Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Charlotte's Savannah Red Chefs Honored For Outstanding Cuisine

CHARLOTTE, NC (July 28, 2009) – While Chefs Jean-Pierre Marechal and
Jason Gray at Savannah Red Restaurant at the Charlotte Marriott City
Center (www.MarriottCityCenter.com) were busy creating new growing
programs with local farmers and redesigning the menu to put an upscale
twist on traditional Southern cuisine, the culinary world started to
take notice. Soon, the James Beard Foundation heard the Savannah Red
buzz and the two were invited to come cook in New York on August 19th.

For the Belgian-born Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Marechal who has
worked on more than five continents and in more than 21 countries, the
invitation to cook in New York City at the James Beard House is a
great honor. "It is an opportunity for us to show people that small
restaurants are trying to revamp the culinary culture by bringing a
chef's international expertise into the arena. Additionally, we have
the opportunity to show people that hotel dining can be taken to
exciting new levels as with our 28-seat restaurant at the Charlotte
Marriott City Center, we have a wonderful venue in which to indulge
our passion for food!"

Chef Marechal has found that he is easily able to adapt his culinary
style to whichever location he finds himself to be working in. When
he arrived in Charlotte, he quickly set about learning the Southern
experience, and then opted to create a Southern Fusion cooking style
where he took a classic Southern dish like Peach Cobbler, and
reinvented it for fine dining. As a result, his Brandy-Scented
Lobster Cobbler with Chive-Basil Phyllo Cups was the new
reincarnation, and quickly became one of his signature dishes at
Savannah Red. This dish — along with eight other creative offerings —
will be on the menu for diners to savor on August 19th at the James
Beard House. For a complete copy of the evening's menu, click here.

Chef Marechal has also been creating quite a buzz in Charlotte because
of his partnerships with local farmers. He currently has 60 area farms
working for him to grow fresh produce and has even inspired some to
try growing things they had never harvested before including purple
potatoes, purple beans, zucchini blossoms, and more. Additionally,
whereas many of the farmers chose to no longer grow things like hybrid
purple melons because they only had a shelf-life of two to three days
and usually went bad before a wholesaler could sell them, the farmers
now deliver these fabulous sun-ripened melons to Chef Marechal who
quickly puts them on the menu at Savannah Red. The virtual farmer's
market he is now a participant in is the Farmer's Fresh Market - www.farmersfreshmarket.org

Chef Marechal has been having a ball reinventing traditional Southern
recipes (like turning a bread pudding into a flambeed Krispy Kreme
bread pudding like at left) and has even found an 81-year-old woman
who taught him to take the pesky Kudzu weed and make a fabulous jelly
out of it! The delectable delicacy — which tastes like a cross between
blueberry and grape in flavor, will be on the menu at the James Beard
Dinner and participants will also get a little jar to take home with

Tickets for the James Beard Dinner on August 19th at 7 p.m. are $100
for James Beard Foundation members and $125 for the general public.
Advance reservations are required and can be made by calling
212-237-2308 or by visiting www.jamesbeard.org.

For those who are unable to make it to New York City, Savannah Red
will be offering a Prelude 2 the James Beard Foundation Dinner on July
31 at 7 p.m. The cost of the dinner will be $65 per person plus tax
and gratuity. For more information or reservations for this dinner,
call (704) 358-6524.

Savannah Red is a unique, upscale restaurant that elevates the time-
tested flavors of traditional Southern cooking to new heights.
Perfectly fusing imagination and wit into the standbys of southern
cuisine, Executive Chef Jean Pierre Marechal creates a culinary
experience as striking as the interiors. The bold use of color and
modern furnishings — as well as superb service — will set the tone for
a truly unforgettable meal at Savannah Red. Savannah Red's menu has
its roots in the Old South with an added twist of New South sassiness
in its offerings. With awe-inspiring dishes, the restaurant has
something that will please the most discerning palate. For additional
information, click here or visit www.MarriottCityCenter.com.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Homeowners Can Now Get Building Permits Online

CHARLOTTE - Are you building a deck? Installing a new water heater? Updating your wiring? Overhauling your plumbing? You'll need a permit – and Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement has made it easier than ever to get one.
With the recent introduction of Homeowner Internet Permitting (HIP) and Trade Internet Permitting (TIP), contractors and do-it-yourselfers can get permits on the Web – which eliminates waits in line and, in the case of TIP, can save money. It's part of a large-scale effort to make all Code Enforcement activities automated, online, paperless and seamlessly efficient by 2012.
Take a closer look at how HIP and TIP make permitting easier.
Homeowner Internet Permitting
Homeowner Internet Permitting (HIP) allows residents to secure permits from home in less than 10 minutes. Through the application, the homeowner acts as the general contractor for home improvements, but Code Enforcement still offers any needed guidance in ensuring that homeowners meet criteria for permitting.
HIP's interface is designed to maximize ease of use. Residents answer a series of questions to determine their project's eligibility for permits. Projects that get the green light will proceed quickly through the process; those that don't – including projects that must go through the plan review process – will be directed to the Residential Technical Assistance Center to help resolve any issues that arise.
As with traditional permitting, Code Enforcement verifies compliance with local ordinances and validates subcontractor licenses, and permits are paid for online. Homeowners, like professional contractors, can print permits immediately and post them at the work site so work can start immediately. To learn more about which projects require permits and to use HIP, go to www.meckpermit.com and look under "Homeowners."
Trade Internet Permitting

Mecklenburg County requires contractors to have plumbing, electrical and/or mechanical permits for certain projects, including equipment changeouts for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC) and water heaters. Now, contractors can use TIP to secure permits on the Web 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As with HIP, TIP leads users through a series of questions to verify a project's permit eligibility. Then, they can pay for and print a permit – in a matter of minutes.

Upon securing the permit, the contractor can go to work and request an inspection. TIP allows contractors working on projects that don't require building permits to quickly and efficiently achieve code compliance.

Because of an increase in permit fees that took effect July 1, 2009, individual permits will now start at $60. For projects that require both an electrical and mechanical permit, for example, the cost would be at least $120. Contractors who use TIP will be charged $90 – a savings of $30. A larger project would incur higher permit fees.

The TIP application is at www.meckpermit.com. Click "Get Your Permit Online."
HIP and TIP underscore the importance of securing permits for home improvements. Many additions and home improvements require permits. If an accident takes place on the site of unpermitted work, legal risks arise, and insurance may not cover any subsequent claims. Also, in the case of resale, lenders may require sellers to show permits for work that has been completed.
HIP and TIP are just a few of the key changes Code Enforcement is making to firmly anchor the department's place as a national technology leader. Electronic Plan Management and the A/E Pass Rate Incentive Program are online initiatives that also seek to help Code Enforcement better serve its increasingly Web-savvy customer base. The goal? Be entirely digital and paperless by 2012.
For more information on Code Enforcement's vision for a streamlined future, go to www.meckpermit.com.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lawrimore Inc. Completes Upgrade of Mint Condition Website


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Charlotte marketing firm Lawrimore Inc. has
completed an upgrade of the Mint Condition Inc. website at www.MintConditionInc.com
. Mint Condition is a growing national franchise business for office
cleaning, based in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte.

The enhanced website features convenient dropdown menus for easier
navigation, an expanded section for sub-websites for each master
franchise, and extensive detail for customers and franchisees. Master
franchisees are responsible for representing Mint Condition in a major
metropolitan area. Mint Condition now has master franchisees from
Pennsylvania to Florida to California and has added an average of one
a month in the first half of 2009.

"Our website is one of our most valuable marketing tools as we
continue expanding nationwide," said Jack Saumby, president of Mint
Condition. "Lawrimore has designed it to appeal more to our target
markets as well as to get higher rankings in search engines. The
website contains a great deal of useful information for potential
master franchisees, cleaning franchisees, and customers who own or
manage office buildings."

About Mint Condition Inc.

Mint Condition Inc., based in Fort Mill, S.C., provides office
cleaning services for small to midsize office buildings. Its unique
business model uses cleaning franchisees - often small family
businesses - to clean the buildings, and master franchisees to recruit
customers and manage the cleaning teams. This provides more stability
and quality control in cleaning services for building owners and

About Lawrimore Inc.

Lawrimore Inc. (www.Lciweb.com), based in Charlotte, provides online
and traditional marketing, public relations, market research, graphic
design, web design and related services to businesses and government
agencies in Charlotte and the Carolinas. Founded in 1979, the firm has
won many awards for its creative work for clients.
[Media Contact: Buck Lawrimore, 704-332-4344, Buck(at)Lciweb.com]