Industry News

THE “BUILD-A-BOWL” RICE BAR created by Cynthia Ruffin, director of child nutrition for St. Charles Parish Public Schools, won first place in the Healthy Rice Bowls Contest of the USA Rice Federation. Working closely with Tulane University dietetic interns, Ruffin created the bars, which offer three options: Sweet and Spicy Chicken Rice Bowl, Thai Curry Rice Bowl and California Sushi Rice Bowl.

USA Rice also awarded two runners up — Cathy Getz, foodservice director and Michael Williams, café worker for Kayenta Unified School District in Arizona for their Calabaza con Pollo con Arroz and K-Town Rice Bowls; and Donna Miller, cook manager for Chicopee School District in Massachusetts for her custom rice bowl bar featuring Asian and Caribbean flavors.

Ruffin received $500 towards her school's education fund. All winners received personal and commercial Aroma rice cookers and will be featured on MenuRice.com [2].

Vulcan Adds Infrared Cooking Line

Illinois Tool Works Food Equipment Group North America has acquired from Thermal Engineering Corp. (TEC) the exclusive rights to the patented infrared cooking technology in the commercial cooking industry and a license to sell TEC's Searmaster Charbroiler product line.

Searmaster and the infrared cooking technology is a past winner of a Kitchen Innovations Award from the National Restaurant Association and the Blue Flame Award for the most innovative technology from the Gas Foodservice Equipment Network. The technology is 50 percent more energy efficient than other burners used in the industry and allows precise cooking to maximize food quality with higher moisture retention, more consistency and less waste.

Sara Lee to Split

Sara Lee Corp.'s board of directors have voted to split the company into separate, publicly traded units. One, with some $4.1 billion in annual revenue, will be composed of Sara Lee's North American retail and foodservice businesses (excluding the beverage business) and will market brands like Sara Lee, Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Chef Pieree and State Fair. The other, with $4.6 billion in annual revenues, will consist of Sara Lee's domestic and international beverage businesses as well as its international bakery business.

Campbell's Names New Execs

Campbell's Soup Co. has named Chris Slager vice president/general manager of its North American Foodservice unit as part of a series of management moves. Also named were Ed Carolan to vice president/general manager of the soup and simple meals unit, Tim Hassett to senior vice president of sales for Campbell North America, Maureen Linder to senior vice president of fresh and frozen bakery for the Pepperidge Farm unit (succeeding Hassett in that position), and Darren Serrao to vice president/general manager of beverages and breakthrough innovation.