Sunday, March 16, 2014

TAMPA'S MASTER CHEF WILL CATER IPO Global Pineapple Conference (Tampa Bay) Attendees

IPO Global Pineapple Conference attendees are in for a special treat. 

The City's finest Caterer will prepare lunch for the event.


The greatest place to eat in Tampa...

I met a new friend last year. His name is Robert Kim Bailey. He likes to be called Kim but he's very pleasant and answers to just about everything. 

He's the master of all master chefs and runs what used to be the best kept secret in town, Bailey's Catering and Restaurant in Hyde Park.

Seldom if ever have I looked forward to going to a restaurant every week but his place has become addictive. He closed four weeks over the holidays and I just about went mad. I've also gotten used to his weekly emails featuring his upcoming menu.

His food is simple yet elegant; delicious and nourishing; excellent tasting with a wide appeal. Kim, whose main gig is catering and he stays very busy with that, is only open for dinner nine hours a week. Yep, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 until 8:30p.m. During those hours you can eat in or you can call ahead and have your prepared meals ready for you to take home.

After you've eaten there a while you develop favorites. I like all the main menu items but I've been seriously affected by the grits he prepares. Nobody in the world makes them so good and they're perfect for eating with his seafood. The summer squash is superb. He even makes turnip greens taste like dessert. All you have to do is get by there once and you'll keep coming. Kim has promised that when the day comes that he has a continuous packed house, he'll let me eat in a corner of the kitchen. I'm happy with that.

The mayor eats there sometimes and the mayor's mom is there fairly often. Lots of other local celebrities, like big time lawyer Barry Cohen, come with their families to eat with Kim on a regular basis. The REALLY BIG stars, like John Travolta, Paris Hilton, Jay Leno, Will Smith, etc., ...celebrities like that...come in disguise. If the food gets too difficult to eat through their fake mustaches, they go out back and finish. Paris has that problem a lot. Henry Kissinger just comes as himself but nobody cares.

Each week there's a different menu. A handful of items are offered on a regular basis but a lot of them change. He loves deserts, you can tell, and those change on a regular basis. There are none better in the universe, some traditional and some one of a kind. They all taste better than anybody else could possibly make them.

Now this may read like a restaurant review but it really isn't. It's a tribute to a guy who is passionate about food, who relishes every single bite of everything he takes in. He's a guy who'll spend years replicating a great dish at some distant eatery and put it in his place when it's finally perfect. For instance, his Macadamia Nut ice cream is hundreds times better than the original he first tasted at Bern's Steakhouse in Tampa.

Kim likes to be everywhere. 

On nights he serves at his restaurant (also headquarters for his catering business) he'll be in the kitchen making sure there's quality in every dish; he'll work with the serving staff to be sure things are organized and everyone is being tended to in good order; he'll be in the dining room and around the outside tables in front of his place talking to his customers to be sure they're perfectly happy and in between all that he'll be peeking out back to make certain nobody has to wait long for take out orders.

When he's not around his own place, he's out looking for fresh vegetables, poultry, seafood, meats and whatever else he needs for his coming fare. He prides himself on putting the very best into what he does. The markets aren't especially fond of his shopping style...he bites into whatever he can to make sure the produce or whatever is fresh and excellent tasting. If not, he'll look elsewhere or just not feature it that week.

Oh, yeah, he's a best-selling author to. His book, The North Beach Diet, fell slightly short of the New York Times best seller list but it did make Pat Robertson's program on satellite. He's also made a number of television appearances talking about the book after people stumbled across it in bookstores. It's just like theSouth Beach Diet except you learn about eating good food in great quantities, enjoying the hell out of it and not worrying about whether or not it'll put a few pounds on. You can still order it at 

Kim has a computer tongue. The taste of every great meal he's ever had in his life is recorded in his memory and easily accessible. If you make a special request, chances are at some point he's had it the very best it can be made and he'll improve on that just to accommodate his customers.

He's the very best at what he does...a man extremely passionate about his palate and what's placed on it. His life's desire is to please people with his elegant cooking skills. He stays up late each evening writing email, asking certain customers their opinions about new menu items. He recently wrote to ask what I thought about hisGoody Goody butterscotch pie. It was the best, better than the legendary Tampa hangout ever made it. I asked him to make it more often.

No matter where he tries something, he always wants to do it better and he does. You just have to experience Bailey's Restaurant one time. Get there early or you'll have to sit out back with me.

Kim's website is here: it out.

 You can find a link to his weekly menu usually comes out Sunday night or Monday morning. There's also a neat link to some videos, click up on the right hand corner.

See you at the gym,

Tony Zappone

Posted by Tony Zappone at 8:36 PM

INDIA : Mango growers stare at a bitter harvest

Erratic climate damages crop, could lead to 40% drop in yield from major growing regions

Vimukt Dave, Hrishikesh Joshi, Siddharth Kalhans & N Madhav | Rajkot/Pune/Lucknow/Hyderabad
March 17, 2014 Last Updated at 00:57 IST

Mango growers are staring at a bitter harvest this year, due to crop damage after the recent bout of unseasonal weather.

 An erratic climate has damaged the crop, in various stages of maturity across the country, and some estimates suggest a fall of up to 40 per cent in yield from major mango-producing regions.

Exporters also fear the crops salvaged might not be acceptable to foreign buyers, due to quality issues.

The damage has been across five states — Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra. 

These together account for two-thirds of the country’s total mango production, according to the National Horticulture Board.

Production could see a drop from 1,800 million pieces in 2012-13, according to reports from across the country.


The crop in UP and Bihar, in flowering stage at this time of the year, has been badly hit by inclement weather. 

According to Haji Siraj Mehndi of the All-India Mango GrowersAssociation, flowers are either damaged or have become weak. This could result in poor-quality output of ‘dussehri’, a variety grown in that region. Shiv Saran Singh, president of UP Nursery Sangh, says almost 30 per cent of the mango crop has been damaged by rain and hailstorm.

Estimates from western India suggest 40 per cent of the crop was hit by hailstorm and unseasonal rains in Junagadh, Saurashtra, home to the popular Kesar mango.

Harsukh Jarsaniya, secretary of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee in Talala, Junagadh, says:
“Kesar mango has suffered damage here and in surrounding areas.”

Similar damage has been seen in southern Gujarat’s Dang and Tapi belt as well, besides Maharashtra’s Konkan region.

Continuing bad weather could exacerbate the situation, say local people. Sanjay Vekaria, a farmer from Kodinar in Junagadh, says:

“Nearly 50 per cent of the crop has been affected in the Saurashtra area. If this continues, there is fear of disease and pests affecting plants.” 

This will also delay arrivals and put pressure on prices, he adds.

Vidyadhar Joshi, who owns a mango farm with over 2,000 trees in Devgad, a place known for its Alphonso mangoes, sees yields falling this season. Production of mangoes in Maharashtra’s Konkan region is expected to drop drastically to 25,000 tonnes from an average 45,000 tonnes last year. Prices have already moved up on account of lower production estimates.

“In March 2013, 352 tonnes of mangoes arrived in various markets of the country and the average price was Rs 3,390 a quintal. Today, only 65 tonnes of mangoes have arrived, and the price is around Rs 4,550 a quintal,”
said Ajit Gogate, chairman of Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha, a society of 700 farmers growing Alphonsos in Devgad taluka of Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg.

Andhra Pradesh, which faced unseasonal rainfall, is also feeling the pinch. According to the first estimates by the state’s horticulture department, the output could be 4.54 million tonnes, marginally higher than that last year. This, however, might be revised downwards, say sources. The level of damage in some areas is estimated to be 50 per cent. Within the state, coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions together account for 70 per cent area of cultivation and production, while the rest comes from Telangana.

“Retail prices for the initial arrivals should be higher, as traders may speculate against the backdrop of unexpected damages in the first week of March,” said state horticulture commissioner M Papi Reddy.

Last season, the average retail price of Hyderabad’s most-preferred Banginapalli and Rasalu had varieties stood at Rs 40-50 a kg and Rs 50-60 a kg, respectively. 

Meanwhile, exports are expected to be hit on account of poor quality of crop. 

The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority data show the country exported 55,585 tonnes of fresh mangoes across the world in 2012-13. These were worth Rs 265 crore. However, Abbas, a leading Mango exporter and promoter of Nafees Nursery, says exports could see a decline this year.

He adds rain-soaked mango flowers are rotting and inviting insects. This will further damage the crop. 

Between April 2013 and December 2013, India exported mangoes to 65 countries. Ten per cent of India’s total mango exports went to the European Union, while the largest share (54 per cent) was of the United Arab Emirates. Stringent quality checks by the EU have also been affecting exports there.


Protesters fight against the police, there are people dead: In Venezuela, protests are escalating like in the Ukraine. 

The German Heinz Dieterich was an advisor to the deceased leader Hugo Chávez – for him, president Maduro’s days are numbered.

An interview by Klaus Ehringfeld. 

Der Spiegel Online. 03-03-2014.

The person
Seventy-one year old German sociologist Heinz Dieterich is a university professor in Mexico, and sort of the ideological chief of the Latin-American left party. He advised the deceased president Hugo Chávez for many years in regards to political and ideological affairs. He coined the phrase “Socialism of the XXI century.”

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Mr. Dieterich, it looks like what is happening in Venezuela is the same thing happening in the Ukraine…
Dieterich: In almost all aspects, the scenario is similar to the situation in the Ukraine.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Where exactly do the problems coincide?
Dieterich: In the catastrophic economic situation, the government’s incompetence, forced reforms and foreign interests. A well as the attempts of some countries to influence the resolution to the crisis according to their own interests.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What has changed for people to now be willing to risk their lives on the streets?
Dieterich: It’s a combination of factors. First, Maduro’s unreasonable war rhetoric, which divides Venezuelans into “fascists” and “loyalists.” Also the imprisonment of the opposition’s leader Leopoldo López, and the severe problems which the country is facing, has allowed the more radical people to mobilize those who are frustrated.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: How desperate are people in regards to the problem?
Dieterich: Objectively, only the violent crime is considered life threatening, and the fact is that Caracas, the capital, is one of the cities with the highest murder rate in the world. That there is no toilet paper or flour is a annoying, but it isn’t life-threatening. Additionally, the fact that international travel is more complicated because of the devaluation of the Bolívar, is a great bother to people. When all of those things are taken into account, it leads to great frustration. And the unintelligent reactions from the government, which instead of understanding, imposes repression, makes everything reach a boiling point, which is what we are seeing.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Why this effervescence all of the sudden?
Dieterich: I said it in December, Maduro had to deliver immediate results so that the country’s discontent would not grow. But that didn’t happen. The inertia of the government is great. Maduro has practically thrown away his year in office since Chavez’s death. External interests also come into play. The United States, with President Barack Obama in charge, intensifies an expansive foreign policy. This plays an important role for the beginning of the conflict.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What are the most urgent measures that the government needs to take?
Dieterich: Maduro and his ministers must get the 55% inflation under control. Scarcity must be solved and violence must be tackled. An economic reform is also necessary: the exchange between the dollar and the Bolívar must be adjusted to realistic levels. Money must flow freely, without it affecting the income of the poor social stratum.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is that enough to repair the damage in society?
Dieterich: That crack has always been there. Not even 15 years of chavismo could have fixed it. But now, those who voted for Maduro have also taken to the streets.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Who have taken to the streets of Venezuela?
Dieterich: I see three groups: the hard core right, who are trained by paramilitary forces and are armed. Then, the students: many of whom believe they live in a dictatorship that does not have an objective resistance. And finally, many who were followers of Chávez, but who do not agree with Maduro and oppose the deterioration of living conditions. If Maduro continues this way, the second and third group will grow, and the government will have to give up power, as it happened in the Ukraine.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is it conceivable that the president be ousted from his own camp?
Dieterich: There’s been a debate within the chavismo ranks for some time now on how to find a crisis-proof solution, without it looking like a loss of power. Meanwhile, it is clear to everyone that Maduro lacks the concept or the tools to modernize the country. He thought, and still thinks, that emulating his predecessor Hugo Chávez’s rhetoric and choreography, as well as maintaining the economic structure, would be sufficient.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So then, president Maduro’s days are numbered?
Dieterich: He will not last more than eight weeks in power, and he will probably be replaced by a government board. For the pro-Chávez military and governors it is clear that his policies will inevitably mean the end of the Bolivarian era. Politics must take a 180° turn, or all will be lost.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: But the opposition doesn’t really have a constructive plan…
Dieterich: No. Those who have said that, are not committed to doing what is best for everybody. They want to sweep away the government. It is unethical and criminal for the people on the streets to have to pay with their blood – that is why the army will not allow it.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: So what is the solution for Venezuela?
Dieterich: There will probably be mediation under the supervision of a regional organism such as the Organization of American States or the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. But also a great coalition is possible, if moderate voices within the opposition arise.

Source: Ehringfeld, Klaus. “Proteste in Venezuela: ‘Maduro bleibt höchstens noch acht Wochen an der Macht’.” Spiegel Online. 03-03-2014.

Translated by #infoVzla