AROUND TOWN IN MIAMI
The Food and Wine Festival 2016, Miami Beach FL
Kathleen Apaid and her daughter Patricia Pilorge are the team behind WonderGrain, a revolutionary sorghum product now available in markets around the country. WonderGrain is now present at all the major food fairs in the US; their distributor is making it available nationwide to both the retail and the prepared food industries. Kathleen and Patricia participate in perfect presentations direct to chefs in the industry, securing accounts by combining their passion for their work and savory dishes like the WoderGrain Paella they provide at each interview.
Once you meet Kathleen and Patricia you are captured by their passion and charm. I met both today at the SOBE Wine and Food Festival in Miami Beach. They sponsored the FIU booth along with the Badia Spices Company. The booth, run by culinary students from FIU, served Kathleen's WonderGrain Paella with a base of Badia broth created by Michael, the executive chef at the FIU Culinary Department.
Kathleen runs both a successful Real Estate practice and her company WonderGrain. She attended culinary school at Cordon Bleu and completed a very successful internship at Emeril Lagasse’s restaurant in Miami Beach. ‘It was an incredible experience for me; I came with absolutely no restaurant experience but convinced the then Chef de Cuisine, a passionate chef to take me in as his apprentice. Try me for two weeks, I am a sponge! You will not be disappointed, I told him’ said Kathleen. 'What followed was the most exiting culinary relationship of my life; the young chef and I connected and every morning he would call me to prepare the special of the day. I still remember making the Banana Cream Pie; I now forgot how to make it but it was delightful for me to be there and I remain grateful for the opportunity I was given.’ she concluded.
Kathleen has since transferred her passion for cooking to her company WonderGrain which she refers to as ‘her baby’; one feels the passion in Kathleen’s voice as she talks about the grain, ‘It is not a gentle vulnerable grain’ she tells a visiting chef to her booth; ‘It likes to be ruffed with!’, she concludes with her bright smile that has become a staple among chefs in the industry; along with her charming accent. Kathleen and her daughter Patricia have a French, English and Haitian heritage that brings a charming and engaging sophistication to their presentations.
Privately Kathleen and Patricia live a warm family and social life they praise; they are both workaholics sharing intense passion for their product. They both combine family and work smoothly and seem to have time for all the heavy demands launching their company into the national market requires; which includes constant travel, cooking and direct presentation to prospective clients. Kathleen is the creator of many recipes she developed to introduce her product to chefs and industry people around the country. She expressed her passion for recipe development and has created a cooking booklet they make available to prospective clients. One of her future projects is a cookbook 'to bring WonderGrain to the general public and to every home in America’ she explains.
I tasted the grain and I was immediately convinced by the excellent ‘bite’ which can only be compared to the best imported pastas I know; ‘The grain can be cooked ahead of time, frozen and used as needed for any dish combination’ explains Kathleen. She and I got together earlier to prepare a lamb dish that was in my estimation one of the best Middle Eastern dishes I have ever had. Kathleen is passionate and happy in the kitchen and watching her cook that day while she listened to Julio Iglesias ballads made me want to become active and creative in my own kitchen.
WonderGrain is available at Fresh Market, Milam's Market in Miami, and online at their website www.wondergrain.com. For information about this nutritious Gluten-Free grain you may contact them directly. You will find contact information in their website. WonderGrain is certified Kosher, GMO Free, Cholesterol Free and is a good source of fiber and Iron. It also has 5g of protein per serving.