Chef Profile: David Bull

Chef David Bull_Congress_low resGrowing up in his family’s restaurant, David Bull learned the inner workings of a kitchen and the role a restaurant plays in the community. These experiences not only showed him his love of cooking, but also taught him that creating lasting memories through taste, smell and the feelings associated with them, connects people to each other. He believes a restaurant is responsible for growing these bonds and giving back to the community that supports it, and that philosophy drives everything he does at Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and Bar Congress.

Chef Bull graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1994, and then joined The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, Texas. He moved quickly through the ranks at The Mansion to earn distinction as the youngest-ever sous chef employed by the venerable hotel. He then moved to Austin, serving as executive chef of the Driskill Grill, where he and his team earned the Austin American-Statesman’s “Number One Restaurant Award” for three consecutive years. With Chef Bull at the helm, USA Today recognized the five-star Driskill Grill as one of the country’s Top 50 Hotel Restaurants.

Food and Wine Magazine honored Chef Bull as one of “The Best New Chefs 2003.” In 2006 he appeared on the Food Network as an Iron Chef America competitor. And in 2007, Chef Bull was nominated for the prestigious James Beard award for “Best New Chef Southwest.”

In 2007 Chef Bull was named chef partner of La Corsha Hospitality Group, an Austin-based company that restores and operates historic landmark hotels. As chef partner he oversees all culinary operations for La Corsha Hospitality Group, most recently serving as executive chef of The Stoneleigh Hotel & Spa’s signature restaurant Bolla.

In 2009 Chef Bull released his interactive cookbook, Bull’s Eye on Food, and helped start La Corsha Restaurant Partners, the creative team behind Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and Bar Congress.

In 2010 Chef Bull opened Congress, Second Bar + Kitchen and Bar Congress in downtown Austin. In 2011 Congress was recognized as the only five-star restaurant in Austin by the Austin American-Statesman and was named as one of the “Best New Restaurants 2011” by Esquire. Esquire also named Bar Congress as “One of the Best New Bars in America,” and all three establishments were named in the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants in America” by Bon AppétitTexas Monthly named Congress “The Best New Restaurant in Texas” in 2012.

We thank Chef Bull for his commitment to sustainably raised meat and for traveling to Des Moines to cook for our farmers.

Chef Profile: Anne Quantrano

Chef Anne Quatrano photoChef. Innovator. Visionary. Anne Quatrano is widely held to be one of the country’s greatest chefs. Her meticulous attention to detail dovetails seamlessly with her devotion to freshness, flavor and simplicity. A longtime proponent of sustainability, Anne has – since her earliest days – prided herself in using locally grown seasonal and organic produce, much of which is from her own organic gardens grown at her home on Summerland Farm in Cartersville, Ga.  Together with her husband, award-winning chef Clifford Harrison, she operates five of Atlanta’s most celebrated restaurants – Bacchanalia, Quinones at Bacchanalia, Star Provisions, Floataway Café and Abattoir.

We are thrilled she is traveling to Des Moines to cook for the family farmers who raise hogs for Niman Ranch.

Thank you chefs Anne and Clifford for your commitment to humanely raised meat.

Chefs Honoring Niman Ranch Hog Farmers

Niman Ranch celebrates its more than 550 U.S. family hog farmers at its 15th Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Seven renowned chefs share their passion for humanely and sustainably raised pork by honoring the farmers who raise the animals at the annual celebration.

“Each of these chefs has shown a commitment to using humanely and sustainably raised pork in their restaurants,” said Paul Willis, Niman Ranch Pork Company founder and manager. “Our farmers take pride in raising hogs traditionally but often do not get to see how chefs use the pork on their menus, so we bring the restaurants to them.”

Over the next three weeks we will introduce you to each of these chefs.

David Bull, Congress- Austin, Texas

Anne Quatrano, Bacchanalia- Atlanta, Georgia

Jack Riebel, Butcher & The Boar- Minneapolis, Minn.

Jodie Rogers & Clark Norris, Deer Valley Resort- Deer Valley, Utah

Kevin Sbraga, SBRAGA- Philadelphia, Penn.

Alex Yellan, Pok Pok- Brooklyn, NY

Supermarket Superstar

Andrew HunterWe have to brag. This month, Niman Ranch executive chef and owner of Culinary Craft Andrew Hunter will begin shooting the premiere season of a new reality TV show, Supermarket Superstar, coming soon on Lifetime Network. Supermarket Superstar is a reality competition series from the creators of Project Runway and Undercover Boss that searches America for today’s homegrown recipes that could become tomorrow’s bestselling supermarket brands.

In each episode, competitors face off in the Superstar Kitchen to see if their recipe has what it takes. The winner of each week’s challenge receives an investment in their product and the chance to compete in the Season Finale, where one grand prize winner will have their product introduced to millions of customers nationwide on the shelves of a major grocery store.

 

Supermarket Superstar is the first show of its kind to feature R&D and the product commercialization process for retail food products. The format features consumer cooks as contestants who have a family recipe or product that should be in supermarkets.

As the R&D mentor, Andrew is coaching the contestants on-camera through the development process. The host is Stacy Keibler and the Superstar Panel of Experts includes Michael Chiarello, Chris Cornyn and Debbi Fields.

Supermarket Superstar is a very exciting endeavor for the R&D segment of the industry and its first primetime feature on a major television network. We are thrilled for Andrew!

14th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner – Part 2

The Niman Ranch Farmer Appreciation Dinner provides an opportunity for our featured chefs and special guests to gain a deeper understanding of what traditional, sustainable and humane family farming looks like by visiting us here at Willis Farms in Thornton, Iowa.

Every year we provide a farm tour and this year it was more special for me than ever before as I worked side-by-side with my daughter, Sophia, many good friends and family members including some extra help from a crew of friends from out-of -town. Pete Marczyk and his entourage from Marczyk Fine Foods who had traveled all the way from Denver, Colorado, to help us prepare the outdoor dinner.

14th annual part 2

read more 14th Annual Farmer Appreciation Dinner – Part 2

The Willis Family Lamb Ranch, Laketown, UT

Willis lambThere are many reasons why Niman Ranch meat is better than the rest- how we raise our animals is one of them. How our animals are raised directly impacts the quality and taste of Niman Ranch meat.

The chefs that serve Niman Ranch meats often like to see where and how the animal is raised. Bringing chefs to the farms and ranches to meet the farmers in person gives them the opportunity to see first hand how humane animal care and sustainable farming practices impact the meat that ends up their menus. Several times a year, we are able to make that happen.

A few weeks ago a small group visited the Willis Ranch in Laketown Utah, to see how Niman Ranch lamb is raised. We began the tour at the Willis’ fall grazing ground located in the small corner between Utah’s Bear Lake and the Idaho and Wyoming borders. Here we learned about the work Clark Willis spearheaded on rangeland restoration. His work opened up the grazing land, which positively impacted the endangered Sage Grouse by providing an optimum habitat for breeding.

read more The Willis Family Lamb Ranch, Laketown, UT

The Pathfinder Sustainability Award

Paul Willis, Niman Ranch Pork Company founder and manager, was honored at the 2012 Chefs Collaborate Summit with the Pathfinder Sustainability Award. The award recognizes a visionary working in the greater food community who has been a catalyst for positive change within the food system through efforts that go beyond the kitchen.

read more The Pathfinder Sustainability Award

Awarding $36,000 to the Next Generation of Farmers

Niman Ranch celebrated its more than 550 U.S. family hog farmers and awarded 18 Next Generation Scholarships last weekend in Des Moines, Iowa, at its 14th Annual Hog Farmer Appreciation Dinner. Niman Ranch established the Next Generation Scholarship Fund in 2006 to preserve the integrity of U.S. family farms by supporting the children of rural communities who wish to attend college and pursue an education focusing on sustainable or environmental practices and who intend to return to the family farm upon graduation.

read more Awarding $36,000 to the Next Generation of Farmers