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March 21, 2016

James Beard Nominee Spotlight: Tyler Anderson

Chef_tylerHaving cut his teeth in Chicago, learning his craft from the likes of the late Charlie Trotter and two-time James Beard Award winner, Sarah Stegner, people expected a lot from Tyler Anderson. And the Best Chef, North East Division, semifinalist for the 2016 James Beard has lived up to those expectations.

Striking out on his own in 2012, Chef Tyler opened up Millwright’s in Simsbury, CT, and set to work celebrating New England cuisine. Inside this 17th century sawmill, he focuses on reviving regionally traditional techniques and ingredients to create dishes that are both nostalgic and fresh. - PEJ

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February 8, 2016

Fat Tuesday Traditions

 

Chargrilled oysters from New Orleans Creole Cookery
You can't visit the Crescent City without trying some Char-Grilled Oysters from New Orleans Creole Cookery.

Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday.  No matter what you call it, this celebration of indulgence, the last day before the fasting season of Lent, has become something of a cultural phenomenon enjoyed by all, religious and non-religious alike.  And, like St Patrick’s Day when everyone becomes Irish, on Fat Tuesday we all channel a little bit of Cajun into ourselves.

In New Orleans, the epicenter of it all, the celebration starts well before Fat Tuesday itself.  One of the oldest restaurants in New Orleans, Antoine’s, founded in 1840 and the birthplace of Oysters Rockefeller in 1899, should be on every visitor’s agenda for the week, but plan your visit carefully.  Each day, from Hermes Friday to Proteus Monday (named for the krewe leading the parade for the day) might be booked for a special luncheon or dinner by the day’s lead krewe.  And Fat Tuesday itself?  Forget it.  The Mistick Krewe of Comus, the oldest of all the krewes, has for decades sent its 220 members there for a traditional dinner of Oysters Rockefeller and Filet de Boeuf en Brochette Marchand de Vin - prime tenderloin tips in a red wine sauce that serves as a nod to the French origins of both the city and the holiday - before marching out to officially close the festivities.

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December 22, 2015

2016 Food Trends

Korean food will be popular in 2016
As we approach the end of 2015, we have to admit this has been an interesting year for food. Labeling regulations have inspired restaurateurs to take a fresh look at their menus. The search for fresh, new flavors has inspired crazy concoctions like a Bloody Mary topped with a slider, bugs packed as snacks, black hamburgers for Halloween, and cotton candy grapes in mainstream grocery stores. With all the happenings of 2015 in mind, here are our trend predictions for 2016.

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September 24, 2015

Food Trends for Football Season

Foodcentric_burger
Throughout the year we look at global food trends, fine dining food trends and even fast casual food trends, but it seems like the venerable sports bar often gets left in the dust. No, your Sunday watering hole isn’t serving cronuts, seaweed risotto or whole roast pigs (not a bad idea, actually), but the menu does evolve to meet consumer demand. So, with the start of football season, let’s take a look at some sports-bar-centric food trends.

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August 10, 2015

Greek Food Showing Up On More Menus

Beet hummus is one of the latest Greek-inspired food trends. Greece may be making headlines these days for a lot more than yogurt, but that’s not stopping Greek food lovers from enjoying the fruits of Greek labor. From Greek wines to fanciful desserts, Greek food is enjoying a renaissance as part of the healthful benefits of a Mediterranean diet and the excitement over the long awaited sequel to a popular 2002 movie. Here’s where growth in this market is occurring:

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July 14, 2015

News You Can Use to Plan Your Next Move

Crepes_sizedWhen we see an important trend or two or three or four we just gotta weigh in, you know, before the trend is passé and everyone’s on to the next big thing. Last year, we were writing about food trucks and how they rolled into towns giving restaurateurs a venue to try out a new concept without major expense. Now we look at the next evolution in the process, along with some other noteworthy game changers.

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June 29, 2015

Salsa: The Sauce That's Not Just a Sauce

Salsa_foodcentricSalsa is the Spanish word for “sauce”, and it has also come to mean the same thing in English. However, this iconic condiment, which can consist of vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices, and even grains, and which can range from mild and tangy to searing hot, is much more than a simple topping.

There are numerous categories of salsa, some uncooked (salsa cruda) and some cooked.

  • Salsa verde is “green salsa”, which is typically made from pureed tomatillos, green chilies, and cilantro.
  • Salsa roja or “red salsa” usually includes cooked red tomatoes, onions, and chili peppers.
  • Pico de gallo is a popular form of uncooked salsa made from lime juice and coarsely chopped raw ingredients including tomatoes, onions, and cilantro leaves.

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June 16, 2015

Fast Casual Foods of India: Who Will Wrap It Up in America?


Fast_Casual_IndianThe cuisine of India has always been somewhat of a tough sell to American consumers, who seem to either love it or hate it without much in-between. For those who love it, especially vegetarians, the combination of spices, often with a little heat from chilies, presents a bonanza of choices. For those on the other end of the spectrum, the extensive menus, unfamiliar spices and flavors, and yes, murky food colors, are too daunting to try. Yet slowly but surely, Indian foods are making mainstream inroads. Naan, for example, has become as ubiquitous as pita bread even at the big box groceries. And then there’s curry. Sure, everyone knows what it is. It’s something and something, with some sort of spices and sometimes sauce.  Or, it’s that powder on the spice shelf with a label that says—wait for it—curry.   

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May 15, 2015

Food Trends From the James Beard Awards Reception Gala

 

Braveheart foodcentric
Our chefs served about 1,300 porcini-roasted Braveheart Beef filets.

We’re settling back in from the glitz and glamour of the 2015 James Beard Awards in Chicago, Ill., that took place early last week. As a sponsor for the reception following the awards ceremony at the Lyric Opera, we sent Chef Derin Moore, CMC, and Chef Ron Warner to serve our Braveheart Black Angus Beef to more than a thousand hungry guests alongside a host of former James Beard award-winning restaurants. A few lucky members of the marketing team were able to ride on the coattails to foodie fame and pick up some food trends at the pre-event parties and the reception. Some of these themes just might inspire Spring and Summer menu items.

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April 24, 2015

Trend Report from Taste of Vail

Tov1
Photo credit: Zach Malone for Taste of Vail

In the mountain town of Vail, Colorado, there’s a ritual that has become a rite of spring for the last 25 years—the Taste of Vail. Distinguished from other food events by its mountaintop picnic, The Taste also features an American Lamb Cook-Off and a Grand Tasting. This year the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner, with national and local chefs, arrived in Vail in conjunction with the Taste. All the events were a good way to wake up winter dormant taste buds and find out what foods may be on everyone’s plate in the coming season.

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