Food Safety News recently published an article regarding the possibility of sesame being added to the list of major food allergens that require label disclosure. You may access the article by clicking here
Food Safety News recently published an article regarding the possibility of sesame being added to the list of major food allergens that require label disclosure. You may access the article by clicking here
FCS Professionals and guests gathered at Twin Spirits Distillery in Minneapolis for our October meeting on Tuesday, October 15. The program began with a welcome and introduction of guests. Our on-going birthday celebration continued with gift bag door prizes from Twin Spirits Distillery for two lucky attenders!
Owner and distiller, Michelle Winchester lead the facility tour. She became interested in distilling as she neared her fiftieth birthday. She was a stay-at-home mom for years and her husband asked her what she wanted to do when she turned fifty. She jokingly mentioned distilling and what started out as a non-serious comment turned into her second act! She attended a distilling conference and found support from other distillers. Through hard work and lots of research, Twin Spirits Distilling was born.
Michelle walked us through the distilling process of vodka and gin along with samples. We learned that many different substances can be made into vodka–not just potatoes as many people assume! The M Vodka is made from raw cane sugar. All vodka must come out of the still at 190 proof to be called vodka. No worries–it is bottled at 80 proof! Many attenders noted that they typically do not enjoy the flavor of gin–but Michelle’s M Gin has a special blend of botanicals that include cardamom. This helps to reduce the piney flavor that comes from the juniper berries–a required element to be considered gin.
After the tour, it was time for us to learn how to make the perfect cocktail from two of the bartenders. We used Mamma’s Moonshine, Michelle’s honey based liquor (which uses local honey!) that is distilled once per month on the full moon as the base for our fancy Old Fashioned. The bartenders shared their trick of rubbing the orange peel on the inside of the glass. This really added to the flavor of the drink.
There was plenty of time to network and socialize and enjoy bites of cheese and sausage. Michelle and her team did an excellent job answering our many questions and providing a fun, relaxed evening.
FCS Professionals kicked off the 2019-20 “season” with a behind-the-scenes food service tour of the brand new Allianz Field. Allianz Field is the new home of the Minnesota United Soccer team. The entire stadium is breath-takingly beautiful with an overall theme of the rippling waters of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.
Our program began with a welcome to our guests and new members. A new feature of our meetings will be a time to announce job openings and members searching for a new position can give a brief description of the type of work they desire. This will allow for members to better connect with one another on the job front! This year we are celebrating our 95th birthday all year long with special treats and surprises. For our first meeting, there was a drawing to win a beautiful fall plant.
The tour kicked off in the Brew Hall–home of 96 taps! The Brew Hall is used on game days but it is also a popular spot for Minnesota United fans to gather for free watch parties during away games and is also used for private events. Allianz Field is served by hospitality management company Delaware North. Delaware North also runs the food service operations at Target Field, Target Center, and MSP airport. Bill, the Executive Chef, started his career as a personal chef to the Pohlad family and worked his way up through various positions at Target Field. He was very excited to jump to the new Allianz Field as the soccer season is much shorter than baseball! Eric, the General Manager, started his career in the hospitality industry in Wisconsin working for Miller Park and Lambeau Field before moving to the Minneapolis area.
The food service operation consists of one main kitchen plus several smaller “pantries” to serve suites. The concession stands contain cooking equipment to prepare those food items. The concession stands are staffed mostly by non-profit groups who receive funds for their organizations by working at the games. On game days, to prepare for a 7 p.m. game, the ovens are fired up around 9:00 a.m. and the sous chef arrives around 10:00 a.m. The rest of the crew arrives between 12-2 p.m. The food being prepared serves the various suites. Special game tickets are required to visit the suites. The tickets are considered “all-inclusive” for food and soft drinks but not alcohol.
The Field Suite is home to a special guest-chef program. Local chefs prepare a special food items for each game. Chefs that have participated this year include Justin Sutherland of The Handsome Hog, Tim McKee of Octo Fishbar, Alicia Hinze of The Buttered Tin, and many more! Along with the guest chef program, there are several different food stations with traditional field fare along with other delicious bites! Chef Bill mentioned that soccer fans tend to stay in their seats so their busiest times are the hour before the game begins and half time. This was a different experience vs. his time at Target Field where people are constantly milling around.
Another differentiating feature of the food service operation at Allianz Field is their beer program. Most stadiums sign a big contract with Miller-Coors or Anheuser-Busch. They wanted to do things differently so they signed several smaller contracts with many craft breweries. This allows them to serve a variety of local craft beers and give many options to patrons. They also designed their partnership with local food businesses differently. Typically, if a local restaurant has a presence at a stadium, the restaurant gives their recipe to the food service operation of the stadium, and their workers prepare and serve the food. At Allianz Field, the local restaurant prepares their own food. This has helped to provide consistent quality and the restaurant remains more in control. Local restaurants with a presence at Allianz Field include Brasa, El Burrito Mercado, The Handsome Hog, Hot Indian, Afro Deli, and more!
On the day of our tour, the kitchen staff was busy preparing for the home game the next day so we were not able to visit the main kitchen but we did get to see several suites and the smaller “pantries”. It was a fabulous tour and a huge thank you to Colleen Glenn and Gerry Luepke for organizing another wonderful program!
Interested in the convergence of health and the environment? The Tetrak Pak Index 2019 report is full of interesting information. Adolfo Orive, President and CEO of Tetra Pak states, “Environment and health, the top two consumers concerns are now seeing an increasing overlap, with a direct correlation perceived between the two. Nearly three out of five consumers already think that their health and well-being are strongly affected by the environment. Our research shows that consumers believe they carry the responsibility for both their own health and the health of the planet. There is a growing belief that today’s lifestyles, particularly what we eat and drink, have a fundamental impact on both.”
The full report and info can be accessed by this link.
The Evolution of a Name
Food and Consumer Science Professionals (FCS Professionals) is the name of our organization since 2015. The original name since 1926 was Twin Cities Home Economists in Business (TWIN CITIES HEIB). In 2014, Board members revisited the TWIN CITIES HEIB name and decided it seemed to still be representative of our organization. The words “Twin Cities” were dropped but the letters HEIB were maintained representing the following words: H=Home, E=Education, I=Industry and B=Business.
However, the conversation continued on into the next member year as it was recognized that the environment was changing dramatically and the words “Home Economist” no longer were being used in the education and corporate world. High schools and universities were using terms such as Family & Consumer Sciences (FACS) and Human Ecology; food companies switched to terms such as culinary centers and employee titles changing to product specialist, culinary expert, food editor, etc. Thus, another name change movement began in earnest.
After many meetings with member participation, the organization’s name was officially changed from HEIB to FCS Professionals at the start of the 2015 member year. Using the new name is allowing us to build on the legacy of the early organizers and continue to broaden the potential member base in an updated manner. Today we welcome members who study, work in or are retired from any discipline within the consumer science field. This includes careers in food and nutrition, dietetics, textiles, kitchen design and equipment, interior decorating, education, childcare, health care, consumer communication, consultants and more. If you are not yet a member, check us out. We are a vibrant, professional Minnesota metro group that provides numerous benefits including learning, networking, mentoring, fun, camaraderie and more! Join us today!
To celebrate my in-law’s 50th wedding anniversary, sixteen Vances (8 adults and 8 kids!) boarded Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas for a 5 night adventure on the high seas with an overnight stop at the beautiful island of Bermuda. We had a fabulous time trying delicious food, splashing in the pools, trying our hand at the iFly skydiving simulator, and enjoying the beautiful ocean. For me, a highlight was on the last day of our cruise–a behind-the-scenes galley tour. I have cruised multiple times and have always wanted to take a peek at the massive food service operation and now was my chance! I know my fellow FCS Professionals love a good kitchen tour so I will do my best to recreate the magic through photos.
The first stop was the dishwashing area. Chef Spence, our tour guide, explained to the group how careful they are to separate the dirty from the clean dishes. Throughout the tour, food safety and sanitation was stressed.
It was 10:15 a.m. and workers were busy preparing cold food items like fruit and cheese plates for dinner. Items were plated, covered, and refrigerated. They do as much prep work as possible but items such as the Caesar Salad are plated on demand during the dinner service.
The main kitchen prep area was full of combi ovens. Chef Spence explained to our group how valuable the combi ovens are for preparing the large quantities of food prepared and the flexibility in using steam, convection, or traditional oven.
Please forgive my reflection in the photo. I tried very hard to stay out of it! This screen monitors every piece of equipment in the kitchen. If there is a malfunction it will show up on the monitor. This makes it easier to catch problems right away and makes it much simpler for maintenance to fix any issues.
This is Chef Spence of Jamaica. Here he is showing us the monitor that shows the forecasted amount of each type of entrée as well as the actual “sold”. My husband and I joked that they were -10 in lobster tails because of our table the night before. Several kids took multiple lobster tails instead of chicken fingers!
This is the pot washing area. The silver trap door in the photo is where all the food waste goes. It gets sucked through a tunnel to an incinerator on the ship. Chef Spence also explained that all liquid waste gets treated onboard the ship. Once the liquid is treated, you could place a glass of tap water and this treated water side-by-side and not be able to tell which was the treated water. When the ship is 10 miles from port, the treated water is put into the ocean.
These lamb shanks were prepped. Later that night my husband ordered the lamb shank and I meant to take a photo of the plated version!
This was the soup and sauce prep zone. When you are making soup for several thousand people it takes a lot of boxed wine!
The busiest part of the galley—-the bakery! The bakery is staffed 24 hours a day to make enough breads, rolls, and desserts for the masses. The fresh bread baking smelled amazing! Click on this link to watch a video of my favorite piece of food service equipment on the tour! You need this machine if you are going to bake 1,000 rolls at a time!
The finished product! This gentleman was so sweet. He did the demonstration again for us because we were so impressed. At dinner I was showing the video to the kids and our waiter looked at my phone and said “Hey that is my friend!” I told him he was the star of the tour!
Our last stop on the tour was the decorating area of the bakery. This giant cake was 30 minutes away from being delivered to the buffet for the “farewell lunch”. When my niece stopped by the cake table at the buffet she asked for a small piece. The man said “We don’t do small pieces” and handed her a gigantic slice. All of the other cousins were really impressed when she arrived at our table! My son was so impressed that he made a plan of how he was going to say he wanted a “small” piece too. I accompanied him to the cake table and Andrew, with a sparkle in his eye, said “I’d like a small piece please!” and the man put the tiniest crumb on his plate! Andrew’s eyes got big and said, “Wellllll maybe a little bigger than that!” and proceeded to get a giant piece himself.
Overall it was a very fun and informative tour of the galley. For this particular ship, the galley we toured only served the two main dining rooms (other than the bakery that provides baked goods for the entire ship). There were several specialty restaurants on the ship and each of them had their own kitchen. There is a hallway that runs the length of the ship that is hidden from guests that the staff jokingly refers to as “I-65”. This is how they transport food throughout the ship without guests noticing (or bumping into the crowds!). “I-65” also is the route for getting items from the food storage areas. There were a few times on the ship I wished I could take I-65 and avoid the crowds!
I will close with a few fun non-galley photos of our trip!
Members and guests had a fabulous time exploring the Puustelli® Kitchen Showroom and cooking with “Chef Anna” on Wednesday, June 12th!
Bjorn Freudenthal, co-founder of the Minneapolis showroom, kicked off the evening with an introduction to Puustelli which has been in business for 100 years. The cabinets and designs have been the favorite for kitchens in Finland for over 30 years. The showroom is set-up with a variety of functioning kitchen areas so the consumer can have a “real” experience shopping for their design preferences. Many options can be viewed for kitchen, bath and bar cabinet layout and options, finishes, countertops, and hardware. If anyone is looking to update their kitchen with sleek, modern, eco-friendly lines then Puustelli is a must stop and shop to see all the possibilities.
The food fest kicked off with a glass of prosecco wine and appetizers. Chef Anna spoke a bit about her cooking philosophy which is essentially recipes are merely a starting point! The group then broke up between five cooking stations to work together to prepare our Nordic inspired meal for the evening. The five recipes included; Nordic Summer Vegetable Soup, Lohikeitto (Finnish Salmon Soup), Vispipuuro (Whipped Cranberry Porridge), Karjalanpiirakka – Karelian Pasty and a variety of juicing beverages. The group was also offered a Raspberry Gin beverage and wine throughout the evening. Chef Anna floated among the groups to talk about the recipes and lend a helping hand. People could also move between groups to experience all the different tasks. The conversation was loud and lively!
Once all the recipes were prepared the group served themselves from each station and enjoyed more conversation until good-byes were said.
Here is the refreshing Raspberry Gin recipe for summer enjoyment.
½ cup fresh raspberries, divided
2 ¾ oz. gin (or vodka)
2 ¾ oz. limoncello
Juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime (lemon juice will work too)
¾ cup sparkling water
Puree half the raspberries in a food processor or blender. Place smashed raspberries into a shaker with ice. Add gin, limoncello and fresh squeezed lime juice. Shake to blend.
Dip rim of serving glass in water and then in sugar (if desired). Pour raspberry mixture into prepared glass, garnish with a whole raspberry and top with sparkling water.
**Thank you to Debra Zwiefelhofer for providing the program recap****
On May 23, FCS Professionals and guests gathered at Land O’Lakes in Arden Hills for an evening of fabulous food, a dynamic speaker, awards and recognition!
After a delicious dinner (including some Land O’Lakes products!) we were treated to a presentation by our own member (and President-Elect) Vicky Cherne. Vicky is currently the Manager of Consumer Affairs and Customer Concerns at Land O’Lakes. Her department plays two roles–one to be the voice of the brand to the consumer and second to be the voice of the consumer back to the business. At one point in time it was merely thought of as the “complaint department” customer care is now reached beyond handling consumer gripes. The platform for communication has changed also from being primarily phone contacts to now encompassing Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube. Vicky shared how consumer ratings effect customers perceptions of a product. A consumer review is trusted 12 times more than a manufacturer’s description and 92% of people will look at product reviews before making a purchase. Consumers are wary of too many 5 star reviews as it is perceived as “fake” or “paid to give high marks.”
Vicky also talked about the new world of self-service and artificial intelligence in the form of chat bots and voice assistance. These tools can be very helpful to companies but can be frustrating for consumers to interact with. The third trend discussed was consumers need for personalization. In a contact center, that might mean a customer’s contact info popping up on their screen to better assist. In marketing that might be personalized emails, personalized selections or suggestions based on past consumer behavior. These can be well received by customers but as we discussed, can also give pause to consumers feeling like companies know too much personal information (big brother is watching!).
After Vicky’s presentation the annual meeting and awards portion of the evening began. Guests were welcomed (Catherine Fox, Dorothy Rademacher, Royalee Rhodes, Sharon Smith, Karoline Stoerzinger, Sydney Wyffells and Karen Wyffels ) and introduced as well as recognition of two new members Sierra Kaptain and Molly Lass. The 2018-19 officers each presented a brief report on their respective areas. The full reports were provided in the annual report.
Next it was time for awards. Karen Smith, Nominations Chair presided over the awards ceremony.
FCS Professional of the Year—Susan Vance
Volunteer of the Year– Vicky Cherne
Spirit Award– Marge Ryerson
Behind-the-Scenes Star– Alyssa Ambrosius
Emerging Leader Award: Lisa Krause
Award winners were presented with a certificate and a beautiful plant. The meeting closed with a reminder to sign up for the final 2018-19 program of the year–a Nordic cooking class limited to 25 participants!
On Thursday, May 23 at our annual meeting, Nominations Chair Karen Smith presented the following awards for 2018-19!
The FCS Professional of the Year Award recognizes and honors a member for her/his leadership in their profession and outstanding service to this organization. This is the highest organizational award a member can receive.
It is with great pleasure to announce the selection of Susan Vance for this award. Susan epitomizes the criteria for this award because she is a FCS Professional member who has continually given of herself within our organization.
Brian, Susan’s husband, sums Susan up perfectly on Facebook. He said “spent her birthday in the same way she lives her life, full of selfless love for others.”
Since becoming a member Susan has been our newsletter editor & blogger. She coordinated & planned our tour at US Bank Stadium. Susan is the one suggesting we have a Laundry Camp meeting at Mona Williams featuring Patric Richardson. Both of these events had high, high participant raves!
Words that perfectly describe Susan are:
· Kindness for all
In addition to volunteering and sharing her time with Food and Consumer Science Professionals you’ll see Susan volunteering at her children’s school, her church, and in her neighborhood.
Susan has truly made a huge impact with her time and commitment to FCS Professionals over the years. Thank you and congratulations, Susan!
The FCS Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes a member who represents the community- involvement-spirit of FCS Professionals through community outreach/enrichment they perform.
It is with great pleasure to announce the selection of Vicky Cherne for this award. Vicky is genuine, authentic, incredibly kind, and helpful. She absolutely represents the community-involvement-spirit of FCS Professionals through the many community outreach opportunities she partakes in. Vicky is also a wife and mom of three and is very active in her church community, playing a large role in fundraising activities at the parish. She is known for spending her nights and weekends before a bake sale in the kitchen baking and setting up for the fundraisers, even if that means doing so only a few short hours before catching a flight for a work trip.
Vicky is the past national chair of the SOCAP Consumer Packaged Goods committee and the current SOCAP Minnesota Chapter President. As if she has time to spare, she served as President Elect this year for FCS Professionals and helped immensely on the Membership Sub-committee to brainstorm ideas for increasing our member numbers and traveling to local colleges to speak about FCS Professionals encouraging students to join. She is always willing to help us secure meetings at Land O’Lakes headquarters each year, works with the on-campus catering to plan delicious meals that feature Land O’Lakes products, and often volunteers to lead a tour through the Test Kitchens. We are beyond fortunate to have her serve as our FCS Professionals President this upcoming 2019-2020 year and are excited for all of the wonderful accomplishments we will have under her leadership!
Vicky gives of her time and many talents and represents FCS Professionals in the community doing this without seeking recognition. She is very deserving of this award as a small token of appreciation for all she does for FCS Professionals and the many other organizations she volunteers with on a regular basis! Thank you and congratulations!
The FCS Professionals Spirit Award recognizes a member that’s shown particular championing behavior for FCS Professionals.
Who knows the importance & benefits of belonging to a professional organization? Who wants FCS Professionals to survive & thrive? It’s our Membership Chair & longtime member Marge Ryerson!
Working to build a strong base for FCSP and keep FCSP strong, Marge:
· Reviewed & redesigned our membership brochure
· Assumed the lead & worked tirelessly on updating our bylaws
· Picked up the membership recruitment pace and diligently hand wrote personal notes to 75 plus non-renewing & potential new members.
· Presented to students at local universities/colleges promoting FCSP and encouraging membership
· Planned a new way to recognize new members at meetings. ($10.00 bill refund)
· Suggested changes for our website working with our administrative assistant
· Attended the Michael Brand presentation and is looking at ways to incorporate his suggestions
The following qualities have been used to describe Marge:
· always prepared
· writes eloquently
Marge has truly made a huge impact with her time and commitment to FCS Professionals. Thank you and congratulations, Marge!
The FCS Professionals Emerging Leader Award recognizes professionals who are new to their industry, have been members of FCS Professionals for 5 years or less, and have made a notable contribution to the organization.
The Emerging Leader Award goes to Lisa Krause. Lisa has been coming to meetings and has enjoyed the networking and learning that are a part of FCS Professionals. In fact, she has agreed to serve on the FCS Professionals Board in 2019-2020 as Nominations and Awards Chair.
Lisa has been in FCS education in the Becker School District. The majority of her career has been in ECFE as a parent educator and coordinator of the Early Childhood and School Readiness programs. Recently she changed positions and is a middle school FCS teacher in Becker. She is a life-long learner currently taking classes in Kitchen and Bath design!
Not only is Lisa an excellent educator but a wonderful mother and wife. She volunteers with her family at Operation Christmas Child, the St. Cloud Salvation Army serving meals together on Christmas Day, and Cyclehealth events.
In February Lisa received recognition at the MAFCS Symposium receiving a best practice grant to purchase funds for a classroom photography studio to be used in the eighth grade Life Skills class. She shared, “During the class experience students are taught basic food photography concepts that they then use in lab experiences as well as a final project. The studio provides all lab groups a professional experience to demonstrate the skills they have learned and are mastering. Students use the photographs to complete final evaluations of their culinary unit experiences.”
We are excited to welcome Lisa to the FCS Professionals Board and look forward to the leadership she will add to our organization. Thank you and congratulations, Lisa!
The FCS Professionals Behind-the-Scenes-Star Award recognizes a member who works diligently to execute programming, results, and/or innovation, within the organization but aren’t in any formal position on the board.
Who has a genuine big smile? Who is always poised & professional? Who loves the world of FACS? Who is supportive of FCSP programming? Who has been coming to our meetings for several years and joined this year?
It is Alyssa Ambrosius! Alyssa is our supportive & shining star. For our 2019-2020 year, Alyssa has volunteered to help programming with innovative & creative ideas and venues. Programming is looking forward to her suggestions!
In addition to Alyssa supporting and actively participating in FCSP programming, Alyssa has:
· Been a contributor to the MN FACS Frameworks collaborative project
· Diligently worked on MAFCS Annual Conferences recruiting presenters & creating conference themes
· Is an innovative and enthusiastic Family & Consumer Science Teacher at Monticello High School with a really cool indoor school garden in the FACS department
· Co-authored a Farm to School curriculum available at LearningZoneXpress
· Supports Twin Cities Girls On the Run
· Is organizing the 2nd Annual FCS Summer Career Pathway: Culinary Arts Farm 2 FCS Symposium on June 20th at St. Paul College
Alyssa has truly made a huge impact with her time and commitment to FACS in Minnesota over the last few years and I am honored to present this award to her. Thank you and congratulations, Alyssa!
The first attempt of our April meeting was sidelined by an unwelcomed April snow storm! The skies were clear on Thursday, April 25 and FCS Professionals and their guests were treated to a fantastic program at the Mona Williams store at Mall of America. Our speaker for the evening was Patric Richardson, also known as “The Laundry Evangelist”, owner of Mona Williams. Participants snacked on individual meat, cheese and cracker trays and yummy desserts while learning from Patric!
Patric’s love of beautiful clothing began as a child growing up in Kentucky. His granny loved designer clothing but there was not a dry cleaner in town so she learned how to wash the clothing herself and passed along this knowledge to him. Patric also studied textiles in college and learned more about fabrics and their care. He came to Minnesota when he was hired by Neiman Marcus and then went onto a management position at Nordstrom. He opened Mona Williams first in Minneapolis and then moved the store to Mall of America.
Patric shared more tips and tricks about laundry than one could possibly put in a blog post! For those that were unable to attend, Patric holds public “Laundry Camp” sessions. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. Click here for dates and times. Also, Patric has a book that will be published within the next year!
Some highlights from Laundry Camp
If you want to learn all of his tricks I highly recommend attending Laundry Camp. His enthusiasm and wit are so endearing and bullet points just don’t do it justice!
Mona Williams is located on the first floor between Nordstrom and Macy’s. Thank you to Patric and his assistant Martha for a wonderful evening!