Spring has sprung! Let us introduce you to six bright exhibitors who’ll be heading to Vegas, March 30-31, for the Inaugural Vegas Food Expo, at the Gold Coast Resort & Casino:
Culinary Collective is an import and distribution company that fosters small-scale production of flavorful, wholesome, heritage food by making a direct and inspiring connection between the producers of these foods and the North American food connoisseur. The Collective offers a shared logistic system for small gourmet food producers who aim to preserve traditional food systems and encourage environmental responsibility. Each Collective Producer is guided by shared responsible business principles and a set of product criteria.
Culinary Collective combines two divisions – Matiz España that specializes in Spanish foods and Zócalo Gourmet with heritage foods from Peru. Culinary Collective was established in 1998 by Pere Selles from Catalunya, Spain and Betsy Power from Salem, Massachusetts, when the two moved to Seattle and realized that the selection of quality foods from Spain was next to nil.
Since its initial boot-strapped start up, Culinary Collective has expanded considerably, working with over 30 vendors in Spain and Peru and is now known as a premier importer of gourmet, cultural foods. In September of 2014, the Collective celebrated its 15 year anniversary by reflecting on where they’ve been and the numerous producers that have come along for the journey, which is illustrated in this company timeline.
The Company’s founders believe that it’s important to live responsibly to improve the health of our environment and our communities. They work solely with small producers that are rooted in and integral to the health of their communities, using strict sourcing criteria to ensure that products are all natural and fairly sourced. As they say: “We are strong believers that we work to live, not live to work. We like to get out there and experience life. We attempt to get off the beaten path, to open our eyes to the many amazing cultures and peoples that inhabit Mother Earth. We incorporate travel into our business lives by visiting our suppliers on a regular basis, and we encourage our customers to join us on these trip.”
Culinary Collective’s responsible business principles and practices are embodied in a set of five very strict sourcing criteria, explained below. We strive to select products that meet all these criteria, but sometimes a product stands out even if one or two criteria have not been met. The products that meet all of the following criteria wear the Rooted Foods Seal: Local Ownership, Authenticity, Local Sourcing, Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship. Culinary Collective is proud to be a founding Certified B Corporation.
Don’t miss savoring the flavors of Culinary Collective at Booth #801 .
GF Harvest (also known as Gluten Free Harvest) is the source for pure, certified, gluten-free oat products. As the owner proclaims: “It is time to Trust Your Oats!™ again.” Other companies try to claim they are gluten-free. GF Harvest products are grown and processed using a product purity protocol. This means that they control and independently certify the gluten content from the seed, to the field, to the final processes used in bringing GF Harvest products to tables across the country.
Forrest Smith, the founder of the company, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease (CD) in 1990 at the age of two. Throughout the next 25 years, his family has had over 10 other family members diagnosed with CD, including his mother and father. As a freshman in high school, Forrest was challenged to create a business and wanted to give back to the gluten free community. This is where his vision of GF Harvest started.
Today, both parents and Forrest are running the company, providing the first dedicated gluten free oat mill in the United States with the purest source of oats for over a decade. GF Harvest is certified by GFCO at 10 ppm or less, Kosher, Organic and Non-GMO verified with a proven history of purity.
At GF Harvest, you can be sure that they don’t “self certify”, dilute, blend, or use other similar techniques to achieve the gluten-free claim. The company maintains their own certified planting seed, and personally contracts with “Seedsmen” who have not grown any wheat, rye or barley on their land for the last two years and who use their combines for only Gluten Free Oats, LLC or non gluten crops. Each field is completely walked at least three times to make sure that no volunteer glutinous products are growing in the field.
Some of GF Harvest’s most popular brands and products include: GF Harvest Oats, Non GMO Traditional Products, GF Harvest Oats Organic Products, GoPack (Oatmeal Packs), GF Harvest Flour, GF Harvest Groats & Steel Cut, and Canyon Oats Brand (Oatmeal Cups).
You can find GF Harvest at Booth #602 at the Vegas Food Expo, March 30-31, 2017.
Mojave Gold LLC
What started as a small-town farmer’s vision turned into an international culinary success. Back in 1986, Mojave Gold’s owner and wholesaler, Don Kizirian, was farming in California’s San Joaquin Valley and exporting an ordinary variety of loose raisins to Japan. He was situated in Cadiz, California, an unincorporated community in the heart of the Mojave Desert. The extreme climates and limited irrigation from underground ancient glacial water proved to be the perfect combination for raising sun dried red flame seedless grapes.
In 1995, after buying four new ranches in the Cochella Valley, Mojave Gold found its footing as Kizirian perfected the techniques needed to grow, trim, and handle cluster raisins. In 2010, construction began on a brand new plant in Thermal, California. The plant includes a 16,000-square-foot packing house and two 6,000-square-foot long-term storage buildings, especially developed for the unique harvesting process and handling care the clusters require. The company also has a plant in Riverside County. Mojave Gold is recognized for helping to develop the area as one the nation’s top 23 exporting regions, employing more than 40 residents, and increasing property tax revenues.
An Exacting Process
To achieve the optimal size, sweetness, and raisin yield each year, a method of trimming and handling is done to the vine at each stage of the growing process. This method is crucial to the quality of the raisins, and includes techniques such as, pruning, dropping bunches, thinning, girdling, and leafing. During the winter, the plant lies dormant waiting for spring. As the warmth of the early desert spring takes effect, buds will form at each node. After three or four leaves have developed from each bud, flowers will start to appear. At this stage, the flowers will have feathery tips. These are the parts of the flower that need to be polynated to produce fruit.
Pollination occurs by wind, so it’s important for the wind to ripple between the flowers. Plucking off all leaves along each cane below the flowers is what is called “leafing”. This also allows for the plant’s energy to go into filling out the grapes rather than into making new leaves. Vines can overproduce, which results in degradation of quality. To correct this, the process of “thinning” is done to misshapen and excess clusters. Mojave Gold’s “Raisins on the Vine” require over 22 percent sugar for top taste and quality. Once ready for harvesting, the raisins are cut and hung on the vine for a natural sun-drying process. Once completely dry, the raisins are kept in storage as they await the hand-washed, hand-trimmed, and hand-packaged process.
Mojave Gold Cluster raisins are no longer the best-kept secret of the Far East. Their popularity has now spread nationwide, showing up in many specialty food stores, wine and cheese bars, and even on the Food Network. The future for these one-of-a-kind raisins on the stem is bright.
Come see for yourself at Booth #903 at the Vegas Food Expo.
La Tourangelle produces artisan cooking and beauty oils. La Tourangelle has always been in the pursuit of uncompromising artisan excellence. The mainstay of all La Tourangelle’s creation is the taste. Eat food that tastes better. It is our nutritional wisdom. Flavor drives nutrition. Stir the emotion, enjoy and be beautiful. Abraham Lincoln had yet to be elected president when Mr. Morillon and Mr. Bechet founded La Tourangelle, a small animal-powered oil mill, in the idyllic French town of Saumur (the castle of Saumur is on their logo).
Originally, all along the Loire river, there was small artisan oil mills that roasted and extracted the oil from nuts gathered by local farmers. La Tourangelle is one of just a handful of these remaining mills that keep this tradition alive. Over the next century and a half, the company refined their production processes and adopted appropriate technologies that honored this artisanal beginning.
In the early 1990’s, ownership passed to the Kohlmeyer family and La Tourangelle continued the 150 year-old time-honored French tradition, holding the mastering reins generation by generation. The company believes that using traditional methods is still the best way to naturally retain the flavors, the nutrients, and health benefits that nature provides. Shepherded by uncompromising methods and know-how, the word “artisan” rings true and meaningful through our products. They strive to be the best artisan oil producer, dedicated to making carefully crafted, sustainable, natural products.
La Tourangelle’s “Maitre-Moulinier” (Master Roaster) works with passion, integrity and pride to produce high-quality, distinctive gourmet oils in our mills both in France and in California. Every day, they further master and enhance the art of roasting and pressing nut kernels into delicious oils. Using artisan care, La Tourangelle extracts the nut’s essence and hidden natural treasures to create products inspiring delight in the kitchen, well-being and joy.
La Tourangelle’s artisan Cooking Collections includes Nut Oils, Specialty Oils, Coconut Oils, Everyday Organic Oils, Infused Oils and Asian Inspiration Oils. La Tourangelle’s artisan beauty oils include Jojoba, Infused Carrot Infused, Infused Calendula, Infused Daisy, Infused Arnica Oil, Virgin Sesame, and Virgin Argan. Whatever the product, La Tourangelle strives to always stimulate the senses.
You can sample La Tourangelle’s wide range of high-quality products at Booth #311 .
Bohemian Creamery lies just a mile outside downtown Sebastopol, California on a hilltop overlooking the Laguna de Santa Rosa, the Mayacama mountains and our herd of Alpine dairy goats. It is here that the spring clover enriches our goats’ milk, the wild blue rye molds powder our natural rind cheeses and the salty marine layer infuses our aging rooms. It is here where the inspiration for all our unique goat, sheep and cow cheeses is born.
One of Sonoma County’s most creative artisanal creameries, Bohemian Creamery offers a variety of goat, cow, sheep, and water buffalo milk cheeses. The company pasteurize all their milks and only use vegetarian rennet in the authentic artisanal tradition. Some of their specialty cheeses include:
Capriago: an asiago-style cheese made from our goat milk and aged between 8 and 10 weeks. The rind is washed with brine at the beginning of the ageing process, then allowed to cultivate a wild blue mold, promoting a moist and slightly sweet, nutty paste that is well-paired with fruit or seasonal greens.
Boho Belle: is made with organic Jersey cow milk in the Bel Paese tradition. Each wheel is aged 6-8 weeks to allow for the natural development of geotrichum, a thin layer of white mold that enhances the vanilla flavors of this soft, rich cheese and helps maintain its deep, yellow rind. A semi-soft paste, Boho Belle is the perfect finish to any dessert. Its creamy texture and subtle finish pair nicely with bolder wines and fresh fruit.
Romeo: is the company’s longest-aged cheese, brined and tended to for up to 10 to 12 months during which time it acquires deep and complex flavors and a crystalized paste reminiscent of Grand Padana. Can be served on a cheese plate or grated over a variety of dishes for a rich and intensified experience.
Cowabunga: a soft fresh lactic Holstein cow’s milk cheese filled with a delicious sweet cajeta (goat milk caramel) surprise and sealed with a milk bloomy candidum-geotrichum rind. A low-fat miniature cheese cake-like surprise, Cowabunga offers a sweet and desserty richness to any meal.
Agua Bufazola: a super creamy, soft, dense, one-of-a-kind gorgonzola dolce style cheese made from the milk of one the few water buffalo herds in the United States. The milder italian strain of roqueforti blue promotes a paste that is bold but not overwhelming to the palate. Aged 4-6 weeks. Perfect paired with fruit or honey for an explosion of sweet rich salty tang.
FlowerPower: a fresh lactic organic cow cheese pyramid speckled inside with bursts of bee pollen and crowned with a ring of pollen on the outside. Each bite offers mingling moments of milk and honey: the embodiment of Spring when milk is fresh and new and flora bloom anew. FlowerPower is best eaten right out of the vat.
Twist & Shout: a sheep and cow blended natural rind cheese infused with saffron and toasted peppercorns then cooked for hours in its own whey before it is aged for a three month minimum. Shaped from a 1,000 year old remedy presented to the Queen of Sicily in order to lift her from her dark spirit.
Bohemian Creamery offers tours in Sebastopol; they last about an hour and are scheduled for Saturdays at noon and Sundays at 1:00 pom. The cost is $20 per person (children free) and includes an introduction to cheese-making, a tasting of all the cheeses, and a frolic with the goats, if desired.
Come taste Bohemian Creamery’s unique cheeses at Booth #907B .
Stock Options was established in 2004 in Portland, Oregon, and inspired by the desire to provide discerning chefs with the foundational elements of gourmet-quality sauces, soups, stews and signature dishes found on any fine dining menu. The company produces high-quality frozen stocks and demi-glaces that are cooked, cooled, stored, and delivered with exceptional care, having been refined in our founder’s kitchen based on thirty years of experience in the restaurant industry. All products are handmade with careful attention to detail and quality at every stage of production, including: Stock Options Classic Beef Stock, Premium Veal Stock, Roasted Chicken Stock, Gourmet Fish Stock and Fresh Vegetable Stock, as well as Beef Demi-glace and Veal Demi-glace.
The Bare Bones
All the ingredients in their stocks and demis are carefully selected; there is nothing in their products other than bones, vegetables and herbs. The only sodium in the beef broth is from tomato paste painted onto the bones in the last half hour of the roast. Excess fat is carefully removed from the kettle during the cooking cycle to preserve and enhance the flavor and quality of the essential ingredients.
The beef bones that are used come from ranchers who follow hormone-, steroid-, and antibiotic-free vegetarian feeding practices. Chicken bones are provided by organic, free-range poultry farmers. The company also uses locally-sourced, organic produce.
How It’s Cooked
Stock Options beef and veal stocks are 24-hour processes. After a slow roast, the bones are cooked quickly at high heat with vegetables and herbs. Then the stock is “put to bed” for a flavor-enhancing overnight simmer. It takes 5 ½ hours to make a batch of chicken stock, including a 1 ½ hour roast. A roasted vegetable stock and a blond fish stock are less time-intensive recipes, but they’re prepared with equal care. Their ultra-rich demi-glaces are pure reductions – no starch, no roux, just a little port and red wine for deglazing.
Made by chefs for chefs, Stock Options’ classic, all-natural products are carefully created from scratch in small batches to exacting standards, ensuring the highest possible quality. Naturally free of preservatives, thickeners, gluten and added salt, their stocks and demis deliver rich, flavorful and healthy dividends to any table. Stock Options products can be found at select retailers, and are used by fine restaurants and dining establishments throughout America.
Make sure to take stock of all of their products at Booth #112B at the Vegas Food Expo.