Specialty Food Magazine

Spring 2018

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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association news Indian Condiment Wins Front Burner Foodservice Pitch Competition A nyone who doesn't know how to pronounce achaar might want to start practicing now. The judges at the Front Burner Foodservice Pitch Competition at the Winter Fancy Food Show selected Tomato Achaar from Brooklyn Delhi as the product with the most potential for success in foodservice (see Indian Immersion, p. 40). Tomato Achaar is "a unique condiment inspired by India that brings exciting, vibrant flavors to everyday meals," said Chitra Agrawal of Brooklyn Delhi in making her pitch, which itself earned praise from the judges. "A lot of people like these flavors, but they are hard to replicate." The product, which has a range of uses, drew com- parisons from the judging panel to Sriracha in terms of its potential to take the market by storm. It is a clean-label sauce made with locally grown tomatoes, a blend of Indian spices and other ingredients, based on Agrawal's family recipes. Achaar is traditionally eaten with rice and curry, but Agrawal said she believes the product could have a broad range of uses as a sauce or seasoning in food- service in channels that include burger and sandwich chains, fast-casual restaurants, and others. She created Brooklyn Delhi's Tomato Achaar as a retail product, and has been selling it through Whole Foods. In foodservice, it's currently being used in recipes such as shakshuka (below), soups, wraps and blended into ketchup and mayonnaise for a distinct Indian flavor. Judges applauded the product's innovative quali- ties, and also gave it high marks for its appeal to chefs in a foodservice environment. Brooklyn Delhi Tomato Achaar, which also won the award as the crowd favorite, beat out Chimichurri Autentico from Gardel's Fine Foods and Modena Pearls of balsamic vinegar from Food Specialties Trading/De Nigris, the other two finalists in the competition. The three contestants, all SFA members, were selected from a pool of applicants by members of the SFA Foodservice Council, who voted on criteria includ- ing foodservice appeal, differentiation, and product innovation. The Front Burner Foodservice Pitch Competition judges were: • Adam Moskowitz, president of Columbia Cheese and Larkin Cold Storage • Arn Grashoff, director of merchandising and marketing for European Imports • John Venegas, regional VP heading national pantry services for Best Vendors, the Canteen National Accounts arm within Compass Group • Joanne Weir, a fourth-generation professional cook and James Beard award-winning cook- book author In addition to hearing the pitches, the judges tast- ed the products and assigned scores for innovation, quality, and chef-appeal for foodservice. Agrawal will receive a promotional prize package from the Specialty Food Association, including an ad in Specialty Food Magazine, editorial coverage in Specialty Food News, and more. A networking reception with beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres, including the foods pitched during the com- petition, followed the event.—Mark Hamstra Tomato Achaar is "a unique condiment inspired by India that brings exciting, vibrant flavors to everyday meals. A lot of people like these flavors, but they are hard to replicate." 22 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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