Food & Dining
State of Iowa Finalist in Roll Call’s Annual “Taste of America” Competition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Iowa Restaurant Association   
Monday, 16 June 2014 08:49
State of Iowa Finalist in Roll Call’s Annual “Taste of America” Competition

June 12, 2014 – West Des Moines, IA – Iowa is in a battle to the finish in Roll Call’s Annual “Taste of America Competition.”  Iowa’s entry of “bacon” has advanced to the Final 8 among favorite regional foods, and is now battling against some tough competitors from seven other regional finalists including stiff competition from entries such as Maryland’s crab cakes and Illinois’ deep dish pizza.

“It’s time for us to show some serious Iowa pride,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association.  “Iowa restaurants and at-home cooks alike have shown a nearly endless level of culinary creativity with bacon—it’s time to brag about it.”   People can vote through June 20th at Roll Call’s Taste of America website:

Iowa bacon was one of 64 foods from across the country featured in the competition which started in bracket format on May 12th.  Iowa made its way to the Final 8 by beating out Ohio’s Buckeye Candy, Missouri’s Ice Cream Cone, and Wisconsin’s Mac and Cheese.  The champion will be the state food that receives the most votes during the final round. The winner will be announced at a reception at the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on June 25, 2014.

Since 1909 the Congressional Baseball Game has pitted Senate and House members of each party against one another on the baseball field to raise money for charity.

Help Iowa be featured at the big event by voting today at .


Iowa Restaurant Association

The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.

National Launch of Revolutionary App to Know What's in your Food! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Jeff Sonnenburg   
Friday, 13 June 2014 14:58

Jeff Sonnenburg, Executive-Director, “It started when I was simply trying to find products without aspartame. I couldn't believe the amount of hours I was spending looking on the back of long complicated labels over and over. I was also seeing all the millions of people who were actively trying to get legislation passed to have GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) listed on labels. I thought why can't a consumer have their own virtual label through a mobile-app where by scanning the UPC-code anyone can see just the information they personally care about.”

“I also decided to include information such as GMO that is not always publicly available. Finally when I saw a television news report about a child who had died of a peanut-allergy, I saw how hard it was for 3.3 million people who have a peanut-allergy to figure out what products have peanuts or are made in factories with peanuts. I was shocked how totally unsuspecting products have peanuts in them. This seemed essential for the over 100 million Americans who have special dietary needs."

Affinity is a mobile-app and site where anyone can decide what information about a product they want to know. It also recommends alternative options for the same type of product that is more according to your preferences. To save you time it your previous choices and products you already scanned.

We are starting our crowdfunding now for the Peanut-Allergy Edition to be out before Halloween and then the GMO Edition and Prescription-Drug Food-Interaction Edition will follow one per quarter. We will be rolling-out a web-site in the next 30 days for crowdsourcing for people to search our database for type of products they want without peanuts and to beta-test the functionality for the app. We are getting ready to do the same each quarter following for GMO and prescription-drug food-interactions.

A pre-launch event will be on Tuesday 17 June 2014 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at Theo's Java Club (side-stage room) 213 17th St. Rock Island, IL where we will have a five minute video of the app and product-database. We want everyone's input on what you want to know about your food by simply swiping your mobile. We want to know what do you want it to keep track of to make your shopping choices easier and quicker. We'll be making a national video for crowdfunding kick-off! We will also be taking applications for coders, developers, data-key-entry and general staff.

Mighty River Ventures is a local incubator for mobile-apps and sites that already has six apps in the pipeline. We have monthly brainstorming online and local master-minds where people can bring their ideas for us to scope them out for viability, development costs and revenue potential. We will soon be including a youth program where they will be offered work-study to learn coding skills and have fun making viral videos.

eff Sonnenburg, Executive Director, has been an Executive Business Consultant for Cap Gemini with such clients as Utilicorp, TWA, DSI and consulted privately for Humane Society, Human Factors and MindPlay including speaking at the United Nations. Many of his references are at


News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Friday, 13 June 2014 12:01

Food Tasting To Be Held At Miss Mamie’s

MOLINE, IL/ June 11, 2014 – Miss Mamie’s Restaurant & Bar will be hosting a food tasting event Monday, June 23rd at 6:00pm. New delicacies will be joining the line-up of already delicious choices from the Miss Mamie’s menu.

These new foods would include; the Carolina Burger, Spinach Dip, and Fried Green Tomatoes. Also, new appetizers, cocktails, and desserts will be present to unearth delicious combinations of food and drink.

At $30.00 a person, you and your family, friends, and/or colleagues can participate in this succulent food tasting event. Reservations are accepted, but we are limited to no more than 50 people for this event. All benefits and proceeds will go to a scholarship for the Scott Community College Chef Apprentice Program.

Miss Mamie’s Co-owner and Chef, Mike Osborn, “These new menu items will certainly add a different element of Southern flavor to our menu. Along with a selection of appetizers, drinks, and desserts to help accentuate the taste of these selections, any combination is bound to tickle the taste buds.”

Call 309-762-8336 to reserve a place for Miss Mamie’s Food Tasting. Remember, reservations are limited.

This food tasting event will allow those who have already experienced the Miss Mamie’s menu to try the new additions. It will also allow those who may not have tried it to taste it for the first time. Of course the goal is to better serve our customers and give you an exciting selection of entrees and appetizers for each visit you make to Miss Mamie’s.

About Miss Mamie’s: Miss Mamie’s Restaurant and Bar is located it Moline, Illinois. We define fresh as locally sourced steaks; cut in our kitchen, the best seafood we can buy, and offer crisp salads with house-made dressings. Original entrees crafted by a culinary chef and offered at a good value in an established, locally owned Quad Cities restaurant. Our restaurant and menu embody a casual coastal flair you won’t find anywhere else in the area. There’s something for every food mood and flavor lover, so let us take care of your current craving, whether it’s salad or steak, sandwiches or seafood.

About Mike Osborn: Miss Mamie’s’ Chef/Owner, Mike Osborn, is a Quad Cities native who has been in the restaurant field his entire professional career. Mike trained at the most prestigious culinary school in the U.S., the Culinary Institute of America, and he has cooked in private clubs throughout the Country and owned a bagel chain. In 1995, Mike became the head chef at Miss Mamie’s. He helped open another location in Davenport, which is now Mo Brady’s Steakhouse, and in 2007, he purchased Miss Mamie’s Restaurant & Bar and Mo Brady’s Steakhouse. Mike has always been serious about food. He takes care to select just the right ingredients, cook them properly and create excitement on the plate.

1,500 People Receive Advanced Food Safety Certification in First Quarter of 2014 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Iowa Restaurant Association   
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 08:48
New Standards Up the Ante for Food Safety in Restaurants -- 1,500 People Receive Advanced Food Safety Certification in First Quarter of 2014

June 10, 2014 – West Des Moines, IA – On January 1, Iowa instituted a new food code which includes a requirement that every food service establishment have a certified food protection manager on staff. This certification is earned by taking an approved food safety and sanitation course and passing a national standards exam. Since the adoption of the new standard, more than 1,500 people across the state have earned the designation – a 30% increase over the number of people who had taken the exam in first quarter last year. 

“Prior to the new requirement, many of Iowa’s 6,000+ restaurants and bars had already determined that having a certified food safety professional is good for business,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association. “This new standard ups the ante for all food service establishments and will ultimately enhance the experience for all customers.”
ServSafe Food Safety certification classes are offered bi-monthly through the Iowa Restaurant Association and ISU extension offices across the state. The certification is good for five years. 


Iowa Restaurant Association
The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s restaurant and bar industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.

"Rock'n Round the Grounds" at the 2014 Corndog Kickoff PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Drew Norton   
Monday, 09 June 2014 15:32

DES MOINES, IA (06/09/2014)(readMedia)-- Join the Blue Ribbon Foundation in "Rock'n Round the Grounds," at the 18th annual Corndog Kickoff Benefit Auction and Fair Food Grazing Party on Saturday, July 12 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Doors to the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building will open at 6:30 p.m. for a night filled with exciting auction packages, entertainment and all of your favorite Fair foods. Gear up for the 2014 Iowa State Fair while raising funds to renovate and restore the historic Fairgrounds!

More than 200 enticing auction packages fill the live and silent auctions. Spend the night at the unique Hotel Pattee and dine at the Chef's Table for a 5 course meal with ten of your friends. Experience bacon at its finest with VIP treatment at the 8th annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. Or, watch Florida Georgia Line's sold out performance during the Iowa State Fair from the second row of the stage seating area.

The Corndog Kickoff has been a pre-fair tradition since it began in 1997. First held in Pioneer Hall, 460 people were in attendance. Since then, the event has grown to raise more than $3.1 million for the restoration and preservation of the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The 2013 event brought in a crowd of 1,600 and raised a record high of $416,000!

"The Corndog Kickoff is a special event for Iowans which serves as our largest annual fundraiser for the Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation," said Peter Cownie, Foundation Executive Director. "The funds generated from the Corndog Kickoff make a significant impact on improving the Fairgrounds and exemplifies the support Iowans have for their State Fair. We are grateful for all of the support. Thank you."

Take advantage of the advance ticket price by ordering now. All inclusive Corndog Kickoff tickets are $75 each until June 30. After that date, tickets will be $100. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Blue Ribbon Foundation at (800) 450-3732, online at or at the door the night of the event.

The Iowa State Fair Blue Ribbon Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Since its inception in 1993, the Foundation has generated more than $100 million for renovations and improvements to the Iowa State Fairgrounds. For more information on the Corndog Kickoff, please contact the Foundation at (800) 450-3732 or


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