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Mike's Hot Honey Wins Summer Fancy Food Show Front Burner Pitch Competition

NEW YORK, July 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The rivalry inside the Javits Center was as hot as the weather for the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Front Burner Pitch Competition at the 64th Summer Fancy Food Show. Three exhibitors pitched their foodservice-ready products to a panel of specialty food buyers in a live match presided over by celebrity chef Robert Irvine, and hosted by the SFA Foodservice Council. Once the scores were tallied, Mike's Hot Honey reigned supreme.

"It's an honor to be recognized among these other great products. We started in foodservice, then went to retail, so it's nice to see our product come full circle," said Michael Kurtz.

Mike's Hot Honey was up against Sadrah Schadel, No Evil Foods, with Comrade Cluck No Chicken, a plant-based chicken substitute, and Joanne Lacina, Sun Grove Foods, with Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil Pearls.

"It was phenomenal to have chef Irvine bring his considerable experience to the Front Burner Pitch Competition. He knows firsthand about foodservice purchasing requirements, and about combining education with entertainment – the goal of the event," said Phil Kafarakis, president of the SFA. "Front Burner gives brands like Mike's Hot Honey the chance to pitch their products in a real world, pressure-filled situation. Our judges apply their knowledge of the foodservice segment to select the winner. By educating our members through presenting events like this, we're helping prepare them to succeed in the growing foodservice channel."

The Front Burner Pitch Competition judges tasted each product, and after hearing the pitches, assigned scores for innovation, quality, and chef-appeal for foodservice. The judging panel included:

  • Michael Fava, Italian segment manager at Sysco
  • Smitha Haneef, assistant vice president, University Services at Princeton University
  • Patti Jackson, chef and proprietor of Delaware and Hudson in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

As the winner, Mike's Hot Honey receives a promotional prize package from the SFA, including an ad in Specialty Food Magazine, editorial coverage in Specialty Food News, and more.

The first-ever Front Burner Pitch Competition took place in January 2017 at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Past winners include: Hummustir, a take on deconstructed hummus, TBJ Gourmet Black Pepper Bacon Jam, and Tomato Achaar from Brooklyn Delhi.

About the Specialty Food Association 
The Specialty Food Association is a thriving community of food artisans, importers and entrepreneurs. Established in 1952 in New York, the not-for-profit trade association provides its 3,600 members in the U.S. and abroad the tools, knowledge and connections to champion and nurture their companies in an always-evolving marketplace. The Association owns and produces the Winter and Summer Fancy Food Shows, and presents the sofi™ Awards honoring excellence in specialty food. Learn more at

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SOURCE Specialty Food Association

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