Saturday, October 31, 2015

Moondance Michelada Mix, Mexican Beer Cocktail

You don't have to travel to Mexico for a Michelada beer cocktail. Instead, you can order a delicious, savory bottled mix, from Moondance Michelada Mix, to add to your beer. This Washington, D.C. based company was at the 19th Americas Food & Beverage Show, Fla. Owned by Laurie Pedersen (CEO), April Pedersen (Chief Marketing Officer), and Margo Gahagan (Sales Associate), came up with the idea after many trips to Mexico.

Moondance Michelada Mix, 19th Americas Food & Beverage Show, Miami, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
"We've been sitting on this idea for years and this year we decided to make it a reality," said April Pedersen.

According to April, this beer cocktail it is sort of like a Bloody Mary but better. "I'm not even a beer drinker and I love this," said April.

Moondance Michelada Mix combines tasty spices like chili pepper and Worcestershire sauce with lime juice into a liquid that can be added to your favorite beer.

Michelada is the official beer cocktail of the Mexican holiday--Day of The Dead (Dias de Muertos), which is usually celebrated between November 1 and 2.

Margo Gahagan and Laurie Pedersen owners of
Moondance Michelada Mix, 19th Americas Food & Beverage
Show, Miami, Fla. Copyright 2015 by Helen A. Lockey
During the Americas Food & Beverage Show, both Laurie Pedersen and Margo Gahagan showed their dedication to their product by wearing black dresses and Day of the Dead face paint. "This is the perfect advertisement because everyone wants to take selfies with them," said April with a broad smile.

As far April Pedersen knows they are the first company selling a Michelada mix in the United States. The reception at the Americas show was good with several South Florida restaurants showed interest.

If you don't want to wait for your favorite restaurant to get this mix, you can go directly to Moondance Michelada Mix's website and order your own bottle. They are also selling savory salt to put on the rim of the Michelada glass.

Or you can contact Laurie Pedersen directly at (559) 666-4585, or email her at

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Norman Van Aken, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, Orlando

Orlando, Fla.--Chef Norman Van Aken won this year's Torch Award. He is known as the founding father of New World Cuisine that celebrates Latin, Caribbean, African, Asian and American Flavors. He has also been honored as one of the, "Founders of New American Cuisine," alongside Alice Waters.
Chef Norman Van Aken receiving inaugural Torch Award, Florida Restaurant
and Lodging Show 2015, Orlando, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
In 2015, he participated in EXPO Milan's World Fair, where he represented Florida in an event titled, "American Food 2.0, United to Feed the Planet."

At the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, he recieved the first Torch Award. It was created to recognize a group of individuals or just one individual whose achievements have enhanced the restaurant and food service industry. 

He is also the only Floridian inducted into the James Beard Foundation's list of "Who's Who in American Food and Beverage."

The first time Aken read the James Beard book he said, "It was like coming into a cave that was illuminated," smiling he added, "The cave was my brain."

Chef James Beard, born in 1903, was the one of America's first foodies. He got passion for food and using local ingredients came from both his mother and summer trips to Oregon where his family would catch and gather ingredients for their meals. 

Aken's passion for food comes across with in the following sentence. "You are dealing with a living thing when you're working with food," he said.

You can taste Aken's food at his restaurant titled Norman's located in the Ritz Carlton, Orlando, Grande Lakes, Fla. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Wine, Fla. Rest. & Lodging Show, Orlando, Updated

Orlando, Fla.--Florida wines are liked by chefs. The standouts, at this year's Florida Restaurant And Lodging Show, were from San Sebastian Winery and Lakeridge Vineyard.  These sister wineries, run under the umbrella of the parent company Seavin, Inc., have been making wine in Florida for 32 years.

Lakeridge Vineyard & San Sebastian Winery staff, Florida Restaurant &
Lodging Show, Orlando, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
"People are really surprised we are local and they are surprised how well the wines go with food," said Cassidie Corwin, Public Reactions/Loyalty Manager for both companies.

There was a surprisingly good response to the sweeter Florida grown muscadine grape wines. According to Corwin more people drink sweet wine.

Show favorite San Sebastian Port Ruby made with muscadine
grapes and aged in oak six months, Florida Restaurant &
Lodging Show, Orlando, Fla. Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey

The most popular wines at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show were the Lakeridge Southern Red, a flavorful muscadine table wine, and the San Sebastian Port Ruby, a complex, rich port made with 100 percent muscadine grapes and aged in oak for six months.

Chefs, who visited the booth, were excited about working with the wines to make reductions and other things according to Corwin.

"The whole craft beer and spirits industry has helped us. We've been doing this for over 30 years," said Mark Shapiro, Director Wholesale Operations.

To taste and buy these wines for yourself, you can visit both companies for tours and tastings.

Lakeridge Winery & Vineyard is located at 19239 U.S. 27 North, Clermont, FL 34715
Phone: 1-800-768-WINE

San Sebastian Winery is located at 157 King Street, St. Augustine, FL 32084
Phone: 1-888-352-9463 OR 904-826-1594

You can also buy these wines at Total Wines & More stores.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Hillbilly Apple Butter, Sebastian, Fla.

Sebastian, Fla.—Homemade, old timey, apple butter tastes the best. It is especially good if the apples are just a week old and the Buttering (slow cooking process that includes spicing and sweetening) is done in a copper kettle. This is the way Carl and Nellie Treadway make their apple butter.

Hillbilly Apple Butter making, at Treadway Family homestead, Sebastian, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
For the past three years or so, according to Florida born Nellie, they have been driving to Virginia to buy apples from a local farmer. “If we bought the apples here it would be too expensive to sell,” said Nellie about her apple butter.

They bought 40 bushels of apples this year to make sure they had enough to meet demand and to adjust for spoilage. A family friend helped with the peeling and coring of the apples. “We was two days peeling them apples,” said West Virginia born Carl.

Canning hot apple butter, Treadway Family Homestead,
Sebastian, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
The next day they invited friends and acquaintances over for a day of cooking and canning. “It took eight hours and a half for the boiling process,” said Carl. And it took several more hours to get the hot, aromatic, applesauce like mixture into sterilized glass jars.

They don’t make a lot of money selling their products, actually they make just enough to go back to Virginia each year for more apples.

So why do they do it, you may ask?

Nellie and Carl Treadway, Treadway Family homestead, Sebastian, Fla.
Copyright 2015 by Helen A Lockey
They do it to preserve culinary history. “There is so much of that stuff that has been forgotten," said Nellie about her apple butter cooking.

You can buy their Hillbilly Apple Butter for $6 a pint at LaPorte Farms' Build A Scarecrow day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 11th. They are located at 7700 129th St., Sebastian, FL.

Or you can call the Treadway’s directly at (772) 589-4922