of Washington, students were introduced to many different types of mushroom menu items. Chef Jehangir Mehta treated the students at the University of Massachusetts to his famous blended “Graffiti” burger, while Food Network celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan showcased her favourite blend dishes at the University of North Texas. In July, the Mushroom Council introduced school foodservice director to the Blend while exhibiting at SNA ANC in Boston. Many directors and showed interest and agreed the Spicy Mushroom Meatballs were the perfect way to get kids to eat their mushrooms!


4. Mushrooms as a Superfood. 2014 was also a banner year for mushroom research. A first-of-its-kind sensory study on the Blend was conducted by the Culinary Institute of America and University of California-Davis proving the flavor and nutritional benefits of the blend. A Nutrition Today manuscript was published calling for mushrooms to be crowned as their own kingdom based on their distinct nutrient and culinary characteristics. More and more, mushrooms are being recognized for the superfood they are!

We are definitely looking forward to continued success in 2015!

Mushroom Burgers: The Top Trend to Watch in 2015

The humble burger is making its way to the top of trends lists everywhere, but not without the addition of mushrooms. Council Representative, Kathleen Preis, gives us an inside look at the hottest restaurant trend that is sweeping the nation: mushroom burgers.

We all know it; burgers are limitless and are very adaptable, just like mushrooms. So it’s no wonder why they are making their way onto top 10 lists everywhere. Celebrity Chef and Industry Expert Mareya Ibrahim recently said, “In 2015, expect to see more mushroom blends on menus and in products.” Burger Business even suggested restaurants and burger bars will begin creating better non-meat burgers, just like Crabtree’s Kittle House Inn in Chappaqua, N.Y. did, introducing a Mushroom, Quinoa, Chickpea, and Corn burger to their menu.

Beyond flavor, there are plenty of reasons to blend or top burgers with mushrooms. Adding mushrooms to veggie burgers boosts the meatiness of the dish. Blending mushrooms into a ground beef burger yields larger patties while offering potential sodium, fat and calorie reduction. This simple, yet revolutionary way of serving healthier meals without comprising on flavor is catching on.

Give mushroom burgers a try! You can find some of our favorites at the following restaurants:

Checkers and Rally’s
Primetime Steakhouse Double
“The Primetime Steakhouse Double features two beef patties, a slice of Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, onions, and an Au Jus mayo, on a toasted Kaiser bun.”

Applebee’s
Mushroom Swiss “Smash” Burger
“Portobello & button mushrooms, smoky mayo & Swiss cheese”


Max and Erma’s
Turkey Avocado Swiss Burger
“Topped with sautéed mushrooms, Swiss, Avocado & Ranch dressing. The name says it all.”

Coco’s Bakery
Smoked, Gouda Mushroom Burger
“Sautéed mushrooms, smoked Gouda cheese, caramelized onions, crisp lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and mayo.”

Smash Burger
Truffle & Swiss Burger with Organic Arugula and Mushrooms

“This delicious twist on our Truffle Mushroom Swiss burger now creates a synergy of flavors with the Organic Arugula and a perfectly balanced burger packed with flavor. Also available on our grilled chicken sandwiches!”

 

Mushrooms Take a World Tour at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

You know it’s Fall when the Epcot Food and & Wine Festival takes over Disney. From celebrity chef demos and tasting seminars to 25 international marketplaces, delicious surprises can be found across the park. Council Representative, Steve Solomon, spent the day at Epcot experiencing all the festival has to offer… and even found a few mushrooms along the way!

Mushrooms embarked on their first culinary adventure at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival; a 60+ day event attended by more than 100,000 people. With 25 countries representing 6 continents, fresh mushrooms popped up in Africa, Italy and New Zealand, just to name a few.

Celebrity Chef Jehangir Mehta made a special guest appearance at the festival’s Party for the Senses, demoing a Mushroom & Tuna Tartare and his famous mushroom blended Graffiti Burger. The crowds “oohed and awed” over the fact that the burger was made using Angus beef and a blend of portabella, king trumpet, and button mushrooms. Other Disney chefs, including Pam Smith, Jenny Sly, and Brian Knox, took The Blend challenge during their culinary demonstrations blending fresh mushrooms with duck, turkey and beef.

Outside of the culinary demos and special events, country specific kiosks served up fresh mushrooms in many different forms. Italy served a Filetto di Pollo, con Funghi al Marsala, Canada served a Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce, and France served a Gratin de Crozet de Savoie. Most impressive was the South African Bobotie at the Africa kiosk. This traditional South African dish (reminiscent of a quiche) blended ground turkey with finely chopped mushrooms to give it a flavor that’s completely unique.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival runs until November 10th, so if you are craving some culinary fun, excitement and maybe even some mushrooms, this festival should not be missed.

 

5 Ways Mushrooms Ruled During National Mushroom Month

As September comes to a close, so does National Mushroom Month. This month brought lots of opportunities for mushrooms to take center stage and shine. From festivals to cooking challenges, Council Representative Bart Minor, tells us all the ways that mushrooms ruled this month!

1. Mushrooms have their own two day festival. Deep in the heart of mushroom country (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania) over 100,000 people gathered to take in everything-mushroom at The 29th Annual Mushroom Festival. The festival certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to food. Portabellos served 15,000 Portabella Cheese Steaks over the two day period, while Buona Foods served thousands of pounds of fried mushrooms. Speaking of fried mushrooms, the winner of this year’s mushroom eating contest scarfed down an astonishing 11lbs of mushrooms in only 8 minutes!

2. The Blend makes meals better. It’s never been easier to use mushrooms to transform meals. Simply chop mushrooms to match the texture of ground meat – beef, pork, chicken, turkey – and blend them into recipes such as burgers, tacos, meatloaf, lasagna, pasta sauce, or meatballs to make every day dishes more healthful and delicious. The kids will clean their plate every night!

3. Mushrooms get dads cooking! Nothing gets dads in front of the stove (or BBQ) like mushrooms. Earlier this month Life of Dad bloggers took our #ShroomTember recipe challenge. From game day favorites like Mushroom, Onion and Swiss Burgers to hearty classics like Turkey Pumpkin Mushroom Casseroles, the Life of Dad community came up with some prenominal recipe ideas.

4. Mushrooms add a boost of nutrients. They may be white and brown but they are packed full of goodness. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more. Nutrition that tastes great!

5. Mushrooms make burgers better. Tomorrow The Blend will take center stage during the Boston Globe’s “Let’s Talk About Food” event in Copley Square. Seven Boston chefs will compete in the “Earth and Turf: The Better Burger Challenge” in an effort to make a delicious tasting burger by blending meat with finely chopped mushrooms. All participating chefs will then menu their “better burger” creations at their restaurants during October, so if you’re in the Boston area you’ll have the chance to try them all!

What an exciting month filled with mushroom celebrations of all sizes. Looking forward to seeing what 2015’s National Mushroom Month brings!

 

Mushrooms Make Back to School Time Trendy

Summer is quickly coming to an end and “back to school” time is in full swing. While the kids might be thinking about the latest trends in clothing and back to school gear, you might be thinking about what they’ll be eating for lunch. Council Representative, Kathleen Preis, tells us how the simple mushroom is making lunch menus across the country not only tasty this school year, but trendy.

Spicy Meatballs. Philly Cheese “Steak” Sandwiches. Chili con Carne. Sounds like the menu at a gourmet restaurant, while in reality this is what your kids could be dining on this school year. That’s right; all these trendy foods have made their way to school lunch trays across the nation, all because of mushrooms.

School Foodservice Directors everywhere have had an overwhelmingly positive response to the new blending concept – blending finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat – and have created healthier and trendier menu items for their school lunch programs.  “Mushrooms are on trend – the coolest thing to eat… We need to be on trend, we need to be serving those foods and meals that have a trendy buzz about them,” says Dayle Hayes, MS, RD, an award-winning child nutrition expert. And those buzz worthy, trendy menu items will have kids gobbling up their serving of vegetables!

So when your kids come home from school this year saying how much they loved that turkey burger with cheese and bacon, don’t fret; thanks to The Blend you can be sure they ate their veggies as well!