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Learn about the latest contests we have going on here at Tundra.

And Our Vitamix Winner Is … Emily!

And Our Vitamix Winner Is ... Emily!

Emily from Texas is the winner of our Vitamix giveaway!

Picked at random from over 1100 entries, Emily is the lucky winner of a brand new Vitamix Vita-Prep 48 oz commercial food blender. When asked what her favorite blender recipe was, she confessed that this would be her very first blender!

Talk about going from 0 to 60!

We had a great response to this contest and we plan on running future giveaways, so keep watching this space and you could be our next winner. If you entered the contest with your heart set on winning a Vitamix, we understand your disappointment. We’re all a bit jealous of Emily too. And Our Vitamix Winner Is ... Emily!

If you absolutely must have a Vitamix blender—we totally get it—we know just where you can pick one up …

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From an Empty Building to Design – Get Your Snow & Co Update

The design phase of any new thing is filled with bringing a bunch of ideas together to form a consensus between the parties involved. With restaurant design, it always starts with the restaurateur’s concept, but where it becomes truly developed is when the design experts come in and help rally that concept into a plan.

About a month ago, we went out and visited our Dreamstaurant winner, Snow and Co, and were able to see the hollowed out building that would soon be the next Snow and Co.

From an Empty Building to Design   Get Your Snow & Co Update

Our very own VP of Design, Jeff Katz was with us, as well as, Patrick Lenahan with Yaeger Architecture out of Overland Park, Kansas. Met with the 5,600 sq. ft. empty building (4,400 sq ft of the space is designated for Snow and Co), these designers already begun spinning their wheels towards how Snow and Co could fit the building. They discussed arrangements and opportunities, but it wasn’t until they were able to go back to the office that they were able to pull all those ideas into a new conceptual plan.

From an Empty Building to Design   Get Your Snow & Co Update

Of course, with any design phase, there’s always room for changes to ensure that the restauranteur is happy with what will become his/her dream restaurant, but it is the architect that turns over the initial drawings.

From an Empty Building to Design   Get Your Snow & Co Update

Then our design team is able to begin ensuring those drawings fit with the proper flow of a restaurant – from front of house to back of house, if the flow isn’t appropriate, it can cause issues when the restaurant is up and running.

With these initial sketches done, the team can now come together with a more formalized plan that can be presented to everyone involved in the creation of the new Snow and Co. We call this our development stage:

“When our designers complete their comprehensive design program – based on the operational plan – it can be used by all members of the design team. This helps to define the required spaces, relationships, design elements, seating and other essential components. It also features requirements for the successful design, construction and operation of the proposed restaurant.”

Once the comprehensive design program is complete, we’ll move on to delivery, which is when we get to start seeing the new Snow and Co come to fruition – building and construction.

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Enter to Win a Vitamix Vita Prep!

Enter to Win a Vitamix Vita Prep!

This giveaway has ended. Be sure to join our email list (use the form in the top right column on this page) to be notified of future giveaways and promotions!

“The Vitamix is a blender like a predator drone is a slingshot.”

That’s how Brad Johnson, operations manager at Vitamix, describes these powerful machines. They don’t just blend. They can puree, chop, or grind anything you throw their way. Seriously. Ask any Vitamix owner and you’ll get an impassioned treatise on the wonders of these food prep machines.

But you probably already knew that. So we’ll cut to the chase: We’re giving away a brand new Vitamix Vita-Prep commercial blender to one lucky person. And who knows , maybe YOU will be that lucky person! Just visit this page to enter your name into the drawing. (It takes less than 10 seconds; you get extra entries if you share with friends.)

The Vitamix Vita Prep is a special blender. Designed to meet the demands of busy commercial kitchens, it boasts a 2-horsepower motor, Variable Speed Control and patented accelerator tool for blending everything from heirloom tomatoes to celery roots.

So don’t wait any longer. Visit this page and throw your name into the proverbial hat. You might be the new owner of a shiny new Vitamix blender!

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Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

A few weeks ago, our team packed up and flew out to meet our Dreamstaurant contest winners – Snow & Co.  Of course, the flight was a short one from Denver to Kansas City, but the anticipation of seeing what the new building looked like, what the existing building looked like, and being able to meet the winners face-to-face seemed to last much longer than the plane ride.

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

When we landed in Kansas City, our first stop was in Gladstone.  Gladstone is a beautiful city that is working to redevelop their entire downtown area.  As of now, there are a few outdated buildings, but in recent years they’ve added a new natatorium and community center, ice skating and hockey rink (that turns into an amphitheater in the summer), new doctor offices, prestigious grade schools, and new living spaces for future residents.  As we met with the people from the town hall, they were very excited to share more information about their quaint, yet fast growing town, and even more excited to see that Snow & Co was going to part of the towns future.  They spoke of Gladstone as the “environment to live, because it’s stable.”  A bedroom community that was almost maxed out on living space, but working hard to build new homes for future residents.  They were also working to bring the entire community a place to gather – the new downtown area.

Before we headed down to the new Snow & Co location, Andy Talbert and Jerry Nevins, the Snow & Co founders, talked with our VP of Design, Jeff Katz, about what they’re doing now and what direction they want to see the next Snow & Co take.  Talbert and Nevins both had a lot of passion and energy about their business, that we could tell that there was a lot they brought to the business that could ensure the success of the 2nd location.  We learned about their equipment needs – lots of frozen drink machines, of course – and that the new space would be much larger than the 1st location, which meant plenty of room for new opportunities.  The feel and aesthetics were to remain the same in the new location – lounge feel, encourage guests to have conversations, comfortable, and inviting (think coffee shop meets bar). There were possibilities to offer more food (lunch and dinner), but in keeping with the bar environment.  There was also possibility of offering meeting space or private areas for events such as work meetings and bachelorette parties.  The drinks were to remain a specialty item on the list – not just frozen drinks sloshed together, but higher-end, hand-crafted cocktails.  As I quickly scribbled down my notes, Katz and our VP of eCommerce, Jeff Day, were able to fully soak in the business behind the Snow & Co brand and what they foresee in the future.

However, to pull it all together and get a full picture of what we were going to be working with, we had to start with what the current building looked like.  Without a vision, it’s hard to see the potential here, but what we saw was a big open box that could be completely remodeled into something beautiful.  There was plenty of lawn area for outside seating and plenty of inside square footage (of the 5,600 sq ft, Snow & Co would be using 4,400 sq ft) to really build-out the new restaurant.  Of course, at first glance, it looks a little rough around the edges, but when you get Katz into the mix, there are always possibilities at hand.

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

After we concluded our meeting with the city of Gladstone, it was time to visit the current location in downtown Kansas City.

Set in the beautiful art district, the existing Snow & Co has an audience of young entrepreneurs and art connoisseurs that visit Snow & Co for a sip of a cocktail between intermission from the close by opera house and to sit and relax after work for happy hour.  When we walked in, you got the vibe that this place was a place for mixing and mingling.  There were minimal tables, and tons of chairs meant to be portable so guests could create their own personal circle if they’d like.  The colors were bright, but still aesthetically pleasing, and the natural lighting helped to bring out those beautiful colors, as soon as you walked in.  As Talbert served up yummy cocktail samplers of the frozen concoctions, Nevins walked us through the FOH and BOH operations of Snow & Co.  We learned that they mainly served local product, but wouldn’t sacrifice taste simply for staying local – if there was better vodka elsewhere, well, it’s best to make sure those cocktails keep that high-end flavor the guests expected.  Their menu was detailed enough to let you learn more about each of the cocktails, but splashed in with some creative writing to let guests know it was still laid back and fun.

I walked around and took numerous pictures, trying to take in the overall feel of the place.  I started noticing people coming in and sitting at the tables.  They would open their laptops, order a drink, laugh, mingle, and have a simple end of the day closing – much like you’d expect to see at a coffee shop.  It felt very comfortable, yet still keeping to the trendy style the local art district brought to the community.

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

Meeting the Dreamstaurant Winner: Snow & Co

As we closed our day with Snow & Co, we had to say our goodbyes and return back to Colorado, but rest assured, there will be more updates as Snow & Co continues to move forward.  The architect they are working with, Yaeger Architecture, has already sent over initial sketches on layout, and is beginning to work with our team to ensure the flow is spot on for the guests and staff.

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Dreamstaurant 2: Media Information

To make things easier, we thought we’d bring together all of our information for Dreamstaurant in one place for our media friends!  Here’s what we’ve collected so far, but you can always contact Kasy Allen for more information.  To visit the Dreamstaurant landing page, see https://www.etundra.com/dreamstaurant/.

Images

Dreamstaurant 2: Media Information

Dreamstaurant 2: Media Information

Dreamstaurant 2: Media Information

Dreamstaurant 2: Media Information

The Back Burner Blog

Dreamstaurant archives, including content covering last year’s contest. 

Contest Landing Pages

https://www.etundra.com/dreamstaurant/

https://www.etundra.com/dreamstaurant/terms-and-conditions/

#Dreamstaurant on Pinterest

Press Releases

http://blog.etundra.com/press-releases/dreamstaurant-2-press-release/

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/10/prweb11184870.htm

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Dreamstaurant 2: Ready, Set, Dream!

Dreamstaurant 2: Ready, Set, Dream!

It’s coming, the 2nd annual Dreamstaurant contest, but with our 2nd year, we had to bring it back big – and did we ever!  This year’s grand prize package is double what it was last year; that’s right, $40,000 in design services and restaurant supplies from Arctic Air, Manitowoc, and Cambro.

Enter Contest Now

If you aren’t familiar with the Dreamstaurant contest, you should go back and visit last year’s post on the Back Burner so you can get the full details, but essentially the contest gives contestants the opportunity to share the details of their dream restaurant with our judges.  Contestants can be aspiring to open up a new restaurant, looking to remodel an existing restaurant, or have multiple restaurants that need a little love; either way, if you are like most restaurateurs you have a dream restaurant in mind, but you just need a little help getting there.  And if you think a grand prize package of $40,000 would help, then this contest is for you! 

Now for the bad news. 

You still have to wait to enter, but only a few more hours!  At midnight tonight, the contest will open and you can submit your entry to be eligible for the prize package. 

Here’s a secret.

Our finalists last year did an amazing job of showing our judges exactly what they were dreaming.  I’d encourage you to get as crafty as you can: make a video, send over some photos, or put together a Pinterest board.  Whatever you can do to sell your dream, the more you’ll encourage our judges to pick you!  The criteria the judges will be using include:

  • Market Potential (Mass Appeal)
  • Scope of Project
  • Creativity of Concept
  • Social Response
  • Timeline
  • Financial Backing
  • Strength of Business Plan
  • Contestant Experience

The criteria is based on picking a winner that we know is ready to do this!  We want to help bring your dream restaurant to life, so show us that you’re ready too, and help us visualize your dream!

Here’s another secret.

If you’re on our email list, you’re going to get early access to the contest.  Thanks for being a VIP!

For more information on the contest, we’ll be posting a link to enter and to the terms and conditions page at midnight.  Get ready to dream!

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Dreamstaurant: Baby Steps

Chef Hegsted has been hard at work with VP of Tundra Design Group, Jeff Katz, finalizing the design of his dream restaurant, Wood Smoke. Below is the initial blueprint released at the beginning of the May.

Dreamstaurant: Baby Steps

Click on Image to Make Bigger

As you can imagine there are many specifics that go into designing a restaurant which can lead to a slow, drawn out process. Hegsted’s architect is working with the city of Spokane to make sure all building codes are in compliance and Katz is optimizing the space to fulfill all of Hegsted’s needs.

The blueprint above is not yet final, but a few things are certain; on the main floor, Hegsted will have a full bar, dining space, two restrooms and state-of-the-art kitchen where he’ll work his magic to deliver an exceptional dining experience. What this blueprint doesn’t indicate is the rooftop dining space. Hegsted’s restaurant will have the one and only rooftop bar in Spokane with an exceptional view of downtown and the Spokane River. The team is still deciding whether or not to put a bar on the roof and the number of tables needed.

P.S. Chef Hegsted is opening a second restaurant! “The Yards”, will be located next door to Wood Smoke and serve baked goods, breakfast and lunch.  More details to come!

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Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

It’s been almost a month and I can’t stop thinking about Dreamstaurant winner, Chef Adam Hegsted’s Wandering Table and how awesome it was to experience. From the location to the people to the food, it was spectacular!

In my last post about the dinner I shared an image of the 12 course menu for the evening. What I didn’t share were mouth watering pictures of each dish. Well, I am a photo geek and of course took a ridiculous number of pictures at the dinner. Below are snapshots of each course to get your taste buds a little riled up. Enjoy!

Dish 1:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Lardo.
Uni. grilled bread. homemade butter.

Dish 2:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Uni tartar sauce.
beer batter. cod. pommes.

Dish 3:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Pardon pepper chips.
cream cheese. honey. pickled peppers.

Dish 4:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Pickled peppers.
octopus. pork croutons. chorizon. almonds.

Dish 5:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Pork terrine.
chicharone. hazelnuts. proscuitto. apple.

Dish 6:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Apple salad.
raw squash. reggiano. greens. chestnut.

Dish 7:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Blood orange sorbet.

Dish 8:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Braised short rib.
onion. soft egg. rice. hoisin.

Dish 9:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Popped corn.
goat cheese. sea salt. smoked pepper.

Dish 10:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Sea salt chocolate chip cookie.
milk sorbet. warm.

Dish 11:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Sweat potato sorbet.
dirty candy. carrot. parsnip. yam ice cream.

Dish 12:

Dreamstaurant: Wandering Table Part 2

Dirty truffles.
cocoa. coffee.

Are you drooling yet?

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Dreamstaurant: The Wandering Table

Imagine a 1,200 square foot space that’s narrow (about 25 feet wide) and long with concrete floors, a white ceiling and a row of fluorescent tube lighting as long as the narrow room. Each wall is a different, loud color ranging from nectarine orange to lilac purple and sky blue. There’s art hanging from the ceiling and on the walls, there’s art standing on the floor and there’s art drying on tables. But it’s not just any art, it’s created and designed by children.

As you step into the space you find a 4 foot tall “Where the Wild Things Are” monster (who I later found out was the mascot of a parade float) and a 5 foot heron hanging from the ceiling with a thick wire frame and blue fabric to fill in the body. Each colored wall is lined with shelves containing crayons, colored pencils, construction paper, clay, paint and brushes, glue and chalk.

Through the middle of the space sits a long community table large enough to seat 30 people. The table is covered with a white table cloth, white candles and tall cylindrical vases holding white hydrangeas. Each place setting consists of a folded dark brown, cloth napkin with two forks to the left and a knife and spoon to the right. A stemless wine glass is filled with drinking water and a cream card stock menu rests on the napkin with 12 dishes listed chronologically. The top of the menu reads, “ The Wandering Table.”

Dreamstaurant: The Wandering Table

The Wandering Table at Art on the Edge

The Wandering Table is Dreamstaurant winner, Chef Adam Hegsted’s, underground supper club. The table makes stops in various locations from art studios and museums to local farms to the beach – and everywhere in-between. The menu generally consists of local, seasonal ingredients (served tapas style) and wine paired with each dish.

Below is the menu from the pop-up dinner I attended on St. Patrick’s Day. I think I became an honorary member of the “Clean the Plate Club” during this 3 hour meal. It was so delicious I could have licked all 12 plates clean!

Dreamstaurant: The Wandering Table

St. Patrick’s Day Wandering Table Menu

What Hegsted strives for at each pop-up dinner is to bring the community together. He continues to develop and evolve something he feels Spokane is lacking – a food community. With each dinner, palates grow wilder and minds whirl into a flavorful abyss. The community is being trained by Hegsted’s Wandering Table to savor the delicious, local flavors of the earth and relish seasonal foods.

Another goal of Hegsted’s is not only bringing the community together but to support it. He doesn’t always make a profit on Wandering Table dinners, but if he does, he donates to local not-for-profit organizations. Art on the Edge is one of Hegsted’s favorites to support. It’s a non-profit community art program of St. Vincent de Paul that provides quality after-school art classes, summer workshops and camps, public art and community festivals. In fact, the dinner I attended was hosted at the Art on the Edge studio and all proceeds from the dinner went to the organization.

Dreamstaurant: The Wandering Table

VP of Design, Jeff Katz entering The Wandering Table at Art on the Edge.

The Wandering Table was a unique experience and I was grateful to be a part of it. One attendee mentioned they had been on the waiting list for 6 months before they were granted a seat. It’s definitely a desirable dining adventure, especially for the foodies.

Leaving the Art on the Edge studio got me thinking how lucky Tundra was to find Chef Adam Hegsted. Not only is he an exceptional Chef, but he is incredibly organized, humble, and his presence truly warms a room. A server working the dinner with Chef Hegsted had rave reviews about his management style, temper, talent, and personality. Turning Adam’s Wandering Table into his Dreamstaurant is a feeling money can’t buy. It’s the feeling you get when you know you are doing something right. It’s bliss. See pictures from the meal here!

Dreamstaurant: The Wandering Table

VP of Design, Jeff Katz (left) and Chef Adam Hegsted (right)

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Dreamstaurant Winner Interview

Interview with Chef Adam Hegsted

Dreamstaurant Winner Interview

Dreamstaurant Winner: Chef Adam Hegsted

 

Q: Where were you born?
A: Spokane, WA

Q: Do you have a nickname?
A: Unfortunately my nickname is Andy Cane. I had an employee who couldn’t remember my name and kept calling me Andy. It eventually turned into Andy Cane.

Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I have won over 20 local, national, and international food competitions in the last 6 years.

Q: Do you have any hobbies – what do you like to do when you’re not at work?
A: I try to spend as much time with my family as possible and I love to cook. Cooking is not only my profession, but is my hobby as well. So hand in hand with that is eating, traveling and trying new places. It’s what I do, and when I’m not doing that, I’m reading about cooking.

Q: Do you have a favorite food? If you could only eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: That would be tough. I love so many different aspects of other cultures foods. I guess if I had to choose one type it would probably be Japanese. It has a natural subtleness to it that I think would rarely get boring.

Q: How did you get into the cooking profession?
A: I have always had a love for cooking and food but washing dishes is where my career started. As a dishwasher, you always look up to the cooks and aspire to be one. Then when I was a cook, I just kept wanting something more. I kept moving up, trying new positions and learning as much as possible. There is such a vast amount of knowledge out there making it hard to stop. That’s why I love it!

Q: How long have you been a chef and where have you worked?
A: 11 years – I started at Marie Callenders where I learned ways to teach corporate scratch cooking. I cooked at the Space Needle, Ridpath Hotel in Spokane, Black Rock Club, Cedar’s Floating Restaurant, apprenticed at the Los Angeles City Club, Brix Restaurant in Coeur d’ Alene, and then to the Coeur d’ Alene Casino, running 8 different concepts.

Q: How did you find out about the Dreamstaurant contest?
A: I read it on a restaurant social media site. I thought, why not, who wouldn’t want to open their dream restaurant?

Q: What did you think when you made it to the final 5?
A: I was definitely excited. After entering, I kind of forgot about it to an extent, so finding out I was a finalist was a wonderful surprise.

Q: What avenues did you take to get people to vote for you through the Dreamstaurant Facebook app?
A: I did everything I could. I voted, family and friends voted and I put it on my blog. Then the newspaper picked it up, two news stations, and a local magazine. It just kept growing from there. It was really nice to see how much support I received.

Q: How did you find out you were the Dreamstaurant winner?
A: My phone actually died and I was the last one to know! I plugged my phone in and had 7 voice mails and 18 text messages. I figured out after that.

Q: What was your reaction when you found out you won the contest?
A: I thought wow, this is really happening and I am going to have a great team to work with. I actually felt very lucky and felt really blessed having so much support for my idea.

Q: What are the next steps – when do you plan on breaking ground for your new restaurant, Wood Smoke?
A: The next step is to start planning with the Etundra team, then talk to the architect and get the restaurant design down on paper. We will be breaking ground in late spring.

Q: Do you have an open date in mind?
A: If everything goes right we hope to be open in September. You never really know how things are going to go, but that’s the timeline.

Q: We see you’re getting married. What’s the date? (We’re just being nosey!)
A: We don’t have a date set, but probably in Late Spring. We want to work out getting married in Italy.

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