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Who's News in Catering for May 20, 2023

People on the Move

CORT, the nation’s leading provider of furniture rental and transition services, today announced the appointment of Daniel Tiepelman to the role of vice president of operations and asset management for CORT Events. The addition of Tiepelman supports CORT’s executive sales and marketing team and ensures a strong foundation for ongoing excellence in the customer experience. Tiepelman, based in the Greater Memphis area, spent eight years as director and regional vice president of operations at Dufresne Spencer Group, LLC, the largest Ashley Furniture Homestore franchisee. He brings 20 years of multi-site management, operations leadership and regional support experience to the CORT Events team, with specific expertise in optimizing systems and processes to deliver premier service while lowering costs.   

Hot Off the Presses

Instawork, the leading flexible work platform that connects hospitality businesses with a network of more than 4M hourly workers, has announced $60M in new funding with a valuation of $760M. The Series D was led by TCV (portfolio includes AirBnB, Netflix, Spotify, and Peloton) with participation from new investors 9yards Capital and Larry Fitzgerald Jr., and existing investors Benchmark, Spark Capital, Craft Ventures, and Greylock. Instawork will use its $60M in new funding to give workers access to unique AI-powered training and certification opportunities to unlock work for millions of hourly workers who are not eligible for certain shifts due to a current lack of training or certification or if they wish to highlight their certifications outside of the Instawork platform. This use of AI is equipping workers for additional income opportunities, not replacing them. 


General Mills Foodservice as named Veneé Pawlowski the $20,000 Grand Prize winner in The Biskies™ Contest for her Upside Down Apple Praline Biscuit recipe. The Biskies offered chefs, owners and employees of commercial restaurants the chance to win up to $20,000 for their unique biscuit creation in the categories of entrée, side or dessert using Pillsbury’s™ new Southern Style Unbaked Biscuits and two or more additional ingredients.  In addition to the $20,000 Grand Prize, the contest awarded three Runner-Up Winners (one for each category) a $5,000 prize.     

The Biskies Contest runners-up, who each received $5,000, are:  

  • Best Side: Patrick Lahey of Stella’s Restaurant and Bar in Perrysburg, Ohio, for his Roasted Vegetable Nest with a Smoky Bacon Gochujang Sauce.   
  • Best Entrée: Cindy Sanderson of Biscuit Bombers in Phoenix, Arizona, for her Tongue Slapper, featuring a Southern-breaded chicken breast, bacon, Swiss cheese, a pan-fried egg and spicy Bomber sauce.  
  • Best Dessert: Aaron Gray of the Garden Café in Sioux Center, Iowa, for his Chocolate Berry Biscuit Bomb.  


Today, Bruin Capital (Bruin) announces it has taken a majority interest in the award-winning Catering, Food Service & Event company Proof of the Pudding (Proof). The new alliance is built on a common vision that premium hospitality experiences have high growth potential across many sectors and are intrinsic to the exploding consumer interest in memorable experiences vs. monetary goods. Proof has more than four decades of culinary excellence, event management, and operational expertise that will be highly sought after by venues, brands, federations, and rights holders looking to use premium entertainment experiences as a growth business. Headquartered in Atlanta, Proof specializes in venue and food service management, catering, hospitality, and event production. Its global workforce of 1700+ works with over one hundred offsite locations and venues, overseeing over 20,000 events and experiences for hundreds of thousands of loyal customers annually. The work has earned countless awards and industry recognitions for culinary, operational, and creative excellence. Adam Noyes, Proof CEO, and the key leadership team will continue running the business and maintaining a meaningful ownership position.  

Products on the Market

United Brands, Inc., parent company of the Whip-It! Brand, has launched the first and only NSF-certified whipped cream charger component for compressed gas called the Whip-It! Elite. This one-of-a-kind, universal charger is the only cream charger made of aluminum (instead of carbon steel), with USA-made gas, and is far more eco-friendly than others. This type of product is widely used in food service chains such as Starbucks and many others throughout the US and internationally. The NSF-certified mark is assurance that the product has been reviewed by a respected, independent certification organization. Products with an NSF certification mark meet all standard requirements and undergo testing and regular inspections to ensure that they continue to comply and are verified. 


Veggies Made Great® (VMG) and Elohi Strategic Advisors (ESA) announce the inauguration of the Veggies Made Great Institutional Sales Division to address the growing foodservice opportunity, headed by industry veteran Mike Ricciardi. Based in Chicago, Illinois, ESA works with clients for up to two years to design and establish their path to a sustainable, profitable foodservice business that can grow and thrive.  VMG joins some of the most well-known and widely distributed plant-forward products in the North American market as graduates of ESA’s Foundation©, Accelerated Market Penetration (AMP)©, or Revenue Acceleration (ReV)© programs. 


Tramontina raises the bar for its Made-in-Brazil porcelain tableware and flatware, with multiple collections that stand out for design, innovation, and quality. Sophisticated and durable, Tramontina’s porcelain tableware comes in a range of appealing styles and colors to enhance food presentation. Made with the finest raw materials, it meets stringent quality standards, with each batch passing rigorous tests. Each piece is highly resistant, with reinforced rims to avoid breakage. To ensure food safety, the vitreous layers have no open pores where germs or food can reside. Tramontina porcelain tableware is heat resistant, ideal for microwave use and practical for commercial dishwashers. Variations in dimensions are minimal, for visual appeal, greater movement safety and easy storage. Tramontina is a global housewares leader that embraces more than a century of experience and tradition to manufacture professional-grade products in its 11 Brazilian factories. Tramontina cares about the environment and is committed to sustainable practices. Its manufacturing process incorporates reusing raw materials and capturing rainwater to utilize in the factory. 


Wood Stone Corporation is proud to announce the launch of its latest innovation, the OneRev Rotating Pizza Oven. This revolutionary device is designed to make perfect artisanal pizzas without the pizza chef constantly turning and moving the pizza in the oven. Since you don’t need a person to continuously watch the pizza in the oven, it can be a great solution to the labor challenges that pizzerias and restaurant businesses face today. The Wood Stone OneRev Rotational Pizza Oven makes the perfect artisanal pizza in just one rotation, every time. All you need to do is build and load the pizza, remove it when it's done, and serve it to your customers. The OneRev Oven takes care of the baking process from start to finish, making it easier for businesses to produce high-quality pizzas consistently, at volume. 

Venue News

The Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive has found success by going against the norm and allowing people the option to hire outside catering and be in complete control of the menu for an event, which is particularly beneficial for cultural celebrations.  


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