Posts Tagged ‘veggies’

Ending the Year with New Festive Flavors – Fruit Crystals® Pumpkin Spice & Cranberry

December 11, 2013

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Last November we revisited the Culinary Institute of America’s Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival. It was a wonderful learning experience that brought together hundreds of the world’s finest Chefs. At the World Marketplace, we showcased our two new holiday flavors, Fruit Crystals® Pumpkin Spice and Cranberry.

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During the reception each day and several food demonstrations, lunches & seminars, many of the chefs including one of our own, Chef Kelly Sasuga, enhanced their plates with our Microgreens & Edible Flowers.

One of Kelly’s dishes was a Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chantilly Cream, topped with Fruit Crystals® Pumpkin Spice & Micro Basil:

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This was a huge hit! Attendees really loved the presentation, flavors and textures.

Chef Elizabeth Falkner used our products in her ISI demo!

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Here’s some other food & drink samples from the World Marketplace with our products!

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Up next, we will be making a scene at the New York Produce Show and Conference on December 10th – 12th. So if you are looking to try a sample of our new Fruit Crystals or looking to check out our newest microgreens be sure to come to our booth 234 and say hello!

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Benefits of Growing Microgreens in San Diego

August 5, 2013

It really should come as no surprise that Fresh Origins, the leading grower of microgreens and related specialty produce, chooses to farm in sun-kissed Southern California, particularly San Diego County.

The area has one of the finest growing climates in the world thanks to the year-round sunny weather. Southern California is the ideal environment for Fresh Origins to grow the best and most flavorful microgreens and other specialty produce items.

According to the National Weather Service, the climate in San Diego County is the most temperate in the country – with warm winters and cool summers. San Diego is in the same latitude zone as tropical Bermuda and Casablanca in North Africa. So, with its great location and the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, the area has one of the most temperate climates in the world, giving Fresh Origins a major quality advantage over other microgreen growers in the world. The average annual temperature is a comfortable 63 degrees and the sun shines about three of every four days. In addition, it takes far more energy to grow microgreens in the Eastern half of the country due to the harsh weather conditions and the need to heat the greenhouse. The carbon footprint of these operations is significant and is far more than the small amount used to transport these very light-weight items anywhere in the country.

With a climate such as this, Fresh Origin’s growing seasons are long and in most cases year-round. There is a major difference in quality, taste, color and shelf life with Fresh Origins microgreens. For those chefs outside of California, there really is no reason to settle for lower quality just because it is locally grown.

In addition to microgreen farming, San Diego’s climate also sets the ideal stage for growing edible flowers, which is why Fresh Origins excels at it. Thanks to the year- round growing season, Fresh Origins is able to offer their Firestix™ and many other edible flowers to specialty produce distributors 365 days a year.

Growing in such an unmatched climate, Fresh Origins has become the leading microgreen and edible flower producer in the country.

If you are interested in featuring Fresh Origins Microgreens, Edible Flowers or other unique specialty produce, as a part of your menu, please contact your specialty produce distributor.

Fresh Origins Receives Perfect Scores in Agricultural and Manufacturing Practices for Second Consecutive Year

June 11, 2013

ImageOutstanding Compliance in Greenhouse Operations, Harvest Crew & Packing House

SAN DIEGO, CALIF. – February 21, 2013 – Fresh Origins, America’s leading producer of MicroGreens and Edible Flowers, has received for the second consecutive year a perfect score of 100% in their annual third party food safety audit by Primus Labs in the areas of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

Fresh Origins is third-party certified for food safety in three main areas of food handling: Greenhouse Production, Harvest Crew and Packing House operations, with separate audits and certificates of compliance in each one. A 100% in each of these areas is seldom achievedPrior years’ scores have been Superior ratings in the very high 90’s.

Fresh Origins is also a proud member in good standing of the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement (LGMA). As a member, they are subject to the rigorous standards and mandatory random field audits by USDA State and Federally-authorized licensed inspectors. Fresh Origins is among the smallest of all farms audited by Primus and LGMA. The average is estimated to be over 1,500-2,000 acres compared to Fresh Origin’s 24. 

 “Our family farm is very serious about food safety. This is a discipline and priority that we instill in each member of our team,” says David Sasuga, founder of Fresh Origins. “We are proud to be an example of a small farm that is recognized for excellence in food safety compliance. There is really no reason that small farms shouldn’t be held accountable for the safety of their products.”

Fresh Origins products are available to professional fine dining foodservice venues through specialty produce/food distributors nationwide. In 2013, Fresh Origins will be also partnering with U.S. retailers to offer select products for home cooks to enjoy as well. Visit www.freshorigins.com for more information, photos and recipes, and find us brand on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Chef Kelly Sasuga of Fresh Origins: Competition with a Daring Dish

April 29, 2013

During last month’s trade show tour, our R&D Chef Kelly Sasuga represented Fresh Origins in one of the toughest, most prestigious culinary competitions in the United States. The American Culinary Federation (ACF) hosted the 2013 Catersource ACF Culinary Challenge, it brought together the nation’s most talented chefs to compete in a variety of cooking, decorating and carving competitions – awarding medals and certifications.

Spoiler alert!

Kelly won her K1-Duck category impressing the judges with her asian style, Miso Glazed Duck Breast, Chinese Hand-pulled Noodle Stir Fry with Veggies, Smoked Duck Egg Roll, Kumquat Chili Gastrique, and Fresh Origins Micro Shiso. She received the ACF-Silver medal accumulating the highest score in her category!

When it came time to cook, the judges and audience watching were really impressed with how Kelly she moved and conducted herself in the kitchen. The judges especially, were astonished to see someone hand-pull noodles during a hot food competition. It was a risky task and the they knew it.


Chef Kelly Makes Practice Perfect with Noodles

Months prior to the competition, Kelly spent hours on hours practicing twice a week at the San Diego Culinary Institute, who sponsors the competition team. On top of that, she was able to commit extra time every day for two months, perfecting the hand-pulled noodle technique at home.

Requiring a certain level of finesse and applied muscle memory, unbraiding hand-pulled noodles is a very old and difficult technique that requires a lot of patience and practice. In the position of having to teach herself, Kelly mimicked videos of other chefs that were experts in executing the chinese art form. She had done her research. She even went to Martin Yan’s restaurant in SF, MY China to watch them make hand pulled noodles, and met the Master Chef himself! He was very friendly and briefly explained to her how the process worked as she watched Executive Chef Tony Wu masterfully pull these wonderful noodles. It’s really an exciting thing to watch.

Along the way, through timed trial and error, she found out what worked for her. She was able exploit the small details needed on her own, things like using the exact ratio of water to flour when creating the consistency of the dough – it needs to be perfect in order to pull noodles from it.

ACF Rules and Culinary Standards

Unlike most competitions where individuals compete against each other, here chefs compete against a strict culinary standard. Each competitor is judged and awarded points not only the taste of their dish but everything they do in the kitchen from: organization, sanitation, creativity, portion size, cooking skills and techniques, how they utilized their time, ingredients, flavors, textures, and presentation. Their allotted time is 15 minutes to setup, 60 minutes to cook, 10 additional minutes for plating and 15 minutes for clean up.

The Final Results

Since her part was over, cooking phases done, kitchen cleaned, and dishes received, the judges gave her an invaluable review. In fact, one of the judges came to shake her hand afterwards, applauded her on the obvious hard work she displayed and praised on her bold decision to use hand-pulled noodles in her dish. A couple of them also offered her a job! The end result was surreal, all Kelly’s feelings of anxiousness and nervousness subsided, she knew that all her hard work had paid off.

Her first time culinary challenge was finally over and with great success, now all she could do was think of what she could do for the next one!

Her next scheduled challenge is the 2013 ACF Culinary Salon Competition at the Le Cordon Bleu in Seattle, Washington on May 4th. We love showing our support to all chefs competing, so if you’re going to be attending or competing in the event, let us know!

Asian style Herbs & Greens

January 11, 2013

Fresh Origins has a wide variety of Asian style herbs & greens. Great flavor additions for noodles & rice! Float some Petite Thai Basil on Pho to add an intense herb essence. Micro Red & Green Shisos are wonderful when paired with fresh sushi. Seared rare ahi loves to be topped with our Micro Wasabi. Add some Gold Edamame Shoots™ to your stir-fry to add color, crunch and a yummy legume taste. Red Kaiware Shoots™ & Micro Benitade add a stunning color and spicy flavor to Kalbi short ribs or sesame chicken.

What would you do with our Asian products??

Asian Products

Happy New Year! Cheers to healthy eating!

January 4, 2013

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Season your Holiday Meals with Healthy Fresh Herbs!

December 20, 2012

Holiday Herbs, Microgreens, Petitegreens, Fresh Origins

Fresh Origins Microgreens: A Family Matter

December 17, 2012

Fresh Origins Microgreens: A Family Matter – Kelly Sasuga

Going to culinary school was the best thing I’ve done for my family’s business.

I started working Fresh Origins, my family’s business, more than six years ago. I did a lot of different jobs, starting with customer service, and moving on to doing graphic design, photography, sales and marketing. I’d been studying these subjects at the University of San Francisco, and it was good to use my skills to help Fresh Origins grow.

I spent some time in the kitchens of chefs using our products, taking photos of the dishes they created and observing how they combined flavors when they used our microgreens. A chef would use our Micro Shiso in Asian dishes, and Micro Basil in an Italian dish.

Of course, I couldn’t use the chefs’ recipes for our business – these belonged to them. I felt I needed to develop my own recipes to showcase our Microgreens, Shoots, Edible Flowers, Tiny Veggies™ and Herb Crystals™.

So I signed up for the San Diego Culinary Institute to get my Commis de Cuisine Diploma http://www.sdci-inc.com/ I devoted nine months to classes and two months to an “externship” at the Red Light District restaurant, where I worked with Chef Jason Maitland.

Jason is a family friend who has been using Fresh Origins microgreens and other products for a long time. Now I could see up close the flavor pairings and combinations he came up with. I was also learning about combining flavor elements at the Culinary Institute  – sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami.

I also learned how to plate food attractively – after all, people eat with their eyes first. I saw how to combine colors and textures, how people’s eyes travel on the plate, where you should add height. Now I look at photos of plates I did before culinary school, and I think, “Well, I thought it looked okay at the time…”

My culinary training taught me not just how to prepare recipes, but how to invent new ones.  I gained an understanding of the science behind the food, and an appreciation for experimentation and recipe development.

Now I am Fresh Origins’ research and development Chef. I develop new recipes to showcase our products at the foods shows we attend. I’ll prepare a dish, and then pass out small samples and show attendees how to use our products.

At the last couple of shows, we made citrus ceviche and topped it off with our Flower Crystals™  Fennel. [link to http://www.freshorigins.com/our-products/basil-crystals] Licorice flavored Fennel pairs well with seafood, so I thought it would be great to combine them with shrimp and scallop ceviche. The sweetness of the fennel crystals are a great contrast to the tartness of the ceviche, and they add a nice crunch. People think because the crystals are sweet, they can be used only on desserts and pastries, but they can be paired with savory items, too.

I actually did do a mint chocolate dessert for the food shows: a chocolate ganache pop with a coating of the mint crystals. The crunchy mint is a fantastic flavor combination with the smooth rich chocolate. [link to http://www.freshorigins.com/our-products/basil-crystals].

Most people wouldn’t think of pairing microgreens with a dessert, just like they wouldn’t think of the sweet herb crystals with savory food. But the freshness of the green is great with a rich dessert. I recently created a recipe for a maple, cinnamon and persimmon pana cotta with candied pecans. [link to https://fomicrogreens.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/cinnamon-maple-persimmon-panna-cotta-candied-pecans-with-micro-basil-cinnamon/] It’s garnished with micro cinnamon basil, a basil that really does taste like cinnamon. The fresh microgreen is a great color contrast for the eyes, and it’s a nice fresh texture with the smooth panna cotta.

This is something I teach other chefs when I’m marketing our microgreens. Many chefs use microgreens as a garnish, but we try to teach them to use microgreens as a flavor addition, not just as a garnish to look pretty.

My culinary training opened up an array of new techniques that have helped me contribute to Fresh Origins more creatively. After culinary school, I’ll never look at a plate of food the same way again.

Microgreens, Edible Flowers
David & Kelly: PMA Foodservice in Monterey – July 2012

Microgreens, Edible Flowers, Herb Crystals
Chef Kelly with food samples: International StarChefs Congress in NY – Sept 2012

Pebble Beach Food & Wine Festival

April 18, 2012

San Diego California – April 17, 2012 – Fresh Origins shines in epicurean paradise at Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2012

Fresh Origins products were prominently featured throughout the West Coast’s premier epicurean lifestyle event; Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2012.  75 Celebrity chefs matched with 250 acclaimed wineries created an extraordinary four- day destination on one of the most breathtaking coastline resorts in the world.  Throughout the weekend, guests enjoyed intimate access to the pinnacle of culinary and wine talent at wine tastings, cooking demos, and some of the most exclusive, unique dining experiences in the world.

Working feverishly for weeks prior to the event, Fresh Origins and PBF&W Culinary Liaison, Dorothy Maras developed strategic master plan to provide some of the world’s most talented and demanding culinary geniuses with everything from Micro Tangerine Lace™ to Oyster Leaf from an amazing array of dazzling Microgreens, Tiny Veggies™  and Edible Flowers for their exclusive menus.

“It is an honor to see our products truly come to life in the hands of the best chefs in the world!” said David Sasuga, founder of Fresh Origins.

Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud, Masaharu Morimoto, Jacques Pepin, and Roy Yamaguchi are a few of the world class chefs bringing their inspired culinary tour de force to the exclusive Pebble Beach resort.  Fresh Origins products were found on nearly every dish at the event.

LA Food Wine Festival!

December 7, 2011

Fresh Origins was proud to be a sponsor of the First Annual Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival in October 2011! The creators and producers of the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West Coast proudly presented the next great culinary and live entertainment playground, where celebrity met celebrity chef. There were 58 Different events and 141 Chefs that participated! Some of the nation’s Top Chefs used our Microgreens & Edible Flowers on their dishes! Some of the Chefs included: Bradley Ogden, Daniel Boulud, Sam Choy, Roy Yamaguchi, Elizabeth Falkner, Johnny Iuzzini, Wolfgang Puck, Michael Mina, & Masaharu Morimoto.

http://www.lafw.com

Masaharu Morimoto with Julie Sasuga of Fresh Origins

 Clam Chowder Congee, oyster cracker, Fresh Origins Micro Celery

LEXUS GRAND TASTING – SUNDAY 10/16 12:00-3:00PM

Chef Masaharu Morimoto—known to millions as the star of Iron Chefand Iron Chef America—has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western andJapanese ingredients.  He has effectively created a signature cuisine that has gained worldwide appeal and positioned him as one of the foremost chefs today.  Morimoto is executive chef at Morimoto Philadelphia,Morimoto New York, and Wasabi by Morimoto.  In July 2010, chef Morimoto opened his first West Coast restaurant, Morimoto Napa, in downtown Napa’s new Riverfront development, followed by the fall 2010 debut of Morimoto Waikiki in Waikiki EDITION, the new luxury lifestyle hotel developed by Ian Schrager and Marriott.

Sam Choy of Sam Choy’s, Hawaii with David & Julie Sasuga of Fresh Origins

Island Style Poke, Fresh Origins Micro Intensity Mix™

RED CARPET PREMIERE THURSDAY 10/13  7:00-10:00PM

Sam Choy’s colorful personality and welcoming smile have drawn customers to his multiple restaurants over the last 30 years, but it is his award-winning cooking that keeps them coming back.For the last 16 years, Sam has appeared on his weekly cooking show, Sam Choy’s Kitchen, on the Hawaiian Island’s local NBC affiliate. He has authored 16 cookbooks, has a frozen food line with a major international distributor, has his personal recipe sauces and dressings available in national food store chains and has designed first and business class menus for American’s Airlines International Flights. Choy is a four-time nominee for the James Beard Best Pacific Regional chef award, winning in 2004. He is often credited as the “Godfather of Poke” and the Culinary Ambassador of the Big Island. Sam also enjoys catering for private events and donates his time to support multiple charities.

Elizabeth Faulkner of Citizen Cake & Soma SF with David Sasuga of Fresh Origins

Baby summer squash, fig, uni, lemon olive oil, Fresh Origins Micro Basil

RED CARPET PREMIERE THURSDAY  10/13  7:00-10:00PM

With her spiky platinum hair and unstoppable creativity, Elizabeth Falkner has become one of the most recognizable faces of the Bay Area culinary world on Bravo, Food Network and beyond. She has been a frequent contestant, judge, and guest on Top Chef Masters, Top Chef, Iron Chef America, Sugar Rush, Tyler’s Ultimate with Tyler Florence, Rachael Ray’s $40 a Day, Martha Stewart Living, and more.

Falkner is the owner and Chef of two Michelin recommended restaurants in San Francisco. Citizen Cake patisserie, restaurant and bar in Pacific Heights, along with the popular SOMA restaurant bar and lounge Orson. Once known as the go-to for all things pastry, Elizabeth’s expertise is now widely acknowledged to have bridged the gap between sweet and savory.

Johnny Iuzzini of Jean-Georges, New York

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, Curry Mayo, Chocolate dirt, Fresh Origins Micro Sorrel

DECADENCE HOSTED BY SHERRY YARD   SATURDAY 10/15  10:00-2:00AM

Johnny Iuzzini, Executive Pastry Chef at award winning Restaurant Jean-Georges and café Nougatine in New York City, hails from the Catskills in upstate New York. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with twenty years of kitchen experience since the age of 15, he boasts a heavy list of experience at highly lauded dining locations such as The River Café in Brooklyn, NY, Daniel, Payard and Café Boulud in New York City.  His enrichment continued during a journey around the world in 1998 as well as to study pastry at some of the finest patisseries in France including LaDuree under Pierre Herme.

Chef Iuzzini was deemed “Outstanding Pastry Chef of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation in 2006, followed by accolades such as “10 Most Influential Pastry Chefs in America” by Forbes Magazine, “Best New Pastry Chef” by New York Magazine, and named one of the “Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America” two years in a row by Pastry Arts and Design Magazine. Iuzzini is the head judge of Bravo’s new culinary competition series “Top Chef Just Desserts” and the author of Dessert Fourplay: Sweet Quartets From A Four-Star Pastry Chef.

Roy Yamaguchi, Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant

Main Lobster Dim Sum, chantarele mushroom, lobster foam, Fresh Origins Tiny Veggies™ Radish & Petite Shiso Red

LEXUS GRAND TASTING – SUNDAY SUNDAY 10/16  12:00-3:00PM

Based on childhood memories of the feelings and flavors of Hawaii, Roy invented what he refers to as “Hawaiian Fusion® Cuisine” — a tempting combination of exotic flavors and spices mixed with the freshest of local ingredients, always with an emphasis on seafood. Thusly inspired, he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York at the age of 19, where, after several years of intense training, he became a Master Chef.

Yamaguchi is now regarded as a pioneer who mastered a distinctive style, which brought his cooking to the forefront of contemporary gastronomy. As testimony to his success, there are now 31 Roy’s, including 23 in the Continental U.S., 6 in Hawaii, 1 in Japan and 1 in Guam.

Honored early in his career with the prestigious James Beard “Best Pacific Northwest Chef” Award, Yamaguchi has hosted six seasons of the PBS-TV show, Hawaii Cooks with Roy Yamaguchi seen on more than 300 stations in all 50 states, as well as in over 60 countries. Equally notable, he was a featured chef on the acclaimed TV Food Network program, My Country, My Kitchen which takes viewers back to his roots in Japan.