Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Judy Greer & Chef Dan Churchill, with Food Network's Help, Introduce Hilton Garden Inn's new Sharable, Portion-Controlled “Sophisticated Bites.”

By Laura Medina

Award-winning actor, director and Hilton Garden Inn spokesperson Judy Greer, along with celebrity chef Dan Churchill, host of Genius Kitchen’s “Feast with Friends,” with help from Food Network viewers, revamp Hilton Garden Inn's menu, into “Sophisticated Bites.”

During a very chic portion-controlled dinner buffet launch party, Hilton Garden Inn with Judy and Dan, unveiled the winning entrée, cocktail, and dessert for the new menu.

America has spoken – more than a quarter of a million times. And with all the votes tallied, three new and delicious on-trend items are being added to the tantalizing dining menu this fall at Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) award-winning, global, upscale brand of hotels.
Earlier this summer, consumers were asked to vote on 11 contenders in the “Sophisticated Bites” contest in the categories of small plates, handcrafted cocktails and sweet treats. The winning fan favorites are:
“The voters made three outstanding menu choices that reflect the culinary trends and options that are important to today’s modern traveler,” said Chef Churchill, who helped launch the campaign in June during Summer Squad Live, a Food Network Facebook Live event that has garnered more than 5.6 million views and 5,000 shares to date. “I know guests will find the new menu items to be delightful additions to the brand’s eclectic menu, which continues to resonate with consumers.”

Award-winning actor, director and Hilton Garden Inn spokesperson Judy Greer, along with celebrity chef Dan Churchill, host of Genius Kitchen’s “Feast with Friends,” revealed the food and beverage winners at a menu tasting event at Hilton Garden Inn Burbank Downtown.   

Added Greer: “My taste buds are on high alert every time I enter a Hilton Garden Inn, and these trendy new menu items are a dream for a foodie like me! I travel all the time, and I really appreciate that Hilton Garden Inn gives its guests the simple things it needs to unwind – superb hospitality and deliciously amazing food.”

The first winner up for portion-controlled, sharable entrée is Sticky Finger Ribs – Bib alert! These low and slow baby back ribs, with whiskey-soy barbecue sauce, crispy onion and scallions, are a lip-smacking delight. (Small Plates category)

Hospitality is the name of the game for any hotel.  Hilton Garden Inn kindly provides an how to video in how to make the winning Sticky Finger Ribs.

The award-winning Cherry Blossom cocktail is the first drink this thirsty scribe gulped down.

It's their version of the Cosmopolitan. Instead of vodka, they replaced it with tequila.

Cherry Blossom – An homage to the craft cocktail movement, it’s a tempting blend of Hornitos Reposado Tequila, lime juice, grapefruit juice and grenadine. (Handcrafted Cocktails category)

Mason Jar Chocolate Fudge Cake – Taking a “cheat” day? Give your spoon-arm a workout by digging into layers of decadent chocolate cake and rich chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream and caramel sauce. (Sweet Treats category)

This is the easiest dessert to assemble.  Chop up any ole brownie into bite-sized squares.  Dump them into any size Mason Jar or glass cup, say a water/wine/champagne flute.  Top with whipped cream then drizzle caramel sauce on it. There, your Brownie in a Jar.

The online Sophisticated Bites contest was part of an ongoing evolution of the Hilton Garden Inn menu, an extension of its 2017 global brand refresh focusing on dining updates, new regional hotel prototypes and brand culture enhancements.
Other key food and beverage additions include Welcome Bites, a delicious, bite-sized, cranberry apple oatmeal cookie offered to guests at check-in in the U.S. and Canada; a new, open-display kitchen for signature cooked-to-order breakfast dishes; and a more social setting for restaurant and bar service. The latter includes a comprehensive array of handcrafted cocktails complemented by small plates, dinner entrees and shareable desserts – all of which are freshly prepared.
“The overwhelming response to our Sophisticated Bites program shows that consumers want convenient and flavorful options, especially when traveling,” said John Greenleaf, global head, Hilton Garden Inn. “As a longtime food and beverage trend-setter in the upscale hotel category, we are at the forefront of a culinary renaissance in the hospitality industry, and we can’t wait to bring these three new items to our guests around the country.”
Hilton Garden Inn offers upscale, light and airy hotels featuring modern guest rooms perfect for work and comfort. Guests may unwind in a relaxing social setting, enjoying handcrafted cocktails; varietal wines and craft beers*; small plates; dinner entrees and shareable desserts. The Shop, a 24-hour, grab-and-go retail space, provides a mix of healthy, indulgent and locally-sourced fresh foods.
There's way more to Hilton Garden Inn's new “Sophisticated Bites.”

Here are the following portion-controlled tastes that can be shared among friends and family and offering the trendiest tastes emerging as the new, uniquely American palate...

Burrata and Avocado Toast.

Cheese Flatbread.

Shrimp cocktail and vegetable crudité with hummus dip.

Salmon resting on a bed of quinoa.

Tomato Bisque with crackers

From Californian to purely American, Korean Beef BBQ Tacos.

The new hors d'oeuvre, mini burger sliders with 2 to 3 French fries, portion-controlled.

The new real desserts, the cocktails.  Blackberry Mojito and...

Blackberry Mint Mocktail for driving...

The award-winning Cherry Blossoms...

The new Pina Colada, Colada Shiver...

For a family that wants a taste of California or America or friends just wanting to get together, without wasting tons of too-big of a serving meals, let's chill and settle down over a variety of tastes at Hilton Garden Inn.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Tiffany Thiessen & Chef Curtis Stone Work Their Butts for LA Food & Wine 2018, While DJ Questlove Just Jammed on Saturday Night.

By Laura Medina
DJ Questlove spinning as music headliner.

Actress of her own Cooking Channel show, "Dinner at Tiffani's," Tiffany Thiessen with Chef Curtis Stone.

Last Saturday's LA Food & Wine's "Live on Grand" was a trifecta of cooking and foodie celebrites, actress-turned-cooking show hostess, Tiffany Thiessen of her own "Dinner at Tiffani's." Chef Curtis Stone, and foodie/restaurateur, DJ Questlove. 

Those two, Tiffany Thiessen and Chef Curtis Stone were the two of the hardest working duo during this recent LA Food & Wine 2018 week.

During Saturday's night Live on Grand party and Sunday's Grand Tasting afternoon lunch and afternoon tea, rolled up into one, both Tiffany and Curtis were non-stop serving machines, while graciously posing selfie autographs.

Most celebrities, entertainment and culinary, usually call it a night.

Not these two...

These was Chef Curtis Stone, all night Saturday night, shucking and serving Morro Bay Oysters from his first restaurant, Maude...

This is Chef Curtis Stone on Sunday, all afternoon, again non-stop shucking and serving Morro Bay Oysters...

The other half of the non-stop dynamic duo also work her butt off, all through the weekend, Tiffany Thiessen, actress and host of her own cooking show, "Dinner at Tiffani's" on the Cooking Channel...

Tiffany served mini carrot cakes on Saturday night, all Saturday night while posing with fan's autograph selflies, without failure. What a trooper.

This is her all Sunday afternoon.  This time serving up a Sunday brunch-worthy white cheddar "scones" (savory scones are biscuits. Sweet biscuits are scones) with strips of candied bacon and tomato jam.

For a six-generation Californian, Tiffany is Southern at Heart.  One of her friends moved to outside of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Despite being a popular actress, Tiffany is really humbled to be accepted in LA Food & Wine and working alongside Chef Curtis Stone.

Of course, she's promoting her cookbook, "Pull Up a Chair," to released on October 7th.

Sorry kosher folks, shellfish was the haut-est hit during LA Food & Wine 2018 weekend.

Maude's fresh Morro Bay Oysters and Nick & Steff's Grilled Oysters in Beef Bits and Brown Butters attracted the longest line Saturday night.  People were craving zinc.

The longest line for food alone, is Jason Fullilove's Barbara Jean's fried shrimp resting on a bed of creamy grits.  A pop-up that's trying to be taken seriously as a full-fledge restaurant.

The Fried Shrimp and Grits, along with Tiffani Thiessen's White Cheddar Scones with Candied Bacon and Tomato Jam proves that Angelenos are hungry for Southern Cuisine done really well.

Obviously on the still stifling, waning days of Summer, big kids lined up for cool ice cream from Afters Ice Cream, strawberry cookie crunch and Hot Cocoa ice cream...

Big adult ice cream cocktails of Ire La La Land coffee ice cream with Irish whiskey and Midnight Magic of Taro Ice Cream and White Chocolate Ice Cream topped with tequila are big kids' way to cool off. 

There's a reason why classics never go away, quality.

Jose Andres' Bazaar Patisserie makes the whimsical classics in their delectable finger candies, fruit pates, macaroons, and mini cakes make afternoon tea and desserts easy for the portion-controlled stylistas to satisfy their sweet tooths.

The sweet treats trend continues with Guinness Beer Ice Cream...

The barley malt and wheat and yeast in Guinness Beer makes for a very smooth and rich ice cream.  Here are a many Guinness Beer ice cream recipes to check out, https://www.bing.com/search?q=guinness%20beer%20ice%20cream%20recipes&qs=n&form=QBRE&sp=-1&pq=guinness%20beer%20ice%20cream%20recipes&sc=1-31&sk=&cvid=31E8241937A9453489CBD8105EA9D9F6

With the emerging economy of "Sex and the City"/"Bold Type" career women moving up the rank and transforming society and the economy and markets, instead of guys breaking a cold beer brew, it's the ladies breaking a cool can of pre-made quality cocktails in can, after work and on the weekend or breaking a six-pack with friends at their pool at their houses.

Can Can Cocktails provides the answer and needs, http://www.cancancocktails.com/

Aka, "The Monster Mixer"

The Monkey Mixer. Drawing cheeky inspiration from a cement truck's design, the traditional cocktail shaker has been upgraded and transformed into the ultimate cocktail machine. The Monkey Mixer, which can hold up to 2,400 gallons of liquid, resembles a cement truck, complete with rotating drum, or in this case, cocktail shaker, and will visit select cities in the USA beginning with its debut at Arizona Cocktail Week (February 17-19). Monkey Shoulder's US Ambassador, Seb Derbomez and Brand Associate, Tobias Schopf, will be on hand to present the colossal cocktail shaker to attendees, serving the Mixed Up Monkey cocktail from the machine's chute, and sharing the Monkey Shoulder mission.

We respect that, but believe people should play with their whisky, and enjoy the experience," shared Seb Derbomez, US Monkey Shoulder Ambassador. "Monkey Shoulder is an award-winning whisky that is made for mixing, and we are dedicated to sharing the joy and wonder of what a whisky cocktail experience can be with people across the country. The Monkey Mixer is a great vehicle to share this message in a big and unmistakable way."
Fun facts about The Monkey Mixer:
  • The capacity for the "Mixer" is the equivalent of 123,000 bottles of Monkey Shoulder
  • The Mixer is over 27 feet long, 13 feet tall and 8 feet wide
  • The mixer is powered by a 5000 watt Cummins Onan diesel commercial generator
  • The sound system packs over 2000 watts of power and includes:
    • 2 x 500 watt JL audio amplifiers
    • 1 x 1000 watt JL audio amplifier
    • 4 x 7.77" JL audio midrange speakers
    • 2 x 13" JL audio subwoofers
    • 1 x 18" Dayton audio subwoofer 
  • The delicious, refreshing and balanced "Mixed Up Monkey" cocktail recipe contains:
    • 1 ½ parts Monkey Shoulder
    • ¾ part mint simple syrup
    • ½ part fresh lemon juice
    • 3 parts soda
    • Fresh mint sprig garnish
The fun begins at Arizona Cocktail Week when Monkey Shoulder and The Monkey Mixer break ground on a new era of whisky cocktails.
"For this first event, we've chosen to offer the Mixed Up Monkey cocktail, a mixture of Monkey Shoulder, mint syrup, soda, and lemon juice chosen for its universality and its playfully fun use of the whisky," remarked Derbomez. "With this cocktail you can see just how mixable Monkey Shoulder really is – a truly cheeky addition to any cocktail!" 
"I can't wait to share Monkey Shoulder, The Monkey Mixer, and this experience with mixologists and cocktail enthusiasts as we travel to some of the country's top spirits events this year," added Derbomez. "Of course, we take safety and responsibility very seriously, so driving time and cocktail time will always be separate – as they always should be. We encourage all to imbibe responsibly always, and never drink and drive."