With fresh produce sponsored by Frieda’s Specialty Produce, the vegetable-driven culinary event raises funds for Girls Inc. and James Beard Foundation women’s leadership programs

Frieda's Specialty Produce -LA Food Bowl Plant Power the No Beast Feast
Chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken of Border Grill speak to the crowd, including Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold and members of Girls Inc.

Los Alamitos, CA – (May 2018) – Over 250 hungry foodies turned up to support LA Food Bowl’s “Plant Power: The No Beast Feast” on May 19 at the Border Grill in Downtown Los Angeles. Hosted by chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken of the Border Grill, this culinary event showcased vegetable-focused cuisine from a curated, international lineup of prominent female chefs. All proceeds went to Girls Inc. and the James Beard Foundation women’s leadership programs to support the advancement of young girls and the empowerment of women in the hospitality industry.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce donated all the fruits and vegetables used in food and beverages, plus the stunning, must-see produce and floral wall, popular with attendees for photo ops.

Frieda's Specialty Produce -LA Food Bowl Plant Power the No Beast Feast
Three generations of women, who lead the female-founded, 100-percent female-owned Frieda’s Specialty Produce. Pictured, left to right, are Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager; Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, the 94-year-old founder of Frieda’s Specialty Produce; her daughter Karen Caplan, president and CEO; and Sophia Jackson, marketing associate.

“Fresh ingredients are very important to Thai cooking, and what Frieda’s provided to us were some of the best-looking produce I’ve seen in a long time,” said Jazz Singsanong, chef and owner of Jitlada, a celebrated Thai restaurant in Los Angeles. “We put a lot of love into our food, and it looks like Frieda’s puts a lot of love in their products and services as well. It was a pleasure to work with the Frieda’s team.”

Frieda's Specialty Produce -LA Food Bowl Plant Power the No Beast Feast
April Bloomfield, chef of The Spotted Pig and Los Angeles’s new The Hearth & Hound, grills a Romanesco for a hearty dish she created for LA Food Bowl’s ‘Plant Power: The No Beast Feast’.

Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager at Frieda’s, said, “What you see on the plates at this event represents the best of Frieda’s. We have been inspiring chefs and home cooks for over 50 years, focusing on new varieties of products with superb flavor like that of Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes. It’s amazing to see our produce so deliciously and gorgeously on the center of the plate.”

“Frieda’s is always a step ahead,” tweeted Milliken. “I’m inspired!”

Besides Milliken, Feniger, and Singsanong, participating chefs include cookbook author Nadine Redzepi (Noma), Monique Fiso of New Zealand (Hiakai), Akasha Richmond (Akasha), Antonia Lofaso (Scopa Italian Roots), April Bloomfield (The Hearth & Hound), Brooke Williamson (Playa Provisions), Dahlia Narvaez (Mozza), Dakota Weiss (Sweetfin Poké), Niki Nakayama (n/naka), Nina Curtis, Nyesha Arrington (Native Santa Monica), Roxana Jullapat (Friends & Family), Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (Kismet), Sherry Yard (iPic Theaters), Shirley Chung (Ms. Chi), Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen), Valerie Gordon (Valerie Confections), and more.

Frieda's Specialty Produce -LA Food Bowl Plant Power the No Beast Feast
Dakota Weiss, Sweetfin Poké and La Estrella’s executive chef and a former contestant on “Top Chef”, mixes up a batch of her Sunchoke Carrot Poké, a featured dish at LA Food Bowl’s ‘Plant Power: The No Beast Feast’.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

Like everyone in America, I was deeply shocked, saddened, and devastated last Friday to hear the news that there was yet another shooting at a school. This time in Santa Fe, Texas, where 10 students were gunned down and 13 more were injured.

The news took the wind out of me. I don’t know about you, but I felt helpless.

Two days later, with the shooting still fresh in my mind, I attended the annual Women Against Gun Violence luncheon, just as I have for almost 20 years. Founded by my friend Ann Reiss Lane, a former commissioner of the Los Angeles Police Department, WAGV was celebrating its 25th anniversary at this event.

As she tells it, Ann was inspired to start WAGV while serving as a police commissioner after she received a call from feminist Betty Friedan, asking, “What are YOU going to do about the NRA’s campaign to sell guns to women?”

In response to Betty’s call, Ann and a few of her L.A. friends gathered acquaintances, family members and others for a three-day conference to examine the sale of guns to women, and so much more. They ended up starting WAGV to reduce gun violence in Southern California.

These luncheons are always filled with surprises and inspiration. I remember the WAGV luncheon I attended when then L.A. Police Chief Bernard Parks got up to tell the story that every time someone was killed in Los Angeles while he was chief, he got a personal phone call. One morning his phone rang. He told us what it was like to learn that a very young girl had been shot and killed. That young girl was his granddaughter.

At this year’s luncheon, I was surprised to see a 9-year-old girl go up to the stage with her father.

Her name is Madison Rude.

Madison takes the stage

Madison told the story of when she and her dad, Steven, were at Barnes & Noble bookstore a few months ago. Passing by the magazine rack, she noticed more than 20 magazines promoting guns, photos of guns, guns sales, etc. She asked her dad why Barnes & Noble was selling gun-oriented magazines and displaying them at eye level where young children could see and pick them up. He didn’t have an answer.

A slide from Madison’s presentation

So they discussed it, and when they got home, Madison wrote a letter to the CEO of Barnes & Noble asking him to move the magazines. And then she waited. She never got a response. She actually called and emailed his office multiple times over the next few weeks, but never heard anything back.

But when they went back to that very same Barnes & Noble several weeks later, Madison noticed that almost all of the gun-oriented magazines had been moved to another display area out of the sight of young children. She asked the manager why the magazines were moved. The manager didn’t know.

At this point in the presentation, Madison told the audience that there were postcards at each of our tables pre-addressed to Demos Parneros, CEO of Barnes & Noble. She encouraged each of us to take one, sign our name, and mail it to Mr. Parneros.

When Madison got up in front of over 360 people at the WAGV luncheon, I was inspired and moved beyond measure. I realized instead of being scared and doing nothing, she took action and spoke up.

I think that’s called being an activist.

I’m sure that everyone in the audience that day was thinking the same thing I was. The same thing they thought when they saw Emma Gonzalez, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, speak at a rally following the senseless shooting at her high school.

These young people will speak up and fearlessly confront the most difficult issue with courage and conviction.

Watch out world. They’re coming to change everything.

Karen

Madison and Steven

Three weeks ago, my youngest daughter, Sophia, and I took a trip to New Zealand and Melbourne, Australia. I had a conference in Melbourne to attend May 2 to 4, so to maximize that long distance, I added about 10 days of holiday time to the trip. And it was her birthday, so it was the perfect birthday gift.

Kia Ora, Auckland!

(Kia ora means “hello” in Māori.)

We only had five days in New Zealand. The last time I was in Auckland was in 1991. The country was in a deep recession, and Auckland was quite a sleepy town. My, how times have changed! Auckland is now quite crowded, yet still very clean, and it seemed as if there was construction everywhere.

Also everywhere were these big owls! “The Big Hoot” campaign is a street art and fundraising project for New Zealand’s Child Cancer Foundation. Custom-painted owl sculptures are installed all over the city, telling unique and meaningful stories from the New Zealand community. At the end of this month, they will be displayed together one last time before being auctioned off to raise funds for the foundation.

By the way, the owl happens to be Sophia’s favorite animal!

After two days in the city, we were off to explore the north island. The most fun we had was our day trip to Hobbiton. If you are a fan of “The Lord of the Rings” or “The Hobbit” books and movies, then you will recognize these photos. This is the set where Lord of the Rings was filmed, about two hours southwest of Auckland. It was a rainy day, which made the place even more magical.

G’Day, Melbourne!

Only a four-hour puddle jump from Auckland, we landed in Melbourne, Australia. We quickly learned why Melbourne has been voted “The Most Livable City in the World” for seven straight years. The city is extremely walkable. The people are incredibly friendly. And it is refreshing that there is no tipping (gratuity), so good service is the norm!

We did a few tourist things like visit the botanical gardens and take the hop on-hop off bus around town. But my favorite thing was trying to decipher what people were saying to me.

An Australian accent is one thing, but Aussie slang is a whole other language!

After our afternoon meeting, our hostess said, “It’s time to frock up!” Frock up? Apparently, that means dress up. And then, when they were referring to other parts of the country, I heard “Tassie,” which is short for Tasmania, and “Brissie” for Brisbane.

When I got home, I did some research because I’d heard so many new words! Here are some of my favorites:

So, listen, mate. Sophia and I had a bloody good time Down Under. Our days were chockers and we didn’t get bitten by any mozzies. We were quite stuffed by the end of our 12-day trip, and I didn’t have a chance to crack onto any blokes.

Good on ya, mate!

Karen …& Koala

Karen's Blog - Karen Caplan - Melbourne - Koala

 

In my job, I travel often. Mostly cross-country, for a few days at a time. Adjusting to the time change from West Coast to East Coast is not usually a big deal. I can get by with a little less sleep and a lot more coffee during my trip.

However, when I travel out of the country, I am always a bit stressed about how I am going to adjust when I arrive at my destination, so that I’m fully functional. And then of course, I have the same concern when I return home.

A few months ago, I realized that I was going to travel to South Africa and Dubai in mid-March, then head to New Zealand and Australia in late April. On previous trips, Advil PM was my friend, and I took a pill when I boarded my flight to ensure a good, restful trip. I oftentimes took one each night I was gone to be sure I slept.

However, I’ve read lately about the negative effects of Advil/ibuprofen (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID) and decided I was no longer going to take them. So, what was I going to do instead, since both these trips were certainly going to challenge my ability to adjust quickly to a 9-hour and a 19-hour time change?

I had heard that many people take melatonin to assist them in adjusting to time changes when traveling. Melatonin is a natural hormone made by the body’s pineal gland. It helps your body know when to sleep and wake up. I had taken melatonin capsules before, but they never worked for me.

But I was determined to use a natural method to assist me with my sleep management. So, off to the natural food store I went. Sitting right next to the capsules were melatonin drops. I remembered hearing that when you let drops sit under your tongue, the body absorbs the active ingredient more quickly.

So, I bought a small bottle of melatonin drops. Then I remembered my orange-tinted, blue-light blocking glasses. One of the ways to wind down at the end of the day is to wear the glasses for about an hour before bedtime. When I’ve done that, I’ve found myself getting drowsy rather quickly.

So, that’s what I packed on my first trip to South Africa. And they worked like magic. When I was ready to sleep, I put a few droppers worth of melatonin under my tongue, put on my orange-tinted glasses for about 30 minutes, and I quickly fell asleep. On my flight, I actually slept for seven hours! Each night during my stay in Capetown, I followed the same routine and I slept great the entire trip. I returned from Melbourne, Australia, this past Sunday morning feeling fully rested as I used the same routine during that trip too.

In case you’re wondering if this might work for you, I shared my routine with my co-worker Allen before he left on a business trip to Thailand. I checked with him when he returned and he was thrilled with what a difference it made in allowing him to sleep during his flights and adjust to the time change.

With so many of us exploring our bucket list by traveling around the world, I encourage you to order some orange-tinted glasses and get a bottle of melatonin drops. They will make your travels so much more enjoyable.

Bon voyage!

Karen

The specialty produce company will provide fresh produce for the world’s top female chefs to create vegetable-centric dishes at the renowned culinary event

Los Alamitos, CA – (May 2018) – Chefs Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken of the Border Grill are hosting “Plant Power: The No Beast Feast” as part of Los Angeles Food Bowl, a month-long food festival taking place across the Los Angeles area. This event, on Saturday, May 19, in Downtown Los Angeles, will showcase innovative vegetable-driven cuisine from a lineup of prominent female chefs paired with fine wines, beers and handcrafted cocktails from female winemakers, brewers and distillers.

“All of the fruits and vegetables featured at this plant-powered feast are generously provided by Frieda’s Specialty Produce, a powerhouse in the produce world,” said Feniger. “We’ve known and been inspired by Frieda [Rapoport Caplan, founder of Frieda’s] for more than 30 years, and we’re proud to have Frieda’s as a partner for this delicious event that celebrates female empowerment.”

Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager at Frieda’s, added, “These chefs are trailblazers and innovators, and we are delighted to supply them with produce that will inspire new food experiences for guests attending this culinary event.”

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Girls Inc. and the James Beard Foundation women’s leadership programs to support the advancement of young girls and the empowerment of women in the hospitality industry.

“We’re also proud to support these great causes to help girls become strong women and help strong women achieve their full potential,” said Berkley. “That is the spirit of ‘Inspire. Taste. Love.’”

Plant Power: The No Beast Feast begins at 6:30 p.m. Guests will be treated to a variety of vegetarian and vegan signature bites and an interactive dessert bar. Tickets are available now from Border Grill and LA Food Bowl.

In addition to Milliken and Feniger, participating chefs include cookbook author Nadine Redzepi (Noma), Monique Fiso of New Zealand (Hiakai), Akasha Richmond (Akasha), Antonia Lofaso (Scopa Italian Roots), April Bloomfield (Hearth & Hound), Brooke Williamson (Playa Provisions), Dahlia Narvaez (Mozza), Roxana Jullapat (Friends & Family), Shirley Chung (Ms. Chi), Dakota Weiss (Sweetfin/Estrella), Jazz Singsanong (Jitlada), Niki Nakayama (n/naka), Nyesha Arrington (Native Santa Monica), Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (Kismet), Sherry Yard (iPic Theaters), Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen) and Valerie Gordon (Valerie Confections).

Los Angeles Food Bowl brings together L.A.’s best bars, cafes, hotels, markets, restaurants and the world’s top chefs for hundreds of extraordinary events. Help raise awareness and funds to fight food waste, hunger, food insecurity and promote sustainability.

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.

The specialty produce company and first-time exhibitor will showcase its popular two-tier display unit

Los Alamitos, CA – (May 2018) – Frieda’s Specialty Produce is set to make its debut at the West Coast Produce Expo on May 12 in Palm Desert, California, featuring its traffic-stopping two-tier display unit and a line of tropical fruits to gear up for summer.

Known for its innovation and above-and-beyond customer service, Frieda’s is bringing a display solution to the expo. “Our display unit is designed according to input from produce managers and merchandisers,” said Alex Jackson Berkley, assistant sales manager at Frieda’s. “It stops traffic in the store and encourages shoppers to try something new.”

The two-tier display unit is perfect to draw attention in limited space. The colorful design appeals to shoppers’ curiosity, and the compact size is perfect for a specialty program.

Stop by booth 712 to chat with Frieda’s team about fresh, new ideas for your specialty produce program.

Frieda's Specialty Produce - 2-tier display

About Frieda’s Inc.

Frieda’s Specialty Produce has been inspiring new food experiences for friends, families, and food lovers everywhere since 1962. From kiwifruit to dragon fruit and from Stokes Purple® sweet potatoes to habanero peppers, Frieda’s has introduced more than 200 unique fruits and vegetables to the U.S. marketplace. Founded by produce industry trailblazer Dr. Frieda Rapoport Caplan, subject of the 2015 documentary “Fear No Fruit,” the family company is owned and operated by Frieda’s daughters, Karen Caplan and Jackie Caplan Wiggins, in Orange County, California. Find Frieda’s on Facebook, @FriedasProduce, and Friedas.com. Inspire. Taste. Love.