Sunday, August 7, 2011

Alabama Chef Wins Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Chef Jim Smith and Assistant Heather Hannah
Compass Media CEO J Gary Ellis was in New Orleans yesterday for seafood promotion planning meetings and had the opportunity to attend the Great American Seafood Cook-Off where he got to see Alabama Chef Jim Smith win the national competition! 

Chef Smith, who is currently executive chef for the Alabama Governor’s Mansion, edged out top chefs from around the U.S. to become “King of American Seafood.” 

"It was really great to see an Alabama Chef win," Ellis said. "We at Compass Media congratulate Chef Smith on this achievement. It makes us all proud to be fellow Alabamians and a part of Gulf seafood promotion." 

The dish Chef Smith prepared included a variety of late summer Alabama bounty: sous vide shrimp and marinated blue crab with garam masala scented yellow squash purée, farmers market lady peas, and bacon-peach relish with spinach basil oil.

A graduate of Johnson and Whales, prior to his current assignment as governor Robert Bentley's Executive Chef, Chef Smith worked at Dyron's Low Country, Hot and Hot, and Bottega, all Birmingham-based restaurants.                                       

Friday, August 5, 2011

Google Launches Hotel Finder "Experiment"

This week, Google launched a what it calls its "Hotel Finder experiment." You can read the full story about on the Google Search Blog, but we provide an excerpt below. Let us know what you think it means for your business.
Here's how the Hotel Finder experiment was introduced:

"Finding the right hotel can make or break your vacation," Google said,  "so with this in mind, we’re introducing Hotel Finder, a new experimental search tool specifically designed to help you find that perfect hotel."
  • Figure out where to stay: To help you figure out where the action is, Hotel Finder shines a "tourist spotlight" on the most visited areas of U.S. cities.
  • Get a good deal: In the “Compared to typical” section, you can see how each hotel’s price compares to its historical average, so you can tell if it’s good value for your stay.
  • Compare fast: When you select a hotel in Hotel Finder, we show you a collage of images, Google Places reviews, and key information right within the list.
  • Keep a shortlist: As you flip through the results, add the hotels you like to a shortlist to easily keep track of the ones that interest you.
When you’re ready to book a hotel, you’ll find a selection of booking options from a range of available partners or directly from the hotel.