Current Newsletter

ifec newsletter
june 2015

Message from the President
Sam Oches
QSR Editor

Hello from the balmy South, IFECers!

Hope you guys are finding ways to stay cool out there! We had 12 straight days of 95-plus temperatures down here in the North Carolina, and it's got me pining for the fall already.

Specifically, I'm pining for the cooler (though not too cool!) seaside days in Portland, Maine, from November 2-5. Of course, that's when we'll be meeting for our annual conference, hashing out great story ideas, learning more about the future of foodservice, and getting to know the culinary personality of Portland.

Carol, Jen, and Cathy Holley spent some time scouting out some potential food tours and restaurant partners during a trip in Portland last week. I'll hand off to Carol so she can fill you in a bit more on all that they learned. In the meantime, feel free to reach out with any questions you might have about the conference or our ongoing membership recruitment push!


The Maine Attraction
It's official. IFEC scouts Jen Mac Kay and Carol Lally (that's me) are ready to move to Portland. We're just back from a three-day whirlwind tour that touched down in dozens of exciting places, from cutting-edge restaurants and bars to a traditional lobster shack, artisan distilleries and a coffee crafter, a fizz shop and a fermentory.  Expertly guided by IFEC VP/ Flavor & The Menu Editor-Publisher Cathy Holley, we cruised the city and the country, checking out picturesque farms and a pristine hydroponic tomato and herb garden, tasting donuts and vodka made from Maine potatoes, and, with our friends from Maine Lobster,  looking into possible tours of fishing boats and a state-of-the-art lobster processor. By the way, did you know that 100% of Maine lobster is hand caught from small day boats?

On the way into town heading north on Route 1, we swooned over iconic lighthouses, the dramatic coastline and rambling shingled summer homes. In the city itself we admired the working harbor and the Old Port's cobbled walkways and we even managed a foray into the L.L.Bean mother store in nearby Freeport.

High points from a trip that was packed with them were the lobster rolls and Whoopie pies at The Lobster Shack at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth, the lunch specials at the fabulous Sur-Lie in the Old Port and summery cocktails with a panoramic view at Top of the Eastland (the Eastland was the historic hotel that is now The Westin Harborview where we're holding our conference).

Besides inhaling food and drink for research purposes, we learned a lot in conversations with the likes of farmer/shepherdess Lisa Webster of North Star Sheep Farm, Lindsay Sterling of Immigrant Kitchen and two genuine Maine attractions, farm-to-flask distiller Luke Davidson of Maine Craft Distilling, and Ned Wight of New England Distilling. Luke is a barn builder turned artisan distiller and Ned comes from a long line of distillers who called Baltimore home. He uses a traditional copper pot still to make his award-winning Maryland-style rye whiskey, combining history with technology, art and science, as he puts it.

Conference committees are switching into high gear this month and you'll be hearing more about the people and places on tap for the program in November. Stay tuned for alerts. Conference registration will open in mid-July.

News from and about members
Congratulations to Edward Hoffman on his appointment as PadillaCRT senior vice president  and leader of the agency's Food, Beverage and Nutrition Group.  A past vice president of IFEC, founder of The Varick Group food marketing consultancy and a leader at Landor Associates, Ketchum San Francisco, and most recently Porter Novelli, Ed is based in PadillaCRT's New York office.  

Kudos to deep on new client Lantmännen Unibake USA, a leading supplier of high quality bakery products in North America to the foodservice, wholesale and retail trade. Their product brands consist of Schulstad Bakery Solutions and Euro-Bake. Bethany Bell, Assistant PR Manager for deep, will be handling editor relations and inquiries for the brand.

Best wishes to Larry Carrino, Brustman Carrino Public Relations, on the birth of his second son, Dominic Eliot, on May 6th.

Welcome to New Members
We're happy to introduce and welcome our newest members:

Ed Avis
El Restaurante magazine
Oak Brook, Illinois

Kathleern Furore
El Restaurante magazine
Oak Brook, Illinois

Victoria Benz
Director of Public Relations
AugustineIdeas agency
Roseville, California

Four Star Students Receive IFEC Scholarships
IFEC has awarded a grand total of $15,000 in 2015 scholarships to four promising students whose career plans center on food-business communications. Now in its 33rd year, the program has provided upwards of $330,000 to more than 100 students. Proceeds from the annual auction fund the scholarships as well as tuition reimbursements for professional development activities of qualified IFEC members.

Thanks to Scholarship Committee Chair/Freelance Writer Jody Shee and committee members Mary Humann, The Humann Factor, and Kim Reddin, National Onion Association, for selecting the recipients and congratulations to this year's stellar crop. We have every hope that they will use their considerable skills and drive to help make the food world a better place.

Amrita Gupta, a masters candidate in food studies from New York University received the top award of $5,000. She envisions working at a digital food magazine that focuses on well-researched, long-form stories supplemented with short video and audio clips.  Amrita, who has a 3.925 GPA is scheduled to graduate in May 2016. She has worked as a print journalist in India and profiled chefs, farmers and activists shaping India's food industry and has blogged and produced food pieces for public radio.

Samantha Seeley
  ($4,000) is pursuing a BA in digital media production from SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. and expects to graduate in January 2016.  A straight A student, Samantha is interested in content creation (writing and photography) for a food magazine. She already provides photography for restaurants and local food publications and for Vermont Creamery, Sabra and Stonyfield Yogurt, where she also develops recipes.  

Catherine Brown ($3,000), also a straight A student, is pursuing a dual BS degree in dietetics and agricultural communications and journalism from Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas, and expects to graduate in December 2017. She has sold produce she's grown to local chefs and is developing skills to become a professional chef and dietician. She wants to use multiple media avenues to "tell the story of food" and provide the experience through specific dietary catering, food preparation workshops and horticultural education demos.

Yvette Cabrera ($3,000), a candidate for a masters in food studies with a 3.925 GPA, expects to graduate in May 2016 (along with Amrita Gupta).  Yvette has experience with Heritage Radio Network, producing and recording radio pieces about food. In her ideal job, she would further produce her own written and radio pieces about food-related issues such as food waste, food security and non-communicable disease especially as they affect underprivileged populations, the environment, and the health and well-being of peoples in general. She believes that by addressing these issues through media, conversations can be started and solutions can be disseminated.

It's Mid-Summer Membership Madness
Use your magic to conjure up some great new members for IFEC this month and next. Just send us your prospects' contact information and we'll do the rest. You'll get a point for every individual you refer. The people with the most points win the prizes. Best of all, you'll be helping make IFEC stronger. 

Considering a conference sponsorship?
Don't delay. The cut-off for Learning Session proposals is July 15th and early-bird rates for all other sponsorships end that day too. Now is the time to get your bid in for Chef Showcase (the committee is reaching out to Portland chefs now), Activity Stations (they're filling up fast) and menu and other opportunities.

Sponsorships are remarkably cost-effective ways to get your brand message in front of the editors and the rest of the foodservice editorial community. "The product presentations spark story ideas, provide culinary leads (from those companies that bring along their chefs) and make the IFEC meals and breaks very tasty. ... they really bring the products to life for those of us who usually just see press releases," says Pat Cobe, senior editor, Restaurant Business. Patty Fitzgerald, editor of School Nutrition, finds that they help to supplement the pitches she gets at Office Hours. For more reasons to sponsor, click

You'll find details and application forms online. Just log in to (your member access codes are shown below) and select "conference sponsorships" from your member page. Call us to talk ideas or ask questions.

2015 Annual Conference, Portland, Maine - November 2 -5
2016 Annual Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota - October 26 - 29

Have news? Please share it with your IFEC colleagues

Do you have a new client, new job, new feature in your magazine? Are you expecting a baby, planning a wedding or going to Moldavia?  Send your news to

Carol Lally
Executive Director/newsletter editor
845-229-6973 / /
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International Foodservice Editorial Council (IFEC)
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