LOS ANGELES, CA, September 14, 2015 – Ferdinand Metz, Certified Master Chef and former President of the Culinary Institute of America for more than 20 years, presented Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Chefs and Owners of Border Grill & Truck with the inaugural TORCH Award during the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, of which Metz is Chairman of the Education Program. This new award recognizes an individual or group of Chefs or Restaurateurs whose achievements have enhanced and brought innovation to the restaurant and foodservice community.
“The purity of their knowledge, the clarity of their vision and the brilliance of their careers made Mary Sue and Susan not only a logical, but an overwhelming choice to be the first ever recipients of the Torch Award,” said Master Chef Metz. “Throughout their illustrious career they have illuminated the darkness, which obscured the outstanding contributions of women chefs in the kitchens of America; marshaled the energy to build a virtual restaurant empire as they basically transformed the landscape of the SoCal restaurant scene; embodied the joy and the passion of the never ending challenge of seeking out new flavors and creations enthusiastically embraced by their patrons; educated, trained and promoted many of their cooks and co-workers; and have given hope by reaching out to the communities around them and given steadfast support to many charitable organizations.”
“While the word torch traditionally symbolizes freedom as manifested in the statue of liberty, it does, however address many other meanings, such as, illumination, energy, joy, victory, enlightenment, hope and education to name a few”, added Ron Mathews, Event Vice President. “It is therefore no wonder that we have chosen to create the inaugural Torch Award to be presented to outstanding chefs who embody all those qualities and characteristics.”
After receiving this prestigious award, Chefs Feniger and Milliken, the celebrated entrepreneurs, authors, co-owners/chefs of Border Grill Restaurants & Truck, and co-stars of over 350 episodes of the Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”, prepared a Peruvian Ceviche on Plantain Chips in the Culinary Demonstration Theater on the show floor to a standing room only crowd.
The Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo brought together 450+ vendors and 8,000+ restaurant, foodservice and retail professionals to the Los Angeles Convention Center at the end of August. Attendees of the Expo had to opportunity to participate in over 35 educational sessions at the Ferdinand Metz Foodservice Forum, the gold standard, industry-leading educational conference dedicated to foodservice professional development. The 2016 Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo will be held August 28-30 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Additional foodservice events include the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, October 6-8, 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando and the International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, March 6-8, 2016 at New York City’s Javits Center. For more information, visit www.westernfoodexpo.com for www.thefoodshows.com.